Sunday, October 22, 2006

Old and aging

I'm up early again... well, early for me on a Sunday morning. It's about 7:00 am, so Kev will be getting out of work in a half-hour & home by 8:00 am.

I am surprised I'm feeling so awake right now. But, there ya go... it's the age thing. Older people always say that can't sleep in late. I know why. Because they have to get up and go pee or because their back or knees or whatever are aching from being in the same prone position for too long. Or both. I was up very late last night (very late for me)... almost midnight, and still I'm up and awake early this morning. Part of it is also that my inner alarm clock has been trained to wake me at about 5:30am because I've been getting up at that time to go to work for so many years, that it is too much of a habit to break. On weekends, I wake, then go back to sleep. Since Kev gets home at 8am, I usually sleep until he comes into the house.

But this morning, I had to pee and my back was killing me. So I'm up. I'm 46 years old, and to me, that doesn't seem old at all. I'm in my 40's. Whoo hoo. But... I'm 4 years away from 50, and that seems a teensy bit old to me. Screw it. I'm old.

Joyce was babysitting yesterday, and she didn't get home until after 11:30pm. I know that I fell asleep every once in a while on the sofa waiting for her to get home (the source of my back ache)... but I just can't go to bed until she's home safe & sound. She'll be 18 years old soon, and I know I will still do this for quite a while... I'm trying to picture my going on to bed and sleeping while she's still out & about after midnight... I know it'll happen, but I'm having trouble picturing it. I had a busy day yesterday, and I was so tired... but I couldn't rest until Joyce was home.

And since Sammy is nearly 12 years old, he'll be doing the late night thing soon enough. He'll be driving in 4 years, when I will be 50... then staying out late and keeping me up through my early 50's...

Holy cow, I'm feeling old.

Speaking of old, we have 2 pickup trucks. The one Kev drives, which we call the "new truck" is a 1999 Chevy Silverado. Kev purchased that truck brand new. That's an important fact in our family, because we almost never buy a new vehicle. The other truck, the "old truck," is also a Chevy. It's a 1978 that Kev bought from an old guy living in a nearby town. Kev bought that truck in either 1981 or 1982, because we married in 1983 and he owned before then. The old truck was in pristine condition when Kev bought it. The owner was a short, old guy... I think he was in his 70's or 80's. He was "interviewing" the men who came to look at his truck to buy it. I don't believe he would have sold it to a woman. He wanted to make sure that Kevin would take excellent care of the truck before he would sell it to him. I remember it so well because it was so odd. The old man met a kindred spirit in Kevin. Kev is just shy of fanatical about taking good care of all vehicles he's ever owned. His 1999 pickup looks practically new on the inside, even though it's been well used. I like that about Kev, because I like my car to be well taken care of... and clean.

So we've had the old truck for at least 24 years. It does look its age. The body is rusting, the dash is faded and cracking and many little things, like the glove box lock, have worn out. We use it mostly for driving around the property, hauling wood and other odd jobs. Both the kids drive it, on the property only & from an early age... which is why Joyce is now a good driver and Sam will be when he gets his license.

But now that we have the tractor, the old truck isn't need to haul wood around our property. Kev did use it lately to haul wood from my sister's place back to ours, though. We have to keep it licensed and street-legal, of course, so we can go fill up the gas tank and do the odd errands with it. It's handy for hauling mulch and buying large items. We have a topper for it, but I don't think we've had it on the truck in years. The new truck has a matching topper that will likely never come off of it... too much trouble to put it back on. So it is nice to have a truck with an open bed...

Kev put a new Monroe plow on it a few years back. I think it cost about two or three grand to get that put on. I remember we used to joke that increased the value of our old truck ten fold when we put the plow on it.

But I tell you what... that old truck is the most dependable vehicle we have ever owned. I remember cold winter mornings when my car wouldn't start, so I would have to go out to the old pickup parked out in the pole barn, move whatever was in front of it (like our old 4-wheeler or the lawn tractor), and start it up and drive it to work. The old truck starts every time, even when it hadn't had the key turned in weeks and weeks.

However, our most recent large purchase made Kev think that we should sell the truck to help fund that purchase. So Kev has been doing a few little odds and ends on it to get it ready to sell. This past week, he drove it into town to get the exhaust system fixed. Turns out we had one of those life-time warranties on the muffler from about 20 years ago. The muffler on the old truck has been in need of replacement for about 3 years, and we put it off because it was going to be about $650 to fix it... since we use the truck on the road so rarely, we delayed. With the forgotten warranty, timely remembered, it cost nothing! Very cool.

After getting the muffler work done, Kev picked me up at work so we could go to lunch together. As I was walking out, looking at that big old pickup, I reached a conclusion. I discussed it with Kev over lunch, and discovered he feels exactly as I do about the old truck.

We are keeping the old truck. We're going to slowly begin making all the repairs and replacements needed to the body work and interior. The heart of the truck, the engine, needs little work. It's not an unusually beautiful or unique old truck, but it's our old truck. She stays in the family.

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