After months (and months and months) of prodding, our oldest has got his learners permit. He is almost 17 - so he has been eligible for this for 2 1/2 years. In fact, his younger sister has had her permit since 3 days past her 14th birthday. The snow is (mostly) gone, so we have been letting the two of them practice driving - on real streets with real traffic. Last summer, I would only let our daughter drive on quiet country lanes. I foresee lots of held breath, lots of 'slow down' or 'speed up', and lots (and lots and lots) of slamming that phantom brake on the passenger side. Things like adjusting mirrors, managing signal lights and headlights, and (gulp!) shoulder checking are not second nature.
Our driveway is very long, and it is challenging to back off of. In fact, this past winter, two experienced adult drivers ended up in the ditch on the end of the drive. So this will be a great learning opportunity for the kids. I offered to get the van to the end of the drive for the boy, but he wasn't giving in - nope, he had started and no matter how many tree branches and reflectors he took out, he was going to finish it!
As much as we really would benefit from having a third driver in the household right now, I really felt that if he wasn't ready for the responsibility then he shouldn't be pushed into it. Some things are worth pushing, and others, like being responsible for a 2 tonne lethal weapon, just aren't. And driving the car is not the same as driving the ride on mower, after all!
The Dgrin shootout is about 5 months away. In fact, skippy says it is less than 150 sleeps until she leaves Oz to come to Edmonton! I really need to get into shape for this. I did a bit of prep for the 06 shootout, and suffered through the heat and climbing in Bryce. Then last September Ha Ling Peak in Canmore tried to kill me. The reality of my desk job is that I just do not get that base level of activity that I used to get. And the reality of our schedule for so much of the year is straight from work to soccer commitment to soccer commitment to.... with no real time for hitting the gym. Anyway, I am probably in the worst physical condition of my life and I need to change that by September. My joints, particularly my hips, ache all the time. This does not bode well for hiking the wilderness like I hope to do this fall. I will attempt to keep track of my training here, hopefully a public record will be a motivator. So, today we did a workout on the bowflex, primarily upper body stuff.