"How much did he pay for that piece of junk?" I wondered after my husband, Brady, escorted me outside to view the vehicle he purchased that fall day. He drove home a 1980 Jeep CJ5.
Brady proudly beamed as he proceeded to unravel the story of negotiations which resulted in paying less than the original Craigslisted advertisement for the classic. "This Jeep has potential," Brady pitched.
"Honey, it looks bad; it resembles an old jalopy," I replied without restraint.
Candy-corn orange, sunshine yellow, and flat black spray paint speckled the exterior of that four-wheel drive automobile. Paint chipped, it peeled, and it bubbled on various parts of the metal exterior. Parallel to one another with a faint resemblance of a couple of steel pipes welded together by rust masqueraded the front and back bumpers.
After years of weathering in the outdoors the bikini top, removable doors, and seat covers looked like they belonged in our trailer earmarked for the "dump." Aromatically the vehicle reminded me of an old attic that contained the odors of dust, mold, and mildew cocktailing in a chaotic union.
Regardless of what I said or how I felt, my husband, determined to prove me wrong, and started work on the sports utility vehicle. My spouse scraped and sanded it as he recruited a painter to join him, and later convinced this meticulous automobile specialist to use his paint space for completion of the process.
Parts and pieces aged beyond recognition Brady reconciled with new items. Hours of difficult labor turned into weekends-those turned into weeks, and overnight work parties became the routine. If I had not viewed the evidence found in the pictures of the transformed vehicle daily, I would have thought my dearly beloved was having an extramarital affair.
Slowly I became converted, "Maybe potential could be seen in this automobile," I thought. As primer coats of paint applications began to dry, my faith in my husband's dream started to develop into a reality. Although jealousy stalked me like a lion after its prey--"He spends more time with that car than he does with me," I computed.
Nevertheless I supported my husband's progress with words of encouragement and kept my bitterness to myself. Like an old dormant rose bush in winter transforms into a beautiful blooming floral display in the spring, that CJ5 began a metamorphosis.
Finally the day of unveiling arrived-the day my husband drove his freshly renovated automobile back from the paint shop. Metallic Viper Blue draped the interior and exterior metals; a crisp black soft top completed the ensemble, with flat black diamond plate which accessorized it to mint condition.
Not unlike a model walks the catwalk, Brady drove around the driveway through the yard while he accelerated the Chevy small-block engine as the low, deep, rumble of the new exhaust took the final bow.
Unable to maintain composure, I applauded and breathed in the pleasant aroma of recent shine compound applied to the finished interior. While pleasantly exhaling with delight, I touched the newly cleaned vinyl upholstery, bubbling with enthusiasm I inquired, "May I take the Jeep for a drive?"
True to the story of "The Little Red Hen," my husband retorted, "You have such a good sense of humor, honey-of course you may not drive my jeep."
***Click "next" above the picture to see the restoration process of this 1980 Jeep CJ5
~To read more of StephEaly's: http://www.allvoices.com/users/StephEaly