Driving Creatively

When I was a young mother, I was earnest.

So earnest that I read a book called How to Raise a Creative Child.  I’m sure there were many efficacious ideas, but the only one I remember implementing was the one about driving.  Instead of traveling the same route to a typical destination, say the library, you were supposed to mix it up.  Get outside the groove.   I earnestly suggested this to my forbearing husband. 

Curt had a way of humoring my silly notions and having fun at the same time. 

“Let’s turn on H instead of G” I’d prod.  [Can you believe it?  Our city planners named the streets after the alphabet!!  Their mothers hadn’t read the book.]

“Oh, is it time to drive creatively?” he’d ask.  And he’d drive as if we were in a go-cart at the fair, broad curves, on the wrong side, herky-jerky brakes, coming to a stop in the middle of the road.  [We live in a small town and this was always when there were no other cars on the road.] 

The boys loved it.

“Daddy, drive creative!”  they’d scream, never quite knowing if or how Daddy was going to obey the command.

Those fun memories came to me on our recent trip to Seattle.  We went through four or five roundabouts.  If you look up roundabout in the dictionary it will say “a method of traffic control designed to produce creative children.”  Seriously, if my son had not just gotten his four wisdom teeth and a few shards of jawbone extracted yesterday, I’d make him write a paper on the engineering design of roundabouts.  Someone must believe they are beneficial; they are slowly replacing traditional intersectins.  Before Seattle, I’d only seen them in New England. 

Curt will have his fill of driving creatively in Scotland and England.  He’s already nervous.  I offered to move the gear shift knobs while he pushes the clutch in, an offer which fails to bring him comfort.  We hope that we don’t run out of petrol, bang up the bonnet, blow a tyre running up a kerb, crash into a lorry, or rear-end the boot in front of us.  Translation here.

Any roundabouts in your neighborhood?

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16 thoughts on “Driving Creatively

  1. No roundabouts here, but I know what you’re talking about.  I have fond memories of my father driving me home from square-dancing lessons and driving creatively.  It was when we lived in Idaho!
    Hope the patient is recouperating.  We did the wisdom teeth thing two T’givings ago with DD#3. 

  2. Hello?  You lived in Idaho?  I did not know this about you, my southern friend!!This is the third time we’ve been through the teeth extraction dance.  I’m glad to have it over.  There has been quite a bit of pain and swelling, but he’s on the mend.  He can watch DVDs until he’s sick of them…  It’s hard to focus on reading when you feel really rotten.  And he should be well enough to enjoy Thanksgiving next week!

  3. My husband drives creatively at the ranch, especially when giving the children trailer rides.  So creatively he knocks things off the underside of the truck.  MY truck.    The kids love it though!

  4. No roundabouts — but I grew up thinking that the only route anywhere was the “scenic route.” Growing up in L.A., every place my mom took my sisters and me involved at least two freeways and assorted side streets — inevitably, mom would get lost and tell us we were taking the scenic route. For that reason and because I learned to drive on the 405, I know the freeway system like the back of my hand — but I still prefer the scenic routes and have been known to drive several miles out of my way just to see a neighborhood I haven’t seen before. 🙂 (I wonder if my sons notice this).

  5. Believe it or not, we actually have TWO roundabouts in our little rural northeastern Washington town. They put the first one in a few years ago, and everyone thought they were nuts. Now we have two. No problems either except when the Canadians come down to shop and get stalled trying to figure out what to do! 🙂
    Carrie

  6. we have a few roundabouts here in suburbia and several circles in the District. I love them as they are a great way to keep traffic moving without stop lights.  The other thing about England (this may have changed too) is that I think I only saw a handful of “stop” signs.  There are plenty of “yield” signs though.  I think Brits must be more polite drivers, because there is just no way some 18 yr old in a sports car is going to “yield” to my oncoming 12 passenger van as I’m coming down a main thoroughfare.  sigh.When in England you may find that your mantra to hubby is “keep left, keep left, keep left”.  My husband had a tendency to drift.

  7. Have you been on the one here in M?  Roundabouts and London driving, don’t ask and DON’T go there….when you get to London ditch the car at the airport and take the train in.  Believe me!  Sherry

  8. When I was in South Africa I received these driving directions:
    “When you reach the robot turn right. About 2 kilometers past the roundabout make another right, go over the river and make a left. Drive along the river for about 4 kilometers and make a left over the bridge and you’ll enter Smartie Town. Watch out for baboons and guinea fowl and don’t forget to stay on the left side of the road!”
    Smartie Town is called Smartie Town after the European candy. The government “houses” are painted the bright colours of Smarties: red, orange, yellow, green, purple, pink and brown.
    I looked for a robot but never saw one. Finally I figured out a “robot” was a street light. Do they have robots or street lights in the UK?

  9. We have a roundabout here too!  I love it.  It’s one thing I really miss about England.  They’re SO functional…one doesn’t ever have to stop (well, almost never).  And while over there, Carol, just don’t drive on the “pavement!”

  10. We have a roundabout here too!  I love it.  It’s one thing I really miss about England.  They’re SO functional…one doesn’t ever have to stop (well, almost never).  And while over there, Carol, just don’t drive on the “pavement!”

  11. HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!  That was great!!  And even better that I didn’t have to translate!  I think I want to implement creative driving!  I think we’ll have to stick on the right side of the roads though, I don’t think the cops around here have enough to do and they might not believe us if we told them the truth.  PLEASE share more of the fun things you did!  Helps me relax and have fun……like the throwing ball/socks at the ceiling fan.  We don’t have a ceiling fan but we can still throw them at each other.  😉  

  12. Oh, there is a truly lovely roundabout near my home.  Two of the exits lead to lush forest and hills of peacefully-meditating cattle.  The third leads to an exquisite fabric store next door to a great Southern Cooking restaurant.  The fourth, of course leads Home.  Come visit sometime!

  13. I have to admit, I was the one who did “creative driving,” but when my kids asked for it, they said, “Do ‘Wild Driver,’ Mommy!”  That just meant swerving back and forth fast when we hit the block of our home, where there wasn’t any other traffic. I think I like the sound of “creative driving” better–it sounds so much more refined and educational!!! 😉

  14. LOL  Magistra!  I’m so worried my kids won’t have The Correct Parenting applied for all their individual needs that I spend more time being Creative and Correct (ie: Uptight and Micromanaging) than being Still, and Listening.  (These are my two new projects for myself; to Be Still, and to Listen.  HA!  And what a work in progress it is!)As to roundabouts…we experienced a row of these roundabout-wannabes in the Hawthorne District in Portland. They aren’t REAL roundabouts but rather idiotic circular islands in the middle of side street intersections.  I believe they were designed and placed in the streets by the Wheel Rim and Tire Industry lobbyists.   The intersections are small (because they are side streets) and the circular islands are disproportionately large, so the odds of running over a curb or a warning post are rather high.  Especially if one is driving a rural car vs. a city car.  (That is, large bodied big tired vs. micro mini electric car with bike tires.)

  15. Are roundabouts akin to traffic circles?  I first encountered a traffic circle in Long Beach, CA, where I once had a minor fender bender because I crossed two lanes of traffic at once and ran into the car already in that second lane.There’s a traffic circle in downtown Indianapolis and we go around it every once in a while. Fun, fun.  I seem to recall going through a traffic circle in a very small town in southern Indiana about a month ago. What traffic they were trying to control, I have no idea.Driving creatively, how fun!Blessings,Sandy

  16. Since i’m still in England at my daughter’s, i’m experiencing roundabouts every time we go out! My daughter says they make so much more sense than streetlights–that must be a “I’m used to it” thing, since i still jump every time i look around a see a car coming from the “wrong” side!

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