My dad passed away a little over a week and a half ago. It was brewing for a while so I think we’re all lucky to have had time to prepare over the past few years and it was by no means a total surprise. No sympathy needed for me, just my mom.
Things got a little crazy once the news dropped. Figure out the pets, work, packing, clothes (suit?!), you know the deal. Grabbed a red-eye from Seattle to Newark and then an overpriced puke-green Kia Soul piloted us down the Garden State Parkway to get into my stomping grounds of Brick, NJ around 8AM. Once we arrived, it was immediately “go time” and things haven’t necessarily slowed down since. lots of planning and arranging and...well, a lot of stuff. I’m very lucky (and increasingly aware of my good situation) to be able to not only take off all of last week, but also be able to work remotely from here this week while also clearing out an amazing amount of junk and sort through finances, insurance, etc.
Where do cars come in? Welp, I’ve always maintained the car guy status in the family to some extent. In the past few months, we got rid of our ‘72 VW Westfalia that my dad got him for himself (but totally pretended it was for me) when I was 16. It was the stupidest, most non-sensical, and impractical purchase we could have made at that time, but god damnit he did it. Did he know #$&* about working on them let alone working on anything with a motor? Not at all! That’s pretty much him in a nutshell.
Anyway, I did semi-adopt that bus and learned a lot about tinkering with parts and wires even when you don’t know what those parts and wires fully do. Trial and error baby. Picked up my junior prom date in that thing, tailgated highschool football games, took it to college a few hours away for Homecoming and overheated every 20 minutes, and eventually used it as a late-night outdoor living room during college breaks for well...you know. The Bus was sold ~3 months ago and we probably could have squeezed a little more $ out of it, but it was damaged in Hurricane Sandy and had a whole butt ton of issues and rust problems that would scare most away towards the end. The guy who tried to flip it after buying it just straight up lied his arse off in the ad I found and I really hope whoever bought it knows what they’re doing so it can get back on the road again safely.
After the bus, there was still a 2005 Jeep Liberty with the 3.7 and a 2001 Subaru Forrester left to deal with. Man, that Subaru used to be my jam and is a prime example of what a Subie can do in the snow when the brodozers can’t even make it out of their driveways. That thing was awesome and pretty zippy. Did I mention it was a stick? Mom knows what’s up. She’s who taught me and I then perfected those skills on the Bus with its 4 speed. If you can master the bus, you’re good — toot toot (that’s the sound of my own horn). Anyway, now the Subaru was worse for wear and the salty air from living on the bay had almost taken more of a toll on that then it did on the bus! They ended up not selling it when they got the Liberty years ago. It still runs, people have looked at buying it, but no real effort’s been made. It’s had some odd drivetrain issues over the years and went 2 clutches and a transmission in 1 year - never go to AAMCO! We had to get corporate involved and everything. All worked out, but you’d think the tranny shop would..ya know, be good at that. Anyway, more to come on that thing.
The Liberty. Oh, the Liberty. Ended up becoming my dad’s car and hasn’t really been driven for the past ~8 months or so, especially after my mom picked up a ‘15 Legacy and he wasn’t driving anymore. I trust the cock-roachness and hardiness of Jeeps after witnessing my brother’s XJ over the years. At the same time, man I hated this thing. Terrible to drive. BUT! Guess what car needed a new serpentine belt and water pump? You guessed it. Did that whole diddy for the first time this past week and felt pretty accomplished. My wrenching has previously been limited to the most basic of basics even though I’m capable of more, it was always just a time/benefit/money/risk of mistake thing. Now I feel a little more confident in myself and I’m having a neighbor gear head come check that everything is right in a few days.
Getting ready to fly back to Seattle in the next 3-4 days, but happy that I was able to come in and do my part with the vehicles and get one of them up & running and also get the driveway in order with the Jeep & Forrester. I’ll work on getting them sold remotely or when I’m back. I’ve had this urge to write an Oppo post during all of this and I finally had some down time (whoops, supposed to be working) and here ya go. Excuse typos because I didn’t proofread this thing for sh!t.