Starter

One of my long anticipated goals has been the restoration of my father’s 1963 Chevy pickup truck. Left idle following his death, the truck has not known any highway except as a piece of freight on a flatbed trailer. So I brought it here to Wisconsin from California a few years ago believing I would eventually find the time and money to do it justice for its long years of service to our family. But good intentions are free and take no time at all. They simply sit on our mental premises just as idle as the truck has been, first at my brother’s place and then at mine.

All of that is about to change, however. I am selling my place, which means the truck has to be moved once again. But that inconvenience is a cause for hope since the proceeds from the disposition of my real estate can now fund the resurrection of a personal piece of property, a family heirloom; the one in which I learned to drive a stick, dated, drove to the beach with surf boards in the back, and made many a road trip exploring California’s scenic beauty.

The new challenge to fulfilling my restoration aspirations is that without a place of my own in which to do the work, I am dependent on finding, renting covered space where the truck can reside while being made over. And this is where having good friends is the equivalent of having money in the bank. It cost me $27.60 to move my precious Chevy to a new home. That was the price of lunch for me and a couple of friends. One provided the means of transportation and the other the location where the work can be done, rent free.

The prospect of now being able to begin the truck’s disassembly as the starting point for a glorious return to highway heaven is extremely pleasing. Anytime a good intention becomes a reality is a reason to pause and give thanks for everyone and everything contributing to such a long awaited transformation. Just how long it will take is inconsequential. When you are retired you have no deadlines to meet. The point is to do your best for both the truck and yourself by doing the best possible job and to enjoy the process for the duration.

And while the truck will never bear the type of burdens it once endured when it carried my folk’s camper on a long vacation or was loaded to the max when we or our friends needed to move to a new apartment, it will partake in new road trips. Speed will not be a factor as those roads less travelled will hold the greatest appeal to my wayfaring imagination. Nor will miles per gallon enter into the equation, nor miles per day. A fifty-plus year old voyager deserves to ramble at its leisure, staying in rhythm with the meandering wishes of its driver; the true starter sitting behind the wheel, not the one under the hood.

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