Title: Driving Miss Norma: One Family’s Journey Saying “Yes” to Living
Author: Tim Bauerschmidt, Ramie Liddle
Release Date: May, 2017
Description from Goodreads: “When Miss Norma was diagnosed with uterine cancer, she was advised to undergo surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. But instead of confining herself to a hospital bed for what could be her last stay, Norma—newly widowed after nearly seven decades of marriage—rose to her full height of five feet and told her doctor, “I’m ninety years old. I’m hitting the road.”
Packing what she needed, Norma took off on an unforgettable cross-country journey with three professional nomads—her retired son Tim, his wife Ramie, and their Standard Poodle Ringo—in a thirty-six-foot RV. Driving Miss Norma is the charming, infectiously joyous chronicle of their experiences on the road—a transformative journey of living life on your own terms that shows us that it is never too late to begin an adventure, inspire hope, or become a trailblazer.
As this once timid woman says “yes” to living in the face of death, she tries regional foods for the first time, zip-lines through a former stranger’s yard, and reaches for the clouds in a hot air balloon. With each passing mile (and one educational visit to a cannabis dispensary), Miss Norma’s health improves and conversations that had once been taboo begin to unfold. Norma, Tim, and Ramie bond in ways they had never done before, and their definitions of home, family, and friendship expand. Stop by stop, state by state, they meet countless people from all walks of life— strangers who become fast friends and welcome them with kindness and open hearts.
Infused with this irrepressible nonagenarian’s wisdom, courage, and generous spirit, and filled with sixteen pages of color photographs, Driving Miss Norma reminds us that life is beautiful and precious, and that family, fun, and self-discovery can happen at any age.”
Review: This is a very inspirational and interesting story. I hadn’t’ followed the journey of “Miss Norma” when it was happening, I don’t watch the news much so I didn’t see any of the stories, but after reading this I had to go back and look up all the reports about them. They really were an inspiration for so many people, and this adorable little lady was so full of life!
Reading about the different places they visited reminded me of my vacations to those locations and gave me wonderful new ideas of places I would like to go. Norma being basically up for anything was a great reminder that when we focus so much on our plans, we set ourselves up to miss so many wonderful opportunities. Why do we always feel the need to plan our lives so much? If we would just let go sometimes, I think we would experience so much more of this life than we do.
This was heartwarming, inspiring, and hilarious. I loved their sense of humor, even in the face of some heartbreaking experiences. This was also completely honest; they shared their fears and their reservations about taking Norma on this cross country journey and everything felt very authentic and real. They never seemed to hide how they were feeling at the time, even if it might look bad to the public, I imagine most of us would feel the exact same way they did if we were doing this same thing. It takes a lot of courage and strength to give up your normal way of life and give it over to someone else, and to add care giving for an elderly cancer patient, they have the right to be nervous at times.
I loved the way others responded to their journey and how much it inspired other’s to take vacations with their families as well. Sometimes all we need is a little nudge to enjoy life again. I would recommend this book to anyone!
*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*