Sunday, April 10, 2022

Eenie Meenie Minie Mo

The Fred Flinstone Fleet of Trusty but Rusty Minnesota Vehicles


We have an accumulation of vehicles around our place as a result of being commuters over the past few years and needing different vehicles for various jobs. For instance, while he was working over the years, my Best Half, has had a truck that he has gone up and down the road using. He needed something to haul ladders and equipment in from clinic to clinic, and so the truck was the logical tool of transportation for him. It also was big,comfortable and noticeable on the freeway when all the other crazy commuters blew past him.

We also have a minivan (Baby Blue) that I use for hauling grandkids with the seats up or my canoe or kayak with the seats down. Or for solo camping a bed fits in back comfortably to stay warm and dry. I love my minivan and the convenience it has with the stowaway middle and back seats. It is big enough to be seen and yet small enough to maneuver around pretty easily. It is such a multipurpose vehicle for us. We have owned a minivan of some sorts for the past 15 years. That’s how much I like them and find them multifunctional.

For the Minnesota snow and Spring mud, we have a Jeep Liberty (Hi Ho SIlver) that will take us pretty much anywhere without any problems of getting stuck or spinning out. It is a bit smaller but for me,I love tooling around in it. The heat and AC rock. But it is a rare beauty with all of the rust and missing pieces that have been stacked in the garage for when it gets warmer and some body work can be done on it.

And lastly, of course, we have Big Eddie that pulls the C.O.W. cross country. Big Eddie is roomy for 7 people or with the 2 dogs, it gets around well in the winter snow and mud. And has an awesome heater and warm seats for the winter. It feels like a luxury vehicle…as long as we don’t look at all the Minnesota rust over the side panels.

While all of the vehicles have met our needs the past few years, it is becoming very apparent that we no longer need 4 vehicles for the 2 of us. While none of them are even close to newer, the newest being Big Eddie, a 2007 model, they all have been kept up and all are running well. They are all full of good old Minnesota rust from the road salt in the winter,and like I said pieces have literally fallen off of all of them. So none of them are anything to look at. Sometimes I feel like my feet will fall through the floorboards and I will be traveling like Fred Flintstone with my feet running through on the road under the vehicle

But back to the dilemma we are finding ourselves in, it is time to get rid of 1 or maybe even 2 vehicles. With the price of gas and keeping a fleet of vehicles insured, it doesn’t make sense any longer. It is expensive. The dilemma…which ones do we keep? 

The other day we sat at the kitchen table looking out on the fleet of vehicles consuming our driveway and had the conversation about which one to part with first. It was a relatively heated debate as we both have reasons for wanting the vehicles we want. After discussing it and reaching no conclusion, we tried a different approach and discussed which vehicles serve our purpose best? While it wasn’t much easier, we were able to eliminate the minivan from leaving our driveway. Baby Blue is the most versatile of the 4. It holds lots of people or the canoe or kayak without hauling a trailer, and it has the least amount of rust and  body parts missing.

That left the Jeep, the Truck, and Big Eddie to remove from the driveway. After more debating and discussing and probably a sense of ``the lesser of all the other evils”, the Jeep was allowed to stay in the fleet for the time being. While it literally has the most body parts sitting in the garage waiting to get the body work done on it, it also gets the best gas mileage compared to the truck and Big Eddie. And it has 4 wheel drive for mud and snow season. So a decision was made to keep Hi Ho Silver, the Jeep. And that was about all our brains could figure out for the day. 

Today Big Eddie and the Truck sit on the sidelines of the driveway awaiting the fate of their future. While Big Eddie hauls the C.O.W. so well, the truck could also do it as well. Big Eddie looks nicer and is way easier for my short legs to get into, but it doesn’t get as good of gas mileage as the truck. A factor to figure in as gas prices are about $4/gallon. On the flip side, the truck is very big and tall. My Best Half usually sets a step stool next to the door so I can climb in a little more gracefully than reaching for the grab bars and hoisting my 5’4” self into it. That usually does not end well. Besides looking like an old woman retired from the Flying Wallenda”s trapeze show, I have lost my hand on the grab bars and wound up on the ground in mud. No safety nets to catch me when I fall.

So for right now it is pretty much a toss up on what we are going to do? Just 6 months ago gas was cheaper, and we were using all the vehicles for getting around and commuting. But now it is time to let go of one of the big rigs we have. I am feeling like those reality shows that show you 3 islands and you have to decide which one you’ll take. In our case it is which one are we going to sell and send down the road? Which one will it be? With maybe a few more kitchen table discussions, we will come to a decision, I guess. But who knows we may just do “eenie meenie minie mo, which one should we let go”…I guess time will tell.


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