Driving To Church In The Willys Jeep

My husband turned left, following the GPS, onto a road I hadn’t been on in many years.  When he first made the turn I noticed houses that didn’t used to be there.  I took note of the changes, in the appearance and the ‘feel’.

Then he took a curve and suddenly the road was just as it had been all those years ago.  As narrow as the vehicle was wide.  With trees growing to the road, and making a canopy over parts of it.

Nostalgia exploded.

I laughed when I told him the stories of dad driving us to church in the old Willys Jeep.  The road had gravel on it now.  Back then it was dirt.  Or mud.  Depending on the season.  We too would be covered in dirt, or mud, depending on the season.  Dad was never too worried about it.  We spent our weekends camping and if we were stinky and dirty, we went to church stinky and dirty.

I could see us.  Clearly.  Dad driving with his army fatigues hat on.  Us kids piled in, on top of one another.  Holding on to each other or jeep parts, as we bounced down the road.  There was always more of us in that jeep than that jeep was designed to hold, maybe as few as three, maybe as many as seven or eight.  There were no such things as car seats or seat belts.  If the windshield was up, it had a hand turned windshield wiper.  If it was raining we didn’t always stay dry even with the cover on.

Willys Jeep. Church. The 70's. Kids.


That little jeep hauled us to praise the Lord as we prayed many a times for it to make it.  Many was the day we had to push that old jeep to get it running.  Dad could have taken another vehicle.  But I suspect if he had, I wouldn’t have remembered it as well.

The part of the road that had not changed in all these years only lasted about one mile.

Too soon, as we drove onto paved road, I sadly saw that jeep full of kids with a man in his army fatigue hat, fading away.

What a great mile that was.

Driving the jeep to church.












34 thoughts on “Driving To Church In The Willys Jeep

  1. This delightful memory of yours takes me back eons ago, more decades than the total years of your life. My eldest sister’s first car was a used Willys Station Wagon. In the front, there was only a drivers seat…no passenger seat. There was just a space and then two steps down to the passenger side door. On that space we placed a cushion and I rode “shotgun”. Oh, the places we went and the things we saw&did could fill a book! That relic went to college with her and beyond. Thank-you for unfolding another of my brain’s convolutions to some sweet memories. P.S. Fantabulous art, love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a very special memory, Colleen. Isn’t it funny how something we experience can trigger such sweet recollections. I loved your illustration, too. Just perfect!


    • Thank you Debra 🙂 and yes, you are right. I was not expecting that to hit me so strongly. Maybe it was because my husband was driving, instead of me. Which is how I would have been on that road back then, with someone else (dad) driving.


  3. I would need a ghostwriter, I’m not up to the task! As many of those who were victims of our misadventures and were not enlightened of the perpetrator’s identities are now long gone…no fear of reprisal any longer exists. Several mailbox deaths come to mind, a birdbath or two, numerous flowerbeds, etc. Elder sister had a heavy gas foot, slow on the brakes and a demolisher in reverse.


    • Demolisher in reverse!!!!! I had instant visions! What great memories for you Ellen. I think a lot about that old Willys Jeep. I went into an antique store and saw an old gas tank, I immediately knew it was a Willys gas tank. Made me so nostalgic. I currently drive a Jeep model that pays homage to the old Willys 🙂


  4. Oh, my goodness. I used to drive a Willys sedan. Very few of them around. Like you, I have so many fond memories and your blog helped jog them in my mind. Thank you for your nostalgic journey.


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