During my first several years in Greencastle, I was the proud owner of a Mini Cooper.
It was a fun car to own. Jokingly marketed as "the world's first street legal go-cart," that little car had real zip and it handled wonderfully.
People like to ask what it was, how it drove, was it expensive. And I didn't get tired of talking about it.
I loved that little car.
But life changes sometimes. I became a homeowner and a dad. My own dad stopped driving and I inherited his old Dodge Ram.
I'm not exactly in love with that big, red thing, but it has served my purposes. In our quest to clean up our property, it's hauled countless loads of brush, rock and topsoil. And in cleaning up Mom and Dad's old property last year, I don't know how many tools it transported between Greencastle and Williamsport.
The one storyline I was always a little dubious about was "Oh, you have to have a truck like that in the winter. The Mini can't be good in the winter."
I would occasionally let those people know that I spent two years with a 70-mile round-trip, first in a 1989 Mustang and then in that Mini. I always did just fine, especially in the Mini. Its wide stance, low center of gravity, light weight and front-wheel drive always made me feel pretty safe on slick roads.
And snowy roads? I'll admit I was up a creek if there was more than a couple inches of snow on the road. Then again, that much snow still on the road meant I didn't really need to be out and about anyway.
I will admit that the truck has gotten me around on some days when the Mini would have been parked. However, this winter has brought out some less-than-stellar qualities in the ol' girl.
Like no heater. At some point last winter, the heater coil went bad on the truck, leaving me with a truck that will barely defrost its windows and has on occasion literally blown tiny snowflakes from its vents. The truck may make its way through the snow, but the snow also seems to make its way through the truck.
And then there's the battery. When the temps drop, you can still start the truck, but it's an adventure. Slightly below freezing means it takes three or four attempts. When it drops further, it goes up to seven or eight.
I can't vouch for the very coldest of temps, as it's been in the shop being diagnosed (and hopefully fixed) for said issues.
I know the starting solution is right around the corner, with a new battery being installed. The heater is a bit more tricky, as it's a pretty labor-intensive process to put in a new heater coil. I can't do it, and paying someone else to do it has its own set of challenges.
So the next time you see me driving my truck around town, you will know the battery has been fixed. Will I be shivering inside the truck? That remains to be seen...