Last week I borrowed my brother’s new truck. I needed some top soil and other things for my new raised garden beds that my dad built for me.
It’s always fun driving a big truck in my opinion. Makes me feel like I’m the king of the road as I tower over everyone. That’s a nice change from my little bitty white car. And, it was like old times borrowing my brother’s vehicle.
He basically taught me how to drive and while I was waiting at a red light I couldn’t help but think about that time he forced me to drive his straight-shift Ford Ranger in town. I never could get the hang of starting and stopping. Poor 16-year-old me panicked when I got stopped at a light and it changed from yellow to red to green several times before I was able to make it across the road that day. My face turns red just thinking about it. I don’t think I ever drove that truck in town again, though I did drive it from Limrock to Woodville for school before I got my first car. (I tried my best not to have to come to complete stops at the two stop signs between school and home.)
Just as 35-year-old me was thinking about how nice it was to be driving an automatic now and how safe I felt knowing that I didn’t have to worry about changing gears and having the car go dead, I noticed the truck seemed awfully quiet. I looked at the dashboard and it was doing funny things.
“Oh Lord,” I thought, “Not again!” I was sure that his truck was going to go dead right there at that red light and I’d be forced to sit there and hold up traffic. But, to my surprise the truck wasn’t dead, and I made it right on through the light and on to Home Depot, where I circled the parking lot a few times before deciding just to park as far back as I could because it’d been a while since I had to park a truck.
I finished my shopping and decided to pick up some Arby’s for lunch. It happened again while I was in the drive-thru line. The truck went quiet and the dashboard looked funny. “What in the devil is going on here?” I asked myself. It suddenly dawned on me that this truck must have some new-fangled feature that turns it off if you sit still for too long. I think I’d heard about it on the radio before.
My parent’s also have a new car. Well, new to them.
We finally put car seats in it for the kids and on Monday we decided to all go to town together in it. I drove and talk about new-fangled. You press a button to start the car. Now, I know this technology has been around for some time. One of my friends cars was like that a while back and I thought it was crazy then too. This car has that weird back up camera too, but I still do it the old fashioned way and look over my shoulder when I’m backing up. Oh yeah, the seat goes back when you turn the car off and you can’t open the back hatch yourself because there is a button you push that does it for you.
As I was driving I noticed that back up camera screen kept saying it was loading something and I couldn’t tell what station the radio was on. I didn’t understand, so I kept hitting buttons just hoping I could figure out how to change the radio station. Then this black screen came on with a long paragraph telling me about how I shouldn’t be looking at that screen while I’m driving because it could cause an accident. That didn’t make sense to me, because honestly I could barely pay attention to the road for reading that paragraph. The next thing I knew there was a map on there showing me exactly where I was.
The boy says he only wants to take Nonnie’s car from now on, and I sure am dreading it. While I do enjoy the extra space, I do not enjoy the modern advancements. I’m sorry, but I think some things are better left unchanged. I sure do hope they keep making cars with regular old keys and regular old radios and no weird screens and cameras. I don’t know how much more change I can take.
Danielle Wallingsford Kirkland is a former Sentinel staff writer and correspondent. She can be reached at email@example.com.