- 1969 Volkswagen Westfalia camper bus
- 1980 Volkswagen Rabbit pickup truck
- Husqvarna 16-inch "Rancher" chainsaw
- Human-propelled rotary lawnmower
The lawnmower broke and was replaced by a semi-commercial model with the oversize rear wheels—better for rough ground.
The Rabbit was replaced by M.'s Jeep Wrangler. (The pickup ran well but had poor ground clearance.) The VW camper was replaced by a newer Vanagon camper and then by a Jeep Liberty (see a theme here?) and a little trailer. Somewhere in there I picked up an old Jeep CJ-5 as a project truck and as a backup 4wd unit when we were both commuting.
Now the list of internal-combustion engines is up to seven. We also added a wheeled generator, big enough to run everything—and it does get used every year, sometimes in the winter and sometimes in the summer—and as of today a snow blower, the biggest one they had at the hardware store.
I blame my neighbor T. for the latest purchase. He was the guy with the tractor who could plow our long, picturesque, winding-through-the-trees driveway when it snowed two or three feet.
He had a backhoe for digging up leaking water lines, and if either of the local wells was not producing, he had a truck-mounted tank for filling your cistern, 350 gallons at a load.
And all for reasonable prices. (He is also the guy who welcomed me to the volunteer fire department.)
But then his wife took a job transfer to Gunnison, and T. was happy enough about that, because he grew up there.
As M. paced up and down the sidewalk in front of the hardware store, looking dubious as one of the clerks and I loaded the snow blower into the Liberty, I reminded her, "This is because we can't call T. anymore."
And I cannot always be borrowing the neighbor's snow blower, as I did after Saturday's foot of snow.
If we need backhoe work, we will have to pay someone else more than T. would have charged. I am not buying a backhoe, sweetie, really. Where would I park it?