Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Car Wave Hello

One of the things I love about being in the mountains is how friendly everyone is.  Almost every single solitary person you encounter says hello, is smiling at you, and is willing to carry on a conversation with you about any topic you bring up.  Mostly, it seems to me people are content in these Southern Appalachian mountains.

An interesting custom my husband and I have now acquired is the "Car Wave Hello".  This is the manner in which drivers in cars passing by each other on the steep and winding mountain road indicate a friendly hello.

First please imagine that the driver of the car has their hand(s) on the steering wheel, this could be one hand or both, that is visible to the approaching driver.  With that said, there are many manner of car waves:
  • The Finger Wave: no, no, no, not THAT finger, the pointer finger.  The lone steering hand will raise the pointer finger.  At times the thumb is included in this wave, resulting in an "L" wave.
    • This can also graduate to the 2, 3 and 4 finger wave, not sure what constitutes the difference, but there sure are a lot of variances in this method.
  • The Full Wave: this exudes full confidence from the approaching driver and causes me to hope that their other hand is on the portion of the steering wheel I can not see.
  • The Opposite Hand Wave: this driver has one visible hand on the wheel, but the other provides a full perpendicular lift to the ground and gives a full view of the palm and all 4 fingers and opposing appendage.
  • The Waving Opposite Hand Wave: this driver's wave extends the feeling to the receiving driver that this driver is a very cheery person with not a care in the world and that perhaps, just perhaps, they recognize you.
  • The No Finger Head Nod Wave: every now and then you get no wave, but after you wave the approaching driver realizes "aw, shucks, I didn't wave".
  • The Flappy/Fly Wave: for the very same reason the No Finger Head Nod Wave is given, only there is a delay in the approaching driver's thought process and The Flappy/Fly Wave is more like, "darn it, you caught me off guard" so you get this wave not so much as an afterthought but a too late thought with no time for The Head Nod.
  • The No Wave No Nod No Nothing Wave: well, what can I say, these encounters are always disappointing, but I have chosen to let it go, not knowing what the drivers mood may been.
When I am the driver, I usually have both hands on the wheel. Mostly because the road is steep and very curvy with blind approaches and very narrow lanes. I feel much more in control when I have both hands on the wheel, enabling me to execute the wave without fear of falling down into a ravine. There are times when I am relaxed and forget my both hands rule and subsequently am not thinking about the possibility of the need to execute the wave until I observe an approaching traveler from the opposite direction, unfortunately usually immediately following one of the blind curves, and I must muster the courage to produce some sort of wave, even if it is difficult for the approaching traveler to interpret or understand.

My usual is The 4 Finger Wave, with both hands on the wheel.  Every now and then, I give The Opposite Hand Wave or the Flappy/Full Wave specifically for the reasons described above.  No matter what, I wave by golly, because I love these winding steep mountain roads and the people I pass on them.  But you bet your sweet bippie, I notice the approaching driver's wave too:)

I will continue to observe the car hello wave and it's variations, and let you know if I discover anything new.  But I have to say, driving up and down the mountain is the friendliest driving experience I have ever had in my life!

Do you practice a "Car Wave Hello"?


Anonymous said...

I don't think I practice any particular car wave, but your blog post sure has me thinking. While visiting the mountains in Ga. last fall my children brought to my attention that the people in Ga. were much friendlier than in Fl. They all decided then and there that we should move to the mountains because people are nicer there. :)

Lise said...

Maybe the children can begin a car wave practice in Florida! :)

Tipper said...

You really made me smile with this post! You've noticed something that I've just took for granted my entire life : )

I swear sometimes Pap even waves at cows LOL!

Joanne said...

Hahaha! Love your descriptions of the waves. There are times when driving up or down our mountain I cannot look to see if I am being waived at, but I wave. Or I think I do. Haha it can be a bit treacherous in spots when you come upon an oncoming car. I am enjoying you blog so much, starting from the 1st post and working my way forward. You make me home sick! :)