Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Driving Miss Ida!

Today is my mother's birthday.  She would have been 98 years old today!

I recently returned from a weekend in Charleston, West Virginia, where I delivered a series of classes at a Stake Family History Conference.  I love the people of West Virginia.  I feel so at home when I visit.

It's where my mother and my three sisters were baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) in 1948.

Mom and my three sisters, Fern, Jean and Betty.

Mom would tell me many stories about West Virginia - the moonshiners, the snake handlers, the Regulators, the coal mines, the company store.  But, something that fascinated me was how she was granted a driver's license, or in her words, an "operator's license".

When going for her test, they placed a glass container filled with water up to a certain point.  Then, they turned her loose on a certain route.  She had to come back with a certain amount of water still in the container or she would fail her test.

Her story didn't really mean anything to me until I was old enough to drive, and was married for a few years.  My husband and children and I were on a trip, and it took us through West Virginia.

I hung on for dear life!  I have never seen so many twists and turns and hairpin curves!!  My husband, who learned to drive in Utah, didn't think twice about it.  But me?  I grew up in Ohio where it is mostly flat with rolling hills.  Those hills were nothing like what we were driving on!

So this weekend, I though of Mom.  We were off the beaten path for awhile in an area not too far from where Mom would have taken her "test". 

Mom is gone.  But through this blog, I'll try to help her stories and her life stay alive...

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