Run the Hill

There is a storm brewing around us right now, built from the high heat and humidity, strong southern convective winds high above, pulling moisture from the deep south. The rain will pound down, knock out some of this sticky heat perhaps, and water the plants in the back yard. Despite the heat, humidity and now the rain, today was by and far a good adventure.

As of late, my wife and I have decided we are in need of getting into shape, leaner, meaner, and at this rate, deeply in need of smaller waisted shorts before the neighbors start cracking it with my baggy, hip vibe as a jog by in the wee hours of the morning. We are both feeling much better for this healthy living, taking our rewards in small moderation. Water is about the only thing I drink. No cordial. No soda. Yes, still coffee, but only a couple a day. And after a really long, hard working day, maybe a beer – cold and satisfying.

This healthy living means we’re both up early every single day. I may beat her out of bed by half an hour, but she’s not far behind. And we march, jog, walk, huff, and puff around the neighborhood for thirty plus minutes, energizing our minds, our souls, and making parts of our bodies hurt that we never even once thought about in the past. So, when you’re up and out so early, it would seem that we’re both more motivated to keep going during the day. It’s obnoxious really, especially for those that love to sleep in on the weekend. Sorry, I won’t preach. Only, when its this hot and sticky out, it’s hard to get motivated to be outside. There is only so much shopping I can take. And taking a long drive in our old car Max is a little less pleasurable when stuck in traffic, our thighs slick with sweat on the bench seat vinyl.

So it would seem it would be hard to find that grand adventure. However, as I sit here, feeling my sore bones from today’s activities, and stifle a yawn, I can reflect back on the adventure that was had, completely unexpected, unpredicted, unplanned.

It all started one day back in late April, just when it was getting warm enough and the grass was growing at an alarming rate. It should have been a simple drive up to the petrol station, fill the five gallon can, return, mow the lawn. It was perfect jaunt for Tilly, the 52 Chevy truck, after sitting quietly most of the winter. On the drive up to the station, the transmission felt unbalanced, but I didn’t think too much of it. I pulled into the station and topped off the can and Tilly’s tank. Back in the truck, fired it up, put in gear, and “CLUNK!” Dead stop. Something broke, and it was going to be expensive. After much ado, and attempts to limp her home, I finally gave in and parked on a side street about two miles from home. There I sat for three hours, waiting for a tow truck, thinking about what was broke – Clutch? Throw out bearing? Transmission? Well, all the above really, and the torque tube union joint.

So Tilly is out of commission, and out of commission for some time, waiting patiently for me to find the funds, time, and knowledge to put her all back together. And she’s going to be something special when back together. Which brings us back to today, after a lot of debate: Used Engine vs. Crate Motor, I feel that I hit the jackpot and found a recently rebuilt motor and a hell of a bargain. Tilly will be getting a V-8. She’ll get new exhaust, new front brakes, master cylinder, new wheels, and a new rear end probably out of a late 60’s or 70’s Camaro. She’s getting the full fluff and fold, the nip and the tuck, the vroom for her vroom.

And it all happened today because I didn’t sleep in. I was up, running to get healthy, taking flight and chasing my father through the sky, and then racing an hour south to pick up this engine before someone else stole it from under me. Truth be told, the back story of this engine find is a story for another day, and one that is only beginning. Stay tuned for that once Tilly is back together again.

I really don’t believe in fate or coincidence; I do believe that we make our own luck. And I feel that our decision to better ourselves has caused our minds to be just a bit more sharp. Our reflexes just a bit faster. And our muscle aches and pains will all be well deserved, running up that hill.

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