Have you ever had that elated feeling from finally being able to do something that you once used to, but were no longer able to for whatever reason? The answer is likely yes, since we’ve ALL had similar experiences wherein COVID-19 has restricted our ‘normal’ day-to-day life routines. I know that I have definitely rejoiced in recently being able to see and visit with loved ones again, resume much-needed appointments, shop in well-stocked stores without feeling quite so paranoid, and consume the odd beverage/food item from a couple of drive-thru places.
Like me, I bet you also have been accumulating a list of ‘I cannot wait to…’ things or activities over the past while. Yesterday, a few of those things on my personal list finally came to light, and the MOST exciting of all was in being able to plant my seat on the leather seat of my beloved Chevy Silverado truck, which I haven’t been able to drive for nearly eleven months. Eleven whole months. I finally felt that my foot/ankle was strong enough to step off of the running board on my truck to hoist myself up into its familiar and sturdy half-ton body. Tears of joy instantly ran down my face as I sat there momentarily and took it all in. My mind raced with: I AM strong enough now; my hard work and dedication to physiotherapy has paid off; I really, really do love my truck; I do not need to live in fear of re-injuring myself because I am healed and my surgery was successful. The last realization is a big one for me mentally given that I had further torn my ankle tendon after stepping into my truck for the last time last summer which left me very trepidatious about ever being able to drive it again.
After bathing in the initial afterglow, I slowly headed up our driveway reveling in our first ride out together in the daylight of 2020. Aspects of my truck such as its comfy, sculpted seat and handy glove box were just as if I had never left it in the first place, while other things caught me totally off guard. For instance, I knew that it was big, but suddenly it felt humongous and I felt so wee little in it by comparison. That being said, as a regular highway driver, that is one of the very things that I have always liked about being in a bigger vehicle; I feel safer and I sit up higher making it easier to see out of for the most part. Interestingly enough, I re-discovered that the dashboard has a lot of buttons and techie things many of which I have forgotten how to operate. I couldn’t even find the hazard lights in it when I wanted to flash them on and off to thank the driver behind me for letting me into his lane when my lane came to an abrupt end. I COMPLETELY forgot about the hands-free calling feature thanks to Bluetooth–something that I used to use almost daily. How could I forget about that?! But, the really funny thing and likely the one that truly flabbergasted me the most was how fast my truck wants to go!!! It is a V8 after all, which clearly outperforms our six-cylinder SUV that I have become used to driving over the past few months. I swear that I don’t even have to touch the gas pedal in order for my Silverado to just up and take off–it’s like it has a mind of its own with respect to the accelerator. No wonder I had had a couple of speeding tickets issued in the past. (Pretend that you didn’t read that last sentence.) The other somewhat amusing part, which I actually had remembered from all of my previous years as a ‘truck’ girl, is that its size difference makes parking, drive-thru’s and other tight spaces tricky to navigate confirmed by my first official curb christening of 2020.
You see, to celebrate having my truck out again, I decided to treat myself and a friend to an iced coffee, one of my many missed pastimes on my list since COVID that I indulged in again for the first time yesterday. Pulling up to the drive-thru window was no problem, but pulling away from it proved a bit more challenging. In all of my shortness, I do have difficulty seeing over the hood to the front passenger side of my truck. I had remembered that I usually cheat to my side in narrow spaces to ensure that I don’t hit anything with the right bumper except it seems that I ought to be just as concerned with my own front corner because the next thing I knew, up and over the curbside I went. Aside from being just a tad bit embarrassed about curb climbing on my first day out with it after decades of half-ton driving experience, I worried that I might have done some damage to my still somewhat new truck; alas, it is a truck and its built to endure some off-roading stunts, thank goodness. The fact of the matter is, curb run-in and all, my first outing in my Chevy was a joyous one and my much-anticipated iced coffee was like the icing on the cake. To top things off even more, I was able to pass along a cool, tasty treat to a dear friend and colleague who had worked extra hard on a hot, summer’s day. Since she was at our mutual place of work, it was not only good to see her, but it was also nice to be in my second home again since I haven’t stepped foot into my workplace building for months now. Yep, chalk that particular stop up to a post-lockdown, double win in my books!
The other noteworthy ‘I cannot wait to…’ experience of the day was a trip to my favourite running shoe store to try on a new pair of runners which I had specially ordered to fit my surgeon-recommended orthotics. While I was a bit disappointed that they turned out to be a different colour from what I had originally requested on my order form, the fit was excellent. Ironically, my bit of humming and hawing over the colour brought about a, “Don’t worry, Sue, they look good!” from a friend’s husband who came out from the back room. I guess that he began working at the store for the summer since good friends of theirs had recently taken over the business and they needed some help. I was so delighted to see him, especially since it was so unexpected. It was great to visit with him for a bit since friend visits during COVID have obviously been pretty limited. Thus, once again, one ‘happy-to-do-again’ activity from my list quickly became two. With his stamp of approval on the shoes, I happily scooped up the box to pay, and I even scored a lightweight walking/gardening shirt, which had caught the corner of my eye when I first entered the store. Just like old times, I thought, as ‘corner of my eye’ purchases used to be a specialty of mine. Better yet, the extra ten percent savings that my friend’s husband afforded me on both purchases more than made up for my would-be later embarrassment of having run over the curb.
In a weird kind of way, I guess the pandemic has made some ‘old’ things seem brand new again leaving me to feel ecstatic over things that I once never gave a second thought to. Maybe the rock group, Cinderella, had it right after all: “You don’t know what you got till it’s gone.”