Where has the summer gone? The winds of summer blew right by me. The days have slipped quickly by. The first day of a new school year has somehow snuck up on my family. That is not to say that the days have been wasted, or lost track of. I have tried to pack as much as I can into the short, quick-moving days of July and August. The dog days have brought many changes to my workday and workload. I have retired the old truck and tried to catch up to the times, under protest, with a new family "CUV" that sips less gas and holds more stuff. In exchange, my family has decided that more road trips were in order and the miles needed to be piled up immediately. There were adventures upon adventures and on this first full day of school I am able to catch my breath and look back on the summer and share some travels.
My adventures began this summer by replacing the family's old, worn-out Pathfinder with a newer rendition of the same. The purchase process was surprisingly painless and held little surprise in the way of acquiring an updated vehicle. The surprises were more in what is now considered a "SUV" or truck compared to several years ago. The salesman found my inquiries about skid plates and full-size spares and "real" four-wheel-drive almost comical. The need for an opening rear window to access stacked cargo without opening the rear door stymied the man. The lack of tie-down points in the cargo area raised eyebrows. And the need for ground clearance measurements and departure angles just brought shaking heads and shrugging shoulders.
The salesman, along with my wife and children, sat me down and tried to explain to me about gas mileage and weight savings and creature comforts. They detailed the increased population of soccer moms not wanting mini-vans and their need for a more rugged looking vehicle and the new "civilized" family transport. There seems to no longer be a need to leave the pavement with a vehicle to search out solitude and new sights. The need is more to get through some slush in order to make it to PTA meetings on time. I was regaled by all the participants of this sale by tales of glamping and resorts and golf clubs and reduced entry door sills so no one has to raise their legs too high to get in the truck.
My family was more than happy as we left the parking lot with a cute new somewhat-truck. They talked of new roads and new trips and new adventures right around the corner now that our odometer once again read "0". They giggled as they played with the "dual-zone climate-control" and adjustable rear seats and any other new-fangled part that will break a year from now. I am not impressed with any of this stuff but the new MPG sure helps to lessen the sting of driving a pseudo-truck SMV (soccer mom vehicle). The road calls again and I am determined to test the limits of this new Pathfinder. The first warm breeze of summer brought a big change, a new SMV with plenty of miles ahead and a new warranty awaiting testing. So down the road we go (with the A/C cranking and the heated seats keeping our butts warm).