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Mrs. Wooten’s Wagoneer

The Jeep Grand Wagoneer’s design virtually never changed, making it one of the few automobiles that connected entire generations of people.


Kelly and I had long since fallen in love with the classic lines of the Grand Wagoneer. The legacy of the car is renowned; many credit the Wagoneer for inspiring the concept of a luxury SUV. It competed with Range Rovers because it offered finer appointments to a truck-based platform more often associated with rugged austerity. Wagoneers were a staple of WASP culture, the preppy automobile of choice for lawyers and doctors and their private school kids.

These days, the cars are symbols of a vintage culture that floats further and further away. Put a Christmas tree on the roof rack and a wreath on the front grill, and you have enough Lands End kitsch that you can probably leave the kids out of your holiday card photo. I’ve always wondered about who drives these things and what kinds of lifestyles they might lead.

So when we spotted a Grand Wagoneer around town, it was interesting to see not just the car but who was behind the wheel.

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white house

On the Exhaustion of Rage, and Rhythm

WORK

 

I’m making my world a little smaller on purpose.

My new job is going well and keeping me busy–the entire week last week was essentially booked wall to wall with meetings and appointments, all good–so my workday is more or less a blur between the hours of morning and evening. Because of the typical workday hours at Mitchell, and because of preschool hours, I am often the last person in the office and the last person out at the end of the day. Wohali, one of the college’s security team, stops by to lock up the house, and I have to ask him to come back later.

Once home, I try to keep the office out of the couple of hours I’ll get to see the kiddos before bed. The 3.6 mile commute between my driveway and my office is a big deal in that regard–I can work right up until dinner time, squeezing in a few extra things before supper.

The funny thing is that my commute isn’t entirely a new route–it’s just a trip up Broad Street, basically, and I’ve been making the same trip anyway to drop the kids off at preschool for years. (Also incredible: preschool is now across the street from work.) Even so, these days I’m seeing things differently.

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snow backyard

The Common Refrain of a Snowy Weekend

LIFE WITH KIDDOS

The obligatory house-in-the-snow picture. Processed with VSCO with a6 preset.

When it comes to dealing with a winter storm, we all seem to follow the same script.

It’s entertaining to see how similar we are in extraordinary–if not unexpected or familiar–circumstances.

I’m talking, of course, about what we do when it snows in the South. We thin-blooded folk follow predictable routines, flooding the grocery stores in the preceding hours of precipitation to obsessively purchase bread and milk. Further, based on my own trip to the market, we also keenly stocked the ingredients for chili–though not as barren as the bread aisle, the holding places for kidney beans, ground beef, sour cream, and shredded cheddar cheese were noticeably sparse.

Many people my age joke about needing to stock up on wine. My mother, who works at a nursing home, packs an overnight bag in anticipation of working multiple shifts and not being able to make it back to the house. 

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