Finding This Treasure By Accident

First of all, let this serve as a lesson on how to be reminded that your wife is always in charge. Whether you want to accept this little factoid or not is not the question, but it is definitely the answer. Even tho I am very good at what I do some things are a pretty hard sell. But, I am getting ahead of myself totally here. So, Let me start at the beginning where everything started so y’all don’t get even more lost than usual. Anyway, not too terribly long ago I got a phone call from my mother-in-law where she proceeded to explain to me that her cousin’s uncle’s father’s niece’s father (or something to that extent) had passed away recently. He owned a house and property deep in the sticks here in southeast Texas and was a known hoarder of too many things to list. So, of the two people that all his worldly belongings were left to in a verbal will passed down word of mouth for a while is my mother-in-law and one of her sisters who had passed years ago. She had no idea about any of it until she got her phone call. She went on to explain that nobody had seen him in years since he kinda lived “off the grid” if you know what I mean. My mother-in-law wanted me to drive here out to the property to see what she had just inherited. She thought I would get a kick out of it since I go to so many estate auctions. Fair assumption, I like digging through dead people’s stuff looking for that one or two things that jump out at me. I hooked up to my trailer and then drove over to pick her up so we could make the 1 1/2 hour drive to BFE Texas to take a look around. When we arrived at the property, which doesn’t show up on a GPS by the way, it felt like we were going back in time, way back.

The house was a one bedroom, kitchen/living room combo with a porch across the front and east side. It was discovered very fast in a quick scan of the interior that there was no indoor plumbing as I had to make a trip out back to the outhouse. I will be honest, I didn’t use the inside of the outhouse since I about blew chunks from the smell when I opened up the door. That old man should have layed off the burritos! Other than that, the house was basically falling down. The house had repairs to the repairs which had once been repaired. I would have venture to say that this house served him well for the past 65 years. The story is that he built this house to impress the girl he was courting and wanted to show her what he was made of. Ok, yes, she fell for it and they lived as a couple un-married for 52 years when she passed away. That is about all the history I know, the rest is pretty sketchy at best. We spent a fair amount of time looking around the house. We found some furniture worth restoring, an iron claw foot tub was found in the bedroom, and some pictures and such. I went ahead and loaded that stuff onto the trailer. That was what was in the house since he lived a rather meager life. We discussed me coming back in a few weeks to finish cleaning out the place and then go ahead and level the building before it falls in on itself and kills somebody. Seems sad to me since the man built it all by hand. But, it is in bad shape, I don’t think it would survive a revival or a move to someplace else. I will have to make sure to get a few of the old window frames since those are always pretty cool to have, there is so much a person can do with them. Then we made a final pass and we were out the door. She had mentioned he collected junk and such so I wanted to go look around the property a bit. He had a few buildings which had collapsed in on themselves some years ago by the looks of them. It is when I got behind the second building that I knew I had struck gold because there was an old truck and a few antique farm implements hiding in the shade of the trees.

I was beside myself actually. I was standing in front of the remains of a 1940ish Chevrolet pick-up. You know how a kid gets when there is a new toy or game at the store and you can’t pull them away because they had become all glazed over with excitement? That was me, I will admit that, because I was immediately thinking of what I could do with it so I could sell the idea to my wife. Some of you may be thinking it was wrong of me to look at it as I have to sell the idea to my wife, but in my defense, what my wife would of seen if she were there was a rusted out truck in the trees, not what I can make it. I now have the vision. Plus, now I know what I will do with the 427 Hemi that I have had sitting in the corner of my shop for the last three years. My vision is something close to stock on the body. I see it John Deere green with yellow accents and the green and yellow interior. The sad thing is I always had a mystery vehicle in mind for this vision but a big fat question mark for what vehicle it would actually be. So, yea, I have been waiting for this truck. It not having a bed is perfect as well because it will become a wood flatbed. I can see the re-birth of this truck in my head. I might have actually given myself a headache thinking about this so hard. However, I have been looking for less to do rather than getting into another long term project. In many ways, I’m torn. Since y’all have gotten the jist of this post y’all already know I loaded it up on my trailer and took it home. In fact, it is still sitting on my trailer backed into the shop, I didn’t want it to rust. Plus it gives me more time to warm my wife up to the idea of restoring this beautiful truck.

Not to get off on a tangent here but I often wondered why owners of vehicles let them get to such a state. I would think they would want to pass them on to someone who would either take care of it as it is or transform it back into it’s former glory. Yes, I do realize that old men do not part with their worldly possessions easily. Plus most old men don’t want to see these old cars turned into chopped down hot rods. I get that fully and I understand it to the extent that I almost don’t want to do what I want to do to this truck. So, in many ways, I’m torn on what I want to do. I always wanted a hot rod. I never actually wanted a classic car to tool around in tho. But this truck is screaming hot rod at me, I hear it echoing in my head right now as I type this post. I will be fair with whatever I do. As I sat and watched it rust on the trailer in my shop I was still wondering what my wife was going to think. At that very moment the door to the shop opened. It was my son. He was excited because he knows he will be driving it one day. He told me he would be looking really cool pulling in the parking lot for the high school the very first day. Luckily for me he is only pushing twelve, so I have a few years. He is a terror on wheels already, I can’t even imagine if he was driving a hot rod truck as his first car. I have mentioned before in past posts I see myself in him and that truly scares me. My dad was the same way with me, if I wanted to drive it, ride it, or fly it, he never told me no. Now he is very excited. Shortly afterwards, the door opened again, this time it was my wife. She had a stupid little shit eating grin on her face. She just wanted to see the surprise I brought home. Of course, my mother-in-law had just let the cat out of the bag when she called her to ask if she liked the truck. Fortunately, she just walked up to me, kissed my shoulder on her way to walk around the trailer while she just shook her head. When she made it back around the trailer she told me, “I don’t care what you do with it, just make sure you don’t build something that your son can kill himself in showing off to the girls on the first day of high school”. All I could do is smile. She knows I am going to build a hot rod. She also informed me that my new “girlfriend” had better understand I am married or she will end up on fire while heading down the bank of the creek. Interesting the way my wife puts her thoughts into words that make a sharp and effective point.

For now, my new girlfriend will just have to wait her turn. I have plenty of time but I don’t have the desire to start anything real big yet. Luckily my wife has not brought up the fact that I already have other projects that have been just sitting there waiting for me to finish. Plus, I don’t want to make my H1 mad since she is very temperamental when she finds out I have been driving something else besides her. So, I don’t even know what I am going to do with the old truck yet, if I am even going to do anything with it. My wife had mentioned just selling it, no harm no foul, and call it even. I think my wife fears that I will become one of those men who buy old shit to rebuild or restore and never actually get around to doing it. Then, when I die she has to get rid of it. So, I don’t want to be one of those men, but at the same time, I do like to tinker quite a bit. Well, it’s neither here nor there, I have a new project whenever I get ready to take it on. I didn’t ask for it since in reality it fell in my lap. But, I guess I need to learn to tell myself no more often. Plus, strangely enough, I like my cars already done and ready to drive. I spent too many years buying beaters and constantly fixing them just to keep them on the road. Luckily I haven’t had to do that for about six or seven years. I will just let the old truck sit on the trailer in my shop for now. Soon enough I will need my trailer and then the real decision will need to be made, roll it off in the shop or roll it off back behind the shop. I am sure only time will tell.


Just Smokin’ My Life Away

There’s no question about it, I really enjoy smokin’. Those of y’all that have been around a while already know that I smoke every opportunity I get. Those of y’all who are new will soon find out that I smoke every chance I get. I have found that there are different degrees and fashions to smoke meat. I have been doing this for 20 plus years and I think I am finally figuring the science of it all out. Since I have multiple ways to smoke or cook meat I get asked allot to cook at family functions, work functions, and at home all the time. I don’t mind. One can’t mind or be bothered when he has a true passion for doing what he loves to do. I enjoy it so much that I have built some good smokers. Don’t get me wrong, I have had a few failures as well which were very valuable lessons in my life. My most valued and treasured one is a trailer mounted 100 gallon reverse flow smoker. I take it to most places I go to and have found it is a very welcome site when I am seen rolling up. People know I am not going to disappoint. I take pride in what I do and everyone knows it.
I have bought different things over the years to broaden my horizons a bit. Last summer I picked up a roaster since cooking a whole pig is easier to do on an open pit. I could have done it the old fashioned way and built me a pit but I can’t go mobile with that. I like mobile since I like to go camping. Nothing beats throwing a couple big birds or a whole pig on the roasting pit and let them slow cook all day or all night. I realize many of y’all are city dwellers and this might all seem a bit barbaric since everything y’all buy is in a supermarket or at a restaurant. I have friends that live in apartment style building and have to resort to a little hibachi grill that holds 8 wieners or 3 hamburger patties or 2 small steaks and they think they are truly grilling. I tell them that they do what they can do. There are so many people that don’t even know that a person can cook their own meat outdoors. I feel very sorry for those types because I feel they are missing so much in life. In fact, I can’t imagine a lifestyle where there is no grillin’, roastin’, or smokin’.
I was reminded a few weeks ago that I had a project going on that my wife would really like me to finish. This particular project is close to completion from my point of view. I wanted to build a “smoke-building” out by my shop but shied away from the idea because I didn’t actually want to have to build a structure. It’s not that it was going to be too much work, but it ends up being relatively permanent. That idea scared me a bit because I could never just pick a spot, I was torn between about three place. I want it close enough to the house where it isn’t a hike to get to it yet I want it far enough from the house where we don’t get smoked out when the wind changes. So I came up with the idea to scale it down and make it portable. This way I can put it on the deck, outside my shop, or even take it with me somewhere if needed. I’m not done with it by no means and really need to get my ass in gear if I ever want to be able to use it. In reality all I lack is the “pit” enclosure which will fit into the bottom partially, but mostly out to the back, which will probably be fitted with some kind of small squirrel cage blower for increased smoke volume and transfer.

I will get done with this little project in due time. I need to get it done because it is in the way. I need to get it done because it’s not smoking anything for me the way it is. I don’t know which is worse, having an idea or building that idea. Seems if I would stop coming up with different things then I wouldn’t get in such a pickle. I think once I am done with this I will take it easy for a while and just enjoy the fruits of my labor. I know what your thinking and I will tell you I do not have an addiction or a problem, I just like meat of all sorts. Wait til y’all get a taste of the rabbits I smoked up. I will include in a post the ingredients, preparation, and cooking for anyone who wants to give it a shot. Do y’all have rabbit locally available? If not you should probably move. I hear Texas is a real nice place to live. So, I think that is all for now, I have allot of work to do.