Monday, November 23, 2009

Jeep. There's only one.

The follow-up jeep post:
A few years ago, my dear Daddy told Momma that he had the opportunity of a lifetime. For real. He told her that it was his LIFE LONG dream to own an authentic Army Jeep and he found one for sale. Now, my Momma has known this man since 1970. She has been married to him since 1972. And she swore that not once in all that time had he EVER mentioned this dream to her. But he was ever so convincing and she eventually said, "Well, who am I to stand in the way of your dreams?" And so my Daddy became the proud owner of an authentic Army Jeep. This is huge, right? How many people get to realize their lifelong dream? Isn't Bay a lucky man??

Daddy is very cute about this jeep. He is very proud of it. And it has made him quite popular. He cannot even drive this baby around the corner without attracting attention. Lucas has borrowed it lots of times, and he also enjoys being noticed. People ask them questions in parking lots, at red lights, and gas stations. And he is very generous. He'll let anyone (within reason) take it for a spin.

Daddy's jeep has also made appearances in military changes of command and other ceremonies. And it recently made its second consecutive appearance in the O'Fallon Veteran's Day Parade. Now, Daddy has not driven it in the parade himself, but the jeep was you know, representin'.

As it rounded the corner, Daddy said, "Whew, they got it started!"

As I mentioned before, the kids wanted to ride in the jeep right after the parade this year. The drivers did not get it back to Daddy in time, so we mentioned in passing that maybe they could ride it over the weekend.

Since my elephant Spencer remembered this idea, on Saturday afternoon, Bay and Miss Abby come on over and park the jeep on the street by our house. Jessa and a friend immediately come bounding out of the house and straight to the jeep. They were having so much fun that they began to attract other children. Within about 20 minutes, every kid on our street was crawling around in it. I have no idea what the attraction was! But they came out of the woodwork to play and climb and enjoy the jeep. I sat at the open window in the den while the big boys watched football so that I could watch and occasionally intervene. The jeep politics were serious business. You know, who could sit where, who could drive, who could not come in.

The pictures are horrible. They were taken through the screen. I was trying to take pictures without them knowing. Not because I am a stalker, but when I was out there, they were aware of my presence. They were more focused on telling me who was being ugly than on playing.
Shortly after the kids descended on the jeep, the rules were made. Like no shoes in the jeep. And these random kids did not question Jessa and Spencer when they told them they had to take off their shoes. They had a big time. When they were tired of the boys, they would get rid of them by screaming. They "drove" all over. They drove to Hawaii and Alaska. Oh and Jessa had a little noisemaker that we got in Germany that made this yodeling noise. She announced that this noise is made in Alaska, so whenever they were headed there, she would hold the yodeler up high. It was sort of a rally cry. Food and drinks were outlawed after someone spilled some juice. It was some funny stuff.

Throughout the afternoon, they would come and go. They were playing in the jeep and then they were picking weeds. They always came back, though. They sort of reminded us of locusts. All of a sudden, they were just there. Then they would be gone. So Daddy was trying to wait to take our kids for a ride. There are only so many seatbelts, plus that is not the sort of thing that you want to get started, if you know what I mean. Finally, as it was starting to get dark, we bit the bullet and headed out there. At that moment, there was one kid left. She assured us that her parents had said it was fine for her to ride with us. (I took that moment to tell my children that they must always ask me before they even consider getting in the car with a stranger.) I know we are on base, and we do know who this kids parents are, but still. And like her parents would have said, "Oh and daughter, IF someone has an old jeep out in the neighborhood today and IF they offer to take you for a little ride, that would be totally OK with us." Cause you know stuff like that happens every day, right?
So Daddy hooked them in. And as we headed to this gal's house to get actual permission for her to go for a joy ride, our extra passenger said, "Wow, I did not think this thing even worked." We all laughed. I mean how did she think it got there that afternoon?? And seriously, who knew that an army jeep parked on your curb would be such a draw?

So, just in case you are wondering, the point of this post is two-fold. (1) Thanks to the support of his lovely wife, my Daddy achieved his lifelong dream of owning an Army Jeep. And (2) if you are in the market for a way to attract a ton of random, strange kids to your house and entertain them for hours on a Saturday afternoon, we recommend a Vietnam era Army Jeep. Works like a charm.

1 comment:

kate said...

Oh my goodness -- I have riden in this Jeep and no offense to your dad (or Lucas who kept telling me how cool it was) I was's an old Jeep. Then we went to The Varsity in it. Seriously, you would think we were royalty! It was crazy shocking. And then I had to deal with Lucas's "told you so" face for the rest of the night. I will never doubt the power of the old Army Jeep again.