by Mike Brinkley

(Chesapeeake, Va.)

Jeep Wrangler (file photo)

Jeep Wrangler (file photo)

When my daughter was in high school I could never understand her fascination with Jeeps.

I mean, with the short wheel base I considered them unsafe and at the time not all that appealing. Just one more thing that added to our already strained relationship. Never-the-less I did my due-diligence to read all I could about Jeeps. I found a sweet 2004 with very few miles and presented it to her for graduation. She was thrilled.

Within a year I bought myself a beautiful slate blue 1997 TJ. By that time I was in love. Moreover, and the reason I’m writing this, is how those 2 Jeeps helped heal our relationship. The story just had to be told. It was incredible. I still get chill bumps when I think about it. Many great times on the beach.

However, to my dismay, after a couple years, I found extensive rust on the control arms and frame of my Jeep. After 2 “professional” opinions it would be too costly for me to fix. But even that part of the story has a good ending. I ended up selling it to my neighbor across the street whose brother-in-law restores antiques.

I’m happy the Jeep was restored but for 2 years I was Jeep-less and it didn’t help seeing my Jeep, now owned by my neighbor, merrily traveling up and down our street. I promised myself if I was to own another Jeep I would not seek it out but it would find me.

Three years ago I was perusing through my company’s paper when I came across an ad for a 2000 Wrangler. The description made me curious enough to make an appointment. When I saw it, my jaw dropped, and I’m pretty sure I was drooling.

Garage kept, white with a 3 inch lift; new raised white letter B. F. Goodrich all terrain tires; chromed Crown Tubular front and rear bumpers; and yes, of course, KC lamps mounted perfectly. And the best part?…49,000 original miles.

Needless to say that I jumped on it like “white on rice”. There is much pride in ownership and I get comments like “good lookin’ Jeep” wherever I go. And even though I’ve only put 9000 miles on it since I’ve had it, it’s brought me a great deal of joy.

Now days since I retired the Jeep mostly sits idle. That’s why I kind of want to pay it forward and let it bring joy to someone else.

The tale of these 3 Jeeps is a tale of how God sometimes uses inanimate objects to heal broken relationships and bring joy to people.

Thanks for letting me tell my story.