Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Eulogy For A Jeep

Ah, we sustained one accident too many, Her Jeepness and I. Today I got the word that she has been declared a total loss and I went to see her one last time in order to remove my personal possessions and my tag. I almost didn't recognize her since she had been taken apart in order to determine her damages. Poor girl. Her death was not very dignified.

We've been together for 11 years and covered more than 158,000 miles together. And the experiences we had are numerous. We've been as far north as upstate New York, as far west as Ohio, as far east as Delaware and as far south as Florida. She has born the tags of three different states and transported 3 different family dogs. She also transported many Amish neighbors all over the southeastern Pennsylvania countryside and was my conveyance the night I hurriedly drove my Amish neighbor to the midwife just in time to deliver her baby, and we drove Papa, Mama and baby home again an hour later.

I was always meticulous with Her Jeepness' care. I religiously had her serviced every 3,000 miles and repaired whenever there was an incident. The first time was when an angry man in Baltimore keyed the back of her (while I was sitting in her with my son and his friends). Of course, there was the "big yellow taxi" incident and the time I rear ended that woman when she suddenly stopped in front of me and I had to replace the "bull bar."

I'll never forget the time my son was borrowing her and parked her on a bridge in one of the worst neighborhoods in Baltimore (in fact they filmed "The Wire" in this neighborhood) and someone unsuccessfully tried to steal her catalytic converter. She was a mess until we got her repaired.

I have filled her cargo area with everything from freshly picked cabbages straight from the field, art equipment for exhibits and boxes for numerous moves. And the sand she has carried has been plenty when my favorite place to visit was Cape Henlopen State Park.

Her Jeepness has served as the venue for many a moveable feast as I've consumed countless fast food meals, apples, ice cream cones and granola bars within her.

11 years is a long time and it's always hard to say good-bye to a good friend. But now it's time to move on. New automotive experiences await!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Just Call Me Crash

"The Rental Car" enhanced digital photo
Before I moved to Savannah, my last traffic accident was in 1996. Since moving here two years ago, I've had three. This last one may cause me to say good-bye to "her Jeepness." We've been together for 11 years and more than 158,000 miles. Because she's a Grand Cherokee and because I kept her in such great shape, she still looked good and drove well. However, a month ago, someone in a commercial van slammed into the back of me and shoved me into the vehicle in front of me. At first glance, only my front and rear bumpers appeared to be cracked; but, I noticed that the doors were not closing like they should. At second glance, it was discovered that my frame was bent. Ahhh. I don't like that at all. For the past 12 days, her Jeepness has been at the body shop, taken all apart and awaiting the insurance appraiser to come for another look. Preliminary repair estimates are in excess of $8,000. The book value of my vehicle? Well 11 years old and over 150,000 miles? I'm sure you're getting the picture.

Meanwhile, for the past 12 days, I've been driving this nifty little 2015 Hyundai Accent hatchback, courtesy of the insurance company of the man who hit me, and I've been enjoying it. It's very different for me since I've driven SUV's since 1990 (well with the exception of a mini-van for a few years). I'm enjoying the ease of parking and the good gas mileage. Even Wishes seems to like it. 

I don't know what my automotive future looks like, but right now I'm having fun imagining it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Change Is In The Wind

Digitally altered pastel, "Little Elk Creek"

"My friends from high school
Married their high school boyfriends
Moved into houses in the same ZIP codes
Where their parents live
But I, I could never follow
No I, I could never follow"*

Those lyrics have never described me; ever. And it seems as though at the ripe old age of 58 I'm still trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up. Everything is exciting; everything presents an adventure. Once again, change is in the wind. It is too early now to reveal what, where or how, but it's a comin'!

*Lyrics from "The Long Way Around" by Dixie Chicks