You've got to be fast to get a spot in women-only triathlon

Huntersville Family Fitness & Aquatics (HFFA) will host the women-only Ramblin' Rose Sprint Triathlon at 8 a.m. Sept. 26. The event will consist of a 250-yard swim, a 9-mile bike ride and a 2-mile run.

Though existing starting spots have sold out, new spots will be released beginning Sept. 1. For more information, visit

HFFA hosts Souls group

HFFA invites members of the older and wiser population to attend the Souls group the third Monday of every month. This gathering is free and open to HFFA members and nonmembers.

Each session includes free coffee, games, socializing and a featured speaker or event. Visit for more information or contact Chantal Bilodeau at 704-766-2240 in the Fitness Department.

Moms of Preschoolers

Lake Norman Baptist Church opened registration Aug. 1 for its MOPS for this school year. The first meeting is 9:30 a.m. Sept. 16. MOPS will meet the first and third Thursdays of each month through May 19.

Child care is available, and drop-off opens at 9:15 am at MOPPETS. Meet in the Fellowship Hall for brunch and hot coffee. Meetings last until 11:45 a.m.

As the program enters its third year, Lake Norman Baptist Church is eager to host mothers in the community and provide a welcoming environment for mothers to meet, connect with and encourage one another on the journey of motherhood through the preschool years.

For more information about Lake Norman Baptist Church and the MOPS ministry, visit or call 704-892-0143.

Painful driver's test

Both my parents have expired driver's licenses from Illinois. When they decided to get their North Carolina driver's licenses, they pored over the state's Rules of the Road booklet.

On the day Dad was ready to sit for the test, we went to the local driver's license examining bureau. We arrived there around 10 a.m. and checked in. As the clocked ticked away, the waiting area began to fill with prospective drivers. Soon there were more people than chairs, and folks were sitting on the floor.

A big sign hung on the wall: "No cell phones." It was largely dismissed, however; I watched many flip open their phones and strike up loud conversations. Perhaps it was because we all felt like cattle herded into a small space that some people completely disregarded courtesy to each other.

The employees at the Division of Motor Vehicles were nice enough. They were friendly, chatty, striking up conversations and smiling. The friendliness did not make up, however, for the snail-in-molasses pace with which they processed prospective drivers. People in the waiting room began to grow agitated and impatient.

Finally, Dad's number came up. He filled out his paperwork, presented all proper documents and sat for the written part of the exam. I knew he would handily ace the written exam. A 77-year-old grandfather, he breezed through the test with little effort.

Then it was time for the road test. The woman testing him took her time getting back from lunch, so we waited another 40 minutes.

Finally, it was time. I stood outside waiting and watching. Even though he forgot to release the hand brake, the test took about three minutes.

Upon returning from the road test, Dad was asked to have his photo taken. The woman at the photo station was making a personal phone call while we waited for another 10 minutes.

Finally, more than four hours later, Dad emerged as a legally licensed N.C. driver.

Now we just have to get Mom through her tests. We are prepared to block out at least another four hours.

Next time, I think I will bring a good, long book to read.