Monday, May 02, 2005

Tow-Away Zone

We had planned to stay in this place until after our children were grown. We had five- and ten-year plans for the house, the land, and projects we'd brought home.

Matt, when we first started hanging out, was famous for projects. He loves tinkering with old International Harvester trucks and Chrysler Newports. From him I learned how to change oil, check a thermostat, flush a radiator, check the timing of an engine, oil bearings, and so on. A dream date for us (even though I didn't know we were dating at the time) consisted of changing the sparkplugs and distributor cap of my 1980 Mustang when it was 10 degrees outside.

One more thing I learned was how to get towed. Because of the projects we adopted when we lived at the old house, it became necessary to learn how to tow a vehicle, and how to drive the vehicle being towed. My moment of triumph was being towed backwards up an ice-covered hill in a 1980 Land Cruiser by a 1970 IH pickup. A lesser person would have ended up in the ditch.

When we moved here, we had unlimited room for projects. I fell in love with International Scouts, and we planned on renovating one for my grocery-getter. We picked up a couple more IHs for parts trucks. A friend brought his Land Cruiser over to go to seed in one of our fields. Matt's dad towed down his 1959 Chevy pickup to look quaint in the lean-to by the machinery shed.

All these projects were derailed, mostly because of kids. It's hard to pull out a transmission when you're keeping one eye on the toddler who's aiming for the jack handle. This property turned out to have other, more pressing projects as well, and it was easy to let the cars quietly malinger, knowing we had years ahead of us to bring them back to full glory.

But now we're leaving. Matt's first chore was to tow out the IHs to prepare them for departure. John rode in the bed of the towing pickup while I navigated the two Scouts and the Chevy out of their beds, where they were threatening to take root. The smell of rust and oil and mouse took me back a few years. I used to spend time under the hood or under the body. I had planned to go back to it, but didn't.

The two Scouts look like curious cows in this picture, don't they? I would look so hawt driving that one in front.


  1. Interesting timing with this topic, as I had just been wondering what you would be doing with all of these "project vehicles." Are they really all moving north with you? Are you putting them on a transport, or a train? I need to see this...

  2. Heh, some writer I am.

    We're selling them. Everything must go!