It’s OK for me to say that, but I better see a smile if you say it.
I have always had a love affair with the automobile. I have owned a bunch of them; I think if I really tried I could list them all but I don’t think I will try. A few of them have earned a special place in my heart.
There was my first, a clunker ’46 Ford. My all time favorite ’57 Olds convertible; and there was the ’61 Olds convertible. I still kind of have a soft spot for the ragtops. A ’70 Dodge pickup that loved to stay above 85 from OKC to wherever in Kansa that next Rodeo happened to be. A couple of Sharyl’s are in there. An ’86 Honda and her last one the ’03 Expedition; I didn’t get to drive them much but they were both kind of special. The convertibles and the pickup are deserving of their own blog but that probably won’t happen.
I have only spent about 2 months with this Jeep but the silly little thing is finding a spot. It will never replace the old ’57 but I can see it bedding down with those other guys.
How did this guy crack that door? It isn’t fast; I had never been one to hold up traffic, in this thing I can be a roadblock. To say it rides rough is an understatement; I am considering one of those kidney belt things. It is so noisy I use the mute feature on these fancy hearing aids anytime I get above 25 mph. It doesn’t have air conditioning; the heater works if you jiggle the switch just right. It does have a cloth top; maybe that’s it.
Honestly, I think I know it’s special attraction. Twenty-three months ago today I started the transition from “we to me”; I have shared much of that journey with you. The physical transition was sudden and the adjustments were pretty well defined. The emotional transition remains a work in progress.
The little green Jeep introduced me to a third part of the “we to me” move. For lack of a better term I’ll simply call it the mental phase. As I made personal decisions and those relating to the household, especially the major ones I always subconsciously considered Sharyl’s opinion. About a month after I bought the Jeep (I need to think of a name I’m tired of “the Jeep”) it occurred to me that I hadn’t even considered her thoughts, and I still haven’t. I also realized I had slowly learned to relax again; that wasn’t an option during Sharyl’s illness and I guess “uptight” became a habit; sometimes it takes a while to break a habit. The old Dave may be resurfacing; that may not be a good thing.
No, the Jeep (gotta think of a name) didn’t contribute to any of that. Running around in the rough riding little rascal, looking through plastic windows at dirty, shaky rearview mirrors did help me to realize it was happening.
Speaking of those rearview mirrors, the right one says “OBJECTS IN THIS MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR”. All right hand mirrors have those words. I think consumer/safety advocate Ralph Nader led that charge probably in the sixties, about the time smoking dope in public and hugging trees became popular. Maybe it was the plastic window or the shaking, for some reason after all these years those words became thought provoking.
Objects are closer than they appear, just as the words say, in the jeep mirror. I think just the opposite is true when we look in the rearview mirrors of life. Objects (memories) in those mirrors are not as close as they appear. Another major difference the objects in that jeep mirror are only there for a matter of seconds or maybe minutes. Those in the mirrors of life, the good ones and the bad ones, are there forever even if they aren’t as close as they appear.
What does all this mean? I think it very simply means the transition continues. I also think it is more fun to run down the road with a relaxed and maybe a little bit crazy Dave.
To Sharyl: I still love you with all my heart and I miss you every day.
This one was extremely difficult to find the right words. I hope you understand what I tried to say.
I am sure I won’t do this again until after Christmas. From my house to yours: MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
I may just name the jeep Teddy for Teddy Roosevelt; he was known as a roughrider.
Good Night and God Bless.