Mother didn't drive so Fiorella walked three blocks to and from kindergarten, first grade and second grade. Then, when the family moved to Texas, she walked ten blocks home from third through sixth, thankfully getting a ride from neighbors in the morning.
In junior high, Fio was entirely on her own to and fro, but North Junior was just six blocks away. Needless to say, she developed good walking muscles, which served her well when she rode her gearless bike back and forth to Catechism classes every Saturday. High school, on the other hand, was downtown, so Dad dropped her off on his way to work. But after school, she walked several blocks to a bus stop and rode the city bus home.
Walking to school was okay in Ohio because all the other kids walked and she was not alone. But in Waco, all the mothers drove their kids to school, even from two blocks away so those elementary school treks home in the afternoon were lonely, and, Fio now realizes, dangerous. And sending a thirteen-year-old girl out alone on a two-mile bike ride was was tempting fate.
Fiorella may have developed good calf muscles and a lot of self-reliance, but she also developed a firm determination to learn how to drive, for the sake of her future children.