Friday, September 5, 2014

The "Last" Day of Summer!

Okay. As I write this, it's NOT the last day of summer. According to the calendar on the fridge, the autumnal equinox, or first day of fall, isn't until September 23 (over two weeks away), but around our house, the dog days of summer have come and gone. Let me explain.

We own a 2004 Jeep Wrangler. This baby is road-salt grey, with full doors, and a soft top.

Some time in early spring, we unzip and remove the side windows and back window, and store them in the basement. That's right. We don't keep them around in case of sour weather. What we do is that whenever rain is probable, we try to park facing west, roll up the glass windows, and rock the seats forward. One time I left the Jeep too close to my house (this was before Lisa and I got married and we bought the house we have now). The gutters didn't have that much of a pitch, so in heavy rains more water would flow over the sides of the gutters than make it down the downspouts. There was a really bad storm overnight and the water came over the sides of the gutters - right into the Jeep. When I left for work, I found about eight inches of water in the driver's side floor. I took an industrial vacuum and removed the water, went to work, and then looked up every drainage plug that resides under the carpet. At lunch I grabbed some needle-nosed pliers and proceeded to remove all of them. Now, when it rains, any water that gets in drains. Of course, this means no driving through rivers …

With the seats rocked forward, we have had very little issue with the seats or dashboard getting wet. It takes a Hell of a storm for the rain to blow that far in.

The Jeep is a soft top. As I like to say, there is only one kind of Jeep: the Wrangler. The others are just SUVs with Jeep logos. And I don't like the removable hard top Wranglers either. They are too much hassle to take on and off (and store when off). If you are going to buy a Wrangler with a hard top, just go ahead and buy one of the SUV versions.

It's not like I take the top off that much though. Most people who know me know that I rarely go outside without a hat. I own quite a few. I like to say that I own more hats than my wife does shoes (but she's working on it!) I have 21 hats (which includes only one baseball cap - not including winter "ski" caps used for shoveling. I'm referring only to those with brims.). The thing about hats and open air Jeeps, is that when you go over about 35 mph, there is usually enough wind to take the hat right off your head. One of those hats I keep in the center column of the Jeep - you know the kind: has one of those strings that go under your chin - for those times without the top.



My wife isn't "hatless"!

We leave the Jeep windows out until just after Labor Day weekend. At this point it is (usually) warm enough to reinstall the windows. If we wait until it gets too cold to put the windows back in, everything becomes too stiff and reinstalling them is a pain! Today was not one of those days. It hit over 90 degrees today. Though I have to admit, putting the windows back in when it is 90 degrees is also a pain.

Do you have any end of the season rituals? When is summer over for you?

© Emittravel 2014

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