"It defines us, ever reminding us that life never is more precious than this." Moments Like This, Alison Krauss.
Our day began with the morning drive along Florida's Gulf Coast. Usually it was Beth at the wheel, cursing her elders, reminding them that not everyone was retired. We pulled into the parking lot of whatever Naples business employed her. A hug and I was left to my own designs. Exfilling, I headed for breakfast and the beach, driving her Jeep.
I ran errands, I found places to read, or write. The bulk of The Heart of the Matter, what I hope will be my third published novel, was written in places where the Gulf's cool breezes and soft, supple sounds washed over me. I learned the navpoints, became familiar with the streets, all the while driving Beth's Jeep in glorious eighty degree weather.
Counting the fabulous tunes I heard from her CD collection as I motored Florida roadways would be impossible. I acquired a decided admiration for Alison Krauss's voice. Imogen Heap's Hide and Seek played so many times it became synonymous with Beth, Florida and the black
Wrangler I filled with gas.
We visited the mud pits once, meeting her friends for a day of off-road adventure. Several of them found their way into Heart, as much for their multi-purpose way with the F-word as anything. Finally, she would drop me off at the airport and I would wave good bye to the Black Jeep as she drove away.
It made it to Maine somehow, where it shed a side-view mirror on the interstate. Always the worse for wear, the last time I rode in it the muffler was shot, the deafening sound drowning out even our conversation. Sometimes parked, awaiting a part or the attention of a mechanic friend, it seemed always to rise to the occasion. Somehow it survived a post law school trip down the coast to end it's days in St. Petersburg, two hundred thousand miles traveled from the place it was built.
But, it's a jeep thing. Beth sold it to a young man who will strip it down, polish it up and resurrect it. It's only fair.