Sunday, March 11, 2018

"Pedal to the Metal (or Clutch) " in Honor of Madison D. Cat's 16th Birthday!

CLICK TO VISIT MADI'S BLOG
Hi all!! Happy Sunday and Happy 16th Birthday to Madi!!!!! Cody and I rarely blog on Sundays but for the "Sweet 16 Kitty Girl" we have made an exception. First, we love Madi and her Mom, and second, when I read what Madi (and her Mom) would like their friends to share, I just HAD to participate!

Here is what Madi's Mom wrote: "We thought it would be fun to have all my friends tell about learning to drive: if your parents taught you, if you went to driver's ed and the fun or not so fun things that might have happened"

Ok, you asked for it!!

I didn't learn to drive until I was 27 years old. Yes, you read that correctly, I was 27! Why? there were a host of reasons:

1) Had I learned to drive at age 16 I would have had nothing to drive, my reasoning at that age was "what's the point?" My parents wouldn't let me use the family car so forget it.

2) When I went to college everything was within walking distance or I rode with friends who had cars

3) When I had my first "real" job I took 3 buses and a rapid transit (a sort of a train type of a thing) to get to work EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR FIVE YEARS........(I had to leave the house by 6:30 am in order to be at work by 8:15am and most evenings I didn't get home til 7pm).


That all ended in 1983 after a horrible experience on the rapid where a guy virtually went NUTS and was in everyone's face on the rapid. It was quite scary. I decided I would finally get a car.  I don't have a photo that I can share, but it was a 1983 bright red Honda Civic SI Hatchback (manual transmission...THAT IS KEY HERE)

My Dad was friends with a sales person at the Honda dealership and since I didn't know how to drive I ORDERED MY CAR FROM A CATALOG.........(bet you have NEVER heard of that before! And..."OH YES I DID!")..........the salesperson drove it to my apartment where it sat outside for about a week or so. 


A neighbor that lived next door to me in my apartment building offered to  teach me how to drive (I bought a manual transmission because my Dad had said if I learned to drive in a manual transmission car I could drive anything!).  The first couple days were horrendous. I was in tears after every session (I could not get the hang of the clutch at first). I named my car "Diablo" because in my opinion it was "the devil car", partly because it was red, and partly because it was, to me, THE DEVIL. I thought I would NEVER learn to drive it.

After a few grueling sessions for me, (and some terrifying moments for the poor neighbor who was teaching me), I LEARNED TO DRIVE DIABLO!!  I will never forget the first day I drove my new car  to work. We had to park in a parking garage with a GIANT INCLINE leading into the garage (those of you who know how to drive a stick know where I am going with this). It was a HILL....A SHORT, STEEP HILL! In order to get the gate open to enter the garage you had to put your card into this slot (part way up the hill)...well, when I did that I was not adept at maneuvering the clutch pedal at all and........YES YOU GUESSED IT.......I STARTED TO ROLL BACKWARDS DOWN THE HILL........there WAS only one car behind me and thankfully they were observant and saw me beginning to roll and hauled ass to back up and get away from me before I backed into them.

I was horrified and in tears. I was shaking and swore I would never drive that car again.  A friend of mine drove me home from work in their car, I chose to leave my car in the garage at work.

Thankfully, the next day YES I did drive my car, and that little Honda Civic was one of the most reliable and BEST cars I have ever owned....... I have had FIVE Honda's since then......and...guess what? They are ALL MANUAL TRANSMISSION!! Why??? Because I CANNOT FOR THE LIFE OF ME DRIVE AN AUTOMATIC!!! Yep, you read that correctly, I CANNOT DRIVE AN AUTOMATIC! I "GALLOP" all over the road! (The story behind that, is a story for an entirely different day!!! Talk amongst yourselves!)

So Madi, Mom and everyone else............I hope you enjoyed a blast from my past! And Madi? HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Much love from Cody and I!








59 comments:

  1. MOL! What a story! My human learned on a manual also, so she knows what you are talking about, not getting it at first. Those manual transmissions really let you know when you are doing it wrong! She can drive either manual or automatic, but she much prefers manual.

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    1. YAY!! Yet another reason to love your Mama! I should have known she would be a "manual" kinda lady! xoxo

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  2. MOL, we wanna know what da story are wif "galloping" in an automatic.

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    1. OMG it was unreal...was forced to drive my drunk ex-husband home from a DJ'ing gig........he had a LOOOOONG station wagon on top of it all........it was a NIGHTMARE!! MOL!

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  3. I was amazed that your first car was new. I am almost 55 and I never had a new car, although my wife has. (Somebody has to be frugal). 😀

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    1. Well, I made payments on it for FIVE years..........(I think my Dad had to co-sign the first car, in fact I am SURE that he did and God help me if I didn't have my payment, which I DID!) my two Hondas after that were also new (on the five year plan), the last Honda that I OWNED I kept for 11 years.......after that car I started leasing...I have leased 3 Honda Fits since I started leasing.

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  4. That is a great story! I haven't driven a manual in about 20 years, and I don't miss it at all. :)

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  5. Great post... I learned on a manual also and would drive all over town to avoid hills.

    Have a great day!

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    1. thank you so much!! Guess what?? Sometimes I STILL DO!!!!! Allllll these years later!!!!! Love it! You have a great day too!

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  6. That was a fun story! Happy Birthday to sweet Madi from all of us!

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  7. Cute story! I remember the first car I got was a Chevy Impala. The thing was enormous - I felt like I was driving a boat and I was so tiny that I could barely see over the dashboard! Happy BD to Madi - purrs from Deb and the Zee/Zoey gang

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  8. When Our Human takes Us to v-e-t, We go by taxi. She doesn't have a car because She failed her driving test six or seven times and then gave up.

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    1. oh my!! That test must be super hard in Israel!

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  9. That was a great story. Good for you for sticking with it! I remember learning how to drive a manual after driving an automatic and there were some tears. Hills were the worst.

    Cute picture, Cody!

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    1. Thank you soo much! Some hills STILL upset me and I have been known to avoid some...I could never live in Pittsburgh or San Fran lol!

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  10. That was a great story, thank you for sharing. I have never driven a stick, I would never have passed my license if I had to drive one. :)

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  11. Oh my gosh, I feel ya on that one! I also had to learn on a stick. I don't drive one now and wonder if it comes back to you like riding a bike.

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    1. Don't know because I still drive a stick and ALWAYS will...except...my Honda dealer keeps telling me they are phasing them out which they had better not do!

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  12. That's an awesome story, Caren! I learned to drive when I was about 9 years old ... on a tractor at my aunt and uncle's farm. :)

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    1. thank you and oh my is YOUR story ever unique!!

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  13. Happy Birthday to Maddie! Cody I will "cook" something up with you!
    I LOVE your story Caren! My first car was a honda civic with a manual transmission too! And I did not get my licence until I was 24.But I had been driving, I had so much anxiety, I failed the road test 5 times!
    Purrs and Love
    Marv and Mom
    love Barb

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    1. Thank you and OMC that we both had Civics! My first 3 Hondas were Civics (two were hatchbacks and the last Civic was a coupe).....my last 3 Hondas now were all Fits..........

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  14. Nice and funny story.
    I drive a manual car. In France most of the cars are manual.
    I best or wort than you !I did get my driving license when I was 19. But I began to drive when I was .... 33 years old. When I move to the south of France. Before that I use to live in Paris. So no need to drive.
    Bonne soirée
    Natacha

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    1. Thank you!! OMG I NEED TO MOVE TO FRANCE!! If most of the cars are manual there I need to be there! you were only a little bit older than me when you started driving but at least you LEARNED at a young age, I didn't! xoxo

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  15. I learned on an automatic, but learned to drive standard later. I drove a standard for years, but I never did really like it! Honestly, I don't like driving all that much anyway, I only do it because I have to. I've gone back to automatics and never plan to drive a standard again!

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  16. That's some story! Thanks for sharing :)

    I was 26 when I learned to drive and it may surprise everyone to know that I haven't driven since. Many reasons that I can't really go into here, but it's been a long time. However, I keep telling myself if I ever move out of London I will definitely need a car. At the moment, I just can't afford one anyway.

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

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    1. as long as you can get to wherever you need to go by public transportation or by walking, the heck with driving! I drive very, very little nowadays! xoxo

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  17. Now Caren THAT IS a car story!! I live in an area you have to drive,in fact Jacksonville is the largest (area wise) city in the US. So to get anywhere you have to have a car. Public transportation is congregated in more urban areas of the downtown which is like about 30 miles outside of the city limits. So if you can't get the bus you have to drive. I do wish we had some better system in place but it is what it is! Great story.

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    1. MOL MOL! That was many, many years ago! In college I could get anywhere by foot on campus.......and when I had my first 3 cars I was in Ohio and the public transportation there is good, here in Michigan you HAVE to drive because the public transportation here is a total joke.......Detroit and the suburbs are EONS behind other cities.

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  18. OMCs/OMDs what a story. We can certainly understand why you took mass transit until it got scary. Mom was biting her nails when she read about "Diablo" sliding backwards. Once she drove a manual Saab. Forgot something left it in park ....she thought...ran in the house. It rolled down the front slopping drive way into the neighbors fence. Thank goodness the only damage was the split rail fence was even more split railed.
    Dad taught mom to drive manual in the floor when she was about 27. She loved it.
    Hugs and thank you for posting on Sunday and joining my 16 bday hop
    Madi your bfff

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    1. Well actually the mass transit was BEFORE I got the car :) OMC about your Mom's Saab! OMC! Thank COD only the fence was ruined! Happy Happy Sweet 16 Madi!!! We had to acknowledge it because turning 16 is extra, extra special! Love from Mom and I ........Cody xoxo

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  19. OH MY COD! What a STORY! Good GRIEF! That rolling downward on an incline brought back some major memories to my mom! Trust me, they are funny now but not then.

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    1. Oh hell yeah it wasn't funny then! I was rolling BACKWARDS..........MOL!!

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  20. That is a great story! In the UK, manual transmission is much more popular than automatic, so all of my cars have been manual. Like you I can't get on with automatic either. Once when my car was off the road a friend loaned me an automatic. It was a nightmare!!
    Happy birthday to Madi.

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    1. Thank you! OMG I AM living in the wrong country! I need to move and STAT!!! I can TOTALLY relate to when your friend loaned you a car, when I had to drive an automatic it was also a nightmare! I am a manual trans girl all the way!! xoxo

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  21. That's an hilarious story! Our Mom was made to learn to drive a manual at the tender age of 13. You can only imagine how many times she made that car "hop" and die! MOL!
    Hope you have an easy peasy Sunday, furriends.
    XOXO

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    1. thank you and OMG 13 is sooo young!! xoxo

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  22. What a fabulous story!!! Love it!

    Hugs, Pam

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  23. Too funny that you can't drive an automatic! I can't wait to hear that story. I can't/refuse to drive a standard (not all that unusual). And I beat you...I was 30 when I got my license!

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    1. a manual is ALL I will drive and all I have ever driven! I briefly told the story under the Lone Star Cats comment.

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  24. MOL, Mommy's first car was a manual a little green Datsun. But she much prefers automatics. Poor Mom, when she was with her Mother she had to drive an automatic and when she was with her Dad she had to drive a manual so she was constantly switching between the two. Grandma's car was a HUGE Mercury Marquis and Grandpa's truck was a small Toyota. And she got a ticket because there was a stop sign at the top of the hill on the way to her school and she stopped, but when she started to go she rolled back and the cop gave her a ticket because she didn't stop again. MOL she would have been there all day because it was a very steep hill. Stupid mean cop!!!!! But it was OK because the nice policeman she knew fixed the ticket for her and she didn't even have to tell her parents.

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  25. A very happy birthday to Madi! What a great adventure the human had with their car. Most cars in UK are manuals, the autos being a bit thirstier on fuel. Strange though with electric cars soon to be the norm we'll all be driving automatics again!
    Toodle pips
    ERin

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  26. Happy birthday wishes for Madi! What a story!I couldn't wait to turn 16 and learn to drive! Happy Sunday! :D

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  27. That's a funny story! My dad taught me to drive with my first little red Citroen when I was 17. In South Africa manual is more popular and in order to pass your drivers test you have to learn how to drive a manual. Cape Town is full of hills and I once stopped a traffic light three times because I stalled the car three times with horns honking behind me. My dad was incredibly patient, but the drivers behind me, not so much. I also hate those parking garages where you have to stop on an incline, argggh nerve wracking!

    These days I opted to go with an automatic. One's ankles do get tired of "clutch-in-clutch-out" in traffic! Still, one doesn't really feel like you're actually doing anything when driving automatic! Also I find manual is much better in the snow!

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    1. Oh how I LOVED your story! I am telling you I need to move to another country! I would have DIED having to drive a stick with so many hills. I sooo know how you had to have felt! I have been driving a stick for 30+ years now (omg)...not switching unless they phase them out. You are right about manuals being MUCH better in the snow, they are!! And....I LOVE having something to do when I drive because of shifting!

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  28. OMC, Miss Caren! That was quite the story. We can’t believe you can’t drive an automatic. The mom can’t drive a manual. No matter how many times people have tried to teach her...she just can’t do it. MOL!

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    1. Nope I can't drive an automatic! Seriously! It's normal for people not to be able to drive manuals but not automatics! lol

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  29. Mama says she totally gets it! She learned to drive when she was younger, but didn't get her first real car until she was in her 30s! Such a great story for Miss Madi's Birthday!!
    xoxo,
    Rosy, Jakey & Arty

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    1. It took you a long time too just like my Mama! Thanks so much and thanks for visiting me! Love, Cody

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  30. diablo is a super name for a car!!! man that rolling backwards while trying to start uphill is the worst... I once rolled into the car behind me and the clueless police guys actually thought the poor guy with the smashed bumper rear ended me and fined him.... sadly they found out what happened and then I was the one who walked the line... literally because they seized my license for 4 weeks ;O(((

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    1. Thank you! Especially because it was red! lol! OMG I feel so bad for you! I know that happened long ago but I would have DIED!! You poor thing! Also, THANK YOU for visiting us! xoxo

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  31. OMC...that is Granny's worse nightmare..now, not when she was young, but since her midlife crises, she has started seeing ghosts...MOL :D Pawkisses for a Happy Day :) <3

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  32. I learned on a manual transmission too.. it was so hard.. that damn clutch

    http://www.henatayeb.blogspot.com

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  33. Caren, my first car was a manual tranny, and my brother taught me to drive it in 15 minutes! Know how? We found a hill, and he made me roll the car backward until I found the 'sweet spot', and accelerated forward. We did that for about 15 minutes...I got the hang of it, and off I went! I taught myself to downshift, but that was the last manual tranny I've had!

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    1. LOVED your story but you will NEVER find me driving an automatic!

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  34. Happy birthday, Madi! I passed my driving test on my 21st birthday and my first car was an Austin 1300. I've never driven an automatic in my life! Manual cars are more the norm here in the UK with fewer automatics.

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    1. That's it...I DEFINITELY need to move out of this country lol

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  35. I love that story, Caren! I learned to drive in an automatic, but I too was in my mid twenties...MOL! Then my then boyfriend took it upon himself to teach me how to drive a manual transmission. Um...well you know...tee-hee! It was a Rabbit, which are notorious for being hard to manipulate clutch and gas...I did learn it, and had a Mazda for many years, two different ones actually since I had the first one smashed to bits before it was a year old...a whole 'nother tale... Now I have to drive auto transmission because Honda Odysseys do not come in manual mode, and we needed a van for kids and junk, etc...Son number one bought himself a manual Ford, and he did not know how to 'do it' either...still after 4 years he can be a bit bumpy...oh well...no problem - he works via telecommuting!

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