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(c) 2014 Trina Lambert Furgus and Sam take their first ride in the new(er) 4Runner.

(c) 2014 Trina Lambert
Furgus and Sam take their first ride in the new(er) 4Runner.

The things you do for love . . . sometimes extend into agreeing to try things you swore you’d never try.

For the record, I have rarely liked the cars my husband Sherman likes. But then again, I’m not really a big fan of driving anyway. I was the kid who got her license because she wanted to go places, not because she wanted to drive. Driving was a means to an end.

Plus, since I come from a flat, small town, driving in the city or the mountains is way different than where I began. However, I have lived here longer than I lived where I lived while growing up—where I didn’t really drive for too long before I left. Perhaps it’s time for me to grow up and into the driving reality of where I have been driving most of my life.

But is my brain ready to learn how to drive a stick shift at this age??!!

Well, for my husband I pledged I would do so—which really shocked him after my initial (mostly failing) test drive in a public transit parking lot.

The thing is, I’m not intuitively natural with manual activities. At least I tend to do better with foot activities—although that wasn’t exactly the case with the clutch the first time. Perhaps if I think of it as dancing?

Sadly, listening and doing are probably not going to be my best way to start learning anything. But, dork that I am, I can learn better having read and watched and memorized instructions. Guess who will have to do some research?

Still, I really, really don’t want to be going through all this with an audience. I am longing for those remote country roads and almost deserted residential streets where I first practiced driving. However, with the gas mileage on this vehicle, I’m not going to want to take long road trips with it! No, this is my husband’s car for plowing the parking lot or for taking his bicycle to go on foothills’ climbs or for transporting the dogs—safely behind the gate—for runs, walks, and hikes.

Sherman has been searching for replacement Toyota 4Runners for weeks now while waiting for his previous 4Runner to be sold. Although he’s looked at a few manual cars, I’ve been telling him that learning to drive a stick shift car now wasn’t really how I planned to try to prevent Alzheimer’s by expanding my brain’s activities.

And yet, it really is learning those things that are hard for us that can have impact on our brain health as we age.

So when Sherman found a beautiful 4Runner in the right price range that was not an automatic, I still agreed to look at it.

Am I resistant to this change? Very. But has my husband done a lot of things for me over the years that wouldn’t have been his first choice? Oh yeah. I’m pretty sure the balance is fairly uneven and it’s about time his wants trumped mine, especially since this isn’t my vehicle. I just need to be able to drive it, not drive it all the time.

Baby, you can drive my car, but it’s probably going to be awhile before I can drive yours!

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