Friday, February 29, 2008


Due to the ever increasing price of gas I have been limiting the amount of driving I do; especially trips to town. There is no reason for me to go to town other than to shop, so the fewer the trips I make the better. I used to shop once a week. When the price of gas started going up I began to shop every 2 weeks. I now have cut that to every 3 weeks and sometimes longer. Won’t take much planning to get that down to once a month. I have a freezer and a pressure canner, and I make use of both.

Sure, I drive a truck; but the way I figure, it isn’t what you drive but how much you drive it. Besides, I need a truck for the things I do; like pulling a horse trailer around. When I shop for the long term I also need a truck to haul everything. You can’t fit a month’s worth of groceries, plus feed for the animals, in an economy vehicle. I put fewer miles on the pickup in a year than most people put on a small car. I alternate trips between 2 towns. The closer town just for groceries, and the farther town when I need to go to a feed store and large shopping center.

A couple of days ago I needed to stock up on dog food and grain for the chickens and pigeons, so a trip over the mountain to the farther town was in order. While I still have a foot of old crusted snow in my yard, the roads are clear and the other side of the mountain is practically in the banana belt! No snow at all over there, so the drive over the mountain was uneventful. I pulled into a parking lot and did some shopping in one store. Next stop was a store at the other end of the mall, so I got in the truck to drive over there. Surprise!!! I had no brakes, or practically none! I was only a couple of blocks from the Ford garage, so I limped on over there.

Turned out that something had hung up or otherwise got stuck in the brake assembly causing the brakes to drag. Not enough to be noticeable coming down the mountain, but darn sure enough to over heat the brakes in a big way. While I was in the store the brake fluid had literally boiled; the reason I had almost no brakes at all. The grease in the wheel bearings had liquified, but fortunately hadn’t ruined the bearings. Brake shoes on the rear wheels had to be replaced and the drums machined. The folks at the Ford garage furnished me a loaner, a little econo car, to drive home and return the next day to pick up the truck. Although there was no charge for the loan of the car, they handed me a bill for repairs that knocked a fair sized hole in my bank account. I’m just thankful that the brakes hadn’t failed on the trip over the mountain, especially on the down hill side. That could have been a lively ride to say the least!