Last Minute Adventure

Studly Doright has several hobbies: golf, motorcycles, and trading vehicles, among others. Several months ago he sold his pickup truck and bought a sports sedan. I knew, though, that it wouldn’t be long before the call of the wild—namely the need for another pickup—sounded in his ears. I even made a prediction that he’d have a new pickup before this year ended.

So, a couple of nights ago when Studly turned to me and asked, “If I bought a new pickup would you fly to Houston and drive it home?” I wasn’t the least bit surprised. Until I realized he’d asked me to go pick the truck up.

“Sure!” I said, happy to have a new adventure. We bought a plane ticket and I’ll leave on Friday afternoon.

Now, I have feelings of trepidation. The truck has a manual transmission, and while I have owned several vehicles with a stick shift, it’s been awhile. Also, I’ll be driving in Houston, the fourth largest city in the country. Great place to renew my acquaintance with a manual transmission vehicle.

In addition, I’m going to have to find a way to the car dealership from the airport. Uber? Lyft? I’ve never downloaded the apps and I’m not sure how they work. I guess I’ll have to learn quickly.

Did I mention I adore adventures, and that there’s an excellent outlet mall near Gulfport, Mississippi that’s calling my name? Wish me luck, good weather, and a few dollars to spend at the mall.

Peace, people!

Smelly Car

Studly Doright likes to trade cars. When he’s had the same vehicle for the span of a year I can feel him getting antsy to find the next great deal, so it came as no surprise when he sheepishly showed me a photo of a little Cadillac sports sedan and told me he’d bought it on eBay.

“It’ll be my golf vehicle,” he said.

“I thought the Dodge pickup was your golf vehicle,” I countered.

“Well, it was, but I’ll sell it.”

“What about the little Nissan convertible? Wasn’t it also your golf vehicle?”

“You know it gets lousy gas mileage. I’ll sell it, too.”

As long as I have a decent car to drive I really don’t care what Studly drives, but I had to give him a hard time. When the car didn’t arrive on time I began needling him.

“Are you sure you’re dealing with reputable people?” I asked. “What if they never deliver your Cadillac?”

“It’ll be here. It’s in Detroit and they had a huge blizzard last week.”

Two days later, still no Cadillac. I again questioned the prudence of buying a car sight unseen. Finally, though, the transport driver called to say he’d be in Tallahassee on Sunday afternoon, so when he sent an address I drove Studly into town to meet the truck. 

The car was badass: Silver, with black leather seats, and every bell and every whistle one could ask for. It also came with one unexpected bonus–the nastiest smell I’ve ever encountered outside of a garbage dump.

The smell wasn’t organic. Nothing had died in the car. It was a chemical type smell, as if  someone had used it as a vat for tanning animal hides. Gag!

Studly was in denial.

“It’s not so bad,” he protested, when I refused to ride in the car.

“Three Mile Island was less toxic than this car,” I said.

“Maybe it just needs a coconut scented air freshener,” he didn’t actually say, but I knew he was thinking it.

“Let me deal with it,” I sighed.

So for the past week while Studly has been at work I’ve coaxed the nasty smell out of his Caddy. Long drives down country roads with every window rolled down and the moon roof fully open have made a huge improvement in the car’s smell. It’s not yet quite to the pleasant stage, but I have a reasonable expectation that it soon will smell almost like a new vehicle. And it’s such fun to drive.

Maybe Studly has learned a lesson about buying cars on eBay. Or not. Regardless, life with him is never boring.

Phoebe Buffay knew a little about smelly things:

Tallahassee Auto Museum

Last Sunday Studly Doright and I took his mom, Saint Helen, to the Tallahassee Automobile Museum. Even though Studly and I have been in Tallahassee a little over three years, this was our first visit to the museum that sits just off Interstate 10 east of Tallahassee.

Elvis Mobile
Weird horse statue greets visitors

Here are just a few of the automobiles on display. The array was dizzying. 

Amphibious car–LBJ had one and loved to prank guests to his Texas ranch by driving into his lake.
Studebaker Avanti: The front looks like the rear.
Studly and Saint Helen

Batman had his own section.

There were motorcycles in abundance:


Boat motors:

Tricycles and pedal cars:

Steinway Pianos:

Cash registers:

A vampire hunting kit (I really think I need one):

And lots of other goodies:

Hearse believed to be used to convey Lincoln’s body.

The museum, with its eclectic array of memorabilia, provided us with a couple of hours of entertainment. I think I’m still suffering from antique overload. 

Peace, people.

Fast Cars and Life

I’ve long had a penchant for fast cars, and have even owned a few, though I seldom exceed the posted 

Legal limit. What does this indicate about the nature of my driving? That I feel the need to speed, but lack the 

Necessary courage to press the engine to the full extent of its ability? Or that I only use my car’s 

Excessive horsepower as a tool to avoid potential collisions with less observant or less capable 

Drivers? There is probably a metaphor for the way I live my life embedded in the 

Lines of this poem, but to analyze it, I’d need to either slow down considerably or speed way up.

Saint Helen and the Wrecked Car

My mother-in-law, Saint Helen, who I love dearly, celebrated her birthday on the 26th of May. Even though she’s officially retired from the workforce she continues working on an occasional basis in the office of her church.

Saint Helen happened to be working on Tuesday, so the priest and a co-worker offered to take her to lunch for her birthday. Just as their food arrived her co-worker, the office manager, got a phone call from the local police saying that a car had been hit by an apparently drunk driver in front of the church office. Yep, it was my mother-in-law’s car. Wrecked. On her birthday.

She hadn’t had the car long, but she loved it. And she is pretty bummed out. Saint Helen just doesn’t get bummed out. This woman has faced head on more troubles than most of us can imagine, all while holding her head high and pouring out blessings on all around her. 

This is one of those times I wish desperately that we lived closer so Studly Doright could help his mom negotiate the trials of dealing with insurance companies. But Saint Helen has other wonderful children who live near her and will gladly be there for her.

If my readers have a couple of good thoughts to spare, please send them her way. I love her very much and she deserves good things.

Peace, people!

Drive Time

Studly and I are en route from Tallahassee to Nashville to meet up with our kids and their families for Christmas. For grins we decided to rent a car for the trip. It’s a GMC Terrain with all the bells and whistles including a nice feature called “lane assist.”

At first, Studly found lane assist mildly amusing. When one drifts from one’s lane, lane assist sounds an alarm urging the driver to pay attention to his location between the dotted lines.

After the “Beep! Beep! Beep!” sounded for the fifth time within our first 10 miles, Studly was giving it a piece of his mind. “Stupid car! I’m in the lane! What’s wrong with this stupid thing?”

By the time we made our first pit stop, Studly was poring over the owner’s manual to see if he could disable lane assist. I told him not to worry–at the rate he was going the damned beeper would wear out in no time at all.

Side note–we are enjoying the Terrain. It has a nice solid ride, comfy seats and a snazzy interior. And, Studly is staying in his lane.