Sunday, July 12, 2015

At Home in the Hills and a Car Story

Our retreat bedroom
Smokey Rose and I are at our home in the hills, and we are very happy. We both love this place a lot and feel so relaxed and comfortable here. I can't say we do all that much that is interesting to write about. We are on retreat.

The shelf on the left is all knitting books.
The shelf on the right is about half weaving and other craft books.
Like always, I have been doing some organizing and neatening things up. Again this year I focused on books. I kind of feel like I am getting towards the end of that little chore because I just don't buy that many paper books any more. When I do buy a book, I think a lot about storing it now. Do I want to give precious shelf space for this? Or do I just want to read it to find out what the author wrote? How likely AM I to re-read even a part of this book? Really? REALLY? Probably the biggest category of books I intend to keep are knitting and craft books. I DO prefer to take these books in hand and page through them to find ideas and instructions.

President Taft, everyone's favorite, right?

I HAVE gotten out a little bit. I went to Rapid City twice. Downtown continues to improve. Maybe that idea of all the statues of the presidents was a good one.

The new Main Street Square seems to be a hit, at least in the summer. It is clearly a destination for local kids to go and play in the fountain, which I have to say, looks like sooooo much fun.

Playing in the water...what a great way
to spend some time in the summer

And right now no one is working on the really beautiful granite statue, Passage of Wind and Water by Masayuki Nagase. I am not 100% if it is totally finished, but what is there is lovely. This is not to be missed.
One section of Passage of Wind and Water

The reason I ended up making two trips to Rapid within one week, something I don't usually do, is because of this.
2105 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid, touring model

This is car #5 in my lifetime. Number one was the 1973 bright yellow AMC Rabbit, which I bought just a week or so before I left St. Paul MN to go out into the working world. I sold to a friend from work in 1978 just before I moved to New York City in order to go back to school for my masters' degree.
Bright yellow. Just before leaving home to go join the Navy.

It got itself encased in ice outside of my apartment house in Columbus Ohio from early January until April. People didn't believe me when I said my car is encased in the ice on the street,for months, but it was. 1978 was a really bad winter all over the eastern US. We had a very bad storm in early January where the street drains got all blocked, and then the temperature did not go above freezing until sometime in April. I sold the car still encased in the ice, and my friend had to work for days with major sized tools to chop it out. My friend then drove it to Key West Florida where he ended up staying as best I know. I think the little car was probably happy in Key West.
1980 red Rabbit
I think the photo is in Illinois on the big road trip from ME to CO

Car two was a red 1980 VW Rabbit which I bought new in NYC using the money I inherited from my Grandma B. Again, I bought it at the very last minute after I graduated and was moving to start the next job in Maine. I picked it up just in time to load it up with my kitties and move to Maine. Another friend drove the car in the city itself and out of it because I was too frightened to actually drive inside NYC.

My friend Donna and I with my two kitties, Simone and Emma, drove it across the country on a memorable road trip in 1986 so I could move to Denver to start going to school again. I sold it in 1990 to my car fix it guy in Denver. for the parts. It had started breaking down regularly; I discovered the hard way that AAA only gives you so many instances of roadside assistance. The car never had any of the following: FM radio, air conditioning, cruise control, comfort. I really was not all that sorry to give it up.

Once again, I had graduated as a midwife (not yet with the PhD), and I was starting a new job in South Dakota (notice a pattern here?). I was just about to leave when I decided to give up on the Rabbit. I needed a new car in a hurry, so I got a loan and used the AAA car buying service. I thought I wanted a Toyota, but the blue Honda, car three, was available immediately, so I took that. I drove it pretty much right from the lot, to home to pick up the kitties and then out of town to Rosebud. (Who else DOES this? This is not the normal way to acquire new cars.)

I kept the Honda 17 years. It took me from Rosebud, to North Carolina, back to Rosebud and then on to Salt Lake City. I ended up just selling it because it would not die. The a/c broke ( & could not be fixed because it was a freon based system and over the years freon had been banned) about two years before I gave up on it. I discovered how miserable driving was in the west and midwest in the summer time is without a/c. Totally a horrible experience. Sun and windburn on the left side of my face and left arm. Hearing loss from the wind. Sweating up a storm.  Major headaches just from taking a shopping trip to Rapid. Let's not talk about driving across Wyoming. (How on earth did Donna & I ever manage that Rabbit road trip in June without a/c? I can't remember. Maybe I just thought that's the way things are, because, after all, that's the way things were.)

I sold the Honda for cash on Craigslist in 2007. The buyers were Honda collectors who were pleased as all get out with the car. They said they intended to use it to take their dogs with them on outings.
2004 Subaru Impreza
Car number 4
Once again I needed a car NOW. This time I thought I wanted a Subaru. I found car four at the local dealers on the lot. It was my first used car..... dark green 2004 Impreza. I liked it just fine and it served me well. It made me a believer in the Subaru ad phrase - Love, it's what makes a Subaru and Subaru. I had every intention of keeping it until 2016 after I would have been retired.

But life stepped in. Someone from Cheyenne, Wyoming who owned the very same car I have now, parked it right beside the Impreza in the University of Utah Hospital parking garage in June. I came to go home and found this car lined up right next to mine, and I was just blown away. Desire took over my mind 100%. I want crazy. I wanted that car, and I wanted in NOW.

The family finally had received the settlement from my mom's retirement condo, and her estate had been closed out. This only took from 2008, and we settled for only a percentage of what we might should have gotten. The bottom line is that I had some ready cash in my savings account, so I decided why wait?

Car number five is the best one I have ever owned. I got all the bells and whistles because those things came as a package. I wanted the heated seats and the moon roof. I got the leather covered shift knob  and a few other things too. This car makes me feel like I am a grown up.

I'll be using it to start my retirement travels as soon as I can. Why wait?
Car #5, the very best one ever.

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