After Thirty Years

Me and my new work truck

After Thirty Years

It's time to let go

Long-time readers know that I have a love affair with my 1994 Toyota Land Cruiser. It's emotionally less contentious for my wife than other types of affairs I could have had, yet it's still been expensive, as affairs are known to be. And thirty-year-old vehicles are temperamental. Last year's electrical fire cost a pretty penny to recondition the interior. And the expenses keep piling up.

The whack-a-doodle used car market has been in the news for over a year now, with used cars sometimes costing more than new ones (if you could find a new one.) That has settled down somewhat, and while prices for used cars are still high, they are not crazy high. And if there is a specific vehicle, or maybe even something like a particular color of vehicle, they can be hard to find.

I wanted a 2016 or newer grey Land Cruiser. That was my challenge, finding a specific color of a specific vehicle. The thing is, there are not that many available that fit that specification. After weeks of looking, the perfect 2016 grey Land Cruiser came up for sale - in Denver, Colorado - over a thousand miles from home.

The plane ride out was fast and easy. The drive home is taking a week, mostly because I'm easily distracted by dirt roads and the nagging question of, "what's over there?" Hey, after all, I should test out the roadworthiness of my new work truck, right?

As I wrap up this week's essay, I am in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I had always heard that Santa Fe was a mecca for artists and a special place to be. However, I had never visited here before now. Santa Fe blends modern America with a respectful acknowledgment of the indigenous people who have lived here for thousands of years. Add in the local crafts, art, and cuisine, and I have to say, this place is magical. I will be back to visit again soon.

I had the pleasure of meeting my cousin, Hannah, in person for the first time. She lives in Denver, and we had a lovely afternoon together. The photo at the top is of me with my new work truck on the day I bought it outside my cousin's home. She is also a photographer and was happy to make a cell phone snap to commemorate the purchase. And it was her birthday that day, so again, Happy Birthday, Hannah.