short excerpts...other writings...upon occasion or as prompted...
The tiger in the water? A representation of my life -- spirit and environment!


Friday, September 17, 2010

Driving the Big One

Later, when she was in the U. S. Army Reserves, Mommy was required to get a military license. To understand how it was that Mommy actually got licensed, you have to understand that Mommy is gullible. She misses details that would point out inconsistencies and tip her off that she is being had. Getting her military license is a good example of that.

When Mommy first joined her reserve unit, she was told that she needed to have a military license and that she should be tested to drive the biggest vehicle in the swamp. (The swamp is not a pool of water; it is a motor pool.) Mommy believed what she was told.

"Can you drive stick shift?" asked the sergeant in charge of the swamp.

"Certainly," said Mommy. "I learned to drive on a tractor." (That probably explains her problems with parallel parking and angle parking. I have never seen a tractor parallel parked or angle parked in our town.)

"Good," said the sergeant. "I can bring you a larger vehicle then. I'll be right back."

He drove up with a 2 1/2–ton oil tanker, called by the people in the swamp a "deuce-and-a-half." Mommy looked at that and thought about how she could drive something like that. The step was over her head, so she knew she would not be able to see out the window. She could not see out the window in our van, either. She had to use pillows. Ah, ha! She had a solution.

"Give me just a minute," she told the swamp sergeant. "I'll be right back."

She ran to the parking lot and returned to the oil tanker with the pillows from our van. The sergeant was waiting for her, and he helped her climb into the cab by pushing her up.

Mommy fluffed her pillows into place, then started the oil tanker. The swamp sergeant told her where to go. They drove around the military compound. Mommy found out that she did not need her pillows. In order to turn the wheel, she had to stand up and hang on it, using her body weight, not her arm strength, to turn it. So, she drove standing up.

Pretty soon, she and the swamp sergeant were dizzy from driving in circles. The swamp sergeant decided that they needed an adventure, and he told Mommy to drive out of the compound. They drove down the road a little bit.

"Okay," he said. "Just turn right here." "Here" was McKnight Road, a major thoroughfare through Pittsburgh.

"Wow," thought Mommy. "I hope all the people out on the road are going to watch out for me." She did not have to worry. She was the biggest vehicle on the road, so, of course, the other ones watched out for her.

Finally, she was allowed to turn around and drive back to the military compound. There, everyone was waiting for her at the entrance.

"Just parallel park it over there," the swamp sergeant pointed to a very little spot. That was when Mommy figured out that the swamp was playing a joke on her. The joke was really on them, though, because they had to give Mommy a license to drive anything up to and including a deuce-and-a-half.

As for me, I say "Watch out, world! Mommy is really licensed now!"

Conclusion: Chutzpah will take you many places, including down McKnight Road in a deuce-and-a-half.

This story is excerpted from a collection of vignettes that I helped Doah, my severely mentally challenged youngest son, to write and publish several years ago (copyright 2003). It was my attempt to help him understand literacy and the purpose of writing and reading.


  1. Doah's stories never fail to bring a smile to my face!

  2. I like Doah's stories. They make me chuckle.

  3. Thanks, Mary and Quietspirit. They were fun to write with him -- albeit embarrassing at times.


About Me

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I am the mother of 4 birth children (plus 3 others who lived with us) and grandmother of 2, all of them exceptional children. Married for 42 years, I grew up in Maine, live in California, and work in many places in education, linguistics, and program management. In my spare time, I rescue and tame feral cats and have the scars to prove it. A long-time ignorantly blissful atheist converted by a theophanic experience to Catholicism, I am now a joyful catechist. Oh, I also authored a dozen books, two under my pen name of Mahlou (Blest Atheist and A Believer-in-Waiting's First Encounters with God).

My Other Blogs

100th Lamb. This is my main blog, the one I keep most updated.

The Clan of Mahlou
. This is background information about various members of the extended Mahlou family. It is very much a work still in progress. Soon I will begin posting excerpts from a new book I am writing, Raising God's Rainbow Makers.

Modern Mysticism. This blog discusses the mystical in our pragmatic, practical, realistic, and rational 21st century world and is to those who spend some or much of their time in an irrational/mystical relationship with God. If such things do not strain your credulity, you are welcome to follow the blog and participate in it.

Recommended Reading List

Because I am blog inept, I don't quite know how to get a reading list to stay at the end of the page and not disappear from sight. Therefore, I entered it as my first post. I suppose that is not all that bad because readers started commenting about the books, even suggesting additional readings. So, you can participate with others in my reading list by clicking here.
I do post additional books as I read them and find them to be meaningful to me, and therefore, hopefully, meaningful to you. One advantage of all the plane traveling I do is that I acquire reading time that I might not otherwise take.