It is strange that the Saturday to the Labor Day Weekend feels a lot like any other day when you are retired.  I can remember being so excited to have a three day weekend followed by an 11 day week.  Yes, I drilled in the guard for over 20 years and the first weekend after Labor day was drill so we would have a three day weekend followed by an 11 day week.  By the next weekend, we would be so worn out that Saturday would be a Mental Health day and most of it would be just a day to charge the batteries.  I would try to keep projects that required little thought for that day.  Mowing comes to mind as one of the major projects.  Turn the mower on, plug in the radio and make crop circles in the yard.  If I was lucky it was the last time all year that I would need to mow. 

Thinking about mowing brings to mind some of the best things I have spent money on over the years. 
  • When we bought the rental houses in 1990, the owner had a mower that he used.  I made him an offer and he sold it to me.  It was a Case riding mower  and I ride it even today.  I have had to modify it some and replace the motor but it has dollar for dollar been one of the best things I ever bought.  During that time, I have worn out at least 10 push mowers and more weed whackers than I can even remember.
  • Dollar per mile the Volvo Wagon was a pretty good buy.  Dad drove it well over 150,000 miles and I replaced the drive train and drove it almost that much more.  I found a Volvo that had never been delivered to the dealer and was torn up in a train wreck and put the entire running gear in the Wagon.  It went lots of miles well and was fun to drive.
  • My wife said that her father repaired TV's from almost the beginning of TV.  His brand of choice was a Zenith.  When i came home from Vietnam we bought a black and white Zenith in Colorado Springs in 1969. That damned TV lasted and lasted and lasted and finally I bought a color Zenith in Ottawa. I gave that old black and white TV to the NCO club in Ottawa and when I went back to command that unit in 1987, it was still working.  To the best of my knowledge, it never had been worked on and the picture was just fine for an old black and white TV.  
  • As a kid, I can remember only one new bike. Like most of you, I inherited most of my bikes from older kids.  Most of the time it was one of those humongous fat tired girls bikes that I had to stand up and pedal cause my butt didn't reach the seat.  As man times as I slipped off the pedals, it was probably good that it was a girls bike of I'm sure that I would have busted my family jewels. My only new bike was a Race Bike from sears and I for the life of me don't remember what brand.  It lasted about two years and it was stolen by one of the neighborhood hoods.  I found it about a week later painted with house paint and ridden while the paint was still tacky.  It had sand stuck in the paint on the lower frame and I managed to get it back with the threat of calling the police.  That bike probably cost my father about a weeks wages and it didn't last two years.  The reason I say that, is my brother-in-law found Barb an EZ-1 at a garage sale and it has been the best little bike, dollar per mile.    He made my bike and it has been one of the best dollar per smile.  I hope to ride it many more over the next years.
  • For most of my life I was a General Motors fan.  55, 56 and 57 Chevy's, a 69 Malibu, a 71 Vega, a 78 Malibu, a 94 Buick, a 97 Olds and a 53 Chevy Pickup.  Barb was looking for a newer car for me and ran across a 2004 Ford Crown Victoria with 18,000 miles.  We went to look at it and other than a kind of dirty driver's seat the car was in great shape.  It wasn't until we took our first road trip that I realized the value of the car.  In addition to just driving like a dream, it gets 25 MPG on the road.  You can arrive places feeling you you have been home sitting on the couch or your recliner.  It is a little bigger than Barb likes to drive but it is one that her back and mine can stand miles after miles.  Yes, I imagine my carbon footprint is pretty large, but comfort miles per dollar are pretty high. 
Bikes on the round nose with round belly
Y'all have a good time out there and be safe.


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