Toby had to go to Lincoln tonight to do a job estimate. He asked me if I wanted to go along (after I had asked him all day long if he thought we could go with) and I immediately said yes. Of course, since he was bringing me, he had to also bring the--er, our kids. That was fine with both of us considering we didn't even seem to consider leaving them home anyway.
So, he grabs the boy; I grab the girl and we head out to the truck.
Now, at first thought, I always think it's going to be romantic to ride in the truck versus the minivan together. It's a bench seat in the front and just seems more lovey dovey or something. Before we even drive past our mail box, I remember why it's never been romantic and probably never will be.
After putting Janae in her seat I had to run back in the house. When I got back to the truck, Toby was just opening his cell phone to make a call. I slowed my steps and stalled at the door and finished up some things before getting in, hoping his call would be over by the time we left. I was having visions of my husband, fumbling with the phone, backing out the driveway and down the steep bank into the street, looking for traffic while meanwhile avoiding the retaining walls, putting the truck in gear and not hitting any cars parked on the street.
My distant vision somehow merged into reality as I found myself moving back down the driveway with a husband on the phone while driving a stick shift truck. I also noticed he had a stack of letters to mail and knew that would only add to the confusion/excitement.
It dawned on me right then why the truck never has been a romantic experience.
All romance aside, I just held on to the door while we maneuvered up the street and headed into town. Of course, it wasn't until we were flying down the busy, crowded, fast streets of our state's capital did Toby decide he needed to make another call.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him balancing the wheel with his elbow, holding the phone to his ear with one hand and resting the other hand on the stick. And then he reached for a notebook and pen. He handed that to me (whew) and repeated outloud everything the customer was saying so I could write it down. At least he wasn't trying to write on top of everything else he was already doing.
Then, he put the left blinker on and kept driving straight down the four lane highway. I kept looking for traffic that obviously must be in his way; keeping him from changing lanes. There was a blessed minivan several car lengths back that wasn't in his way at all so I continued to wonder why the signal was on and no lane changing was happening. The blinker stayed on and we just stayed in our lane.
After I started pointing, motioning and grunting about the signal being on, he changed lanes only to leave that left blinker on (ultimately giving one the impression he planned to head into the ditch since there were no more lanes to veer to the left into) and then changed back into the original lane several car lengths ahead. By then, we were at some stop lights and not in a turn lane though the right blinker was now on.
There were cars zooming past us on the right heading the direction of Toby's blinker but we were firmly stopped at the lights like the rest of the straight bound traffic was though our signal just kept blinking. I just assumed that he accidentally over corrected when he first shut the blinker off and it turned the right signal on.
After the light turned green, he shut the blinker off and we headed towards the intersection and made a right turn into the right turning traffic. We never entered the right turn lane though. Somehow, we actually turned without being in the turning lane and without our blinker on.
That ordeal was over and he hung up the phone and I was beginning to calm my nerves when suddenly, we did a 3 lane drift into a left turn lane, a blinker went on, the windshield wipers started going and we lunged through the intersection before I even knew it. Whew. At least the correct signal was on. I think anyway... it all happened so fast.
After the roof estimate, we had planned on doing a drive through supper deal but when Toby suggested going in to sit down, I immediately complied because I couldn't imagine him balancing his supper on his knee, his phone to his ear, his elbow on the wheel and his hand on the stick. I knew that was all possible, yes, but not safe.
Following supper, we headed back home and back through all the downtown traffic, yellow lights gallore. On our way, Toby informed me that when a light turns yellow in Lincoln, you don't slow down in order to stop by the time you reach the intersection, you speed up. I told him I learned that right away when I moved here. Actually, I learned that before I moved here: I learned it when we'd drive together in Wisconsin when we were dating.
My dad always taught us to slow down when you see a yellow light; not speed up. Makes me wonder if that has anything to do with why my dad has never been in an accident and Toby's been in more than I can count on one hand. (though not all of them were his fault, I must credit him that!)
When we were about 15 minutes from home, our girl child started screaming and screaming and we both remembered why it had been such a big question about me (ie., the kids, the mom, everyone else besides Dad, etc.) coming with Toby to do the estimate. We wondered outloud why it had ever even been an option for us to bring her along. We both vowed to never be in a vehicle again with our baby until she's old enough to know not to scream so loud. Usually Spanish music seems to calm her nerves but that wasn't working nor was Michael Savage's talk show on the radio.
The screaming accelerated until we scraped up our steep driveway. Then at last we were safely home, the cell phone off, the elbow off the wheel and Toby's hand was grabbing his child while I grabbed mine and we headed into the house.
So much for a romantic evening in town tonight with our darling screaming children and lurch and lunge pick up truck. Though I must say that at least we could be together with not even a book to distract us from talking.:)