Right now, I'm driving a silver 2003 Suburban sans the front grill Chevrolet logo. We have a family tradition of driving our cars until the wheels fall off. We just do. This long term relationship with our automobiles is woven with road trips to Utah and Colorado on family vacations and ski trips. No amount of detailing can erase the whispers of memories - baseball boys boasting about homers, rolls of laughter thanks to satellite radio and Laugh USA, and the occasional screech of tires followed by a quick, boisterous vomit.
This week we are bidding adieu to "The Jeep." It came to us all shiny and fresh at the dawn of the new millenium. The first week or so we jumped in for joy rides just to enjoy the heady aroma of "new car smell." The Jeep was our first 4-wheel drive vehicle purchased with forethought in a part of Texas where heavy snows blow through from time to time.
It was Alan's Jeep. Then, it became Bryce's jeep. It went from driving back and forth to Alan's office to ferrying Bryce to Baylor and back. The iconic white jeep signaled "Bryce is home! Bryce is home!" come holidays and 3 day weekends. A friend down the block also sported a white Jeep. Countless times during the middle of a ordinary week, I would see the Jeep sail by my kitchen window. My Pavlovian response was to run to the door with arms spread wide to welcome my Baylor boy - a welcomed surprise. Nope. Just Dee Ann. Then, just Leigh (her daughter).
Today is a sad day. The Jeep is literally on the auction block. Alan is awaiting the call announcing its worth to someone sitting casually while waving a bid number in a I-reckon-I'll-take-'er-off-yer-hands manner. It's a few shades less gray of losing a pet. I dreaded going with Alan to take the Jeep to the auction place. Thank goodness for a prolonged birthday lunch with a friend (White Jeep Dee Ann) that came between me and the tearful farewell.
Alan and Bryce were both sad to see the Jeep go. I guess we all felt like traitors. The day Alan took the Jeep to it's new journey in life, he sent me this picture captioned "Fond Farewell." I bit the inside of my cheek to resist calling him to "stay the execution." Alas, we do not need 3 cars parked at a home with only 2 drivers. Bryce doesn't need a car in Chicago, and the Jeep probably wouldn't have survived the long trip.
I leave you with the text messages exchanged by a boy and his dad who shared a love for a car. Both are sentimental to the bone. Can't help lovin' those men of mine.