Beach Drives – NaPoWriMo 2016 – Day 29 – memories


Beach Drives & Babies & the Time I Drove into a Bank

I want to remember how old I was when I first heard
the wind sigh in the pine trees across the paddock;
first recall I suspect! I feel I was a little older the first
time I can remember going down the hill into
the village: standing in the back, grabbing the car seat
in front; in awe of so many houses, so tidy, so close
together. But I knew the village well by the time our
family numbered nine and we packed into the Ford,
driven miles to the beach for a picnic. It was New Year.

I remember, my first full-time job, biking there and
being driven home with period cramps so bad I was
curled up. But on happier notes the boss drove me
into town to sing as a guest. It was just after the war
and the song was ‘I’ll Walk Beside You’. My father was
beside me on the birth of my second child as he drove
down Mt. Stewart. Keep driving I shouted as I slipped
forward and gathered the child in arms. But it wasn’t
until I was over forty that I finally got my vehicle license
and drove a car myself.

I remember each early adventure. The time I bent forward
to change a dismal tape that was playing and with my eyes
taken of the road I hit a bank. As luck would have it six cop cars
to my rescue in a remote spot; they had been detailed to
patrol the arrival of a celebrity (Princess Di and Charles)
in the city I’d just come from. I was headed to the bedside
of my dying father but I never told him about my numerous
heros and it never made the news. Apart from a dent above
a left front wheel, the worst of the damage was a massive
scattering of my favourite tapes. And apart from a brief
consideration (the mad things we do when recently divorced) –
of changing direction, going with my heros back to town. I
blame that silly moment on shock. I was half-way into an
eight hour journey and of course I carried on. I have lovely
memories of my truck driving father; that last sad week-end.

I can’t remember what it would be like not to drive here
and there, from one end of the island to the other, though
less now. But I love driving and memories of driving. Over
the years I had more than one Ford but now I’m into Mazdas.
That is, until my eye-sight a gathering problem, finally lets
me down.

Benita H. Kape © 29.4.2016

p.s We never did divorce, we separated for a time. But I’d always said I’d only ever have one husband.