After wandering our way all of 75 miles south to Alan’s house and home of Savannah, our first grandchild, I came down with a case of the creeping crud and it snowed. I also managed to pass the crud along to our # 2 (chronically) son Rick, which was not good as he is scheduled to come down to Ann Arbor and Savannah sit for Alan & Steph this Monday and Tuesday. So Savannah has a happy grandmother and slightly under the weather grandpa took look after her for the next few days. Just shows that our plans are not necessarily the Lord’s plans and that He has a sense of humor.
The idea for this trip, adventure, bucket list item, run from reality, or one of several other things we have called it began to take form a few years ago after I had a flash back, and went out and bought a Triumph Bonneville motorcycle. Somehow convincing myself and Mary that even though it had been 30 years since we had ridden, all would come back and once again she and I would be blasting down the highways of life on a bike. I out-fitted the Trump with saddlebags and figured out ways of carrying a tent, air mattress, sleeping bags and all sorts of camping paraphernalia onto that poor bike with the idea of going on an extended road trip. After a year or two it became increasingly apparent there was a flaw in at least my thinking. All did not come back as I had hoped. It might have been the extra 40 pounds I was carrying around or the fact I couldn’t lift my left leg up onto the foot-peg without help from my right hand which should have been on the throttle or that falling over could hurt and that picking up a 600 pound motorcycle was not on my “fun things to do list”. It really wasn’t the Triumph’s fault as almost every time we rode it we had fun. It was just that, well, maybe some of us just weren’t what we once were. Not naming names here.
Luckily for me and Mary, too I think, I had been taking care of my father, Don while all of this motorcycle delusion was going on. Dad, like any good father, took it upon himself to discourage one of his children from doing dumb things to tell me “your going to break your neck on that thing” every chance he got. Dad, unfortunately, passed away this past August and after we had settled down from most of what happens surrounding the passing of one’s parent, the thought of a “road trip” once again began to edge into the conversation.
But, not on the Triumph. I might be dumb but I’m not stupid. I might break my neck.
In a fit of financial wizardry about a year ago I looked at what was left of my 401K and the direction of the market and decided it was fiscally responsible to take some of it and “invest” in a car. Of course not just any car. Had to be a convertible. I “owed” Mary a convertible. When we first meet I had a convertible, a white ’64 Buick Skylark with a red interior. The convertible was the reason she dated me (she claims, I say it was my charm and suave). After we became engaged I traded it for a new ’68 Buick California Grand Sport. What a pretty car, light tan with a brown vinyl roof, big engine, got maybe 11mpg and was proud of it, only thing was I had forgotten to inform Mary I was doing so. A male learning moment, the less said, the better. Latter on I picked up a MGB convertible but it just didn’t seem to make the grade so I still owed her a convertible. We looked at Miatas – too much like the MG and not enough room for the “extra” me. We looked at Mustangs – nice but tiny trunk, how do you go on a road trip with no trunk? We looked at VW Beetles -just couldn’t do the flower in the dash thing. We almost bought the Miata, figuring I could stand to lose some weight but although gravity was shrinking me I still couldn’t get my legs to stretch out in the driver’s seat.
So that left Jaguar! XKE’s and Jan & Dean’s Deadman’s Curve, Twiggy and the Blue’s Brothers, that ’69 Jag for sale on the corner of Miller and Ballenger I saw many years ago. Ya, why not a Jaaag? Why not!! So I fulfilled my “debt” to Mary and that’s her Jag on the banner picture. Nice boot, too. The Jag I mean.