Bill Kirby

Online news editor for The Augusta Chronicle.

Loved ones on the road cause worries

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Stuck in the middle with you.

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-- Stealers Wheel

As if I didn't have enough to worry about.

I have a 16-year-old who's been driving for almost six months.

I'd like to say I don't worry every time he starts that engine and backs out the driveway. But I do.

(I hear you always do. It never stops.)

If I'm there when he's getting ready to leave, I will look him sternly in the eye and say, "No risks! Be careful!"

That's not all.

I also have two parents -- average age 80.

They like to take trips. Always have.

They like to drive to Louisiana to see their great-granddaughter.

They like to drive to Tennessee to see old friends in personal care homes.

They like to drive to Kentucky to visit a scattered collection of family members.

I'd like to say I don't worry about them, either, but I do.

I ask them to call me on my cell along the way. I ask them to check in when they leave ... and when they arrive.

I can't look them in the eye, and I certainly can't order them around, but I do ask them (nicely, politely): "Please drive carefully. Please take your time. No need to rush. Wear your glasses. Stay away from trucks. Call me along the way."

They were doing just that over the weekend, when I had to put them on hold. It was my son on the other line telling me he had made it safely to a golf course for a tournament.

Everyone's on the road but me.

SPEAKING OF TRAVELS: A former teacher of major leaguer Tyler Colvin sent a card from Chicago, where she went to see him play for the Cubs. She also planned to go to the College World Series after that. She says she went to Carolina and her husband, Mike , went to Clemson.

I couldn't make out her name, but I bet we know who best enjoyed that drive home from Omaha.

Jeanette Barton , Muriel Chavous and Shirley McCorkle send a card from Mississippi, where they are on the way to fun and adventure.

Mark , Arleen , Barbara and Aaron send a card from Cody ("We love this town!"), Wyo., and another from San Francisco.

Ed Holmes attended the wedding of his niece Martha Kasper Asbridge at the Grand Canyon. Greg and Teresa Brooks are on a cruise of the Atlantic.

Jack Carswell is in Agra, India, where he saw the Taj Mahal. He writes: "I have just completed the first of six weeks in India, a fascinating and (frankly) unexpectedly beautiful country. The only negative ... the oppressive heat. It is very hot!!!"

The Thomson folks, including Jason and Miriam Smith , are enjoying Jekyll Island.

Finally, regular travelers Pat and Wayne Fuller , of North Augusta, send cards from Mississippi and New Orleans.

TODAY'S JOKE: An 80-year-old woman was arrested for shoplifting.

When she went before the judge with her elderly but visibly timid husband, the judge looked down and asked her, "What did you steal?"

She replied, "A can of peaches."

The judge then asked her why she had stolen the can of peaches, and she replied that she was hungry.

The judge then asked her how many peaches were in the can.

She said six.

The judge paused a moment, then said, "I will give you six days in jail."

Before the bailiff could lead her away, the husband raised his hand and asked, "Your honor?"

"Yes?" the judge said looking down at the little man. "What is it?"

"Well," the husband said, "she also stole a can of peas."

Comments (4) Add comment
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corgimom
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corgimom 07/13/10 - 09:04 am
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Bill, accidents happen in a

Bill, accidents happen in a second, and there's nothing you can do to prevent them. Having people call you may alleviate your worries, but it won't prevent anything.

I raised a son, who was as wild as they come. I know what I am talking about. (He didn't get his license until 18- because he wasn't mature enough.)

If they do have an accident, you'll find out soon enough. Believe me, if your son has an accident, you'll get a phone call.

If you are that concerned about his driving, you may want to reconsider letting him drive. No teenager NEEDS to drive.

When you were a teenager, did your parents make you call home every time you arrived somewhere? No, and you would've thought it ridiculous if they had.

typist50
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typist50 07/13/10 - 02:14 pm
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All parents worry when their

All parents worry when their children start driving. It is necessary for them to learn to drive for when they get a job and are out on their own. My parents worried about me and it was required for me to call them when I arrived at my destination, so that they knew I arrived safely. Maybe your parents did not make you call, but most parents do.

cc citizen
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cc citizen 07/13/10 - 04:48 pm
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When I was growing up cell

When I was growing up cell phones were not common place like they are today so my parents made me call them when I arrived at my destination. Did I think they were being overly protective? At times I did and sometimes showed it a little, but on the inside I felt safer knowing if I didn't make it to where I was going that someone would be looking for me pretty soon. Looking back, do I think they were being overly protective? Absolutely not!! There is a 16 year old driver in our home and I worry every time that vehicle pulls out of the driveway. If my 16 year old doesn't like that I make them call me or that I call to check up on them then they can LIVE to hate me for it.

corgimom
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corgimom 07/13/10 - 08:20 pm
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By the time I was 16, I had

By the time I was 16, I had graduated from high school and commuted every day to a university, plus I worked. No, I didn't call my parents everytime I went somewhere, they had enough confidence in me that I didn't have to.

By the time that parents start to worry, what's already happened, has happened, and can't be changed. Either their child is ok, or they aren't.

And at what age do you plan to end that? Because accidents happen to all age groups. 18? 20? 25? 40?

Google "Cara Knotts" and "Craig Peyor" and read her story. By the time her parents had any idea there was something wrong, she was dead. Her father was enraged that the police wouldn't look for her until she was missing for 24 hours- and by that time, she had been dead for about 23 hours and 50 minutes.

And that's pretty much the way it happens. If there's an accident, or a crime, it's over and done with long before the parents even start to worry.

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