Sometimes when I was with her I felt like I was suffocating.
Aunt Grace not only wore navy blue clothes, she bought navy blue cars as well. Except for the two tone two door gold Olds Cutlass. Aunt Grace was hands down the worst driver I ever knew. I often felt car sick riding with her. My stomach churned as I watched cars move towards us then stop quickly. It seemed like the windows were always up without A/C. It was always hot, always suffocating. I was trapped in the back seat. There wasn’t any way out of it. I often felt like I was on an amusement park ride that I thought I could handle, but found out I couldn’t.
Aunt Grace drove through red lights. She never stopped at 4 way stops either. She was oblivious to the rage of others and to our terror. When she was on the two lane highway, she drove at least 10 mph under the speed limit. She drove with half of the car on the road and half on the shoulder. People never seemed happy when she cut them off then drove slow in front of them. People tailgated. Some people thought that the shoulder was another lane and would pass her even if there was oncoming traffic. They would often honk at her or flip her off. She never seemed to notice.
My grandma once told me a secret about Aunt Grace. When she was young, she got pulled over for speeding and received a ticket. Not Aunt Grace, it didn’t seem possible. I wonder if it was after dark? She would never drive after dark, it was one of her rules.
Aunt Grace often times would go into the ditch while backing out of my parents driveway. They live on the top of a small hill so their driveway is on an incline with 6 ft ditches on the bottom of both sides. We always looked out the window when Aunt Grace left, especially during the winter months. At times she would slide into the ditch and get trapped in her car by the snow. If we didn’t watch, she might not be able to get out to ask for help. Sometimes we had to push her out of the ditch. It sure was a good thing Uncle Harold had a wrecker to pull her out with when she got really stuck.
I told my mom that I didn’t want to ride in the car with Aunt Grace anymore. My mom was also afraid of her driving and worried when she took us places. But grandma always rode with Aunt Grace, especially after grandpa got sick and could no longer drive. My grandma never drove a car.