Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Uncles and Cousins and such

Spent the weekend in Coberg,  Oregon. My cousin Ginger lives there. We were close when we were growing up, but their family moved away about when we hit our teens, and I lost contact with her for about 35 years. When we finally got back together, it was like we had never lost contact.
Going to see her was enough of a reason to drive the five hours, but there were a couple of other reasons for making the trip. My Uncle Ben and his wife Vicki were visiting from Morelia Mexico. They don't get up this way very often, so it was great seeing them. He had just received an award that made him "Generalissimo de Morelia" the highest award a foreigner can receive from the city/county. He has already received the highest award a foreigner can receive from the Government of Mexico.
The reason he was up this way, is because his Brother, my Uncle Fred was in the hospital, and in addition to being diabetic and having one foot amputated, has been diagnosed with bone cancer, so his future is very uncertain.
My Uncle Fred and I were fishing buddies for years. Over on the farm, on Sunday, after milking and after church, we pretty much always went fishing. Stream fishing for trout. That area of Idaho had some of the best trout fishing water anywhere.
When we went to see him in the hospital, when he saw me he started out with "Remember the time you and I went up Deep Creek? The limit was 15 fish and we brought home 30 trout and one whitefish." That is indeed one of my favorite fishing memories. the biggest fish was 18", several around 15", not a one under 10". I have never seen a finer stringer of fish.
 Long gone are the days of 15 fish limits.
We traded fishing stories and other matters of great importance.
He knows that we are having a family reunion in Sandpoint in August. When I was about to leave, He stopped me and said "Allen, I want you to do me a favor. When you go to the reunion, I want you to go fish Deep Creek for me."
Of course I will, but it won't be easy. So many memories are tied up in the stretch of creek between the two bridges.
I hope it rains so no one can see the tears in my eyes.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

So damn slow

Patience is not one of my better virtues. I admit it. Everything just takes about five times as long as it should to accomplish.
I had decided to get rid of my Jensen Healey parts car, so I advertised it on Craigslist. I know I could have made a quite a bit of money parting it out, but just didn't want to go through the hassle of tearing it apart, listing the parts on E-bay and arranging shipping and all that. So I advertised it for $200.00 as a parts car.
I received a couple of inquiries, and then a guy operating a parts yard offered my $150. Hey, I got it for free, and took the stuff I wanted, so anything I got for it was just gravy.
It took the guy a week to come and get it. But it is now gone.
The Westie is in the shop. They replaced the skylight. I asked them to figure out what was draining the battery, and they are still working on it. I delivered it to them last Friday. I need it by this Friday. I don't feel so bad about not being able to figure out where the drain on the battery was coming from since the experts can't figure it out either.
We are supposed to head out Saturday morning for Oregon, and I am starting to get a little antsy. There are things I want to check on and get packed up for the trip. I hate waiting until the last minute.
Some times you have to slow down and let things happen at their own pace.
But I don't have to like it.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Movin' along

The Westfalia is in the shop getting a new skylight installed. The old one cracked and will leak under torrential downpour conditions. Just bad enough to bug me. Also the battery is not holding a charge. If I charge it in the evening, it is dead by morning. I figure the alternator is shot. If the diodes are gone, it will charge while the engine is running, but when it shuts off, it drains the battery because the diodes are blown. Diodes are these handy little "gates" that only allow electricity to flow in one direction. If they are blown, they deplete the battery.
I need to get the Westy ready for next weekend, because we are heading South to Oregon for a family thing. My Uncle Ben Is coming up with his wife from Mexico, so we are heading down next Saturday. Back home on Monday.
This coming Monday I have made arrangements for the Pull-Apart yard guy to come and get my 73 Jensen Healey parts car. I have pulled misc. parts off of it for the car I am restoring, but I think I have everything I need, so I want the room in the carport. It is not easy for me to turn loose of it. I always get that "I just know I'm going to need something" feeling.
Take a deep breath Al. and just let go.
Not long ago, I discovered my fishing tackle was all missing. Really pisses me off. I have had some of that stuff for forty years. It is not cheap to replace. People have gun safes, I wonder if anyone has a Fishing Pole safe? At any rate I have bee gathering stuff up, have about $500 invested so far, still don't have a reel. I need to get all of the lures and tackle yet. Oh well. Father's day is coming, and a little bird told me there is a gift certificate for Dicks Sporting goods coming my way.
Right now I am imagining my self thigh deep in a high country trout stream laying out a perfect dry fly. There is a rise!

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

A Logistical 180

The last time I posted, I was pretty sure I was going to go ahead and do the four wheel drive conversion to the Westie. Since then I have changed my mind.
This may have been precipitated by the fact that the lovely Mrs A has retired. She semi-retired several years ago, just working part time. Now she is a stay-at-home housewife.So far it seems to agree with her.
The fact of her retirement got me to seriously looking at my own retirement. If I do the conversion to the Westie, it means I work for an additional year to pay it off. That's a pretty steep price to pay for what I get out of it.
I was looking around the house cleaning up misc. crap, and came across several US Savings Bonds. I also am going to get rid of my Jensen Healey parts car, and put the title to the HHR in the Safe Deposit Box. I also had a stack of US Savings Bonds in the box. I got to thinking about them sitting there doing nothing, so I decided to take them all and cash them in and pay down the mortgage. So I did. I added a bunch of my "car money" to the kitty, and Paid off $15K of the mortgage. That brings the total down to around $38K. Within sight.
The plan has always been to pay off the mortgage, get to Social Security age, sell the house and move to the country somewhere it doesn't rain 200 days a year. I need to complete my Dental work (implants coming in November).
It is beginning to look more like a plan and less like a fantasy all the time.