Tag Archives: things remembered

Walter’s Car

Last night  my husband and I had a special delivery to make.  It’s a delivery that Walter has been waiting for nearly 35 years.  Our delivery was a 1968 Chevy Camaro Z28.  Walter bought the Camaro brand new on August 30, 1968.  In the mid 70’s Walter was married man with a family to support and sold the Camaro to pay bills.  It has been in my husband’s possession ever since.  He and his Dad painted the Camaro and it was my husband’s car while he was in high school.  He parked it in his Grandma’s old garage when he left for college in 1977.  There it has remained except for one brief outing in the 90’s when we took it out to show our kids their Dad’s old car.

Last week my husband made the comment to me that he thought it was time.  I said “Time for what?”  “Time to talk to Walter to see if he would like to buy his old Camaro back.  Neither one of us are getting any younger.”  Walter is 61  and my husband is 51.  He continued, “I always told him that if I was ever ready to sell the old Camaro that I would give him first chance to buy it back.”  Later that evening he called Walter’s wife and asked for Walter’s cell phone number to call him.  She gave him the number and he got Walter on the phone.  They talked and I listened to one side of the conversation.  Walter is an over the road truck driver and said that when he got back in town he would stop by to talk.

Walter and his wife showed up at our shop yesterday afternoon.  They had been out to the garage to check the car out.  Noted that it had one flat tire, was dirty but in overall good shape.  My husband and Walter got down to the business of negotiating a price.  I sat down with Walter and his wife to begin the paperwork for the sale while my husband drove out to the garage to retrieve the mileage off the Camaro.  It was 92787 actual miles. 

It was fun to hear both my husband and Walter reminisce about their time with the Camaro.   My husband talked about how the window really shook when they got it up to 140 mph.  Walter said he thought the fastest he drove it was 150 mph.  They commented on the fact that it more amazing that both of them were still around rather than the Camaro due to their driving habits.  Walter talked about picking up his future wife for their first date and how she was wearing white go-go boots when they went out that evening.

Walter talked about stopping by the dealership to see if they had the original invoice from his purchase in 1968.  He said the dealership is still in business.  He talked about how he would have to call his friend who was with him the day he picked up his Camaro the day he bought it to tell him he had it back again.  He told us how they had Nehru jackets to wear while they drove the Camaro.  One was green and one was blue.  Nehru jackets became popular when the Beatles and the Monkeys wore them during performances. 

After we finished up with Walter and his wife we told them we would bring the car out later that evening after we finished up with our other customers for the day.  Walter had to hit the road at 10:00am the next morning.  It took us longer than planned but finally we headed out to the garage with the air tank, flashlight, and flatbed to retrieve the Camaro and deliver it to Walter. 

The anticipation of delivering it was like waiting for someone to open a special Christmas present that you know they will be excited about.  We worked together to carefully load the Camaro on the flatbed and drove to our shop to air up one tire that wouldn’t hold air and to give the Camaro a quick bath before we delivered it.  It’s last one was in the mid 90’s.  It needed it.

Getting a Quick Wash


We drove slowly the mile or so from the shop to Walter’s home.  When we drove into the yard the sound of the diesel truck and headlights brought them out of the house for the unloading.  After we unloaded it my husband got in the car to show Walter the old eight track tapes he found inside.  There were a couple of Beach Boys and a few others.  Then he opened the glove box to see if the owner’s manual was still in the car.  It was and a few other items.  As he paged through the owner’s manual neatly tucked within its pages was Walter’s original purchase invoice for the Camaro.  He wouldn’t need to make a trip back to the dealership after all. 

At the end of the day some things just feel right like the Camaro back home with Walter.  Sleep tight!


Posted by on November 2, 2010 in Life Happens, Reflections, Uncategorized


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Dad’s Sailboat

It takes a truck,

A Trailer

A Sailboat and 4 Willing Participants.

Each fall we help my Dad take his sailboat out of the lake.  Yesterday was the day.  My husband and I  got the truck and headed over to Mom and Dad’s home on Big Birch Lake just 8 miles from our home on Pine Lake.


When we arrived, Dad had his trailer ready to go in the driveway and all the tools he knew we would need gathered.  He commented “I think this is the first year I actually have all my stuff together early.”  We walked down to the dock to make sure everything was in order there and that the outboard motor would start since we wouldn’t be putting up the sails to go to the boat landing.

I told Dad that I’ve helped take the boat in and out the past few years but I can’t remember the last time I’ve actually been on the boat in the water other than at the boat ramp.  When did that happen?  Too busy to sail?  He said “You want to ride with over to the landing?”  I said “Sure.” 

We sent Mom off with their van and Dean off with the truck over to the boat landing and I let Dad and I free of the dock and moved the front end of the boat around the dock.  He said “Don’t forget to jump on.”  I replied “I won’t you’ve got my coffee on board.”  Then I climbed on board as the boat was making its way past the end of the dock.

It’s a short trip over to the landing but the amount of talking we got in seemed like it went on forever.  I kept glancing at Dad and thinking I should take a picture of him, captain of his boat, but I couldn’t do it.  Somehow, I felt if I took the picture, it would be the last one I would have of him on his boat and it shouldn’t be of him motoring across the lake but with the sails up and the winds blowing in his face.  No need to worry, but I don’t ever remember thinking how quickly yet slowly time has gone with Dad.

Dad’s in great shape.  He turned 74 this past February.  He and my Mom have spent the entire summer campaigning because Dad decided to run for Congress as an Independent in Minnesota.  I told them they should have both been wearing pedometers this summer to record the many miles they have walked delivering literature in the district which covers about one-third of the western part of Minnesota from Canada to Iowa.  It’s not his first venture into politics.  He was in the Minnesota House of Representatives for 4 years and the Minnesota Senate for 14 years.

I remember Dad’s first sailboat.  Mom gave him a kit for Christmas one year in either 1964 or 65.  I remember that he built it in the dining room all winter because he couldn’t wait until spring to start it.  That way he’d get in more sailing in the summer.  I was only 4 or almost 5 at the time.  Playing under the upside down boat in the diningroom was my personal fort all winter long.  I hated when he had to turn it over and eventually take it outside in the spring.

Next came the bigger wooden boat that he bought and rebuilt in the backyard of our next home, sometime in the mid 70’s.  When he brought it home from the guy he bought it from he actually put his hand through the front of the boat because portions of the wood were rotten.  We made many trips over to Johnson Marina on White Bear Lake for parts to repair the boat before it was ready to sail. 

I still remember the Memorial Day when my two sisters and I were sitting on the edge of the boat ready to set sail.  Dad handed my brother the main sail rope and the rudder and told him to hold it steady while he adjusted the jib.  He did just as Dad said only a strong gust came up and pulled the rope from his hand and the boom knocked the three of us backwards into the cold waters of White Bear Lake.  I don’t remember ever being so cold and taking so long to warm up.

The adventurous nature of my Dad took us to many places.  One winter we pulled the sailboat behind our van all the way to the South Padre Islands or was it Corpus Christi, Texas so he could try sailing it there.  He put it in and sailed in the waters off the  Texas coast.  He is always happiest when he’s on his boat.  He was in the Army before he went to college but I think he should have joined the Navy instead because of his love of the water. 

After the larger wooden boat came the catamaran sailboat.  That was definitely a wilder ride that any other sailboat to that point.  I even went out in the sling out over the water on the catamaran and had quite the ride when we turtled it on the Fourth of July.  Mom was not a fan of that boat.  No way to stay dry and drink wine when Dad was sailing that boat.

Dad eventually sold the catamaran and purchased the boat he has now the Therapy II.  It’s a fun boat to take out.  Dad loved to take his mom out for rides on it when she would come for a visit.  She was in her nineties when had her last ride in it.  Like my Dad, she was always up for an adventure.

Taking the boat out this year seemed pretty uneventful.  We loaded the boat onto the trailer on the first attempt.  We remembered the order of things and everything went smoothly.  If we had been keeping track of our official times to complete the task, I’m sure this year’s time would have been our best. 

I wish that Dad would have had time to take it for a sail before we put it away.  He said that he only sailed it twice all summer and one of those times was alone Mom was out of town.  I wish that he would have called to see if I wanted to go out.  I’m sure I would have made time to sail or would I have let my busy world take such a pleasure from me?   I’ll never know about this year, but there is always next summer.


Posted by on October 10, 2010 in Life Happens, Reflections, Sailing


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While We Wait

While we wait,

We breathe, slowly, silently,

and sometimes suffocating from the heaviness of our thoughts.

We contemplate our present path.

Will we depart into unknown territory?

Fear invades our thoughts of what will be.

While we wait, we watch for signs in faces of what is to come.

False smiles or faces filled with true compassion for circumstances,

We search for a confident look that answers our questions.

Bravely proceeding forward.

While we wait, we observe that life continues around us.

Hurried, purposeful movements of those on a task to complete.

Not slowing to recognize possible pain.

A silent, slow tear escapes.

While we wait, we dream of possibilities yet to achieve.

People we haven’t met yet and a future not dared to imagine.

We  pray for mercy to enter our lives.

A fresh breath of hope.

While we wait, sometimes all we can do is breathe.

In and out, slowly,  silently and deeply,

While we wait.


Posted by on September 21, 2010 in Life Happens, poetry


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Tic Tac Toe and Other Games We Used to Play…

Tic Tac Toe

As I was sitting in my recliner this afternoon I glanced out and saw the branches of the trees outside out home.  They reminded me of the childhood game we used to play.  We would play game after game in the car as we traveled from home to my grandparents home.  We would play the license plate game or the ABC game as we traveled. 

Another game we used to play was hangman.  In elementary school we made teams and would play this game on a day when we had indoor recess.  Indoor recess games were always designed to keep us as quiet as possible and in our seats which was the complete opposite of what recess was all about.  We also played Seven Up during indoor recess or it we were really lucky for indoor recess our teacher would read us a chapter in a book.  She always had a book she read from each day after lunch before we started our afternoon subjects.  Instead of just one chapter for the day on indoor recess days she would read two chapters.
Outdoor games we used to play in our neighborhood included Ditch which was a form of Hide and Seek on our block as soon as it got dark.  After school we would draw hopscotch boards on the sidewalk and play until we were tired.  One summer we got roller skates that clamped onto our shoes and we spent all our time on wheels.  In the winter we would play King of the Mountain on the large snow piles  left by the snowplows. 
I grew up in the city so our games were different from what my cousins who grew up in the country.  When we went to visit them at our grandpa and grandmas we would play on a hill covered with Sumac.  The girls all became interior designers planning their homes in the sumac and the boys made forts in the sumac.  We would catch frogs and try to have contests to see whose frog could jump the highest or farthest.
I’m fifty years old and as I watch how children spend their time they seem to be so attached to their electronic devices and cell phones.  They are so connected to each other with their cellphones, computer, and Facebook but yet they seem more isolated.  I don’t see them developing relationships face to face with other people and the necessary social skills for workplace environments.   They are very creative with their electronic devices and computers but learning how to deal with different or difficult people is a skill they need to learn but won’t find it in electronics.  Tonight as I am writing this I am watching my 18-year-old daughter working on a puzzle that she and her 21-year-old sister bought last evening.  As she puzzles her cell phone is within inches of her and every few minutes she stops to look at a text message and sends one in return.  The old with the new…. 

Posted by on May 6, 2010 in Reflections


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