Hi there folks! I purchased a 2006 Jeep Commander yesterday from CarMax. Before I say more about the Jeep, let me say, purchasing it through CM was effortless, no hassle, and overall painless experience. Now, onto the important part of our program…

I LOVE the Commander! Broken down so I do not rant (overtly):

1. The windshield is more vertical and provides a much wider expanse for looking out at the world. The stadium seating in the back seat coupled with the squared windshield provides a better riding experience for those in the back. Or so they say. Currently, only the little black beasts have been in the back.

2. Did I mention the huge windows? This makes for smaller blind spots. The windows in the back seat roll ALL the way down. Thank Gawd. A throw back to my childhood. No childproof windows here!!

3. Back up sensors to help with parking, etc. This is GREAT. The height of the back windows does make it a challenge to see what’s behind me.

4. Skylights over back seats, sunroof over front seats.

5. Leather seats (will help with the errant dog paws and fur) with seat warmers (hmmm not that it is ever teeth-rattling cold here). It also has a DVD player in the back— not sure when I’ll use that. Meh. Came with it.

6. Real 4×4 with shifter for Hi/Low; not the all the time 4×4 system which isn’t as strong as the shifter system.

7. Tow hitch/towing capabilities. Hey. I could use that. I just might.

I know that most people don’t use SUVs as they were intended to be used, hence the multitude of ‘luxury’ SUVs on the market. I didn’t want (or need) one of THOSE. I need a rugged vehicle that will accomidate my lifestyle in addition to my work needs. Yes, it will put on a lot of hwy miles. However, it will put on a fair amount of off-road miles too. You know those sort of miles— the ones where I’m out in the rain, or right after the rain, driving up and down those rolling hills of CA. You know the ones— you’re at the crest and you can’t see the bottom because the hill is so steep, the two-track so rutted, your heart is in your throat and your only option is to crank the music and head down the hill. Surfing, fishtailing your way. Err, that’s the road, right? Err, okay, here we go…

After nearly 7 years, I’m turning in the work vehicle. I’m tired of having it, honestly. Parking in my neighborhood is problematic without the registered sticker. Work pays .50 cents a mile and while I do drive a lot for work, I’m not that concerned about putting miles on the Jeep. In the last 22 months, I’ve put nearly 24,000 on the work Jeep. Yup, that’s a high number. I anticipate paying off the Jeep in a few years thanks to mileage reimbursement. The Commander has 22,000 miles on it and I paid below blue book for it. It is rugged. All Jeeps are, for the most part.

I think that’s the real reason why I purchased the Commander. I know Jeeps. I am comfortable in them; I know what I can do in one and when driving 4×4, you need to know your vehicle, your abilities, and its capabilities. I chose the Commander over the the Cherokee which has a wicked blind spot. The Cherokee’s back cargo area curves down in a hatchback fashion which is inconvienant and problematic. Because of the dogs, my work gear, life gear, etc., I need the space. I’m sure an argument could be made that I don’t, but I feel as though I’ve put the Jeeps to good use in the past, this one will be no different.

But right now, my mind isn’t thinking about work. I’m taking the next week off to relax, garden, play in the studio. I do have a few work-related tasks to do but I’ll be able to get them done without the mounting stress which has been my existence for way too long. I will plot my next great adventure…There’s a few camp spots in particular that will need the Jeep to access. Sigh. Camping. In the middle of nowhere. RIGHT ON.

Summer time… sweeeeeeeeeeeet.