Summertime and the livin’ is Jeep-y

A couple of years ago, I was introduced to a culture I never before knew existed: Jeeping.  Prior to owning a Jeep (our first one was a 1989 Wrangler that was still kicking it to help my husband get to work in the winters), I had no idea that Jeeps were so much fun or that they unite people.  When we drive down the road in the Jeep, other Wrangler owners seek us out and wave. I’m thrilled with what I call “Jeep waves.”  I’m disappointed if I miss one.

Last year we traded in my husband’s beloved sports car for a newer Wrangler when the engine on the old one literally blew up.  The old Jeep is still around, though.  It’s behind our tool shed.  We’re not ready to part ways, yet.  Buckles loves sleeping under it.  Lexiana loves looking at it and talking about it.

The newer Jeep is nice.  It has air conditioning.  It starts the first time every time.  It has a radio.  It doesn’t leak carbon monoxide into the cabin.  All sorts of new-fangled upgrades!  Here’s the thing.  I love cars.  I LOVE the “Fast and the Furious” movies because of the cars (Vin Diesel and Paul Walker aren’t bad on the eyes either).  I sometimes miss our sports cars.  I know my husband does even more.  But, then warm weather rolls around, and we put down the top on the Jeep.  And life is darn good.  It gets even better when we can take the doors off, too.  (Yes, I say “we,” but I readily admit that my husband is the one who does that.)

The kiddo enjoying a Jeep ride on Memorial Day.

Our dog has loved Jeeping, too.  We got a harness for him so he can easily and safely enjoy a ride in the backseat with the top down.  He pants; he sniffs; he enjoys himself.  Last year, we took Lexiana on her first topless Jeep ride.  I was nervous about how she’d like it.  I was worried that it would be too windy for her.  I was worried about the sun.  But, she didn’t mind it.  This summer, she is older and she loves it.  Yesterday as my husband was getting her ready to go run some errands, she asked for the Jeep.  She has fun saying “Jeep.”  I don’t worry as much any more.  I keep sunscreen with us at all times (we are all very sun sensitive, except for the dog).  I have a hat for her and for myself.

That brings me to the one thing I don’t like about the Jeep.  It’s so not good for my hair.  My hair has just enough wave and curl to it that the humidity makes it frizz.  Having it whipped about on topless Jeep rides does not help matters one bit.  Baseball style hats don’t work well.  The wind lifts the bill and blows the hat off (a lesson I learned early on in life while boating and seeing many hats end up in the lake).  At first I was using my red, bucket-style fishing hat.  My husband was a bit appalled and embarrassed, so he bought me a more appropriate Jeep bucket hat.  It helps save my hair a little bit.  But, after too long of a Jeep ride, I still look frazzled.

While I am someone who cares very much about having her hair done and make-up on, I’m willing to make this hair sacrifice for the fun of Jeeping.  I love it that much. I apologize in advance to any of you that I might see in person this summer.  If my hair is frazzled yet I’m smiling, then you know we’re cruising around topless in the Jeep.  You’re welcome to roll your eyes, snicker and go on about your business.

I know that Jeep has its own slogans. However, I have one that sums it up completely for my family: “Jeep: It’s not just a vehicle.  It’s a way of life.”

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