Life is a Highway by
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Life is a Highway 

You may remember that I’ve banged up a few cars in my day, including my husband’s beloved T -bird.  (See Fender Bender and Rainy Night on the Highway)

Finally I decided it was time to face the music and so early one Sunday morning I found myself at a mid-town hotel for a day-long AAA defensive driving course.

Our instructor was a very likable guy named Freddy who told some funny stories about cabbies and delivery guys on bikes that got lots of laughs from our roomful of New Yorkers.  Then Freddy opened his laptop,  projected a short video on a wall screen,  and began to deliver an informative defensive driving tutorial when I realized his tips for navigating the road seemed like sound advice for navigating through life as well.   Here are my notes.

“Keep your eyes on the road ahead … expect some bumps along the way … when you’re in a tight spot you may have to back up before you can move forward … ask for a push if you’re in a rut … get out of the driver’s seat if it starts to feel uncomfortable …  and always be prepared for stormy weather.”

At 4:00 when our session ended Freddy stood at the door to shake our hands,  and we filed out of the room to the Rascal Flatts song Life is a Highway now playing on his laptop.

Life’s like a road you travel on/

When there’s one day here, and the next day gone/ 

Sometimes you bend,  sometimes you stand/

Sometimes you turn your back to the wind.

Thanks Freddy,  and safe journeys everyone!

– Dana Susan Lehrman 


Profile photo of Dana Susan Lehrman Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!

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Characterizations: funny, moving, well written


  1. Laurie Levy says:

    Thanks for the excellent advice about navigating through life, Dana.

  2. Dave Ventre says:

    A driving instructor needs to have a remarkable combination of patience and courage!

  3. Khati Hendry says:

    The road, the journey, the linear travel through time all make for classic metaphors—and you got some great advice. And it made me wonder how Rascal Flatts rhymed “stand” and “wind”—will have to check out YouTube.

  4. Marian says:

    Thank goodness for defensive driving, Dana, and now I’ve got that song stuck as an earworm. AARP has a terrific “senior” driving course. Before COVID, we went for a two-day session. I was skeptical but it was fantastic and helpful. With road rage and people here whizzing by at 100 mph, it’s really come in handy.

  5. John Shutkin says:

    All excellent advice and thanks for sharing, Dana. As I think I wrote about in an earlier story, mainly what our driving instructor in high school did was show us movies of maimed and killed people strewn on highways after accidents. It sure got our attention, but wasn’t too helpful as a practical matter.

    And thanks for the great earworm. Though I am used to the Tom Cochrane version of the song.

  6. Betsy Pfau says:

    Smart lessons that can translate to any sort of life lesson. I got honked at yesterday at a RED light, coming out a shopping center onto a busy road by an impatient driver. Right turn on red is legal here, but he thought I was should dart out into oncoming traffic. I need more space and eventually did take the turn. He followed, passed me, cut back in front of me in a short space as we both got off on the same ramp. Very dangerous driver; too many of them out there.

  7. Suzy says:

    Thanks for introducing me to a new song, Dana. Apparently it was used in the Pixar movie “Cars,” which I never saw (although I have been to Cars Land at Disneyland). Fun video at now makes me want to see that movie.

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