Thursday, November 17, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

photo source A turkey on the table, another in the driveway.

My Wife reads a very nice magazine entitled "Where Women Create". This is one of those fancy Stampington and Company  journal type magazines with high quality paper and photographs. Inside are chronicled the stories of creative, artistic Women and the environments that they have built to foster and facilitate the construction and expression  of their dreams. What does this have to do with Better Beaters, or any type of automotive endeavors for that matter? While I will admit to a little jealousy of some of the beautiful studios and shops that they get to do their work in, there are still some women working in much more modest circumstances. Either way they are finding ways to live their artistic dreams- right now. These articles usually feature some encouraging or uplifting quotation that encapsulates their creative philosophy.

"The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes their way." Karen S. Magee

This is actually a very good observation and very good advice. While many of us car guys, myself included, are continually chasing the "next big thing" and looking for that next project or hobby car, it is all too easy to lose sight of what we have available right under our noses. The internet makes looking at all kinds of available cars so easy that we can find ourselves spending hours a day looking through various auto related sites. This can lead to us becoming dis -satisfied with the cars we currently own. We want to have one of those cool cars that those "other guys" have. I guess that this is similar to the Facebook phenomenon of "FOMO" , fear of missing out. Why do we always think that someone else is always having more fun? Luckily I haven't fallen into that rabbit hole, since I'm not on Facebook.

I do spend a lot of time on Craigs List looking at cars that I would like to buy. Especially if I had the money, time, and a place to park them! You can spend (or waste) a lot of time in this activity. Time and effort you
could apply to your current projects. You could even just spend some extra time enjoying what you currently have.

Photo taken at Pacific Grove.

I've written that I've been trying to sell my '96 Mustang convertible which I've owned for around five years. I've put around 50,000 miles on this car since I bought it, My Wife and I been all over the State in this car, and it's been a lot of fun. That's why I bought it. But somehow I got the idea that this car isn't good enough, isn't worth spending my emotional resources on. Sure it's nothing special. It isn't rare or worth very much money (as I found when I put it up for sale!). Still, it is a sporty, V8 powered, fun to drive little convertible,

So I chased the Classic Mustang dream with my '70 coupe. You know how that ended. Then I went for the exotic "Legendary car", my XJS. That story is still unfolding. Then I went and bought my XJ6, which I've been driving the wheels off. I have derived maximum enjoyment from this car because I use it. That is the key.

Last week I washed my Mustang and drove it to work, then ran some errands after work for a couple of hours with the top down. I had forgotten how much fun it can be to cruise around in the Fall sun, listening to the stereo and burble of the exhaust. Sure, I'm not going to impress the guy that passed me in the Carrera convertible, or the new Challenger, but so what. What counts is that I'm out there living the life on my terms, and deriving the same enjoyment that those driver's are.

My garage won't ever warrant a story in "Where Old Guys Create" or any other auto magazine, but I'm cleaning it out so that I can finally move forward. I got a house and a garage and really a lot to be thankful for. I shouldn't lose sight of that. If you added up the value of all my cars you'd be hard pressed to make a decent down payment on a new car. But that's okay because I'm not playing that game.

If you are one of the few (very few!) people reading this blog then you will understand where I'm coming from. I started this blog to celebrate the little guy, the regular guy. We are fortunate enough to be able to divert a few funds towards some kind of car or motorcycle that we like and can afford. So keep on dreaming, and keep on working towards their fulfillment.  After all. this isn't a dress rehearsal. There is no take two.

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