I'm back

I had eight days off and spent six of them in the car.  One day to Arkansas, two to Virginia, two in Virginia, two back to Arkansas, one back to Texas.  I'm exhausted.  And stiff.  Then I took an extra day off because my car was sick.

My brother, sister-in-law, and I took a road trip to Virginia for my brother's official graduation from the College of William and Mary.  He's officially a Ph.D.

Bro is not big on having his picture taken but Mint Chocolate Chick doesn't mind:

We saw a lot of things on the way there and back, although we didn't have a lot of time to stop.

Waffle House in Dickson, Tennessee.  The picante sauce wasn't bad:

Louisiana Purchase State Park near Palmer, Arkansas.  If this place doesn't have a bigfoot legend then the cryptid people are falling down on the job:

It's small--just a boardwalk into the swamp--but lovely.

Johnny Cash birthplace memorial in Kingsland, Arkansas:

Crockett, Texas, has some lovely buildings, including the 1931 post office:

A modest Art Deco courthouse . . .

. . . and the David Crockett Spring and Brewer Park, with the Strode-Pritchett cabin (1850's):

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Then I got home and everything fell apart.

My faithful old Justin ropers, which have been my everyday boots for thirteen years, finally gave up.  That's daylight, shining through a split in the upper just above the heel:

I went a little more upscale this time.  These are Ariat Heritage R-toes (the same as my red boots, only brown):

Yes, they really are that pretty.

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The other news was, though, that my beloved Little Black Car, which was a little noisy before I left but apparently grew very noisy during the two days my parents were borrowing it, decided to cough up its transmission.

The estimate was a shock at first, but now it's all copacetic.  I don't want a new car yet, and this is on the line at costing more than the car is worth.  However, I would have to have two-thirds of the work done before I could even trade the car in; without it, it would be nonfunctional and worth zero.  So I might as well get it done and have the clutch done at the same time (the clutch part costs considerably less than the car is worth, so I think I can justify it).  Besides, then it will be done.  This is not really a surprise considering the mileage, and now it will be fixed and no longer a looming possibility.

So . . . on we go.  It's going to take me a long time to re-save the money I'm spending on this, but if I can get another couple of years out of the car, it will all work out.


Terry Comly said…
Nice boots! What's not nice though is what happened to your car. I know you're torn on whether to buy a new car or just the transmission. If you're confident that you can stretch the life of this car on a new transmission, that would be a good way to go for the moment. It also depends if you have the budget to buy a new one in the near future. Weigh those options, so you can be on the road again soon! Have a good day!

Terry Comly @ Brandon AAMCO
I got the transmission fixed. I couldn't even trade the car in without that, and I'm really not in the mood to buy a newer one. The rest of the car seems still to be good, anyway. I think I was just a little in shock at the initial price estimate; once I'd gotten used to the idea, it seemed like a no-brainer.

The thing is, even though the car is worth very little on paper, I'm the only owner so I know it's never been wrecked, flooded (a common problem in Southeast Texas), driven abusively, and that it's always been maintained. So it's kind of worth more to me than it should be, because there aren't any secrets.