Happy Hump Day! Today is day four of the blogging challenge I have taken on this month. This post also hits another milestone: my 150th blog post on this blog. Thanks for reading!
I’ve decided to write about #9: A Photo You Took. Since I firmly believe a picture says 1,000 words, I am going to try to write at least 1,000 words inspired by this picture. Spoiler Alert: I succeed.
The picture I chose is one I took a few weeks ago from inside my bedroom in my apartment building. I remember that morning pretty clearly right now. It was a Friday and my one class that day was cancelled, which I was thrilled about since I hadn’t slept much that week. My friend Katie texted me and said something about there being snow on the ground. I got out of bed as fast as I could and looked out my bedroom window, and sure enough, the first snowfall of the season in Lincoln!
I love snow. I love cold weather, though I don’t like the brisk wind that often accompanies it. When it has snowed and the weather is calm, that’s my ideal winter weather. In Alabama, it rarely, if ever, snows, so I’m incredibly happy that I now live in a city that sees all four seasons.
Other than the snow, my favorite part of this picture is that blue Toyota Highlander – my car. I call the car my “Big Blue Monster.” The name came about one day years ago in Deibert Park, in Florence, Alabama. I was meeting up with some friends, one of whom was my best guy friend, Josh. Before that day, I don’t think Josh had ever seen my car; I had only been driving it for a short time by then anyway. When Josh met up with me at the park, he made a comment about seeing this “big blue monster car” in the parking lot. I laughed and didn’t think too much of his comment. Later on, when we were heading to the parking lot, he pointed out the car he had been referring to – my car. From that day forward, the name stuck.
I’ve been fortunate to only have had one car in my life thus far. Granted, I’ve only been driving for about six years, but I’m lucky that I have such a great car. My daddy bought the Highlander for me on my brother’s birthday in 2008. For his birthday, my brother basically wanted a driver. It was February, and I was fifteen. I was going to turn 16 later that year, so my daddy agreed it was time to get me a car.
I remember how badly I didn’t want to go car shopping that day. I had just taken the ACT – the worst standardized test I’ve ever had to take in my life (and I took it seven times before I was through). All I wanted was food after being in that testing room for four hours. It was also a very cold day, so I was not interested in walking around a car lot. Like I said, I love cold weather, but there are days where I prefer to enjoy it at home under a blanket with a cup of tea, and that was one of those days.
After looking at several cars at the Toyota lot, my brother and I settled on the Highlander. They had a silver and a blue one, as far as I remember. I didn’t want the silver one since my dad’s car at the time was silver, and I wanted a different color. Though I love the color of my car today, I thought that shade of blue was way too bright back then. I wanted a shade darker, but the Toyota dealership said we’d have to wait a week or so before they could get that color, and my brother was not willing to wait any longer. So, I settled for that shade of blue that day, but almost six years later, I’m glad I did. It’s so easy to spot my car in a crowded parking lot!
The car became my incentive to get my driver’s license, something I didn’t really care to get before then. Why bother getting my license when my parents were willing to drive me around? It made sense to me to think that way back then, but today, I’m glad I have the freedoms I do in having my driver’s license. After we got the car, I started taking driving lessons with my parents more seriously, but I refused to ever drive that brand new Highlander. My daddy put the car in our garage so it would stay as new as possible for when I was ready for it.
I failed my driver’s test three times before I finally passed it. The first time, I was terrified, as many people are. I failed since I was obviously not ready. I was so frightened that after the DMV official asked me to put on my emergency brake to show her it worked, I forgot to turn it off and actually began the first few minutes of my test driving with my emergency brake on. The car was screeching so bad the DMV official made me pull over at an Outback Steakhouse so she could inspect my car. I realized I had left my emergency brake on, and I clicked it off and we proceeded with the test. I did awful.
The second time, a police officer administered my test. His uniform made me freeze. He failed me for driving under the speed limit and failing to make a left turn he had requested; I turned right because I was so nervous.
The third time, I did everything well, but came up a few points short because my three-point turn ended up being four points because I underestimated how far back to go.
Finally, the fourth time, I passed with flying colors. I got an almost perfect score on the test and happily skipped away with a paper copy of my driver’s license. I was ecstatic, but more so, I was glad I never had to take that test again.
The next day, my daddy drove my blue Highlander out of the garage for me. I was still afraid to drive it and ruin it, so I waited a few days before getting behind the wheel of it for the first time. It still had that new car smell when I did. As much as I hate that smell normally, I loved it the day I finally drove my Highlander for the first time. I felt so free.