Blogs » The Daily Commute » Driver's ed, ditches and frogs


I've always said driving is an adventure.

To help you understand that, I feel compelled to tell you something about my early driving days - yes I'm going ALL the way back to driver's ed. Back then we took driver's ed our sophomore year in high school. Our car included my teacher Mrs. Fortenberry, my long-time friend Lisa, classmate and friend Robert ( we three were in most of the same classes all four years of high school) and a guy who I only knew in driver's ed -his name was Darryl and he had been driving for years - he worked on his parents'  farm and learned to drive as a youngster.

 Of the four of us I was the most inexperienced driver and gave the rest of my car mates a lot of things to talk and laugh about - when they recovered. For the record I never had a wreck.

One day we were driving the country roads of Angleton - where I grew up. Lisa was driving and doing a great job. My turn was next. Mrs. Fortenberry instructed Lisa to pull into a narrow drive leading to a pasture.On both sides of the drive was a BIG ditch - deeper than a bar ditch.

Lisa pulled into to the drive without a problem. I opened the back door and stepped out and went STRAIGHT into the ditch. I remember landing on my feet - platform shoes and all - and looking up only to see tall grass in front of me. I looked down and there is a frog staring back up at me. Thank God it wasn't a snake!.

 Then I hear "where's Becky?" Then silence.

"I'm down here," I yelled up at them. More silence.

"Oh, she's in the ditch," Lisa said in a concerned but almost giggling voice.

I grabbed onto a clump of the grass and pulled myself up. They all stayed in the car.

 As Lisa went to get out of the car, Mrs. Fortenberry stopped her just shy of Lisa going into the ditch as well.

Mrs. Fortenberry  was the only one in the car to figure out that Lisa had pulled in along the edge of the drive leaving no room for anyone to walk. She made Lisa back onto the road so we could change drivers.

We changed drivers and then sat there for a while laughing about it. I turned, told the frog bye, and we took off.

We all had great telling the story back at school.

Now more than 30 years later when I have to pull into a narrow drive I think of the frog and just hope the ditch below has no water and is free of snakes.