Tuesday 22 November 2011

Wheels for Keels- A Bittersweet Swap


    "I don't write songs about girls anymore, I have to write songs about women."
                                                                   -The Pursuit of Happiness

     In February of 2002, I acquired an old VW Thing, the 47th VW I had owned.  It was a project, in need of an engine, some bodywork (a tree had fallen on it), paint and reassembly.  My plan at the time was to do a quick and dirty rebuild and get it on the road by the summer.  Shouldn't take more than 6 months, tops, I figured.

     Last week it finally left the garage.  On the back of somebody else's trailer.


       It wasn't as hard to see the car go as I thought it would be.  In fact, as I watched the trailer and it's cargo head out of the driveway, the hardest part was coming to grips with the fact that I was now, officially an old fart.

   I could ignore the receding hairline.
   I could ignore the greying beard.
   I could ignore the expanding waistline.
   I could ignore the fact that I listen to talk radio.

   I could no longer ignore the fact that I preferred standing and sitting while working with wood and fiberglass in a warm house to lying on my back on a cold floor in a cold garage clutching cold tools, under two tons of old rust trying to remove a cold , seized, 40 year old bolt, nut or screw that is going to snap right...about...* ...now.   I prefer the scent of fresh cut cedar and mahogany to the stink of  PB Blaster and overheated gear oil.  I prefer the growl of a table saw cutting ply to the sound of a cut off wheel shrieking through sheetmetal.  I prefer to shake sawdust out of my hair to trying to excavate rust and filings out of my ears.

  Hey!  You kids!  Get off my damn lawn!

   While I was disappointed in myself for not finishing what I had started with this project, I was eager to move on.  It was time.

   Cleaning out the garage was the last hurdle to clear before I could start the catamaran build.  Now, with the garage empty, I could begin to refill it.

   Monday, the donor boat was delivered to Stately Jones Manor.  Time to strip it down, and get to getting.

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