Well, today has been... eventful. I got up this morning and went down to Uhaul to get the trailer for Tex and Janet so we could load up their stuff when they get here. I'd already parked mine farther up the hill and I was wondering where in the world I was going to park another dual axle 12' trailer and how I was going to get it up this hill. I'm in the Georgia mountains, at Dad's house, and the driveway is a 30 degree incline of red Georgia clay, laced with gravel for traction.
I got to Uhaul and picked up the trailer, only to find it was the wrong size. After switching it out for the right size trailer I got back to the house and decided to try to back it up the hill where I needed it to be. I knew there was no way to pull it up and then turn it around. It too wide, too long, and there's just not the room at the top of the hill to maneuver it. So, I got it turned around and started up the hill. It wasn't 10 feet before I'm free-wheeling through the mud, smoking tires, and jackknifing my rear-end. I pulled it down, got a little of a running start in reverse, and got her a little farther before I hit the same issue. The mountain and I played this game a few more times, before the mountain hit me below the belt. I backed up the hill, started to slide down and then she dug in a little bit, so I hit the gas and pushed her on up the hill. Right as I did that I spun across a sharp rock and blew the driver side rear tire.
I pulled her on down the hill, told my little sister to run up to the house and get me a cup of coffee, and just settled in to change the tire in the mud. I hunt around for a brace for my jack, finally get one, and get the old tire off. As I get the new tire on and start to let the truck down on it, I see a little give in the tire. Guess what? My full size spare is flat... It's been sitting in the wheel well for about a year and I guess the air just bled out over time.
Thankfully I was here at the house instead of out on the road somewhere. I got the air compressor out of the barn, pumped the new tire back up, and she's been good to go ever since. I took old girl out for a spin to check the pressure and she seems to be holding tight.
These are my grandfather's and great-grandfather's tools, now passed down to me and my generation. There is an assortment of old handsaws, bracing bits, draw saws, hand drills, and hundreds of other tools used by three previous generations of Jordan men throughout their lives. These tools you see here have built hundreds of houses, boats, furniture, cabinets, and have more other memories than I can ever imagine. If they could talk, I'd happily sit for days and hear their stories. These tools saw the invention of the automobile, electricity, power tools, and hundreds of other advances through time. They've sat side by side on the tool benches of my families men, alongside power drills, electric radial arm saws, drill presses, and pneumatic innovations. There's just something I find comfortable about going back to these tools though... my father has stripped them down, cleaned them, and used them through the years. Before him my grandfather used them, cleaned them, and put them back away safely until they were needed again. Even before him, his father, whom I've never known and only ever even seen one picture of, used these to build houses and other crafts from his day. Over a hundred years of men have used these tools and put them to work. My brother and I will carry on with their use so the skill won't be lost. One day I'll teach my kids how to use them and pass some of them down the line to them too.
I'll share more pictures and stories once we get the tools back home and get them organized and laid out.
If you ever wonder why I grew up to be big and strong, this picture should say it all. Those are my original Tonka toys, bought almost 30 years ago when I was a boy. I bet that bulldozer has driven hundreds of miles through dirt hills with me on my knees pushing it. The dump truck has probably moved actual tons of dirt over the ages. I got these from Dad today, where they've been kept safe over the years. I think I'm going to see if I can get in touch with Tonka and find the original paint and stickers for them.... strip 'em down and prepare them for another set of hands to use in the field, for another boy to gleefully chase behind, all the while making diesel sounds as they roar up and down hills made of black dirt and loose sand. That 25-pound bulldozer will once again pave roads through sand hills, while the front end loader loads ton after imaginary ton of sand into the dump truck, who then will drive it off to some other destination, where only a young boy imaginary construction crew can properly put it to good use, most likely against the better judgement of adults who are incapable of understanding why the garden soil would better be utilized in the driveway...
Well, that's my day so far. I'm going to upload this while I go back up the mountain to help an old indian guy named Jack connect his new TV set so he can watch his games. I'll write more later.