Sunday, August 21, 2016

Driving Lessons by Milou Koenings

I recently went over ten years without driving. I had my driver's license, mind you, but I didn't have a car or have any need for one. Then two of my kids grew old enough to learn to drive. They'd come home from each of their lessons with different tales, and comments the instructor had made.

Sh4rp-i, cc-by 2.0.

It was fascinating to me that somehow each kids' driving style so perfectly reflects her personality. There's the one who graciously gives everyone else the right of way, even if it means she has to sit at an intersection for fifteen minutes. Okay. That is so her that it wasn't a surprise.

The other kid? Well, here's the thing. If you don't know this girl really well, you'd guess she'd drive just like her older sister. This is a kid who appears to be quiet, well-behaved, thoughtful. And she is all those things. But inside?

Inside lurks the heart of a Formula One driver.

A parachuting, bungee-jumping, high-diving, mountain climbing , white-water rafting, spelunking sports lover. The more extreme, the better. So it turns out that when you put this sweet, soft-spoken kid with the two braids and parochial school uniform behind the wheel of a car ... whoa, baby, you better buckle up!
formula one car
Alessio Mazzocco, cc-by-nd-2.0.

The elderly driving instructor seemed a little surprised by this. He clearly did not expect to have to spend his time keeping this kid from flooring it. Or that she'd think parallel parking is no big deal and ace it every time from the first attempt.

Do I sound a little too blasé? Trust me, I do understand the importance of safe driving. But secretly, I guess part of me gets a little thrill that she follows a family tradition. Her grandmother, my mom, spent her youth in the pits of a Grand Prix racetrack, working with the drivers. My dad was certified in counter-terrorism driving. Hot cars were kind of the background scenery of my youth.

spa-francorchamps racetrack
One of my mom's favorite hangouts: Spa-Francorchamps racetrack.
Nicolas Frenay, cc-by-nd-nc-2.0.

So although I hope and pray she learns to tame that urge to burn rubber, at least off a race track, I'm glad to see there are other places outside of home where she lets her true self show. And I'd better start saving up — in case driving lessons of a different kind are in her future!
race car
Tell me that's not my kid driving!

She inspired me, too, to get back behind the wheel. I signed up for refresher driving lessons. We'll see what I learn about myself this time around.

What I can say is that it's got me thinking. Racetracks and hot cars — sounds like a good backdrop for a future romance novel, no?

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Milou Koenings is a USA Today best-selling author. She writes romance because, like chocolate, stories with a happy ending bring more joy into the world and so make it a better place.

Her Green Pines sweet romances, Reclaiming Home and Sweet Blizzard are available on Amazon and

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  1. You've hit a nerve posting about driving, Milou! My latest Christmas novella, Candleglow and Mistletoe, for our Sweet Christmas Kisses 3 Box set, features a race car stunt driver as the hero. Some of the driving stunts those guys do for feature films is amazing!

  2. I can't imagine not driving for 10 years. Good luck with the lessons.

  3. Milou, I keep thinking about living "car-free," but haven't managed it yet. Your daughters, and your parents, sound fabulous. Thank you for sharing a little about them!

  4. I love your posting style actually you share great concepts here, I am very happy and must want to appreciate your shared stuff.

  5. I love that you gave your students a set of their own cards. What a great idea!! I need these cards for my reading group.

  6. When learning to drive, you need to know how to control your vehicle, change gears, read road signs, follow the rules of the road, watch out for other drivers and that is all before you have driven off the forecourt! ket testas