I had planned on bringing you the second installment of my three part series on Building Books but I had to take a pause to share with you what a glorious top down driving week this past week was. I know my fellow convertible owners will appreciate this and my fellow Memphian convertible owners even more so. An advantage of living in the South usually means many days for top down driving but in Memphis we seem to have only two seasons: summer and winter. While winters are usually fairly mild, summers can be real scorchers. And when the August heat spills into September with 90+ temperatures, we convertible owners long for cool mornings and cool nights; the kind we sometimes don’t get until October.
Being a hard-core convertible owner for the past 16 years—one with a willingness to drive in the winter with the top down and the heater full blast or in the summer with the top down and the AC on—finding cool weather is a real cause for celebration.
In the past, I have suffered through the really hot and the really cold weather—times when one might question the sanity of driving a convertible year round—ever optimistic that pleasant weather is just around the corner.
But now that I have more than one car to choose from, I usually reserve my top down driving in the little red Miata to the weekends and my Fiat 500 serves as my daily driver. So when Tuesday after Labor Day rolled around this week, the first workday of the week when I would normally drive to the condo after work to swap cars, the weather seemed almost fall like when I came out from work. I checked the weather and found that highs were going to be in the 80s and lows in the 60s with no chance of rain all week, perfect weather for a convertible. I knew I wasn’t going to being swapping cars this week.
So for four glorious days this week, I drove into work with the top down and the wind in my hair. I listened to my usual podcasts on the way in: Car Talk (always a good laugh for a Monday), Marketplace Money, NPR Books Podcast, and Travel with Rick Steves, enjoying them even more than usual while stealing glances at the blue sky overhead. I also had time to listen to Pandora streaming over the phone on my Steely Dan station and even the non-Steely Dan songs that played just enhanced my driving experience even more!
I found that I drove in to work a little faster than normal, zipping quickly around the few curves I encounter on my regular route to work. I was reminded of my fun top down drives on the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Tail of the Dragon (a story for another time). If I closed my eyes while sitting at a traffic light, I could almost picture the winding, tree lined roads that had brought me such pleasure. My only disappointment each day was arriving at work, not because I dreaded going into work, but saddened that my fun little drive was over.
Sadly the heat is back (it is 95 as I write this) and more mid-90 weather is on tap for the week. So after spending the night at the condo this weekend, I drove home in my Fiat for what will be just a normal week of driving to work. Not that my little Fiat isn’t fun to drive because it is and it has all the latest technology my 2002 Miata doesn’t have—USB port for static free iPod listening, Blue Tooth connectivity, trip computer. But it’s not a convertible. I know this winter I will be more than thankful for the warmth of its hard top. That’s when I will keep an eye on the weather wondering when that next warm winter day will arrive for a quick car swap and unexpected glorious top down driving.