Friday, June 13, 2008

All About Dutch

We have a good time with my MIL, Dutch. Three things come to mind immediately when one thinks of her: She is always looking for the most efficient way to perform a task, she has an enviable memory, and she likes to conserve. Or she’s frugal. Okay, we call her cheap. Are you happy now?

Regarding her zeal for efficiency, she’s the first person who ever taught me that you could use a leaf-blower to clean your car (or your patio, or even your den), and you could do it in record time. Just vacuum your den after everything settles, and you’re done! (This was slightly more time-consuming in the exercise room, as I had to clean up several pieces of exercise equipment, but I had the satisfaction of knowing the room was really clean afterward.)

And concerning her memory skills, I hadn’t been married to DH very long when I discovered that Dutch can recite “Casey at the Bat” in its entirety. Very impressive! In addition, DH and his siblings all know the words to the Chiquita Banana jingle. And now I know it too, though I’m not sure why. Perhaps Dutch’s great-grandchildren will learn it next.

But the skill she has passed along to us that’s becoming really popular right now is the Dutch Driving Method.

A couple of years ago, when news outlets were reporting how UPS utilizes technology to map out routes that avoid left turns, I thought, "Well, there’s one of those things we should have patented." Dutch has been doing this forever, and teaching us to do it. When we have errands to run, we plan the route that will use the least amount of gas and make the least number of left turns. Minimizing left turns is safer, anyway.

With gas prices soaring above $4.00 per gallon nationwide, the Dutch Driving Method is becoming commonplace! Just the other day a patient called DH’s office to change an appointment, stating that she was working out a route for her appointments that day.

So here’s to you, Dutch! You are an innovator! And we hope you have a very happy birthday.

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