Back to the Basement
Now that the holiday season is winding down, and our New Year's resolutions have been made, it is time to get back to one of my first loves (noted exceptions - wife, family, friends, family and all the usually individuals as the top of the list of loves). Every fall, Rita travels down to the basement where she goes through four or five months of rest and relaxation and beauty treatments. This winter, Rita literally went back in time as she was converted from a 1970 MGB to a 1969 or earlier MGB. She got the "chrome bumper treatment" which, as all MG fanatics know, was the golden age of the "B".
The six-bolt transformation that I had been promised turned into a month long process of taking out the old (1970) grill and re-fitting the new (1960's) grill. With a new chrome bumper bar and fog lights, the transformation was complete. I won't say that the process did not involve more than one frustrating moment, but MGs are not cars, they are hobbies. You better not own one if you don't like working on them.
For all of the time, frustration, and expense involved in keeping these cars on the road, the joy (if your mindset is right) is worth it. Knowing that I have several months to finish whatever project Rita wants, somehow makes sense. I can take my time and walk away to contemplate any roadblocks that come up along the way.
I have an old eight-track player in the basement with a very limited selection of music, but that is part of the catharsis. Somewhere between Jerry Butler and Iron Butterfly, I find that my blood pressure drops as I think about the last person who took the bumper off this car. I wonder if the car will still be around fifty years from now? Will there be someone who takes this bumper off again and wonder about me? I don't mind saying that sometimes I do a little better job on a project just so that the new me fifty years from now appreciates the job I did back in 2022.
Rita presently has her brakes spread across the basement floor. I constantly try to reassure her that I do know what I am doing (even though I don't) and she will be able to stop safely when she hits the road in the spring. I am betting my life on it!