I have owned many cars in my life and know when there needs to be some major repairs done, more than I can handle myself. I have taken cars to mechanics so that they can give me their opinion as whether the repairs are worth keeping the car or not. Several years ago I put more than $1100 into a fifteen year old car with 200 thousand miles on it. It was a good decision, as I got another 25 thousand miles out it before it finally went to the scrap yard last Fall. Point being, hard choices must be made.
Earlier this year I bought a pickup for a fair price. It needed some work to pass inspection, but I did some myself, had a mechanic do the work on the brakes, and it was good enough to be legal. Mind you, it ran rough, stalled often, and made some horrible noises, but I drove it to do the work of an 18 year old pickup, so it was fine. I put off the rest of what I thought needed to be done when time and money allowed. Well, this past week I found the money and my mechanic found the time. Forty eight hours and several hundred dollars later, I drove away in a different truck; the idle had been fixed with a few new electronic control parts, the exhaust had a few holes patched, a new bracket secured the leaf spring back to the frame. The truck now drove like a vehicle that belonged on the road, not on the farm.
Sometimes we can see ourselves in the things we own. For me, this past season made me feel every last hour that I am old. From Memorial Day to Columbus Day I had about one day off from working and most of those days ran more than ten hours long. I think my suspension had come off my frame, I was creaking and groaning like never before, and there was a definite skip in my idle that just felt off. Still, like that tractor that plows the fields and then bales the hay while the sun shines, I needed to continue working while the work was there.
Now a month has passed since Columbus Day and the work still comes, but I have had a few days when I have not worked.The recovery is slower than in the years past. As I assess my own need for repairs, I find that there will be some major ones needed. I have been avoiding them for some time now, but I’m out of tricks. There are no longer things that I can do on my own in order to keep going. I knew it back in the spring, when I resigned from coaching, but it was too late to do anything before the season started. The season when I make a years worth of money in the few short months of Summer.
The money has been made, the bills have been paid, and now my plans have been laid. As the saying goes, “the best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry”. My plans have been pushed back for one reason or another, not of my own accord, but by those of reality and reason. By the time all comes to fruition, I will need to have everything fall into place like never before, lest next season will be in jeopardy.
Like many times in my life, I will be challenged by things that were not of my own making, but instead I work with what I have and adjust for the situation the best that I can. Sometimes I can get by with a little luck and some duct tape. This particular time it just so happens that I might need more than just a few small repairs.