Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Oh my darling Rusty. How I missed you. But like they say absence just makes the heart grow fonder (actually I think the psychological term might be intermittent reinforcement.)

So today our steadfast Rusty Hunk showed up to take away another rusty hunk (of rusty rust), this time one of the old, much-loathed Volkswagen Bugs, this one being especially hated by me because I used to actually drive the damned thing. Oh, the fond memories of cruising along well under the speed limit while everyone else swooshed by me since if you tried to go fifty in it the steering wheel would shudder horribly and it would feel like it was about to break apart like the Enterprise at Warp Eleven (She canna take any more Capt'n!!!)

Oh did I say fond? Actually I meant that other four-letter word that begins with an F.

Here's the damned thing, after we dragged it out from behind the shop. It took quite a bit of abusing Larry the Volvo station waggon to get it there to where the ramp truck could reach it, but that was as good as it was going to get. You can probably make out the skid/drag/burn marks in the background (the latter made by Larry as he repeatedly spun out, as he has just an atrocious lack of traction):

(Pictures taken today by Tara.)

It was yellow, once upon a time, though it's hard to tell now what with all the greeny Xanthoparmelia lichens on it. Yes, it's been sitting there that long.

As we were dragging it out I was the one chosen to sit in it and attempt to steer. For some reason though I wasn't thinking, though I should have known; for as I placed my foot upon the floor, lo! the rust parted and it went right through to the ground beneath.

When José came by with the ramp truck today he gave it the usual look, but seemed resigned to taking it. Here he is doing I'm not quite sure what, probably trying to find something solid to attach a chain to:

And here it is going away, hurrah!

When we got to the junkyard though the big scale was broken so they had to guess; they said something like a ton. If we'd gotten rid of it last week we might have made a bit more, as the price of iron crashed this week, so we didn't make anywhere near as much as usual. But that's okay. The thing is out of my yard, and one just can't put a price on the psychological benefits.

Here's a before, from last summer or autumn I think:

And today's after:

And so we are now at fifteen junk cars out of here, with eleven to go. Two more and we'll be in the single digits, which, really, I don't think I could have even imagined a few years ago. But it looks like it's happening.

That's nothing short of a miracle.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

"Lo! the rust parted." You are a veritable Moses of junk cars.

My first car, an old Datsun, used to shimmy like that at about 50 mph too. But once you got past that speed, it would settle down again. Once some cops passed me on the highway just when the car was shimmying and they both turned and just stared at my vehicle and me, mouths agape. But they didn't pull me over for driving an unfit vehicle. They must have been on their way somewhere important -- donut shop probably.

Tara said...

Speaking of cops, the drive to the junkyard was absolutely crawling with cops.

On the sleepy street the junkyard is on, there were about 6 or 7 state troopers and a few town cops too, all driving down different dead end side streets and congreating with each other.

There must've been a big bust or something.

Denise said...

Is there a reason that the junk yard guy only takes one car every now and then, and not more? Sorry - I promise I'm not criticising (I'm actually massively impressed with everything you and your sister have achieved!) - I'm just curious why it's one at a time!

Evilisa said...

Every time a rusty piece of junk leaves I'm still amazed by how is left. Y'all keep it up!

Anonymous said...

I too was curious about only car at a time...does it cost you to have them hauled away???

Are you saving all the money from the scrap yard for something special or does it just go into the general household accounts for bills, etc?

I too am so impressed at the mechanical skills you two have. even a little bit jealous...being a girl in school when Title 9 kicked in, that still didn't let us females into shop class and my dad never would allow us three girls to hang out in the garage when ever he did any minor (his skill level) car work.

a reader from the chicago area

Anonymous said...

Whenever I get rid of stuff and get some money for it, I figure, hey, that's money I didn
t have before.


Beverly Diehl said...

Clapping and cheering all the way.

I had a yellow bug once, for almost a year. It tried to kill me several times, and did eventually land me in the hospital.

I was able to say bye-bye to it in the junkyard with no little jubilation.

When you get down into the single digits, you'll have to give the remaining ones names.

Tara said...

why one at at time? well, several reasons.

Sometimes we save a few bits (ok, well, that would be me, since I'm the one who likes to play with old cars). Those can be sold, but the amount kept is pretty minimal and cars always have a deadline to leave.

The junkyard also assumes that the car must be stolen when you try to get rid of it and there's no paper trail.. So you're in a catch 22 when you have a car with no title, and the town wants it gone. Junkyards won't touch it.

Also, the price of metal fluxulates. With this yellow bug, the price had gone so low that they even were reluctant to get it even with a title, unless we filled it full of other metal crap. They did pay us, but at one point they were not even going to, saying they'd spend that amount in fuel just to pick it up.

The next bunch of cars and parts to go is pretty much going to be non-titled unregistered cars that will have to be saws-alled since the junkyard won't bother with that. It's kinda sucky but it's sorta how it has to be done

Anonymous said...

thanks for the answer about one car at a time....forgot about titles.
too bad you have to sawsall them, but, in the long run, if that is what is takes to rid the cars from your property, so be it.

As a reader, I am so amazed at how much you two have moved off the land. How is your mom holding up? She has to have mixed feelings, as I would think that she did/does love your dad, and all that came with him, and to see bits and pieces of his go, some sadness must go with....I do think about her as I read your posts. I hope you celebrate your "man=handling" the cars and parts with warm showers at the end of the day!!!

a reader from the Chicago area

Rosa said...

hooray! And it looks like he's holding that hunk of junk up with his head.

I'm sorry about the title problem :( I've gotten rid of one title-less car by being friends with a cash 4 junkers dude, but it was fixable, no scrap.

Suella said...

Missing your progress postings. I hope all is well with you and your family?

Any more cats?

Thalia said...

Everything's fine, just not much to report. Pulling that bug out pretty much killed Larry's clutch again, so things have been on hold a bit. The cats are all doing fine. :)

dezreen said...

Did you see this article on hoarders?:

Anonymous said...

This blog is so inspiring to read. You guys have amazing energy + never seem to let this massive task get you down. Love the cat updates, too!