Friday, January 18, 2013

Big, Blue Beauty

She's big.  And blue.  And quite beautiful in that worn-out-give-me-attention kind of a way.  

But she's ours.  All 3,870 pounds of her.  Stephen, my husband, and I own a 1972 Chevy Suburban.  A three-door truck, utility vehicle they call it, large enough to fit the entire youth group I believe.

She came under our possession after the closing bid of an EBay auction - only $25 over the reserve price.  Luck had it that she was up for auction three other times and never sold before Stephen placed his bid.  Luck had it that the owner only lived 3 and a half hours away in Kansas.  Luck had it that we have friends who own a car trailer so we could haul her back to Missouri.  

Yet, I knew luck had nothing to do with owning a '72 Chevy Suburban.  

My father owned another Chevy car from 1972 and with just a little over one year since he died, my husband and I are honored to restore and work and play and enjoy a car that we know he would have loved to be working by its side.  

Luck had nothing to do with it; we know we have angels looking out for us.  

And thankfully, we were not alone as we drove three and a half hours to the middle-of-nowhere Kansas to pick up the Suburban.  Randolph, Kansas.  I've driven in Kansas before and was glad that Stephen could experience the state's expansiveness and distinct beauty through the Flint Hills.  Mile after mile along I-70 to our destination looking out over the hills and the blue sky we wondered what exactly we had gotten ourselves into.  

We only saw pictures of the car.  
We only read that it ran.  
We only engaged in short phone conversations detailing our pick up time.  
Who knew what we had invested in.        

After driving through the nearest large town, Manhattan, we went north 20 miles till we reached Randolph.  Perhaps we'd be able to get a bite to eat after loading the car, so we thought.  We called the sellers once we arrived unsure of our destination and parked outside of the abandoned Fleetwood Grille.  Only a gas station across the way drew any sort of notice in this stretch of town.  

Even before we got a glimpse of our big, blue beauty we could hear her roar.  Stephen and I turned at the same time and exclaimed, "There she is!"  Our EBay seller got out of the car with a smile on his face and the title in his hand.  

Stephen checked it all out, opened the hood, sat in the driver's seat.  She was ours.  


I mentioned we had a car trailer, but Stephen had just picked it up the day before to get himself familiar with its workings.  Our new friend from Kansas even noted that you don't see trailers like that around here too often.  But Stephen rolled back the rollback trailer so the car could drive on and drove the car on.  Step one.  The difficulty came when our trailer needed to be rolled forward, but it just wouldn't go.  Slight problem.

One and a half hours later our dear Kansas friend and Stephen had jerryrigged speaker wire to the trailer brakes in order to get the roll-back to actually occur.  The third time was our charm. (Or was it the fifth?)

She was ours.  With only three and a half hours of driving to separate us from being home.  

Our Kansan friend said to us as we prepared to leave, "Just promise each other that you'll finish one project before starting another."  

Throughout the drive home both Stephen and I kept looking back at our big, blue beauty.  And we kept driving to a future full of more unexpected journeys and hospitality along every turn.  


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