Ma in the Driver’s Seat

A Christmas disaster! Photo by Max Goodrich.

Many years ago, when I was a boy
Drivin’ home from Grandma’s and Christmas joy
Old Man Winter was poundin’ outside
But we were all cozy in our old Chevy ride

In front was a bench seat with Ma up there
Right next to Pa, they were a perfect pair
Us kids were in back, heads nodding with sleep
As we got close to home and the snow piled deep

Pulling down the lane, Dad put the car into park
Then went out into the cold country dark
He’d have to go open the big garage door
Then come back to get us while it snowed even more

It was then that “inspiration” must have come to Ma
She’d pull the car in to help out Pa
So slowly shiftin’ over on the old bench seat
She felt for the peddles with sleepy feet

But Ma hit the gas, instead of the brake
The engine roared as we snapped awake
Then all in a panic she threw it in gear
And for a moment it seemed, time froze in fear

Then pandemonium followed, in chaos we screamed
Our short lives were over, or surely it seemed
The tires all squealed, the car shook in despair
And all of its contents flew up in the air

A leftover casserole ended up in Ben’s lap
Mary and Sally smashed heads with a slap
Jonny hit the windshield, I caught Ma’s purse
As off like a rocket we shot—in reverse!

Backward down the drive we zoomed
Pa’s face in the headlights said “You’re doomed!”
And our prayers and pleas reached fever pitch
As we blasted towards the drainage ditch

Well, someone “up there” must a’ seen
And decided they would intervene
And save us from this grave mistake
For just in time, Ma found the brake

It’s now been years since that event
What Ma calls a “simple” accident
But I don’t believe such crazy talk
I say, if Ma’s drivin’………I think I’ll walk!


Don’t you just love December!  There is a different feeling in the air.  Maybe it is anticipation, maybe good will toward man.  And, of course, there is the merry lights, decorated trees, cinnamon pine cones, and fruit bread—which I love.

But December does have its drawbacks.  For one, holiday traffic is the worst.  I made the mistake of driving through a shopping district the other day.  Total craziness.  It took me forever to get where I was going.  Also, December where I live means cold.  Lots of cold.  Oh, and wind and snow and darkest days of the year.  Thank you, December.

In a blending of the December’s good and bad, we recently drove home from an extended family Christmas party in the dark and wind with snow on the ground.  For those that may be wondering where the good part of the last sentence is, I am counting the family party as such! 

I was with my parents and some siblings.  Pulling into the drive on our return, Dad had to get out and open the garage door.  Someone, I won’t say who, slid over on the front bench seat to pull the car in.  I will spare you the details to protect the guilty. Needless to say we ended up unexpectedly in reverse.  It had quite the wake-up affect on all of us!

Thankfully, we all survived to see another Christmas, though it does give me one more reason to be wary of December.

Written: December 14, 2019

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