Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving and giving thanks

It may have been Thanksgiving day in the States but it was "T" for test day here!
After loading up my heart with all the best wishes from my blogging friends, (and advice from my daughter to relax), I set off for the driving school.
I was put in a classroom with five other old folks where we filled out forms and waited for the test to begin. Why did they tell us to come at three if the class didn't begin until 3:40? Luckily, time =piece (and peace).
The first part of the test was to figure out how senile we had become since the last test. They allowed me to write my answers in English (or I might still be writing), and a lovely interpreter came in to tell the testers what I had written. Most of it was so easy I thought I didn't understand the instructions ... like draw the face of a clock and put the hands at 11:10 or write the date and tell what day it is. From time to time they wanted us to guestimate the time ... after making us take off our watches. The instructor was surprised to see I was exactly on the minute.
Next they showed us four sets of four picture cards ... set them out on the board, gave us a minute to look and took them down putting up the next set until we had seen all sixteen pictures. Then we were asked to list the pictures subject matter. A sixteen block quilt. I can still remember them in order now and probably will next week.
When that was over, half the group went out to drive and my half stayed for testing reaction time. That is the part of the test that was worst. It was just as bad as five years ago ... a TV screen, steering wheel, accelerator and brake. Watching the video of the car moving down the street, one had to hit the break when a kid in a yellow shirt came running out between parked cars. For walkers on the side of the road, you were to take your foot off the pedal, and for bikers on the sidewalk,...just keep going. Well, that was easy enough EXCEPT the pedal didn't do anything. The video moved at a constant speed regardless of if your foot was off or on and the angle was such that the foot was flexed at right angles to the floor, hardly normal or comfortable and difficult to figure out whether one was pressing the pedal or not. The road kinked left and right as a means of distraction and the wheel reaction was not anything like real life. Hitting the brake mad your chair slide backwards. I survived and passed that part ... reaction time in the 30 to 40 year old range, other part ... so so.
Then eye test and a video about old drivers hitting bikers when turning and other dangers of age. Funny they didn't mention the distraction of cell phones as I have been hit twice by young people on phones and, because I drive a van, I see down onto cars stopped in traffic and there is hardly an outing that I don't see young drivers texting or reading messages with the phone held in their laps.
The final bit was the actual driving. I was first after the teacher made one loop as demonstration. I think I was the only driver who adjusted the seat height and mirrors. The next guy drove fast and went over the curb on the twisty section. The other guy didn't know how to work the seat belts. All six of us old folks passed and got our certificates.
today I took the train into town and traded in my old license and papers for a new one.
At every 45 minutes or so there was a break and the room emptied as everyone rushed out to the toilets. I am glad to have a hobby that soothes my nerves. I hate just sitting around so now my block count is up to 77.
Since the blocks are only five inches, even with sashing I will need at least 140 for a single size quilt if I add a border.
The computer issues still exist because without the dashboard I can't get to the SlowPoke blogs at all. I am trying to find everyone and follow them in google reader but I am not completely happy with that arrangement. A call from my youngest Son indicates things may get better before too long in the form of an English-speaking computer. Well, HE is the one who got me into blogging in the first place!
Our Church will hold a Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow in the Fellowship hall. The best part of the meal for me is the leftovers. Maybe I should take a little lunch box and bring half my meal home. At any rate, I have plenty to be thankful for. My youngest daughter called today and commented on the kind responses from my blogging friends, saying I must be happy. She got that one right! Thanks to one and all,


  1. Congratulations and how lovely that you passed! I would like to see the scientific reasoning behind the tests - doesn't sound very scientific to me! But you passed - hooray!!!

  2. So glad you passed the test. I think everyone should be tested every 5 years, regardless of age. It would employ more people in the transport business; teachers, examiners, bureaucrats etc and make everyone aware of the road rules. It may prevent us all from being sloppy drivers. It is so important to be safe on the roads.

    Anyway, congratulations.

  3. Well done Julie and thank goodness that is over. It sounds a very strange test, rather random. Maybe they don't think older people can use mobile phones!! Certainly younger people are usually more erratic and dangerous here. Still, onwards and upwards, glad the quilting helped you to relax. Enjoy the Thanksgiving meal.

  4. I'm doing a happy dance for you Julie! It's so good to be tested, after the test is over!, and to know that you still are able to do things you used to do. :) Sometimes I wonder about things like that. I too see others talking and texting and it scares me. I have two different friends who have been in wrecks lately - bad ones - and neither were at fault. One man in a dump truck ran a red light and nearly killed my girlfriend. And a couple in my Bible study class were driving to church when a woman pulled out from a stop sign and hit them. It doesn't matter if it's your fault when it happens - you're just hurt. I hope your weekend continues to be a great one. blessings, marlene

  5. I'm so happy that you passed! I was thinking about your last blog post yesterday and I kept thinking that my problems with people on the road never involve older drivers. My problems are always with men in their teens and 20's who drive too fast and too aggressively, and who tailgate me as I drive to work every morning. Those guys cause the accidents. I think it is easier to pick on the older drivers.

    Oh, well. At least you had time to piece. Cheers!

  6. I would have been in trouble, lol.
    It seems so silly and like you said, cell phone users are what scare me. I am glad you passed, and i hope you have a fun time at the Thanksgiving dinner.


  7. Hi Julie! Congrats! This post made me laugh... if only US driver's were given so much instruction, made to pay high fees as in some European countries for the "privilege" to drive... oh, I digress.

    Hope your Thanksgiving dinner was wonderful...have a great weekend!

  8. We all knew you could do it Julie. Congrats on renewing your licence.

  9. Mom congratulations on jumping through hoops. Not fun, but you have a great approach...bringing along something to keep you busy and happy! Can't wait to see the arrangement of the squares! Just got back from a downtown walk to Macy's to see Santa. Irene posed for the camera, but Peter thought 17.00 was pretty steep for one picture. Maybe he'll dress up with extra padding! Xxkimie

  10. Mom congratulations on jumping through hoops. Not fun, but you have a great approach...bringing along something to keep you busy and happy! Can't wait to see the arrangement of the squares! Just got back from a downtown walk to Macy's to see Santa. Irene posed for the camera, but we didnt buy it bc Peter thought 17.00 was pretty steep for one photo. Maybe I can get him to play Santa with extra padding.

  11. Congratulations on your driving license. I never doubted you'd pass for one minute.

  12. Wow, don't know if I could pass something like that or not. That kind of test would probably throw me clear off!

  13. Well,congratulations on your successful test! I'm so glad you passed, that had to be some day at the license place, but it's all over now. Here's hoping your goggle problems disappear likewise.

    I like the blocks you're working on, what's the pattern?

  14. Congratulations on passing the test. I loved reading all the details. I even hate taking eye exams, so I can't imagine what it's like having to re-take a written AND a driving test.

    I love the Cross-X blocks your are working on--I have those on my list, having collected a bunch of wordy fabrics to give it a look. You're inspiring me!

    And while I don't know you personally--only through reading your blog--I hope you had a nice weekend/Thanksgiving weekend!

    Elizabeth E.

  15. Congratulations on passing .... we all knew that you would do it!

  16. What an ordeal you went through to get your drivers license. I'm glad that's over for you and you got your license. Now you can concentrate on your sewing again.