Sunday, May 17, 2015

The new farmhand.


     We had an opportunity to upgrade our fleet options recently. Cindy has her adorable little Fiat 500 and Caleigh has her cute mysterious black Seat Ibiza. My old high mileage Peugeot was starting to give hints about its long term reliability. And some friends had a 26 year old station wagon they were selling.
     First let me just say the Peugeot performed admirably for the last four plus years. I researched for months before we moved to France. Believe it or not, it was between a VW Golf four door diesel and the aforementioned Peugeot. The Peugeot won for its bulletproof engine and its aesthetics. Hard to believe, right?
     The little Peugeot had a wonderful life on the farm. When we bought it, the place selling it to us fit a trailer hitch, and trailer light plug set up and we were good to go. During its tenure with us it racked up close to 80,000 problem free miles. It took scores of dump runs with the trailer loaded from all the work we did rebuilding the house. It took Caleigh to school most every morning, in the cold weather its mini nuclear instant heater was famous, in the hot weather its non working air conditioner was infamous. Also it vacationed with us going on trips that included Antibes, Saint Cirq Lapopie, Agen (often), and Bordeaux Airport (also often). It helped us at every turn, and was retired to a really nice young lady with two children that lives in Marmande. So it gets another family to embrace.  
     It had a fun time with us until I had the option to replace it with my fantasy vehicle. I felt a little like a scoundrel replacing it, but I reasoned that the new (much older) vehicle would be of more help running a 50 acre farm – vineyard, and acclimate to the country life.   
     Ever since I was 15, I’d imagined myself behind the wheel of this archaic design. It evoked images of safari’s and wheeling through the desert chased by the forces of evil. And as I grew, the imagery turned to that of driving country roads, although quickly, not breakneck. And as more time passed, the chases slowed down to driving through Scotland, taking in the “Local Hero” charm at a gentlemanly pace. Now with grey hair chasing my hairline, I see the drive up the long driveway, kind of like an English estate wagon after a drive to the local produce market. Sure it took me 40 years to get the car of my dreams, but I feel like it’s worth slowing down and enjoying the oncoming winter. The four wheel aspect may come in handy in the winter of my life, or towing the trailer through the vines as I prune them during this hot summer.
     I bid a respectful goodbye to my old Peugeot, but embrace the (new) old station wagon. And if Cindy sees me driving a little too fast down the long rows of vines, I’m sure she’ll understand that it’s just me.

     Escaping from the hordes of Axis Panzerwagens chasing me.