Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Homebuilt Hummer

I promised in an earlier post I would tell you about the Hummer.  The big black beast that sits in our driveway.  I'll be honest, the first time Aaron showed me this thing when we were dating, I seriously questioned whether this was the kind of guy I wanted to date.  One can make many assumptions about a man who owns (or built) a big, black Hummer, reminiscent of an Army truck.  Many. I won't put them in writing as I'm sure you are making them already.  But, then I started learning the story about the Hummer, and any sterotypes or reservations I previously had diminished. 

Aaron started building this thing about nine years ago.  When he was younger, he saw an H1 Hummer one day and said, "I'm going to have one of those one day."  And now he does, albeit a slight variation of an original one.  But it's just as obnoxiously big and loud as the real thing.  Driving this down the road is like the parting of the Red Sea.  Nobody gets in the way of this intimidating beast!

 I learned recently that he decided to build a kit car as a break from playing in a fantasy football league.  He said he played in a league one year and spent all his time sitting on the couch watching football keeping up with the players, teams and scores and realized, "hey, I could've built a car with all this time I've been watching football!"  So he did.  Around that same time, Aaron's father passed away unexpectantly, which shaped his life dramatically and gave him a bit of a carpe diem attitude towards life going forward.  He lives by the motto that life is gift, enjoy it.  If you are passionate about something, embrace it.  If you dream of something, do it.  This should shine some light on Aaron and further explain why we are here where we are doing what we are doing. 

Back to the Hummer.  Sitting in the passenger seat of this truck (because I would never drive it), I feel like I am a county over from the driver.  I think we could both extend our arms out and they still wouldn't come close to touching in the middle (read: no holding hands in here). The space between the seats coupled with the roar of the engine make conversation virtually impossible.  Bring your lungs if you want to talk. 

The longest trip we have taken with it was to the dump to get rid of a bunch of junk from Aaron's old house.  It was about a half hour drive and I spent the whole time hanging onto the door handle because the latch on the door was broken and if I didn't hold the door shut, it would fly open on me.  Which would NOT have been cool driving down the highway.  Yep, driving to the dump with my boyfriend in his homebuilt Hummer, not able to hear myself think over the grumbling engine, and literally hanging onto the door for dear life.  It was a really romantic date.  Can you believe I still married him?

And then there was the time, after we moved to the country, that Aaron used it to carry some lumber out in the field and the brakes went out on the sloping hillside while he was in it. 

Fortunately, the golf tee he built by the fenceline (basically a mound of dirt) provided enough of a barrier to stop him from going all the way down into the lake.

Now that the brakes are fixed, we pretty much just use it to drive to Home Depot.  Good safe distance.  You know...just in case. 

As ugly and bad as this Hummer looks from the outside, you should see the interior.  If I were motivated enough to go outside and take pictures of the interior, I would.  But I'm not, so instead just envision your dad's old Diamand tread metal toolbox...covered ev.er.y.where.  Not plastic. Not leather.  Diamond tread metal.  It is special, indeed.

And because the Hummer was such a smashing success, he decided to try his hand at a kit car Porsche.  So he tracked down a bunch of parts and came up with this beauty.

What girl doesn't love the idea of cruising around with her man in a cute little red two-seater?  I sure did.  Until...

...The day Aaron took me out for a spin after we had been dating about six months and the car broke down in the middle of a busy shopping area intersection on a 90 degree summer day.  I was looking cute cruising around in my straw hat, tank top, and jean skirt, basking in the sun in a shiny convertible. And then suddenly....put, put, put. Pfffff.....

So, Aaron in his buff bod and me in my mini jean skirt and flip flops, pushed the car off the road and into a nearby neighborhood where we could keep it out of the way of traffic until it cooled off.  Or, until we could tow it away with the Hummer.  And we walked home that day...in the middle a hot 90 degree humid Sunday.   Another really romantic date of ours.  At least it was a step up from the trip to the dump. 

Cute car though, huh?  Now, the goal is to get this baby into driveable enough condition that we can take it for a spin to the Dairy Queen 5 miles away this summer.   It's the simple things.