Driving Lessons

I spent a couple of hours vacuum sealing fruitcakes this afternoon, and it was a gratifying feeling.  I now have 500 fruitcakes ready to go for the coming season.  God knows I didn’t vacuum seal that many in one afternoon – it literally takes hours to do that.  Why I chose a fruitcake business I’ll never know.

I’ve started sending samples out again, and it’s nerve wracking trying to guess how many stores one needs so that it’s just enough.  Too few, and it’s annoying.  Too many, and it’s scarier than seeing Nicky behind the wheel of a car.

I suppose I shouldn’t talk as when I first started to drive I was a menace on the road.  I failed the driving test the first time, and barely passed the second time, at age 19.  The only reason I passed was because I told them I’d taken a few driving lessons from a school.  Prior to that, for my attempt at age 16, I had been ‘taught’ to drive by my mom.

It was quite a nerve-shattering experience for both of us.  We had a red volkswagen and so it was a stick shift.  Here’s how you learned to drive in Osoyoos.  You get in the car, start it, and your mom says, “Okay, go.”  I’m not sure if all that lurching is good for either the people or the vehicle.  There was also a lot of screaming like, “Stop! Stop!” followed by a tongue-lashing.  So much to learn, so little time.

My mom learned to drive from my dad, who got his driver’s license by mailing away $5.00 to Penticton.  The license arrived a couple of weeks later in the mail.  Nowadays they seem to make quite a lot of hoo ha about teaching the young to drive.  Fortunately for us, we were able to save the cost of lessons as Denis (the former policeman) taught them.  They’re actually both not that bad.

It’s quite interesting the types of things one learns about oneself when working from home.  I have learned that I am very, very lazy and could win a prize for procrastination.  This year my goal is to sell 3000 fruitcakes, so I think of the 2500 I’ve yet to make, and decide it’s much better to go outside and do a bit of weeding.  After all, we had lashings of rain last week, and God knows the garden needs it.

I then come in and decide a pep talk is in order.  “Rome wasn’t built in a day.  The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” etc.  None of it helps, however, so I finally realized I must hire someone, as if I know an assistant is arriving then I have to be ready to spend the day baking.  Glorious luck! My friend Marilyn, also a trained chef, is willing to do the grueling task with me every weekend for the next two months!  What a strange way to spend a summer.

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