Girlie Jeep: A Eulogy

Last Friday, I sadly cleaned out Girlie Jeep. I thoroughly realize that normal people would not mourn the loss of a 10-year-old beat-up Grand Cherokee. But honestly if I knew she would survive, I’d drive her another 10 years.

During my trip down memory lane, I found my old travel editor business cards and reluctantly removed the race number I had pinned to my visor. This was something I proudly displayed as reminder of when I brazenly signed up for an archery biathlon (something I’d never done)…and won for my age group. OK, so maybe I was only one of two competitors in my category, the other being my friend Kristy who’d never been on cross-country skis. I won’t bother mentioning when I was lapped by the 10-year-old kid.

It represented a time in my life when I was fearless. When I’d hop in my Jeep and travel to any destination without thought or apprehension. When I was strong and indomitable, and could go for days with a backpack strapped to me. When friendships were forged on the trail with fantastic backcountry junkies such as John, Dave, Telford and Ray, the latter of whom just embarked on a 2-month adventure to the other side of the world.

It all seems so foreign to me now. Would I go back? No way. But I wouldn’t trade that incredible journey. And Girlie Jeep was my final link to that life I have rescinded.

Jamie posted her on Craigslist late Saturday and within hours, we’d had several inquiries. She was sold the next morning to the first person who came over. I knew this woman was The One when she initially called. While all others queried us about superfluous things such as how many miles she had, this woman asked only one question: “Does the Jeep have a name?” Finally, someone who understood.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m thrilled for my new vehicle but its road has been a bit rocky thus far. After we picked it up, Jamie followed me home in the Grand Cherokee and claimed I peeled out in front of someone (truth be told, I was flipping a U-turn in front of our house, which I couldn’t quite complete due to the larger car). I didn’t bother telling him I also almost smacked into our broker’s car when I was backing out. All within the first minutes of ownership.

If the new vehicle does live beyond its infancy, it will be full of much different adventures: those of nursery rhymes, sippy cups and children’s laughter. A road with its fair share of bumps and joys but forever gone is The Crazy….

And so let’s hear it: your love affair with vehicles past or present.

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