Life

How My Father Lived to 102 Without Driving a Car

Father never drove. Oh, that’s not quite true. It should be said that I have never seen him drive. He hasn’t driven a car since 1927, when he was 25 years old. He once said: “In those days, when driving, you had to keep your eyes on the road, and your hands and feet were constantly busy. So I decided that instead of driving a car and missing life, I would like to walk and enjoy life.” His mother interjected: “Oh, bang— —! He hit a horse.”
  ”Of course,” my father admitted, “that’s one of the reasons.”
  So my brother and I grew up in a home without a car. My father worked for a newspaper, took the bus to work every day, and walked 3 miles home after get off work. Sometimes when he came back by bus, my mother would take my brother and me across 3 blocks to the station to wait for him, and then the whole family would walk home together.
  Sometimes my dad would say, “When you’re 16, we’ll buy a car.” Of course, my brother was 16 before me, so in 1951 we bought a used Chevrolet. The 43-year-old mother started to learn to drive. She practiced in a nearby cemetery, which was probably her father’s idea. “In the cemetery you don’t kill people,” he once said.
  Until the age of 90, my mother was the family’s driver. Neither father nor mother had a sense of direction, but the father held the local map and called himself the navigator, and although they rarely left the city, it seemed to be doing well. After having a car, they still often walk. My father retired when he was 70, and for more than 20 years, he almost always accompanied my mother wherever she drove. If his mother went to the beauty shop, he would sit in the car and read a book, or get out of the car for a walk. If she goes to the grocery store, he carries the bag and reminds her to buy ice cream. Once when I was driving, my father suddenly asked me: ”
  Do you want to know the secret of longevity?”
  ”Don’t turn left,” he said. “Your mother and I read an article a few years ago that the majority of traffic accidents with elderly drivers occurred when turning left. As people age, people’s eyesight gets worse and worse. So we decided never to turn left.”
  ”What?” I asked again.
  ”Don’t turn left,” he said, “Think about it. Three right turns is equal to left, but much safer. So we always turn three right.” ”
  You’re kidding!” I turned to my mother for support.
  She said, “Your dad is right. We always turn right three times, and it works really well.” But she added, “Unless your dad counted the wrong number.” Get off the road. My father admitted: “Sometimes I do count wrong. But it’s not a problem, as long as you turn 7 times, you’ll be fine.”
  I couldn’t help but ask, “Did you ever turn 11?”
  ”No.” He said, “If we make a wrong turn at the seventh turn, we’ll just go home. Nothing in life is so important that we can’t put it off until tomorrow.” My mother has never been in a
  car accident, but one night she handed me the car keys, He said he decided not to drive anymore. It was 1999, and she had just turned 90. After that, she lived for another 4 years, and her father died with her the following year at the age of 102.
  I’ve always missed them, and sometimes I wonder why our family lives so long, is it because they walk, or because they never turn left?

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