My Christmas tree can finally come down, nearly a month after the holidays.
Ross is home! We had “Christmas” again at Sassafras House! Ross has two weeks of liberty after he spent four months in a submarine in the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf. They went to port in Bahrain, Diego Garcia, and Fujairah. I’d never heard of Fujairah before–it’s part of the United Arab Emirates. Ross said they make dirt there. Really. And that most of the top soil we buy in bags in the U.S. comes from Fujairah. Hunh. There’s nothing in Diego Garcia, apparently, but there are malls in Bahrain. He bought his wedding tux at a mall in Bahrain, and also purchased Selena’s wedding ring there. Morgan and I have been entertained by his stories. And a lot of cooking has been going on here.
Meanwhile, here at the farm, my old standby 15-year-old Explorer went downhill fast. I love my Explorer. It’s carried sheep, goats, chickens, geese, cats, and Giant Puppies. Its four-wheel-drive braved the road to Stringtown Rising and the icy driveway. It forded the river time after time. It has carried dead deer to the butcher, and it held 11 bales of hay at a time. It’s taken me on uncountable trips, everywhere from the feed store to South Carolina and Illinois. And with the seats down, the back is big enough for a romantic rendezvous, just sayin’. I bought it six years ago, used, cheap–for cash, and never had a car payment. Until this past year, I never had to do more than routine maintenance.
Explorer on the job:
To say I’m attached to this old Explorer would be an understatement. I love it. It took me from the Slanted Little House to Stringtown Rising to Sassafras Farm. It carried me through the most adventurous and dramatic time of my life. Over the past year, family and friends have frequently told me it was time to move on. Get a new car! Noooooooo….. Things started going wrong that weren’t routine maintenance. Major things. I thought, okay, I’ll get that fixed and then everything will be fine again. But then the next major thing. And the next. Gwennie ate the seat belts (all of them) and I haven’t had properly working seat belts in a year. I spent more money on it than I care to think about in the past year. Especially in the past two months. Currently, it has a blown head gasket. And antifreeze is leaking. Again. (After I just had a new water pump installed.) It was finally just time……to stop the bleeding.
This past week has been consumed by trips to car dealerships. Ross took me in his truck. The Explorer is non-moving and stuck in my driveway at the moment. I’m going to sell it as is, probably to someone who’ll take it for parts. I thought hard about what to get, what I really needed. I really don’t use the four-wheel-drive that often now that I live on a paved road. I really don’t need to carry hay or straw that often, or animals very often anymore either. For reliability, price, and gas mileage, I finally decided to get a car. Like, a CAR. Which doesn’t seem very farmerish, but I will manage when I need a truck–beg or borrow. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I don’t need a truck.
I came home with a Chevy Impala. It still doesn’t feel like me, and it won’t be carrying any animals, unless maybe Maia and only after she’s had a bath and is in her tutu. But it has a HUGE trunk and I could totally put a dead deer or two in there on a tarp. It could fit at least four bales of hay in a pinch (I’ll probably try to avoid that) and it can carry a dozen 50-pound bags of feed. It feels smooth and safe and dependable, and I’m not scared of breaking down every time I go out.
The Explorer broke down the final time before I’d taken Goat Burger to the butcher, so I don’t know when or if that will happen now.
He’s so excited!