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The Softer Side

Nancy Willett [ March 2004 ]

Iím sure that many of you have far more wonderful and harrowing experiences teaching your children to drive but I would like to tell you ours. Most families seem to go to the nearest shopping centers to let the youngster learn the art of driving a car. Our three daughters had a slightly different training, along with going to the shopping center.

We always seem to have lots and lots of wood to move, both the kind you burn and the kind you build with, and we all had our share of moving it. Itís a great source of conversation when we all get together! One of the ways we moved the endless stacks was with our old one ton Ford truck.

We had a large field that was nice and flat, and was not obstructed with any buildings. We would fill up the old truck, putting the oldest daughter then 12, behind the wheel, and let her ďmoveĒ the wood. Keeping it in low gear, she had a great time getting that pile of wood from one location to the other. Of course, the move took three times as long, but each one of our three daughters had the opportunity to feel trusted to drive the truck, and we had lots of fun watching.

When it came time for the girls to actually go out on the road, we found that their driving experience behind the wheel of the truck had paid off, and the job of teaching them the rules of the road was far easier. Since the Driving Ed classes were only teaching on automatic cars, we insisted that each daughter learn how to drive a standard shift. They all took that lesson on our 1948 Studebaker column shift car.

Each daughter also had their general maintenance training in the driveway with Dad, learning how to change a tire, check the oil, water and battery. The girls are all good drivers, and now can drive just about anything their husbands set in front of them.

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