My first car was a convertible: a 1976 robin’s egg blue VW Super Beetle with a white top. I was the first of my friends to turn 16 and get my license, and we drove all around Savannah, Wilmington, and Tybee Island, Georgia in that car, top down, sun and sand.
Convertibles are the most fun cars, there’s no doubt about it. They are a sign of freedom and fun, they give the best experience of driving: wind and sun on a gorgeous day. They remove the barrier between you and the outside world when you’re on the road. I remember that feeling of wind on my face, of smelling the salt marsh on the causeway and the ocean at the beach.
Later, when my husband and I were courting, long after the Beetle was gone and I’d left for college and gotten a more dependable car, he drove a soft-top Jeep Wrangler, navy blue with a tan top. Taking the top down and having the doors off was even more wild and wilderness feeling than the Bug. Brian and I drove Jekyll, St. Simons, and Tybee Islands, we drove the Appalachians, we camped, we were carefree.
When we lived in Florida, convertibles weren’t as attractive as they had once been. It was very hot there. We’d see someone sitting at a traffic light with the top down in July, their bald spot burning, the heat rising from asphalt unbearable. I liked my closed up car with air conditioning in Florida.
But now we live someplace with seasons, someplace that more times than not has perfect convertible weather. I think how fun it would be to put the top down, pop in some Tom Petty, and go for a drive. Every time I see someone in a convertible on a TV show (Don Draper on Mad Men), I want one again.
For the month of April, I will publish a 10-minute free write each day. Minimal editing. No story. Just thoughts spilling onto the page. Trying to get back into the writing habit.