Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Cars...Not the Movie

I thought it was funny that so many people showed an interest in our cars.  <laughter>  We've had fun pushing them along the trail, getting jump started along the trail (until I started carrying our handheld portable jump starter) and generally clunking along.

All of my people (that's hubby and my boys) can work on cars. In 22 years of marriage, we've never had a car payment.  We generally buy used when we have cash to pay (which means we get some very cheap cars!). When my husband bought his 2000 Pontiac, I think he put half down and made a $150 payment once, then paid the few thousand off when he got his bonus. Other than that, no car payments in 22 years. I'm proud of that.

Over the years, my husband and boys have spent a lot of time at the junkyard getting car parts. No, really, they do. I'll share one story before getting into this weekend's junkyard find. Many years ago, my oldest decided that he wanted to use the BB gun. It was below freezing. He shot the basketball goal backboard, the BB ricocheted and hit the window of the Suburban. Frozen windows do not fare well when hit by BBs.

Junkyard Windows Work!
When my husband got home he said to the oldest, "Son, you have two options, buy a new window which costs a lot of money, or you can go to the junkyard and learn how to remove a window and install it yourself." Matthew picked option 2, and that's why I'm driving around the district in a beat up Suburban with one window that has "good" written on it.  It took him two attempts at removing the window from an old junkyard Suburban to get the good one out in usable shape. Life lessons. I suppose if you are driving around in cars with junkyard parts, they figure you don't care if the writing never comes off.

When I confronted Kay Hagan, it was right after I'd been up in Cincy with the boys. My Suburban's driver's side door handle was broken. In order to get out, I had to roll the window down, open it using the outside door handle, then roll the window back up. My husband procured another door handle at the junkyard not long after that confrontation and fixed it.  Our list of junkyard fixes is long. Our VW, His Pontiac and old Bessie, my Suburban.

My VW only has heat while you are driving at a decent rate of speed, at idle......it just doesn't work. Hey, the seat heater on the driver's side is just fine. Violet, as I have named her, has over 200,000 miles and keeps on going. Parts fall off, we toss them in the trunk and go on our merry way.  Bessie has over 282,000 miles on her, and the heat works just fine. We bought her with 125,000 miles. That's what I'm driving as I go door to door. She's got enough room to carry boxes of shirts and signs, sign stakes and flyers. And...she's still running.
My Boys Working on Bessie

This weekend, my middle and the hubster fixed the steering gear and put in a new pitman arm. It was quite a task. They made several trips to the junk yard and auto parts store. They had the job done except for the ONE bolt that holds it all together. The first bolt didn't fit the old pitman arm, so they got a new pitman arm. Still not a fit. The second bolt they found at the junkyard fit, but stripped and when you steered old Bessie, the entire bolt rotated. Yesterday, just before 10am, Chris had her running with the help of a shop and $46. Since he'd already done all the hard work, they got a new bolt put on and she was ready to go.

I receive messages from people who tell me, "Keep sharing about your cars, I love it." "Your car stories crack me up." "Seeing your posts about cars makes me realize you understand the plight of the average American," etc.....

My cars may get as many shares as my guns. We have so many memories in Bessie- we drove across the country on vacation in her. We've taken trips to hospitals across America in her. She's been a good  truck. Here's to 400,000 miles.  She's doing a good job of taking the message of #TeamWeThePeople across the district.

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