Tuesday, November 15, 2011


So we’ve been running around like bees on a hot brick.

Happily, the major mental-, emotional- & paper- work involved in some of the more tedious tasks is done. Now there’s just the waiting game to play before we can cross a couple of these major to-do’s off the list. 

First there’s THE TRUCK SAGA, then the time-consuming, life-changing, on-going NATURALIZATION MARATHON, and lastly, THE NEW JOB inquiry/application/testing ordeal.

Though it looks like it ends in a week’s time THE TRUCK SAGA didn't actually get completed til 2 wks later (yesterday, Nov 14th, with the key mystery solved) during THE NEW JOB story (and, as of this writing, that final chapter hasn't yet been realized, more's the pity..)

Monday Oct 31st

So on Halloween Ben discovers an ad for a truck 45 minutes north of Eli's place in northern Utah. The hunt, hopefully, for a replacement to Papa’s ‘sold-last-spring-’67 Ford’ seemed possibly at an end. I get on the phone to the seller and start the same ol' same ol' line of questioning I’ve been engaged in for several vehicles the past few months:
  • Smoke-free? Check. 
  • Clear & clean title? Check.   
  • Records of scheduled major maintence requirements? Well, sorta check. Has had it all done, just hasn’t got the receipts at the house. At shop, though. Okay. 
  • Tires? Not great. So I tell him I’ll negotiate that into the final sales price if we take it…
After some more phone calls, involving our on-site vehicle inspection guy, Eli-o, we arrange for a meet-time. Which quickly moves from two days hence to ‘how about in a few hours from now?’ Oh my. 

Put everything into high gear. Call AbbyJaynlette, who's 30 miles south of Eli, to see if she’s available as a 2nd driver to go w/her big brother in case we decide to buy it. She is. What a gal! Arrange a transfer of the monies from temporary financier, Banker Ben, to Abby’s account (thank goodness for the family linked banking & a patient daughter after the bank messed up the withdrawal!)

Made me nervous for her to be carrying that sum of cash but, being armed & dangerous, she felt secure with her steel companion. I felt better when she met up with Eli for the remainder of the drive. 2 CC (concealed/carry) kids are better’n one ;)

With the initial look-see, test-drive, & negotiating finished the pair traveled back to their abodes & Papa was the proud owner of a Tundra.  Now to arrange to get it to him 11 hours to the west.  So the next part of the new truck experience begins. 

Tuesday Nov 1st

Number one factor: needs tires. But Eli determines they’re good enough for him to travel across on so we’ll just do it after it arrives in Hat Creek. Oops! Wait a minute. Richard & Abby call to offer a change in their travel route to the coast in 2 days so they could deliver the truck instead of Eli (which then would’ve required a trip to Reno to put him on a plane back to SLC). Will cost me a batch of Mama's Granola... (well, and petrol, of course ;)

Wow. Cool. Okay, that would be awesome. Done deal. BUT! Now there’s a winter storm coming (after weeks of awesome, warm, sunshiny weather).  We can’t have that daughter-dear driving on anything but quality winter tires. So good ol’ Eli offers to take the truck into the shop & get the studded winter tires put on. 

Then it’s discovered that not only are the rotors warped (which he already knew about) but upon further inspection finds the brake pads are pretty much done in, too. It’s an absolute must that our kids are driving totally safe rigs, so we ‘okay’ the repairs and our awesome boy waits for literally hours for all the work to be finalized. Then he goes to his friend’s place & loads up the twin bed he’s sending back here, goes home to his apartment, eats, studies, and calls it a day!
Prepped w/new tires & brakes, ready for its California 'make-over' =)
 Wednesday Nov 2nd

One day left now before the kids are to leave Utah. I’m on the phone to Utah Dmv to find out what needs to be done so we can legally get this truck to California for titling. So again Eli takes time out of his busy school & work schedule to go to the DMV to get the transport permit.

Thursday Nov 3rd

Next day Abby n Richard drive up to Ogden, gets Richard’s winter tires put on his own car for the trip, picks up the truck from Eli, wraps the mattress in their tarp since the weather’s gonna be stormy, go back home, sleep for a few hours, rise up and are out the door at 8pm the same evening to start the trip to Hat Creek (crazy kids).  Abby calls about an hour into the drive to declare that this will be thee most comfortable ride she's ever taken across I-80! So far so good on the purchase! Heater working great, tires & brakes awesome...

Friday Nov 4th

It was a night of fitful sleep for the Papa Bear & me and zero rest for Richard and Abby. We left the phone on through the snowy, freezing night and were half-fearful of it ringing. Didn’t happen til 5am Friday morning when Abby called to tell us they were following a semi down the rim and were almost here! About 15 happy minutes later both kids pulled up the driveway…

I fed them Baked Omelet (sorry 'bout that pepper jack, Abby), thick slab bacon from Peggie’s piggy, & some Blueberry Sour Cream Muffins I’d made the night before.

After breakfast and a little visiting the kids gave Jenny a good run around the yard...
..with Abby giving me one last pose to make sure I'd miss her like fury (it worked, I do)...
You've GOT to click on this one & enlarge it!

The guys unloaded the mattress set while the gal folded up the tarp...

...then they packed up the granola I’d made for them & Eli and were off for the 5.5hr drive to their coastal vacation. At least for this last leg of their journey they get to ride in the same vehicle!

A few hours later we pick up Ben in Shingletown and drive on down to Palo Cedro to get the truck smogged. It passes..whew!

But. A different concern appears. Apparently there’s only one key that came with the truck. And that single key DOES NOT work the doors! Only have a remote for that. And the key works wanky in the ignition. Okay, fine. We’ll get a couple spares made. Nope. Go to 3 different places in Anderson & Palo Cedro. NONE of the ones made will work in either the door OR the ignition. Something’s up. I’m wondering if someone’s changed cylinders on doors and/or ignition somewhere along this truck’s history. I’ve got to figure out that mystery sooner than later. Only one key, and it doesn’t even unlock the doors! strange..

Saturday Nov 5th

I discover the ‘49-state Only’ sticker instead of 'California Compliant' under the hood. We agonozied the 'what ifs' the whole weekend til I could get hold of my smog guy & main DMV office to learn if that’s only for brand-new vehicles (under 7,500 miles) & please oh please say ours is fine since it’s older and passed smog with flying colors!

Monday Nov 7th

Okay. Cool. Thank goodness! Word is, we should check out just fine. Ben comes up to take a ride over to Fall River with me while I get the truck weighed, titled, & registered. I was very flattered when he stated:

“You know just HOW boring this current house-sitting job is when I want to 1.) go with my Mom  2.) to the DMV!”

Humph. Cheeky young whipper-snapper.

Before going to the field office we dropped his truck off in Burney at the tire shop so they could switch to his winter treads and he wouldn't have to wait around. Picked it up 2 hrs later on the way back through to the library... with brand new California plates on Papa's pick-up!

Tuesday  Nov 8th

Papa gets to drive his new ride to work and my car gets to be here at the house for me! The reality of once again having automobile freedom brings an amazing sense of huge relief and comfort (plus, it’s a great thing to not have to depend on bicycling 2 miles to my local jobs! A real pain in the hot summer weather & freezing winter days).

So then. Long story short.. between Ben, Eli, Abby, & Richard what a grand bunch of awesome helpers we’ve got! Papa’s finally got a truck again..

..and the Mama has her Honda back!!

Hip hip hooray! It’s been a  l-o-n-g wait living in the sticks with only one vehicle between us.. so THANKS, all you great kids  =)


  1. 1st: sorry to hear the truck is being a pain :(
    2nd: GREAT linking skillz mama!!!
    3rd: loved the post :) actually "laughed out loud" at least twice.
    4th: Still upset I forgot to take the extra muffins (and no, Ben eating them is not a consolation)

  2. #5: that is my new favorite goofy pic of me
    #6: did you notice that Papa's, Richard's, and my jacket all match! :o

  3. Re:
    #1:..ah yes, 'twas a tremendous pain, but things have improved GREATLY! and Papa just loves it. So in the end, it's all working out :)

    #2:(blushing gremlin would be good here)THANKS for the kudos on the pc skillz. I'm proud I did it! I just knew you'd be so impressed :D

    #3: oh thankyou! It was cathartic to get it written down. I thought it would bore you to tears so it's nice to see otherwise!

    #4: Ben's still thrilled at his good luck w/our forgetfulness;) How 'bout I make a fresh batch & send some back to you Christmas Day via Eli when you collect him @ the SLC airport?! (or more granola might travel better..)

    #5: ME TOO!!!!! Seriously way cool. I'm thinking frame-able quality!

    #6: Well, how fun is that?! I HAD noticed how you and Papa matched so cute w/your jeans n boots. Pretty good lookin' group, overall ;)