Kristen Otte

Finding Love and Laughter through Story

Driving Home



When I started driving, my stepdad gave me his car, a white Buick Regal. I called it the boat. When the Buick stopped running in college, he encouraged me to get a stick shift Jetta. He told me I would love driving stick shift, even though I never had. He drove my 2004 galactic blue Jetta off the lot and took me to Mentor High School’s parking lot. After a half hour of patient instruction, I drove my brand new car home. Almost ten years later, I still love driving my Jetta. I’m glad he convinced me to buy a car I didn’t know how to drive.

During high school, my stepdad took me to a The Who concert at Gund Arena (now the Q) in downtown Cleveland. He loved music, especially classic rock, and was so excited The Who was going on a reunion tour. Honestly, I didn’t want to go to a concert with my parents in high school. But, he said the show would be great so I obliged. He was right. I was amazed with the energy the band had on stage, especially since they weren’t in their prime. It was a good night.

When I came home from college, Jim had a habit of borrowing my Jetta for a spin around town. He loved driving stick shift, so I wasn’t surprised when he bought a stick shift Mitsubishi Eclipse a few years ago. Since he no longer needed to borrow my car for a fun drive, he loaned me his car when I was home from North Carolina for a few days or when I moved back to Cleveland, he switched cars with me for a week. He knew how much fun I had driving his car. The V6 Eclipse goes much faster than my Jetta.

I drove home tonight in my stepdad’s stick shift Mitsubishi Eclipse. I flipped through the cds in the car and found The Who in slot 5. I turned the radio up, opened the sunroof, and put the windows down. It wasn’t long on the highway before the tears came.

I think it’s fitting that my stepdad passed away on Father’s Day. How many people get to say they have one great dad, let alone two?

Happy Father’s Day. We will miss you Jim.


4 thoughts on “Driving Home

  1. Pingback: Kristen Otte | One Year of Blogging about Writing

  2. Kristen, in a time when words are so hard to find yours are perfect! Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Ann

  3. You are a beautiful writer with such a loving heart! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you walk this path. Breathe deep and know that God is with you every step!

  4. Kristen- I’m so sorry to hear about your stepdad. This is a really touching post. My prayers are with you and your family.

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