When living in the country, I find it’s imperative to have some kind of transportation, if for nothing more than getting out to buy groceries.
My son Doug and I have a car that we’ve found to be very reliable. While I still have my license to drive, he does most of that chore. Yes, I can still drive and do from time to time just to keep active. A case in point — recently occurred when Doug had a medical procedure and needed somebody to get him home from Carson City. Mom did it and with no problems.
Since I’ve been driving for more than 60 years with a lot of the last 30 or so while living alone in the wilderness, I’m still like every other backseat driver in the world. Even when my son is at the wheel, I’m very much driving along beside him. I have that imaginary wheel in my hands and have my foot on the brake. It’s simply an acquired 60-year-old habit.
So there were Doug and I, one day a week ago, coming home from town on Highway 50 when I remarked about the nice car in front of us. New and silver and driven by whom looked like a young lady. We were in rather heavy traffic. Suddenly past Allen Road she began weaving back and forth. We were in the right lane and her car began heading to the left, but mostly to the right. She sped up to the speed limit while the weaving continued. Finally, just before Roberson Lane, she actually went entirely off to the right into what is probably called a bicycle lane. If she had gone another foot, she could possibly have flipped that car over.
Now back into our lane, she continued with this erratic driving, and I could clearly see both of her hands up to her face. Doug had had enough, and when we passed Roberson, he pulled over in a large vacant lot, turned off the car and called the sheriff’s office. They kept him on the line and surprise, while he was still talking, a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper who happened to be at Leeteville Junction had pulled her over.
To make this long story short, we both thought the driver was either drunk or on some kind drugs. That wasn’t the case. It turned out that she admitted to driving with her knees so that she could put on her makeup ... 60 plus miles an hour in heavy traffic, and she’s driving with her knees! We’d have to sign a complaint and then go to court to press the issue since the trooper hadn’t actually seen her actions. However, Doug and I believed she’d learned a lesson, at least I do hope so. One needed to be there to imagine the sight of that car weaving in and out of that lane. All I could think about was what would happen if she had whipped over into oncoming traffic as some young mother was heading into town to shop, or a school bus on its way to a game.
It just wasn’t our week when a few days later we were coming home from what we call our “Japanese food and Steve’s Ice Cream” fix in Fernley. There was almost no traffic as we headed home. When we passed the Pioneer Casino, Doug looked to see if there was traffic behind us so that he could pass somebody in a pick-up pulling a trailer. Doing what I always do, I checked too. There wasn’t a soul behind us as far as we could see. Our car got half way past that vehicle and trailer when suddenly behind us was a bright yellow sport car. I thought it was going to climb into our backseat.
Doug said something I can’t print here, and sped up to get in front of the outfit we were passing, pulled in front of it as that sport car tried to take off the left rear of our car. Right behind it – not five seconds later – came a black sport car. I may be old, but I’m not stupid; those cars were going almost a 100 miles an hour as we watched them weave in and out around three or four other vehicles in front of us. I held my breath as Doug continued with his very ungentlemanly remarks. We’re decided it’s safer to stay home this week.
Edna Van Leuven is a Churchill County writer.