Saturday, July 27, 2013

Day 76 - Driving a Convertible


I have never driven a convertible. In fact, I’ve only ridden in a convertible twice before today. I’m not sure why, but up to this point in my life the opportunity to cruise around with the top down has been fleeting. Perhaps it is because I don’t know many people that own convertibles, or perhaps it is a result of my indifference toward gaining the experience; whatever the reason, driving a convertible has been one of those things that has never happened in the first 30 years of my life. While such an experience remained a low priority on my “I have never…” list after starting my journey, a long day of helping my brother, Ian, rebuild his deck meant I needed to find an “I have never…” event that was simple and relaxing. As a result, Ian and I decided to take a spin in his Mustang convertible this evening, which proved a nice, but chilly, way to wrap up a busy Saturday filled with travel, hard work, and some memorable moments with some family.

The day began with an early morning trip to Ian’s house located just outside of Appleton in the town of Greenville. The nearly two hour trip moved slowly as a result of the cool, overcast weather conditions and easy going weekend travelers. As a result, I arrived to Ian’s house later than expected, finding my brother and father already hard at work stripping nails from the existing deck surface. To make up for lost time I set to work immediately. I bent and pried nails consistently for several hours before taking a break to eat. After a quick lunch I set to work again, dead set on meeting Ian’s goal of stripping and rebuilding half of the deck by the end of the day. With my brother Abe arriving early in the afternoon, the rest of our work went quickly. Although we faced several challenges during our efforts, we made the most of our time together through progress, jokes, and overzealous bee extermination efforts.

The whip
Eventually, our work began to pay off as the deck came together as my scheduled departure approached. Although we had not yet met our day’s goal on the project, my father and Abe committed to staying after I left to complete what was yet unfinished. As I prepared to leave, Ian made sure I followed through with my intended “I have never…” event for the day by taking time away from the project to take a spin in his convertible. Although the temperature hovered around 65 degrees with overcast skies, Ian enthusiastically pulled his Mustang out of the garage before exiting the car and offering me the driver’s seat. In turn, I approached the car and prepared to drive a convertible for the first time.

Upon taking my position in the driver’s seat, Ian directed me through the process of retracting the convertible’s top. With a few latch clicks, a pull of the parking brake, and the flip of a switch the roof shot skyward and began folding into the rear of the vehicle. Seconds later the collapsed roof locked into place, leaving Ian and I free to enjoy the unseasonably brisk air during a cruise in the convertible. With nothing left between me and my first drive in a convertible, I pulled the vehicle onto the road and put the accelerator down… with my shades on, of course.

Cruisin'

Over the next 15 minutes Ian and I drove through the countryside on mostly empty roads. The cold air swept over the car as we drove, leaving me revitalized after a long day of physical labor. As we traveled I became more accustomed to the car, which let me settle in and enjoy the ride. With one arm out the window I sunk into my seat and pushed the accelerator down. The rush of the pavement made itself known as we continued over hills and past open fields. Despite my previous indifference toward driving a convertible, I must admit I loved the experience… even with goose bumps forming on my arms from the chilled air.

Future's so bright...
Following Ian’s directions, we eventually ended up back at Ian’s house. With our brief trip coming to an end, I pulled the car into Ian’s driveway and tucked it back inside the garage. As I exited the vehicle, I felt pleased with my first time behind the wheel of a convertible. Although the experience wasn’t the most anticipated or exciting, driving a convertible for the first time gave me something I will always share with my brother. I’m sure years from now we will talk about my ridiculous “I have never…” journey on the deck we built together, and we will rehash the experience of driving Ian’s convertible under skies threatening rain on a 65 degree day in July. That’s a story worth telling, and a memory worth keeping. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

1 comment:

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