New Adventures 2: Almost Ready...

Dear Friends and Family,

In less than two weeks Sarah and I will find ourselves
in London. Even a casual observer to our lives would
be able to tell that we are in a great rush of
packing, repairing, sorting, selling, and giving away
Stuff. It's amazing how Stuff is what really ties you
down. Last week we filled up the 4Runner with Stuff
and took it to our parents' homes for storage. On
Thanksgiving we will be filling the 4Runner again and
pulling a trailer behind it as well... and I am
beginning to doubt that even then we will have moved
all of our Stuff... not to mention the 10 boxes of
books we took a few weeks ago! You may be able to
understand (quickly think about "Getting more Stuff"
for the "holiday season")how liberating it will be
when all of our belongings within ten-thousand miles
will fit into our backpacks. There is no other
experience which can lighten the load which material
posessions impose more than hoisting the entirety of
them upon your back and walking wherever your fancy
may take you. I, for one, am looking forward to it.

Aside from putting together my list of e-mails, we
have had only small adventures. I traded my bright
yellow 1981 Honda 900 motorcycle for the
above-mentioned 1988 4Runner, and have been trying to
get everything fixed on it ever since. For those of
you who remember my first car, my beautiful yellow
1978 Toyota hatchback, it has finally moved on... I
fear perhaps to its final rest. It was not, in fact,
yellow when I sold it. Last year I attempted to sell
it, and thought that I had when a (I know now) shady
character gave $100 of the asked-for $400 and promised
to return that night with the rest on condition that
he could drive it away. Of course I never saw the
rest of the money. I retained the title and extra
key, and one month later hunted down the vehicle,
which had been camoflauged with a grey paint job, and
returned it home. It worked out well for me, as I
have no idea what I would have driven last winter if I
had actually lost that car! He came by a few weeks
later and had the nerve to ask for his money back!
(He didn't get it.)

When the 4Runner appeared on the scene, I found a
buyer for the car via internet in Portland. He seemed
a reliable type, and so one rainy afternoon I drove up
to meet him. He was a young guy (I didn't realize
until later that he was still in high-school!) and
when I arrived he informed me that he was planning to
buy the car along with a friend. They asked if they
could go for a test drive, and I (not knowing any
better) agreed. With two fairly large guys sardined
in the tiny back-seat, and myself and the driver in
the front, the car was fairly packed, although I was
soon to be thankful for the added traction!

After a little excitement when the push-button starter
was inadvertently engaged with the car in gear, we got
it started. They were obviously unfamiliar with a
clutch from the beginning, as we nearly rolled
backward into Sarah's car before, with clutch smoking
and engine racing, the balding tires spun and caught
and we went swerving at amazing speed through the
narrow residential alleys that pass for Portland's
streets! At this point the driver was distracted by
the facts that the stereo was made by Ford and that he
didn't know how to operate it. As the music drowned
out the over-revving of the engine, we neared a corner
with the turn-signal on, only slowing slightly. I
clutched the edge of my seat and pressed my feet into
the floor where the brake pedal should have been. We
attempted the corner, and I felt the back of the car
loose traction as one of the back passengers,
obviously more in tune with the situation than the
driver, yelled "woah!" I still remember the color of
the car we came within an inch of totalling: Blue.
At the next block they switched drivers, but the
driving did not improve. I was more than relieved
when we finally came to rest, still in one piece and
even properly parked!

The rest of the sale was anticlimactic, but still
amusing. After filling out the paperwork, I was
informed that one of the partners had forgotten his
portion of the money, and that this was not a problem,
as long as I didn't mind being paid partially in
rolled change. I walked out a few minutes later with
a bread-bag full of rolled quarters, nickels, and
dimes, along with a large number of one- and
five-dollar bills, supplemented with a few twenties to
round out the total. I haven't heard from them since,
although I did recently receive notice of an overdue
parking ticket for the motorcycle!

Other than this our lives have been a hubbub of the
details of daily life. We have discovered that we may
have a chance to see the winter Olympics in Italy, and
have found a place to stay in London for our first
night. We've gotten a grand total of 6 immunizations
(we were both already pretty well immunized), a new
pair of mittens for Sarah, and a new insulated
undershirt for me. It's strange to think that we only
have four, maybe five, days of work left here in
Albany!

I will try to write before we leave, but it is
possible that next time you hear from me I will be
typing from a keyboard on that other continent...

Until then,
-Dustin and Sarah Radford

1 comments:

Dennis Fowler 7:04 PM  

Im the first to post, wohoo! Just wanted to say "hi!" and hope you guys have fun in europe.