Can I get an amen?!
Seven years ago today, I bought my 1980 Toyota Pickup.
I drove it from Seattle to Everett on under a clear, starry night sky. The windows were inoperable and the brakes encouraged me to take the very long way home on the back roads. I spent nearly every day doing something on it for the first year. The brakes. The windows (many, many attempts). The cleaning. Exhaust manifold gasket. Carb adjustment. Then both calipers seized. I enjoyed doing all that because I knew it was a good truck, and I had a lot of spare time back then.
I've moved twice with it. It slipped in and out of daily driver duties as I shuffled through other vehicles. Countless couches loaded, mountains of bark, acres of garbage, and cut branches have graced its bed. It's paid for itself countless times over.
Getting nostalgic as aging people often do, I dug around in my paperwork and found the hand-written bill of sale. 2-20-14. Seven years... It really sneaks up on you. I had no idea I'd have it this long.
Though I guess it's not too surprisingly it's lasted this long. Since we moved into this home a few years ago, it's always garaged. I drive it maybe 1,500 miles a year. I try not to drive it in the rain or when salt is in used in the parking lots of businesses I patronize during those colder weeks. And when something new needs fixing, I've been making time... Basically buying time.
I took it out for a spin on Wednesday, with the roads dry and clear. It is definitely not as spry as a few years ago, but the feeling I get reaching for those long throws still feels like the night I drove it home. Anyway... Those are my feelings for the day.
Thanks for reading.
My parents have had their hands full with various estate and family drama, dying relatives, so and so forth. As such they've spend more time on the road than in their own home for 2020. So there has been some deferred maintenance...
Specifically, their roof which I wonder if it may be as old as me had its own ecosystem. Branches, moss up to 2" think in some places, and plants growing out of their gutters. I had repeatedly offered to come clean up there for. Nonono, they say. It's fine maybe in spring.
Suddenly a text from my mom Friday night. "Hey, son! Tomorrow would be a GREAT day for..." Didn't even need to read the rest.
So here's four hours of work below. No before photos because it was that bad I didn't wanna show it.
Best of all was the frozen -- FROZEN! -- layer of soil and debris under most of the moss. The entire 8'x8' corner above the american flag side was solid green before I started. The gutters were not clogged -- because there was no gutter. Only a rooftop garden conveniently shaped like a gutter. I also discovered cracking in some of my patchwork from high school (this was a long time ago, folks). Break out the roof tar. Luckily I've tarred this damn roof on and off since I was 15, so I'm pretty slick at it now.
We concluded, after me pointing out the thousands of flaws, including what I believe to be an area of dry-rotted soffit, that they will get a new roof this year come hell or high water. Not like I've been telling them so for the past five years or so. No, no, no. Now that I'm a homeowner, it's obvious my dad's stubbornness is very apparent in myself. My poor wife.
In reality, I was very happy to do it -- my parents are over 70 so if I can keep them off a roof, I call that a win.
Time for a beer.
I'm not taking any pleasure in this, just thinking about something completely unrelated that's making me giggle.
People often throw out their calendars before turning to the 13th month.
At least from an incredibly short-sighted, self-serving point of view -- mine.
Because the gub'mint waived taxes on unemployment earnings up to $10,200.00 as of last week or so, my federal tax return just flipped from owing Uncle Sam 1300 bucks, to now getting a fat refund.
I think I'm gonna buy a nice hummmm nothing, because I never buy anything.