Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Lucille Gets Hitched!

Well, I have a new respect for bloggers who post every day; I don’t think I’ll be able to do that as long as I’m still working.  For me, it’s just so difficult to carve out enough free quiet time to construct a thoughtful piece that I think might be worthy for someone to read.  Sandy says I am way too obsessive about the writing process.  (I admit to a certain preoccupation in this area, as I may revise my copy a dozen times if I deem it to be imperfect in any way.)  I think she’s right; this is hardly the great American novel, after all, and I know I need to lighten up.  Old habits are hard to break, however, and it would be so painful for me to discover that I had split an infinitive or ended a sentence with a preposition and not caught it before publishing a post.

Last weekend went by much too quickly; Saturday involved a few minor projects and dinner at the Flying Fish, a favorite seafood joint in Fort Worth, to celebrate Sandy’s and my 34th wedding anniversary.  Bubba, and old friend of many years, joined us, along with his daughter, BreAnn.  (I’ve written about Bubba and his family a number of times in earlier posts.)

The Flying Fish - A Ft. Worth Fave

BreAnn, Sandy and Bubba (and Lucille, of course)

Bubba approves of the new hitch.

This thing reminds me of a lunar lander or something!

Four air bags, two struts...Homer thinks he's riding on a cloud!

I was asked to be a front stage singer at church on Sunday, and that involved a sound and camera check at 7:00 a.m. and three services to follow, ending at 7:30 p.m.  It’s getting pretty exciting at First Baptist Dallas, as we are about to embark on a $120 million building program.  I’m told that’s the largest church-related building project in history.  (See a remarkable animation video at

Monday brought Lucille’s first experience pulling Homer since I acquired her a few weeks ago.  I must say, I was excited to see what the difference would be with the Dodge 3500 dually versus the old Hornet, a 2500 SRW.  Of even more interest was the function of the new Air Safe 25K hitch just installed by United RV Center.  I swallowed hard writing that check, but I was sold on the hitch after reading recommendations on several forums and after watching the convincing video on the Air Safe website.

Lucille proved very capable of her new assignment, purring happily along S.H. 121 to our house; the tow was a short one—about 10 miles—and the dual rear wheels seemed to add a good deal of stability under Homer’s 11,000 lb. load.  The star of the show, however, was the Air Safe hitch!  I set my rear view mirror to get a good view of the hitch and pin box, and I was utterly amazed at the oscillations of the pin shoe atop the Holland Binkley head floating on the air bag/strut assembly—oscillations that were absorbed entirely by the hitch’s air bags and not transferred to the truck chassis at all!  This should make for a far less fatiguing ride when towing, and I couldn’t be more impressed.

This marks the end of our progression from the original Reese hitch, with which we pulled Homer I and which nearly jarred our teeth out of our mouths, to a Pull-Rite Super Glide hitch and Fifth Airborne pin box used to pull Homer II (a really fine combination, by the way), to the current Air Safe hitch, an absolute marvel of engineering that, in my view, is probably unrivaled and worth every penny.  How much, you ask?  About four grand, installed.  (I told you I swallowed hard.)

The outfitting of Lucille is going nicely.  The Air Safe hitch was easily the most expensive of the upgrades so far.  I just finished installing shiny new step tubes underneath the pickup’s front doors, along with some mud flaps to protect Homer and other following vehicles; then I added extra gauges for EGT, turbo boost pressure and transmission temperature.  (A pilot can never have enough gauges.) Next will be a new satellite radio/GPS system, an exhaust brake and some engine intake/exhaust modifications.

Yes, I’m planning for Lucille to be with us for a long time, and I want her to have all the bells and whistles.  That’s the reason I bought this particular truck with its legendary Cummins engine.  The darned thing will probably outlast me if I treat her right!

Only 353 more days until we say goodbye to work and hit the road; the time is passing quickly, and there is much to be done!


  1. Great post. Don't sweat the "right" way of posting. I've written everyday for a couple years, it's a habit. I'm glad I did, it's a great journal that I go back to quite often. You're doing great on the way to freedom. See you soon in a park.

  2. Oh Mike, your writing is spot on as usual. And that hitch...what can I say? You are loaded for bear!!!

    The milestones will keep coming at you fast and furious now.

    All the best,

    Gordon and Juanita


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