The Driver’s Test

July 10 – Well, guess what? I’ve done something that most of you haven’t accomplished yet, but actually I guess I really didn’t DO it! Instead, thanks to the Lord’s rich blessings, a good heredity, and the love of friends all over the world, I celebrated birthday number 90 a few days ago. Did I say celebrate? Well, yes, but this blog will be a little more interesting thanks to some problems that came up along the way!


[ Road signs to remember ]

First of all, I had to have my driver’s license renewed for another three years, so off we went to Lee’s Summit. I had been checking over the highway signs for a couple weeks because when I have to take the test, simple though it is, I always worry that I won’t remember when I am sitting in front of the examiner, and then my driving days are over. As we drove the dozen miles to town, I was surprised to find so many signs forbidding drivers “DO NOT ENTER,” or ‘WRONG WAY.” Why in the world would I want to enter the wrong side of the highway and then try to back up and get where I should be?! However, there must be at least some drivers who do just that, because every time a road turned off the highway, there were the same two warning signs. At my age, I would hate to try again.

I’m going to stop right here for a bit as I tell about two times I well remember not doing well in this type of test. When I was seventeen, living back in Pennsylvania, my brother Frank was sure I needed to get a license before I went back to college in Massachusetts. So why did I agree? Because he was such a neat brother, and if he thought I could pass the test, well, maybe I could. This next part wasn’t right, but when he told me that he wanted me to drive him to work at the GE, and then go back home to pick up another brother who would take me to the bureau, I didn’t say no.

OK, so on to the testing area. A very tall officer, really big and strong, led me out to the car, went through all of the directions and maneuvers (I still cannot back up very easily! Guess I believe we should all move FORWARD!) while I was shaking during the entire ordeal. Finally, we stopped, parked, and went into the office where I would become a driver for the first time in my life! Only that’s not the way it all worked out! I flunked! Why?

“Because you were too afraid, and you didn’t turn corners well,” said the officer. So, as I picked up Frank at work and told him the sad news, he very quickly answered, “Well, that’s why I didn’t take you. I thought you wouldn’t pass!” At least he was honest but I wasn’t too pleased with his words! Since I would be going back to college in another week, he told me I had just one more chance, and he would take me then. Guess what? I practiced turning corners till I could see them in my sleep, and backed up over and over. Maybe I could get a license after all. Oh, sure!

This second time, as I sat in the car waiting for the policeman, who should come out of the office door but the SAME one who rode with me the week before! Since I knew I wouldn’t pass with him sitting next to me, I didn’t bother to be afraid, but just did what he told me to do and get it over with! Maybe that’s why I had an easier time because I wasn’t afraid! Guess what? When the test was over, he shook my hand and said, “Much better this time, and I know why. You didn’t let your nervousness take over this time, so you did drive well enough to pass! Congratulations!”


[ Where we took the written test ]

Another test I well remember. After we had moved to Missouri, and the time had come to renew our driver’s license, Dale and I went to the office where we didn’t have to drive, just take a written test, a very easy one. When I saw that test, I didn’t feel nervous at all but just picked up the pen, and got to work. The first couple questions were really easy, and the next, and next right on through ten! Dale had already received his license, and I knew I would too. BUT, I didn’t! I can’t remember if it were the first or the third question, but as the examiner handed me my paper, I noticed the mistake I had made! Talk about a very silly answer! “Well, you’ll pass anyway,” the lady said, but since you told me that you didn’t have the current license with you today, I’ll hold this one until you bring it along to show me!”

And now back to Lee’s Summit. Dale wasn’t positive he knew just where the license bureau was, but he was pretty sure it was in the same little plaza where he buys cartridges for the computer. However, as we checked out that area, there was no sign of the place we were looking for. I suggested that we try the next plaza to see if we had forgotten just where that bureau was. Not there either.

“Guess I’ll have to ask again,” Dale said. Back he came with directions that he couldn’t remember. After driving around again and finding nothing, he stopped at another office for help. This time he wrote down those directions. But we still couldn’t find that license bureau. Some told us to check out the area where the now closed Price Chopper store was. Since we had no idea where that might be, we ended up with the directions to drive over a long bridge, and then move on to another shopping mall. By that time, I wasn’t even thinking about taking the driver’s test. I just hoped that we would find our way home again! (tune in tomorrow to find out what happened!) – CHRIS

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