Thursday, May 30, 2013

"When The Going Gets Tough...

...the tough get going." I woke up this morning with this quote (attributed to Joseph P. Kennedy) in my head instead of some song lyrics, though I guess if I'd been a Billy Ocean fan, it could have been a song.
So as I lay there pondering the significance of that quote being in my early morning subconscious what came to mind was Ram Tough. 

I had coveted a Dodge Ram Pickup for many years, I think because my Grandpa had a Dodge pickup with a  Ram's head ornament on the hood and I wanted one, too. I finally got my wish when we bought an '83 Dodge Ram after we moved back to the farm. In reality I would probably have been okay with any kind of pickup - I just wanted something I could use to haul stuff in besides my little station wagon. Everyone needs a pickup at sometime or another, right?

Then I started thinking about other times in my life when I needed a pickup. I needed one to haul some river rock for a patio when the kids and I lived on the acreage northwest of Urbandale. I was always getting big ideas for ways to decorate or improve my yard. Mostly those ideas involved me figuring out a DIY method of accomplishment.

The neighbor who was renting the farm ground where we lived was a super nice guy. He let me borrow his old International pickup to drive to the nearby sand and gravel pit for a load of river rock. After we got it home and dumped on the south side of the garage I realized I should have some kind of landscape timbers to keep the rocks contained where I wanted them.
Well hey! I knew just where I could get some old rail road ties for free. There was a seldom used rail line only a mile and a half west of our place. As long as I had his pickup, why didn't I just drive over there and get some of those old ties lying along the tracks?

So we bumped slowly down the rail line about a third of a mile and loaded up a bunch of ties. When we got back into the truck and tried to reverse back to the street, the weight of the rail road ties had caused us to be high centered. Now what to do? I didn't want to take some of them out and make two trips because I knew I needed to get the pickup back. And I didn't want to call for help because I didn't want the neighbor to know I had driven his truck down the tracks. If I could just get it off the tracks and over to the side I would be okay.
The way I remember it, we used the jack to jack up the load which somehow allowed me to get off high center and back out of there. The whole time I was thinking, "what if a train comes along"? We would have time to jump out of the way, but my neighbor's pickup would be totaled. Me and my big ideas. Time for the tough to get going!

We managed to get home, unload the rail ties and get the neighbor's pickup back to him. I don't think he ever knew about the extra trip I made with it. I sunk an old tire rim into the ground for a fire pit, found a small wire spool for a table and set up our folding lawn chairs. Our DIY patio was ready to enjoy.


  1. Funny...I remember going down the tracks...but I don't remember the fire pit, etc.
    Funny what one remembers.


    1. Preston - Ya gotta' remember your ole Mom is getting, well, old. My memories may not be entirely accurate, either.
      We may not have had the tire rim fire pit there, but I've had it several places we lived. Guess we could ask Kari & Doug if they remember?