Life is a Highway

I’ve had my Jeep 7 months. We got it new and I’ve taken quite a liking to it. That baby now has 13,303 miles on it. I drive. A lot. My Jeep and I have been around southern California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, Oklahoma, and (duh) Texas.

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Y’all, I thought Houston was my motoring nightmare until I met southern California. Sure, there are good drivers somewhere – there have to be! I’ve been toying around with these letters in my head for months and every on ramp has only justified the snark that is about to be spewed.

thankyous

Dear Suburban Driver of Southern California Roads:
stopDoes it physically pain you to stop at a stop sign? No, really. Because no one seems to stop at them EVER, but if it’s your turn and someone doesn’t stop for you, whoa, Houston, we have a problem. Also, brake lights: are they optional? You have them. I can see them. So why don’t they work? Lastly, I am almost convinced that the blinker is the vehicular equivalent of an appendix in your mind, Suburban Driver of Southern California Roads. Much to your chagrin, I assure you that little stick on the left of your steering column does have a purpose, and a good one: it lets people around you know what the heck you’re about to do.

Sincerely,
Not Miss Cleo

cleo
Dear Fast Driver of Southern California Roads:
literacyI know, I know, you’re in a hurry. Guess what, sugar britches? No one cares. We all need to get somewhere, but you don’t see all of us raging around, in and out of lanes, no blinker, mere inches between bumpers. If it’s really that important, find yourself some lights and sirens. Might I suggest you put your middle finger back on the steering wheel? Please and thank you. You may do well with some smooth jazz or classical music to soothe your ragey nerves. 88.1FM or 105.1FM are good options, as are SiriusXM 66 and 76. Oh, and those pesky speed limit signs: I know you say to yourself, “Fast Driver of Southern California Roads, I know that sign reads 70 miles per hour, but they really meant 90.” WRONG. Literacy isn’t that hard, my friend.

Yours Truly,
Simmer Down Now, Here’s A Baby Animal

panda

Dear Slow Driver of Southern California Roads:
slugThe pedal on the right makes the car go. You should step on it. Everyone else is flying by at 80 miles an hour and here you are, putting along somewhere between molasses and grandma. ProTip: the fast drivers occupy the left side of the road and the slow drivers creep on the right. It makes sense: traffic needs to slow down to exit, ergo right lane is slower than other lanes. Don’t worry, you don’t have to exit – just stay there and cruise along at 47mph. No one will care. I promise. It’s just when you trudge along at the speed of a turtle when the rest of the road is going Ludicrous Speed, you’re a liability. Someone will hit you, or get unnecessarily aggressive and cause you to have a bad day. Just move to the right. Get out of the way. And, no, driving with your hazards on doesn’t make it any better if you’re not in the right lane – lookin’ at you, rusted blue 1989 Ford Ranger.

Sincerely,
The 68 MPH Speed Racer
drifting

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Where We’re Going We Don’t Need Roads

JeepAin’t she purdy? Friday night my soon-to-be husband and I went to the local Jeep dealership in search of a new vehicle. We thought we’d found what we wanted online, so they went looking for that particular Jeep; we were left to our own devices, wandering the lot. They took FOR-EV-VER to find it. By the time they did it was too late; we had already fallen in automotive love with another model.

5 Signs You’re Sadly A Grown Up A Responsible Adult:

  1. adultYou actually consider carseats: Anchors, how wide the door opens, and distance from the driver’s seat to the back bench
  2. Safety ratings really mean something: The stars on the window sticker aren’t enough because we’re talking research, reviews, videos, testimonies, and recalls
  3. Financing is more than a monthly payment: Money going to this payment is money not going into the “Retirement/Savings/General Budget/Vacation Fund/Ash Loves Boots Collection Plate Babies Cost Money” plan for FIVE YEARS – is it worth it? No, really. Is it?
  4. Floor mats are a thing: Do you really want to be vacuuming crushed Cheerios out of that? How easily can a spoiled milk stench be removed?
  5. Backseat comfort: Can we have another couple in the back riding comfortably? Will our babies need a helmet, not because their heads aren’t round, but because they’re jostled on the way to Gymboree?

adult 2I’ve had a lot of cars, y’all, and I have never once considered the backseat, other passengers, sacrificial financing, or babies. As a woman, I’m told I’m supposed to care about cup-holders or whatever. Uh, okay (?) – can I retrieve a dropped binky? What if my child plays hockey? Have you seen how big those equipment bags are?!

hockey bagWhat has happened to me? Where did this grown up come from? Heaven help me, I don’t want to be nagging or lame or boring or *gasp* weird!

field-tripsBut every chapter beginning means one has to end and this, y’all, isn’t just a chapter. It’s an era. The Era of Minnie the Mini.

MinnieThis little ice blue nugget was the fastest girl in town. Literally. It’s amazing I didn’t get more speeding tickets, and the one I did get was for a 45 in a 35, so it’s not like it was anything too daring. Her name was Minnie and I loved her. Even though she’s a car, I’m pretty sure she felt the same.

friendsMinnie and I made it through two state-wide campaigns, 5 moves, 5 states, and 43,200 miles together over 36 months. (Yes, I moved 5 times in 36 months… I really do believe the Lord has prepared me to be this Marine’s wife.) The interior cabin lights faded from red to purple to blue to green to yellow back to red, giving her passengers official membership into “The Hot Tub Club.” Even when I hit a pothole the size of a microwave and blew out the front right tire, Minnie was a trooper and wouldn’t let us stop in front of the seedy XXX store, but trudged up the hill to a well-lit grocery store parking lot.

BooyahAdam and I gave consideration to financing the balloon payment at the end of the lease, but if we’re going to be paying that much money, it’d better be toward something that will be returning dividends in two years. In two years, we’d likely have to move into another car and I’d like to see anyone other than Stretch Armstrong strap a carseat in a Mini Cooper S.

It’s a new season in life, one that will be filled with new lessons and experiences, high adventure, love, and change. The last time I went through that kind of season, I was in high school and college; wouldn’t you know, at that time I also drove a Jeep. Full. Circle. I survived a turn on the merry-go-round that is life! Yay for me! Now I’m fully equipped for whatever life throws at me: mud, rocks, sand, snow, sport (whatever that is), and mountains. Jeep Trailhawk 4 x 4, y’all.

biden