Sunday, January 22, 2012

Farewell, Faithful Friend

Last week we had our 12 year old Ford Explorer towed to the Ford dealership. Because the air conditioner in it pooped out a couple of years ago, it didn't get much driving time this summer and it did a lot of sitting on the street in front of the house. It drives well in the snow, though, so we started to get it spruced up for winter, but were having a hard time getting it started and keeping it running. Rick thought the fuel pump might have gone bad. The Ford dealership had bad news: the gas tank was filled with rusty corrosion and that had caused the fuel pump to fail. $2500 to get it back up and running. So with heavy hearts, we signed the title over to Ford.

I kinda get why people get attached to cars and park them in places of honor on the lawn and let them rust into eternity. That was the first car I bought all on my own. I took it to Iceland with me. It drove me and my friends (including my new friend Rick Smiley) all over Iceland: up mountains, across fjords, over glaciers.
This is the Explorer on Snaefellsjokel. According to Jules Vern, the entrance to the center of the Earth is around here somewhere.

Our favorite Explorer story was when we took it camping at Thorsmork. There was a glacial river between the road and the campground and when we pulled up, a little Icelandic guy came out of the lodge, motioned to a huge tractor and rope on his side of the river, and hollered over to us in broken English that if we got stuck in the river he could probably tow us out. With Rick's coaching, I drove slowly and steadily across the river, glancing down to notice how high the water came up on the doors, and we made it! That afternoon, when we hiked to the top of a nearby mountain I took a picture of my proud Explorer next to a crazy Icelandic tour bus with huge all-terrain tires.
Its next great adventure was as a family car.
It transported my babies home from the hospital and Will to his first day of school.
Part of me sort of wishes we had forgone little luxuries like groceries and health insurance for a little while and poured ridiculous amounts of money into the Explorer to keep it running. Part of me is sort of happy that it will probably become an organ donor of sorts, donating its good parts to other cars in need at the Ford dealership.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Welcome 2012

This is Salt Fork State Park.
This is a little lake-side cabin at Salt Fork State Park.
This is us celebrating the New Year in a little lake-side cabin at Salt Fork State Park.
Because the weather had been wet and the ground was pretty muddy, we limited our nature walks to the paved trails, like the cart path at the golf course.
In between outdoor adventuring, Will and Soren made spin drums to ring in the New Year.
Alas, Soren fell asleep a little after 9:00 and Will, though he tried his hardest to stay awake, passed out around 11:30.
Nice try, guys.

Happy New Year!

Christmas Day

We were in Bedford this year for Christmas and our small-town celebration kicked off with a tour of the town Christmas lights, store windows, and holiday displays.
Christmas morning began with a big surprise at the bottom of the stairs.
All further festivities were put on hold while we all bundled up for a spin around the block.
If it looks like Soren spent most of the time careening wildly through people's yards, that's because pictures don't lie.
Only then did the mad gift opening commence.
Since we had gone to Christmas Eve Mass, the rest of the day was spent in lazy indulgence and other ill-advised things we don't normally do the rest of the year:

practicing dentistry without a license
and texting while driving.
Merry Christmas, Everybody!

Will is 6!

After Christmas Eve dinner we celebrated with a piano-themed ice cream cake
and presents carefully wrapped in birthday wrapping paper.
The funny thing is I have a nearly identical picture of myself on a distant Christmas morning opening the 1970's version of the Play Doh dentist.
Perhaps the beginning of a family tradition?

Happy Birthday, Darling Will!