Take a Ride with Me

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Yesterday we were going to Ocean City to visit friends.  I waited until morning to tell Bo, judging the mood when he woke up.  He was amenable to the idea, so we were leaving.

I put the dog into the car,  packed up some things we would need,  and turned around to see Emma dog sitting in the passenger seat beside the driver’s seat.  So Bo got into the back seat behind her, and I got into the car.  I no sooner tightened my seatbelt and turned the key than he said,  “You have to move this seat.  I don’t have any room.”

I put the car into park,  removed my seat belt and went around to the other side of the car to  fix the seat back so it wasn’t leaning on Bo’s knees, then returned to the driver’s seat.

Just as I got my seat belt on and put the car into reverse, he said, “I don’t have any room.”

I counted to five, put the car into park again,  removed my seatbelt and went around again.  I moved the seat forward  and by now Emma had moved into my driver’s seat so I pushed her back where she belonged,  got in, fastened my seatbelt,  and started backing down the driveway.

“How to you make this thing move?” Bo asked from the back seat.

Now I was losing my sense of humor.  I stopped, counted to five again,  put the car into park,  got out and went to the other side for the third time.  I opened Bo’s door and realized he was sitting straight up.   The seat had to be adjusted — How did it get this way? so I pulled on the  spring-loaded lever at the top of the seat.

(At this time I have to tell you that for the past 6 months I’ve had tendonitis in my left wrist; it’s painful and doesn’t want to get better. )

I pulled on the lever which is very hard to move,  and it slipped out of my right hand, snapping back onto my already sore left wrist.  The pain was unbelievable.  I saw stars, couldn’t get my breath, and ended up leaning against the cherry tree, gasping.  Bo was asking what was wrong, but I couldn’t talk.  Finally I walked around the car, pulled the keys out of the ignition,  went into the house and got a bag of ice to put on my wrist, then returned to the car and left at last.

Two hours before this I had been to the eye doctor so my eyes were extremely dilated and sensitive to the light.  Add to this the ice on my palpitating wrist and a man in the back seat asking me where we were going every few miles.  I was not a happy person.  I stopped to buy an iced coffee and some cheese crackers to soothe my nerves  and get a short break from the car before continuing.  An hour later we were on our friends’ porch overlooking the bay and I could relax.


Bo has always been an avid umbrella user.  Often, as we set out on a car trip now,  he looks at the sky and decides there is a chance of rain.

“Do we have a …….? ” he moves his hands to indicate raising an umbrella.

I’ve learned that telling him there’s an umbrella in the back of the car doesn’t work.  He’ll ask over and over, obsessing on the rain possibility.  So I now pull over,  get out,  get the umbrella from the back,  and put it on his lap, then continue driving. At last, he stops asking.


And then there’s the gas.  Every few miles he may ask if we have enough gas.

“We have a full tank.  I bought it this morning,”  I reply.

“Oh, OK, that’s good,”  he says.  Then soon asks again.

I try to not show my impatience,  but I’m afraid I fail too often and he doesn’t deserve it.

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6 Responses to Take a Ride with Me

  1. maureen says:

    I know it’s extremely frustrating actually going through this process. I just want you to know how much I enjoy reading your stories. Your writing is so entertaining!

  2. Jože says:

    So entertaining and so close to my experiences with my father!

  3. Ine says:

    On the outside it is kind of comical the way you wrote this story but I know how frustrating and sad it is on the inside. Thanks for sharing.

  4. charlotte guarino says:

    Sorry, Nancy, but I don’t find it entertaining…I find it extremely sad and frustrating. May the good Lord continue to give you patience.

  5. Bev says:

    I know exactly what you are going through. How did you ever get him to go in the back seat? Mine gives me directions from the passenger seat. I don’t dare take him on a long trip now.

    • ACtually, Bo is so easy going and pliant that if the dog wants in the front seat, he just gets into the back seat. Luckily for me, he’s not a backseat driver either. Just enjoys the ride.

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