A Texas Life in Cars

Kickin' in my 'vette. Pre-#blissdom hotroddin' fun. #ChevyBliss

In honor of the Chevy Corvette I am driving to the Blissdom Conference in Dallas this week, I thought I would share a few automotive memories from my Texas past…

The first memory of a car I have was the time I smashed my forehead on the dash of a 1970 Buick Estate Wagon that my mother wrecked. It was night and I came to as they were stitching my eyebrow in the back of a lit-up ambulance.  We moved in with my grandparents for a while when my parents split, and for a brief while, I left city life and embraced the slow pace of the country. Milking cows. Chasing barn cats. Catching frogs in the muddy pond. Jumping from hay bail to hay bail…

On that farm, my grandpa had a Chevrolet Truck, and among other things, it was always full of hay and mud boots. I won’t mention the scorpion incident. Come to think of it, I don’t remember EVER riding in the front of that truck. I was always in the back, or on the tail gate, or holding on to the edge of the cab and riding smack on the top as Pawpaw rode through the pasture to feed his cattle.

Silverado #marchphotoaday #iphonetx #country #retro #old #rustic #truck #blue #texas #chevy #jj #gang_family

His 70’s yellow Chevy Truck became an 80’s Teal Blue Silverado as I grew. I can remember having tailgate parties on the back of this truck, and watermelon seed spitting contests. When I see this truck now, still slowly sinking in to the red Texas dirt on the farm, I always imagine my grandpa in his overalls, smelling like Old Spice.

We moved back to Houston and left my cousins and the fresh milk behind. Many troubled years later, I managed to mature enough to earn a driver’s license of my own. Mama gave me her ’78 Monte Carlo as my first car. I’m pretty sure it had over 200,000 miles on it when I started driving it. It floated like a boat over the road – hence the name I gave it, “Mr. Cloud”. As embarrassed as I was to drive it, I was never afraid of having a wreck. There was just no way a metal tank built like that was going to suffer much with all the newer, lighter cars on the road by the late 1980’s.

Monte Carlo 1978 #chevy (my first car - "Mr. Cloud")

When I left for college, the Monte Carlo went to the scrap yard. I wish I had written down how many miles was on the odometer when it finally retired. I tried out a Honda Civic and drove it another 270,000 miles before the Oldsmobile dealer towed it from my driveway after I purchased my first minivan. I thought I was all grown up after I conquered car-seat installation and owned a vehicle with an automatic side door. At least it impressed the two kids we had then.

During our minivan years, my husband tinkered with refurbishing a 20th Anniversary T-Top Trans-Am, and bought his Mom’s green Camero to have as a back up car when the other one was in the shop or the garage. Eventually he put them in the auto trader and sold them BOTH on the same day – to the same person! He loved that Trans-Am. It took a while before he forgave me for making him sell it.

Our next car was a Buick Regal. Supercharged. I got a taste of a new magnitude of torque. Nothing like a fast car to boost your good mood. Our black Regal belonged to two other family members before it was finally wrecked.

In 2004, I was looking for a Chevy Suburban. The dawn of the SUV had come. With our two kids and prolific roadtripping (read: luggage and moving boxes), we needed that third row seat for grandparents, cousins, friends, and to lay flat and pack the rear end sky high. I have actually put an entire 8 foot, 15 gallon tree in my “trunk”, and I’m STILL driving my 2004 … FORD. Yes, my husband forced me to test drive a Lincoln Navigator, a Chevy Tahoe, and a Ford Expedition before making a decision… and the Ford dealer in Houston was offering a decked out Eddie Bauer edition for the same price as the base model Tahoe. The Suburban was way out of range.

Now that I have over 185 thousand miles on my SUV, and have grown out of the need to have a new vehicle every three or four years, I’m set on driving my Ford until the doors fall off. Thankfully, the only thing I have had to do to my Ford in all these years is overhaul the transmission (about a year ago). The maintenance and repairs are SO much cheaper with American vehicles. The Honda was a nightmare..

Since I have an allergy to car payments – and my Ford hasn’t died yet, I sure love the fact that every now and then, my friends at Chevy let me lease a fun new vehicle to adventure in. I6 drove a SWEET Traverse to the Allume/Relevant conference in 2010. My husband adored that vehicle.

Vroooooooooom vrooooooom! #ChevyBliss (I love you @chevytexan)

This year they have offered me a FINE Corvette Grand Sport – complete with racing stripe and fully automatic convertible roof. They have the best customer service in the history of automobiles.

So now I have a pair of cowgirl boots, a shiny Chevy, and a ticket for a fabulous weekend in Dallas. What more could a Texas cowgirl mama need to follow her bliss and be refreshed?

♡ drove this little flirt for the first time this afternoon ♡ fast is an understatement #ChevyBliss #Blissdom @chevytexan

I hope you’ll drive along with me on Twitter (search for the #ChevyBliss hashtag – or just the #Blissdom tag for everyone at Blissdom).

I’ll be taking pictures and hugging friends – and recharging my Heather batteries this weekend… and will try to pop in here and keep you in the loop!

{ Vroooooooom!!! }

In Him,

Heather

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