#27 Steep Hills

Dear Journal,

Catching up again… after some missing pages…

Luckily my Senior Year only had one class  I actually had to physically attend. All  the others were Independent Study Classes like this one or Work Experience that already had given me enough credits to graduate early. I just needed my Government credits and finally recived them! Sooo, I am officially out of School!!!! No ceremonies or anything, though I do have the option of walking with my class. I probably won’t. I just needed my days free. Yaaay! Which is a good thing because I’ve had to spend a lot of time helping Jack deal with his mom. He had a heart to heart with her and found out that she’d been hiding something.  After a lot of crying and not making sense we finally  learned that the reason for her suicide attempt was because Richard moved out.

hospital pic

He signed everything over to Jack’s mom and just wanted out. The note said that he was tired of the fighting.  He left it all, their gorgeous home on Country Road, his family business. He even sold his boat in the Marina and took that money and just left in his jaguar. So far he hasn’t contacted anyone and Liz just kind of flipped out . I’m not sure, he even knows that she was in the hospital. I think that when she realized he was really gone, it made her snap out of her self destructive fog and take control again. She’s been back to work for a while now and sadly had to put her house on the market and we’ve been looking at places for her.

house for sale

We got through Christmas and I’m really looking forward to working at the Speech Center in a few weeks. Which brings me to my next piece of news! Since I will be driving an hour a day to work, Jack and my dad surprised me with a new car for Christmas. Well, new to me.  With Lonnie starting sports, my mom really needed her car more and if you remember me telling you that my dad told me that for my eighteenth birthday he’d match anything I made last summer. We’d been looking for several months past my birthday until Jack found this little Fiat and took my dad to see it. My dad said it was an early Christmas present and wouldn’t take my money! He and Jack went together to buy it and I guess it was this horrible green color when they found it but for my gift,  Jack paid to get it painted Canary Yellow. My favorite color. He was so excited to give it to me and so my dad let him be the one to surprise me with it. I think the whole thing really bonded them.  Jack was so impressed with my dad’s negotiation skills. He kept re-telling me the story over and over again about how they almost walked out and how he was so sure that it was over  until the salesman called them back.  My dad seems to enjoy hearing Jack tell the story too.

yellow fiat


The only thing that upset me was that it is a stick shift! My heart kind of fell when I went out and saw that. But I didn’t want to ruin the moment. I actually kind of would have liked to pick out my own car period. Do I sound ungrateful?  I already can feel the tension imagining Jack or my dad for that matter, trying to teach me how to drive it! They both aren’t the most patient teachers. We have been out a few times and Jack yelled at me and told me that I was going to strip the gears. But he makes me so nervous. We had a horrible fight during my last driving lesson. He couldn’t seem to understand why I was having such a hard time catching on since I already could drive but I was freaking out on the hills.

police stopping car

A police man pulled us over and he told me to let him do the talking. But I was in the driver’s seat and the officer was talking to me. It just seemed stupid to stay quiet and let Jack lean over so I told him that I was sorry but I was just learning how to drive a stick and gave him my license. He let me go with a warning but Jack and I traded seats. He yelled at me all the way home. My parents were out of town and we’d planned a nice evening alone. But  we were both in no mood when we pulled into my driveway. He parked my car and screeched off and I ran inside. Sometimes I think I hate him!

spitfite green in rain

The next morning was Saturday and  I woke up at 3 AM and tiptoed down the stairs with my keys. I know that what was scaring me was the traffic and so I figured that at that time of the morning I would be alone on the road and I was. I drove all the way to Manhattan Beach and drove all the way home taking every steep street I could find until I mastered stopping and starting on a hill.  I was so happy when I got home because I knew that I really had gotten the concept down.

steep hills 2

I’d totally forgotten our fight as I ran into the house to answer the phone. I still had my keys in my hand and a big old smile on my face when I heard Jack’s voice ask”Where were you!?! I looked at the time and saw that it was almost 9:30.  I was so happy that I’d learned how to drive and there was nobody at home to tell so I told him,”I taught myself to drive!”


5 thoughts on “#27 Steep Hills

  1. There is nothing worse than a male loved one teaching us how to drive. Oh, and I know that feeling of someone stealing your joyful moments by ridiculous acts of anger. They don’t get better, although we always seem to think we can make it better. Poor Keri.

    • Debbie,
      Guess you already know that I am finding my older comments here all at once so sorry to keep repeating that I missed responding to them! But you were right! Being taught to drive by “Jack” was a nightmare. It was the beginning of some creative thinking. I’d already had my license and knew the mechanics of driving a stick. I just needed practice without someone raging at me everytime I stripped the gears. I mean seriously, I didn’t want to break my car or strip my gears but I was going to do it EACH time if he didn’t stop yelling in my ear! Ya know?!

  2. Oh …you made the mistake of doing something for yourself…making him feel threatened that you don’t NEED HIM…I am happy you did that for yourself but frightened for what the punishment was. 😦

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