I am thankful for many things. I tried to figure out what I’m most thankful for. I put my heavenly Father at the top of the list. He made our world and all that’s in it. The list is endless.

I decided to say an automobile is one thing I’m especially thankful for. If I wasn’t able to drive or if I didn’t have a car, I don’t know what my life would be like. I depend on it to take me to all the places I want to go — to church, to meetings, programs and concerts, and also to shop, visit friends and to business and doctor’s appointments.

I’m on the road almost everyday and trust my car to get me there. So I thought about cars in the past. One memory is the time when Dad, Mom and I came home from the Christmas Eve church service and a new car with a red ribbon and huge bow on it was sitting in the yard. Dad had surprised mom with a new car for her Christmas present.

I remember riding in a Model A rumble seat that one of the high school boys drove. That seat was behind the back window and out in the open. It was a special treat to be asked to ride.

I remember learning to drive in the pasture and the Studebaker pickup Dad let me take now and then to Fort Hays. There was no automatic drive back then, and I always had trouble shifting gears. When I met Jim, he laughed at the way I drove, but he didn’t have a car so he didn’t pick on me too much.

I wish Jim was here so I could ask him about the first car we got after we married. I remember it was an old black coupe, and it didn’t always start. But on a cold morning Dec. 29, 1950, it started when our daughter, Sheila, was born. Guess God was watching.

I remember the first and only brand new car we bought. It turned out to be a lemon. In fact, they took it back and gave us another. It’s hard to believe our monthly payments were $48 a month since our monthly wages were only $200 a month. It was hard to make the payment, but we were so proud we did.

Memories include no heaters or air conditioner. We used to say “4-60,” four windows down and 60 mph was the cooler. Also, there were no direction lights. We had to signal by sticking our arm out the window. Also, the dimmer switch was on the floor and no four-wheel drive.

There have been many cars and pickups in my life. I have appreciated each one. Now there are so many new features, in fact, I’m not sure what all I have on my 2003 and I’ll bet there are even more features available now days. One feature I enjoy is the cruise control and seat belts.

One thing I have learned is to wait after a concert or game until the traffic slows down. Much safer than getting in the crowd of cars leaving.

My latest thing to be thankful for was when I couldn’t get my car started after parking at a convenience store. A pickup pulled up beside me, and the gentlemen said, “Are you having trouble, lady?” I said, “Yes, I can’t get my car started.” He told me to open the hood, so I pressed the button. He used his jumper cables and started my battery. A complete stranger help me out.

I just don’t take owning a car for granted. I am thankful I have one. I try to take good care of it, even though my grandson wrote wash me on the back window.

Opal Flinn is a member of the Generations Advisory Group.