Americans in general are more cognizant of their freedom. We’re taught at an early age freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press and the Bill of Rights. If we’re lucky we learn what that means, otherwise those of us who did learn are subjected to mislead “I’m offended” quotes on Facebook. I will admit though that knowing there is a Bill of Rights is more important than knowing the 3rd keeps us from having to quarter soldiers. Few things are more American than the thrill of the open road. The freedom to move about the country and the countryside is ingrained in us. Especially in the South. Where there are fewer big cities, things are spread out, and we talk of how long between places is in minutes rather than miles. Getting your driver’s license in the South used to be a rite of passage. My daughters didn’t seem to revere it as much as I did, but then again I got mine even earlier than they did.
The Mississippi I grew up in gave licenses to 15 year olds. That is insane, but so is our love of cars. I once joked that we have a 0.95 driver to vehicle ratio in Alabama. No one called me on it so that means either they didn’t catch it or they agreed. Point is we love our cars and the freedom they bring us.
So yesterday mine arrived.
I went down before they opened to start the paperwork to pick up my Smokeswagen TDLie. Fresh off the boat and delivered to me covered in frost and ice, but it was my car. Not a rental, not a borrowed ride, not the government-owned vehicles I’ve been riding and driving in, my car. My little slice of what I brought from America.
After patiently completing the paperwork I finally got to drive off in my own vehicle with a grin splitting my face from ear to ear. People that know me know I smile a lot. This smile was bigger than that. It was bigger than getting my first car, bigger than buying my first car, bigger than driving my first Porsche, bigger than big with elation to boot.
It seems like it should be such a small thing, yet in the land outside my comfort bubble it is a sign that things will return, they’ll bounce back, and I will survive because I am free at last to do what I want, when I want, without having to walk or wait for the bus or someone else.
Next up, finding a house.