They Never Tell You About This Relocation Problem

I’ve been driving on rural roads since I learned how to drive.  You know, no shoulder, unlit, gravel back roads.  Even though the road my parents’ house is on is paved, many of my high school friends lived out in the middle of no where.  I became quite adept at driving these roads.

Of course, then came college and the post college move to the small city, so my rural road skills became untouched.  But now we live in a rural area again and the quickest way home from work is down a short gravel road and then onto a slightly paved road (where half the time you have to dodge the Amish buggies).  At first I was unfazed by the thought of driving the country roads but then I realized I was struggling to navigate them at night.  My first conclusion was that I was rusty.  However, even though the time change means that I consistently drive these roads in the dark, I wasn’t regaining the feeling of comfort that I had back home.  Oh where, oh where did my driving skills go?

Last night I finally figured out what the problem is.  You see, this part of Indiana is flat, flat, flat.  And while Iowa is far from mountainous, it does have a surprising amount of rolling hills.  This causes two problems for me:  First, I used the change in landscape to help time my driving.  For example, I would know after a certain hill I would need to slow down for a stop sign.  Out here, there aren’t those landmarks.  Secondly, since it is so flat out here, I can literally see a car coming a mile away.  You would think this would be helpful but really I find it disconcerting.  All I can think when I see the headlights is, “Why hasn’t it passed me yet?!  Why hasn’t it passed me yet?!”

So long story short, I blame Indiana for throwing off my driving groove.  

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