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As summer approaches quickly, we’re gearing up toward more home makeover projects. Our top priority will be our bathroom which we started last year but were waylayed when my husband suffered several bouts with large kidney stones which required medical assistance in breaking up, followed soon after by long overdue hernia surgery. Hopefully we’re back on track this year. Hopefully we still like the color we picked LOL.

To assist with your color selections, we’ve featured an article on color selection. You can find this in our Helpful Articles section under Decorating/Remodeling/Home Repairs

This year, my second child is now driving age. Even through we’ve gone through this teaching experience once, it’s still a process which requires a lot of planning and patience. The accident statistics for young drivers can be quite frightening as we send our new drivers out on the road, so it’s very important that we prepare them for the unexpected. A new article has been added to our safety section. Safety Tips For Teen Drivers.

Our state, Pennsylvania pass legislation several years ago requiring young drivers to use their permit for at least 6 months and drive a minimum of 50 hours under adult supervision. With our older son, I spent many hours driving around in circles at our local elementary school parking lot which was very well laid our for stop signs, left and right turns and smooth turns as well as parking. Living in a very rural area, it was also quite easy to drive for some time without encountering another vehicle (although little furry pedestrians abound). As we both felt more confident with the skills that were being learned, we graduated onto real roads and even Pennsylvania Turnpike driving to visit family on a weekly basis. We also had the luxury of allowing him to help drive on a family trip to Florida where he simply had to drive straight and watch for people merging and passing. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had more than 100 hours in by the time he felt ready to take his driver’s license test, (just 2 days before the permit expired).

We were fortunate enough to run into many unexpected learning experiences (some were actually frightening). We encountered an ambulance with lights and sirens behind us on a very narrow side street as we were at the intersection waiting to turn into traffic. That we a tough situation even for me as we tried to determine quickly if the ambulance could actually pass us where we sat or if we needed to make our the turn to clear the path for the ambulance (it ended up being the latter, we made our turn and immediately pulled to the shoulder).

In another instance, waiting to cross a very busy highway, we sat, waiting for traffic to clear when a car pulled up on the other side of the intersection and was waiting to turn across our path. The polite young woman at the wheel of the vehicle waved my son ahead and he immediately started to pull into the intersection, directly into the path of a speeding sports car (it was obvious he was going well over the 45 mph speed limit). I admit that I was not very calm and immediately started screaming for my son to stop (I actually called him by my husband’s name and flung my arm across the seat in that mom seat belt move even though we were both tightly belted). My son did stop in time, we did make it through the intersection safely a few moments later and we had a great opportunity to discuss what someone waving you out REALLY means (it means they’re letting you go ahead of them, but not necessary that they’re assuring it’s safe to proceed right then). I’m certainly glad this lesson wasn’t learned the hard way.

My friends laughed when I told them that Friday and Saturday driving lessons included watching for Yard Sale signs. Around here, that typically means that someone will slam on their brakes in front of you to
a) see where the sale is and if it’s on a street they’re just about to pass
b) the yard sale is directly beside them and they’d rather stop in the middle of the street before committing to actually pulling over to see if there is anything good
or c) people who’ve already stopped pull suddenly into traffic to quickly move to the next sale.

These rules also apply for the many farmer’s markets in our area where there have been several fatalities as drivers pull across into oncoming traffic at the sign of ripe watermelon and fresh corn.

Driving in our area is also a challenge of watching for deer crossing, duck crossing (across a main highway through the center of town square where a quaint park with spring and fountain are located and ducks find it quite restful to sleep in the middle of the street in front of the fire hall). Skunks present an interesting night time obstacle course (anyone who has ever hit one will know how desparately you NEVER want to do that again under any circumstance short of physical damage to yourself or your vehicle).

So, we’re looking forward to another interesting summer with son number 2 as he ventures into the realm of driving teenagers under parental supervision. He’s still studying for his permit, but the lessons have already begun as we talk about what we look for as a good defensive driver.

I hope you all have a safe and healthy summer season.