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A Change In Seasons

When you work outside in the elements every day, your world is dictated by the weather. Farmers and ranchers know this; people that work in construction know this. When you do excavation work as we do, the weather controls every project with unequivocal power. Many people think these huge earth moving machines like the bull dozers and excavators are little affected by inclement weather. I could only wish!

The fact of the matter is that these huge pieces of machinery can maneuver in muddy conditions. The problem is they just can’t get alot of work done. One inch of slick mud underneath the steel tracks of a dozer tractor cause it to lose much of its’ effective pushing power. Heck, I have been on a muddy side slope on a dozer and the next thing I know I am at the bottom of the slope after sliding sideways all the way down!

The other thing that bears on the job schedule is the drying potential. In the heat of the summer, you can get an inch of rain and be working late the next day due to the high drying potential. In the winter time it is the opposite. A good rain and a few cloudy days and it doesn’t dry much. Then another rain and it is wetter than before with little or no drying going one. Pretty soon, it is so wet that it takes weeks with no rain for it to dry out.

So why am I writing all this? I have had several readers write me in the last few days wanting to know if I was OK. It was almost like some kind of rehearsed conspiracy :). I am fine;  it just finally got so wet around Thanksgiving we had to quit for awhile. That is the curse of working in East Texas during the rainy winter season.

So I buttoned the Old Girl up and fled north to the sticks and bricks house for several weeks. I had several projects to get out of the way during the down time and it has been a nice respite from the work a day world.

One of the things I do every winter is refurbish older Remington shotguns.

1952 Remington Wingmaster 12 gauge

All summer long I haunt the pawn shops, flea markets and gun classifieds looking for old shotguns that have been thrown down too many times with little love.  I pick up extra barrels and walnut stocks and all the little pieces that work together to make them go boom.  When the winter monsoons set in and I am forced to flee to Dallas, I spend many hours restoring and refurbishing these old guns.  Some of them require little more than a good cleaning and some of them need a rebuild top to bottom including the finish.  It is satisfying work for me.

The other project on tap during my hiatus involved moving and cleaning out my long term storage.  I have owned a commercial building up close to the Red River for years.  When I started the full time RV living, my ex-wife took over management of the building since I was absent more often than not.  Now having an ex-wife that you are still doing business with is another story unto itself and I will not even go there right now.  Well, she got a wild hair and decided to move to Tennessee this Fall!  After considerable thought, I decided to get rid of the building.   It had a great storage area – almost 1500 sq ft- and over the years I had managed to fill it up with all manner of “things”.   On top of that, both kids had stored quite a bit of stuff there when they joined the Air Force.  Not the least of which was two cars!

1987 IROC Camaro

Each of the kids had a car we had built together when they were still at home. One is a 1996 Camaro Z28 that was raced extensively and now belongs to my son. The other one is a 1987 Camaro IROC that belongs to my daughter. She loves that car because it was built the same year she was born and “all the boys look at her when she drives it.”   I rented a 10×25 storage unit here in Dallas and proceeded to fill it and the 2 car garage up at the house.

I had forgotten about all the car parts and tools and general junk I had accumulated over the years.  It took several trips in the Suburban pulling a U Haul to get it all moved.  At this point, all I can say is thank God for eBay and Craigslist.  Every day sees a few more items auctioned off or sold or donated to the Salvation Army or Goodwill.

One good thing about full timing for as long as I have is you learn to live with less stuff.  I sorta like it that way!

My best wishes to each and every one of you for a happy, healthy and fortuitous 2010.  We live in interesting times, yes we do.

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