My day started out normal. Just the usual house chores that I do on a Saturday. I had already gone on my morning run with Gyp and was feeling fairly energetic. After chores I started working on building a new website; just trying out a new (and hopefully more professional looking) template/host site for my own farm website. Buried amidst HTML codes, fonts, and background colors, I realized that someone was talking about me in the next room over. A friend of my mom's was over and the two of them were talking about the fact that I have yet to learn to drive a manual car... I grinned as I listened to them, knowing that what they said was true. The stick shift has always terrified me ever since I tried it right after my 15th birthday. I've never had any desire to try again after that, but I grudgingly couldn't deny that I needed to eventually face my fear that's been lingering for six years, and conquer that beast of a vehicle. I just wasn't looking forward to it.
Then out of the blue, my mom's friend said she would teach me to drive our manual car TODAY and I was instructed to get my shoes, driver's permit, and glasses (yeah, I have to wear glasses while driving... I'm rather nearsighted.). I was tense and nervous. Last time I tried this I hadn't even gotten out of the driveway. She drove me to a quiet back road not far from the house (thankfully back roads are something we have in abundance over here!) and we switched sides. I think it's safe to say that I was terrified.
I killed the engine on the first try.
I was so tense that I couldn't let the clutch out smoothly enough, and the engine sputtered and coughed to an awkward halt. I took a couple minutes to try and get myself to R.E.L.A.X. and then tried again.
And wonder of wonders, it worked! I got that car rolling *forward*! Gadzooks, I'm doing it!!! I quickly learned that shifting is actually rather fun... Yes, I'm eating crow here. I've always scorned the stick shift and have never had anything nice to say about it. And now I was feeling a sneaking satisfaction that I could keep this metal monstrosity moving. We went up and down those old back roads for well over an hour before heading back to the house for a quick break. On an especially quiet road we played a warped version of "red light, green light", where I had to go 20 feet, then stop. Then start again, then stop. Over, and over, and over. I only killed it once. :)
We were just about to leave the house for a second drive when the phone rang. It was the person selling the milk cows! She called to say that the purebred Jersey was still available, and wanted to know if I would like to buy her or if she should let the next person in line have her. I was fairly dancing and almost interrupted her in my haste to tell her YES, I want that cow!! Please consider her sold to ME!! I feel really good about this cow, and I'm so glad that I didn't buy Flash. This cow may be a Jersey, but I'll forgive her for that. Her temper is very similar to Mattie's; just a calm, sweet girl. And she's got a Jersey/Ayshire bull calf coming with her. :) I haven't decided if I'll keep him for beef, or if I want to train him for draft. Personally, I'm leaning towards the latter. LOL.
The second round of driving also went well. I made a few mistakes though, like accidentally shifting into 4th gear when I meant to go into 2nd (Only did that once, let me tell ya'!), and I killed it a few times while in town; sheepishly having to motion other drivers to go ahead and not wait for me. I finally had to stop after 3pm. I was so tired that I began killing it more and more often, I kept forgetting to either put the clutch in, and I would forget which gear to be in. My eyes were crossing, I was so tired. After a twenty minute break though, I was back behind the wheel and drove home... Without a single problem. ;)
I was ready to flop down for nap when I got home, but was informed that the goats had escaped in my absence and I needed to repair one little corner in the pasture. Sigh... So out I went, armed with the necessary materials, and did what was familiar to me. I had just spent my day doing something completely new and overwhelming. It felt good to be back to doing something normal and routine. I still do not see how people can enjoy driving. I'll stick to fence repairs. I can do that.
I still didn't flop down for a nap after the fence work; come to think of it, I don't even remember what I've been doing... I remember feeding the dog. Nothing else comes to mind. LOL. I still feel a little spaced out. It was a long day... I conquered a fear that I've had for six years, I bought a cow, I fixed fence, and I'll take Gyp for his evening run soon.
It's been a big day.