I was on the road last week, missing my family terribly and looking forward to getting back home. Oh sure, I had a blast on my trip — I got to hang out with higher education friends as part of Moodle Hack/Doc Fest at Kalamazoo College, I saw two baseball games, and got to watch prices rise and fall at the Kalamazoo Beer Exchange — but I was looking forward to coming home the whole time.
Little did I know what I’d find when I got there. My family decided to throw me a Father’s Day scavenger hunt, scattering clues throughout the house and the neighborhood. Many of the clues involved broken down pieces of my 1998 Jeep Wrangler — my old, non-functioning radio, my disintegrating floor mats, the pealing steering wheel cover — so it was pretty clear that they’d done something to my car.
The path of debris led to my Jeep, which was parked off the back alley … but it wasn’t just my Jeep, it was my Jeep … improved! The passenger side door, which had been unopenable from the outside for years — worked! The ratty old floor mats had been replaced by spiffy new gray ones as had the crumbling steering wheel cover (itself covering an even more degraded steering wheel leather). My car radio, which died a sad death three years ago, had been replaced by a shiny new JVC one. Not just shiny … but with an LED display that changes color, and an aux jack for my iPhone!
The Jeep is certainly getting on in years. If I still had a 100+ mile commute, it would been retired long ago, but thankfully I walk to work now and that means the Jeep only sees action a few times a week. Still, annoyances like the stuck door could quickly turn into frustrations, particularly in the winter, and specifically for my wife. 🙂
The Father’s Day upgrades — executed by my wife and my brother-in-law David Heintzelman — may not make it run any longer, but they do make it a lot more fun to drive. I’m looking forward to taking the hard top off today and driving around with Rush blasting out of my speakers on I-78.