Add a Dog House to the List

The list of things we need in our house is ever growing and we’re still having no luck finding a house.  There are two more we’ll look at today and tomorrow.

Saturday we went to a picnic and then drove through a couple of areas looking for houses for sale.

Vince is so seriously in the dog house!

You know that I could care less what kind of car I drive, just so it’s dependable and the air conditioner works great.  The Honda is 11 years old and I still think it’s dependable but the air conditioner doesn’t work great.  The Highlander  . . well, even though it’s more than 4 years old, Vince is not about to drive that.  I feel just like many of you feel.  Why keep the darned thing if we can’t use it?  I’ve humored him for 4 years because my car is just a car.  I don’t trash it but I also eat and drink in the car if needed, I forget to remove lots of things from the car and it doesn’t bother me one bit.  I’d rather drive the 11 year old Honda than deal with Vince’s heart failure because a bag of potato chips accidentally dumped in my floor.  (OK . . I cleaned that up out of the Honda yesterday!)

The pickup is 16 years old.  About 4-1/2 years ago, the engine went out in it when Vince and I were almost to Joplin.  Chad had to come get us and the pickup was towed back to Nevada, MO and the pickup got a whole new engine . . but once a vehicle does that to me, I have a hard time trusting it.

The Honda gets better gas mileage than does the pickup and since we live 20 miles from work, I’ve been asking Vince to take the Honda to work but if he did that and I had to go somewhere . . I’d take the Highlander and he just can’t stand to think of that happening.

Since Vince has been in Texas, the radiator in the pickup sprang a leak.  He was going to get it fixed but somehow “miraculously” fixed it himself, though he still carries around a bucket of water in his truck.

Back to Saturday.  We’re going to the picnic.  He said “Which vehicle do you want to take?”  I said “Not the Honda .. it’s too hot!”  So, we took the pickup.  As we were driving around looking at houses, I asked him if the temperature gauge was ok because it smelled kinda hot.  It was fine!

We went through this neighborhood and that neighborhood; we went to areas around the lake.  We were starting back home and saw a for sale by owner sign.   We turned down the driveway which happened to be about 1/4 mile long.  We got to the house and it was a small weekend type place but Vince wanted to get out and walk around.  There water was completely dried up around the area so we walked out and looked at it.  When we got back in the truck, it would not start!  There were no other houses anywhere to be seen.  My cell phone had no service.  It was hotter than heck.  I was thinking . . the headlines will read “Remains found of couple who died of heat exhaustion in 16 year old POS pickup while two decent vehicles sat in their driveway!”

About that time, a white extended cab pickup turned down the driveway and stopped.  I said “Vince . . RUN!  Don’t let them leave!”  They were writing down the phone number of the house for sale and they thought we were the owners flagging them down to come see the house.

They were very nice folks just out looking for a place on the lake and they gave us a ride back to our house.

Vince waited for the pickup to cool down and then we went back over there.  We could hardly even remember where we had left it.  I was praying it was lost and we’d never find it.

DSC_0640We found it!  Sad smile  It had cooled down and Vince put some water in it, though he said it had plenty of water, and of course, it cranked right up.  He’s so sure it wasn’t out of water but just had some kind of glitch and everything is fine.  That’s what I say . . don’t even take it to the shop.  Keep driving it!  Maybe once and for all we can get rid of the truck.


I said “You make sure I have a check from the new Texas checking account because Monday I’m going to trade the Honda in for a new pickup and you can drive anything you want but I’m getting myself a new pickup”.  He knows I won’t do it.  Besides, I want a Honda Ridgeline and can’t buy a Honda in Brownwood and don’t have a clue how to get to Abilene or Austin.

Seriously . . why is he driving a 16 year old pickup that has a leaking radiator?  The more difficult question for me is . . Why am I riding in a 16 year old pickup that has a leaking radiator?  No more!  I’m so done with that pickup.


  1. 2

    Regina says

    Beware, Vince – she has friends who will send her maps and get her to Abilene or Austin!!!!!

  2. 3

    Carol Campbell says

    It’s not that hard to drive up to Abilene. Do you have a GPS or at the very least a Texas road map?

  3. 4


    there are mechanics that can replace the radiator and hoses in a day too…………….. for less than the cost of a frigerator prolly, lollll men !

  4. 6


    He probably put Barsleak in the pick up radiator, or tightened the clamp or replaced some hoses—whatever, it’s not working. Sorry you both got stranded in the heat. Sounds like something else is going on with the pick up though. And if it seriously overheated, it’s fried now. I’ve always been fascinated with your stories about the Highlander and it sitting un-used. I’m not sure what makes it special I guess as it’s not a collector vehicle. But, if you need a new car that H0nda Ridgeline is sure nice! We considered it when we bought our Nissan Murano except the leg room for Bill was close, and it wasn’t comfortable for him to drive. It would be wonderful for you though.
    Since Vince makes such a fuss about the Highlander, you would probably never be really comfortable driving it, even if you could get him to agree to using it as your car. So, I would seriously find a way to buy the Honda Ridgeline. No air conditioning in the Texas heat could be downright dangerous. Continued good luck with the house hunting!

  5. 7

    Donna in KS says

    Judy, I love the way you tell the story! I’m so with you on this. Why can’t you drive the Highlander? At least the one that sits in the garage the most at our house is a one of a kind, last model made USA made Roadmaster! I cannot imagine what could be so special about a Highlander! LOL I laughed and laughed at Vince and several men I know as I read this post. I hope the picnic was fun.
    Donna in KS

  6. 8


    And so your new life in Brownsville begins . . . some things never change and neither will Vince. That’s why we love him. Just look at all the things you have to write about just because of him. And we all get to enjoy you both.

  7. 10


    Men! I can always tell too when something is going wrong because of the smell or whatever and of course according to DH I am not right – and then I am proven a short while later that I am.

  8. 11

    Toni in TN says

    My laugh of the day! Inquiring minds want to know, did the green t-shirts make the move to TX?

    • 11.1


      At this point, there’s no telling what made it and what didn’t. I didn’t throw them out — except those two that were falling apart.

  9. 12

    quilterbee says

    It’s not good for a car to sit in a garage and not be driven. Does he at least take it for small rides?

    It sounds like Texas, is a new adventure everyday for you and Vince.

  10. 13

    Debbie W says

    Yikes! Getting stranded in that heat is just as scary as it is to get stranded in the freezing cold here on the prairies!

    Hope you get your vehicle dilemma solved soon.

  11. 14

    Cindy from California says

    I have a 2005 Highlander with air conditioning and GPS! I LOVE it!!! It is easy to put stuff in the back end and easy to get it out! I can lay down the back seats if I need more more room (like when my two daughters and I went car camping!).

    My husband nags me too about stuff that I leave in the car, but I just tell him to go take care of his 1965 International Pickup! It runs, kind of. But I won’t ride it any further than I can walk home!!

    If it is just the two of you going out together to a picnic, shopping or house hunting, why can’t you both ride in the Highlander??? I would so revolt!!

  12. 15

    Linda Beasley says

    Well, I wish I was closer. We’d head for Abilene in a heartbeat. I’m not sure where you are at the Lake, but I’m assuming it’s off 279, maybe. If so, you take 279 North to Cross Plains. Hang a left at Cross Plains on Hwy 36, can’t remember if its a stop sign or flashing light. Anyway, 36 will take you straight into Abilene , past the airport where it becomes S. 11th. When you get to S. 11th and Treadway, take a left on Treadway , to S. 14th, take a right and S. 14th will take you all the way to S. Danville Dr. and there is a Honda dealership at 1396 S. Danville. ph # 325 793 3028. at least there was in 2008 and I bet it’s still there. Danville is the access road by the Winters Freeway.
    It would take me exactly 1 hour to get from Underwood’s Barbecue to the cut off to my son’s house. He lived about 12 miles east of the airport.

    Just hang in there Judy, Mercury will be out of retrograde in a few days. lol for those who don’t know, when Mercury is in that position, it’s like Murphy’s law….if anything can go wrong it will, so my sister says. lol

    I best get back to my peach freezer jam, then it’s onto chopping green tomatoes and onions for chow chow. Found the greatest vegetable stand at Canton. I’m going back Wed. lol

  13. 17

    Linda in NE says

    Are you sure Vince isn’t my DH’s twin brother??? I just don’t understand hanging on to old, unreliable junk. For what my advice is worth (and we know what free advice is worth, don’t we?) just start driving the Highlander and tell him to deal with it and maybe if the pickup lets him sit by the side of the road a few more times he’ll decide getting a different one might not be such a bad idea. Men!!!

  14. 18

    Rebecca says

    I’m so curious (OK, nosy) now: how many miles does the Highlander have on it? What was its intended use??

    So glad you have a sense of humor, and it translates through the Web!

    • 18.1


      I think it has 18,ooo miles and it’s a bit over 4 years old. It’s intended use was to be used! We bought it when the motor went out in the pickup and we weren’t going to ge it fixwd. Bought the Highlander and then he decided to put a new motor in the pickup.

  15. 19

    Kate says

    LOL – I thought sure you had gotten a puppy !!!! Was pretty sure Speck would object… how is Speck doing with the move, by the way??? Kate

  16. 21

    Lucia Butler says

    Cars and truck are such macho things, if you criticize them in anyway it is as if you had attacked their manhood. Women don’t react like that if the washing machine breaks down or the vacuum cleaner doesn’t work. What is it with them???

  17. 22

    Tina says

    I can’t imagine no AC in NJ (air conditioning, not Atlantic City!), I don’t want to think about not having it in Texas, especially this year! To update you, we traded in my 13-yr-old Mazda Protege for a brand new Mazda3. I’ve bought four new cars in my life and they’ve all been the same car, just the current model! My twin sister is upset with me because she’s got last year’s model in the same color! But hers has more gadgets, so she’s still one up on me. Oh, and we got registration renewals in the mail today for the two cars we just got rid of! LOL.

  18. 23

    Karen says

    Judy, you have far more patience than I have. I drove a Highlander for years and loved it. I’d be driving that car and enjoying the AC – I’d probably promise not to leave anything in the car – Bob’s always taking ‘stuff’ out of my car. You could eat off any flat surface in his truck, mine, not so much.

  19. 25

    Cari J. in YC, Cal says

    I’m married to a ‘Car Guy’. I didn’t really understand him until I read a newspaper article Ann Landers wrote about them. I finally understood why he never let me drive his vehicles. And there is the key word ‘his’. He has a nice Chevy Truck, boat, three motorcycles and a nice 260Z he has had fun restoring. When he rides one of his 3 his motorcycles I ask him, “where is he taking his girl today?” I have my 1999 Subaru with less than 140K miles and one used motorcycle bought for me 18 months ago. Nothing goes to a shop. He can fix, repair and maintain all our vehicles, two and four wheels. I love the guy, my name is on all the registrations. But I don’t drive his rigs…….. He is an electrician by trade, can do plumbing jobs, is a good painter and carpentry isn’t his thing.

  20. 27

    Laurel from Iowa says

    Oh, how I love to read about your adventures, be they in the wild or in your home. I’m so glad I found your site! Hang in there; just don’t ride in the pickup!