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Sunday, March 20, 2011

It may be over

She may once have looked as nice as this one, but today she sits in a mud puddle in the dooryard with a broken water pump.  For five years she has transported us to powwows; hauled Christmas trees large and small; taken produce, tents, tables, preserves and fresh baked goods to farmer’s market; been shelter from down pours; and even hauled stuck tractors and UPS drivers out of ditches here on the farm.  Twenty one years old, somewhere near 200,000 miles, rusting body, some other minor electrical problems; DH and I are faced with the dilemma of keeping the shaggin’ wagon on the road or retiring her and looking into another vehicle.  The decision to purchase a new vehicle or even new to us vehicle is a major one.  Going into debt for a farm vehicle is not an option. 

My trusty Ford Taurus is also getting up there in years and mileage.  In its lifetime, it has hauled picnic tables and 10 x 20 portable garages on its roof, moved my apartment in almost its entirety twice, plowed through 12+ inches of snow on my road and 6+ inches on may way home from work countless times this winter, carried gravel in the trunk, and been rear-ended three times.  Her trunk leaks from the rear end damage, she is starting to rust, she needs a new EGR sensor, new tires, and after these spring roads, she will probably need some front end work.

Starting a farm can be trying even on the healthiest and wealthiest among us.  I am blessed with a loving husband, my health, a relatively structurally sound body, some great animals, a roof over my head, and food on the table.  We are thrifty, making our own detergents and not spending on new threads, dinners out, new electronics, etc.  A towing bill, gas for the borrowed Jeep, time spent trying to change tires while lying in a mud puddle, fighting with dead batteries and finicky battery chargers, and more postponed farm projects have taken their toll on me this week. 

The search will begin for a trusty farm rig (a.k.a. an actual pickup truck) and a new travel vehicle.  Something that will tow two to three thousand pounds plus its cargo, four-wheel drive to haul wood, rocks, Christmas trees, produce, and equipment around the farm, and maybe has a plow mounted to it for our beautiful but snowy Vermont winters.  A removable cap would be good for farmer’s market days, but also so it can haul a refrigerator, or be loaded with gravel, manure, hay, etc.  She needn’t be pretty, but she must be solid and prepared to work only maybe half as hard as DH and I do around the farm.  We will also be keeping our eye out for a replacement over the road vehicle.  Something that will make the trips to see family in Maine and Connecticut four or five times a year and the 60 mile round trip commute to work five days a week.

Today, I hope to clean up from the messes of muddy shoes, pants, jackets, gloves, etc. and do all the household chores that didn’t get done after two days of mechanical mishaps.  Then I am going to catch up on some much needed sleep before I go back to work tonight.  

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