There is nothing like a deadline to focus your mind. It’s true of teenagers, it’s true of adults.
In the United States, teenagers are allowed to drive starting at age 16. In Germany where my husband grew up, the age is 18. I’ve read the statistics about 16-year-old drivers and can see the wisdom of waiting. We wondered how this would play out when our kids reached this age. Would they demand to drive a car as soon as their 16th birthday came? Or would they wait?
With our daughter, our first-born, I was somewhat surprised to find that she wasn’t in a big hurry to drive a car. She can walk to school and she has a friend with a license, so most of her immediate needs are taken care of without her having to drive. Driving around here, in the SF Bay Area, can also be pretty stressful. The traffic is often dreadful, roads aren’t in the greatest shape (although they are nowhere near as bad as the roads in our previous town, Belmont MA), and people are more distracted than ever.
But with her departure date for college in Oregon approaching, she was running out of time to get her permit, wait the required 6 months, and take the driving test before she left. She didn’t want to do it in Oregon while also trying to get her bearings in college, so to do it here in CA, we had to set a deadline. I naively went online to make an appointment at the DMV for a permit, only to find that all the DMVs that were close by didn’t have appointments until March, which was too late. We were going across the bridge to Fremont.
Not only did we have to drive across the Dumbarton Bridge, but it was raining, and raining hard. Traffic was dreadful, the roads weren’t in the greatest shape, and people were distracted. We were late for the appointment. But she passed the written test and is now the proud holder of a CA driver’s permit.
On the way back, before we braved the highway again, I needed to find the geocache of the day. It was hidden in this tree, pictured here. The tree is in the middle of an island, in the middle of the road in a cul-de-sac just down the street from the Fremont DMV. The foliage is dense enough to shield the cacher from the rain, but you have to stick your hand into one of the holes in the knobs and gnarls of the tree to find the cache, and I ended up getting sap all over my hand.
Gnarled Tree on “Treasure Island” in Fremont. For the Mundane Monday Challenge #96.
The things we go through to find a geocache. Or to get a drivers’ permit, for that matter.