Monday, August 24, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
What a day we had last weekend... it was now or never... It was the time to try to get our little trailer into the garage. If this was going to work we needed to do it soon. We really didn't want to wait for the notice from the city regarding the "code" that we'd be violating. Our idea was wonderful...have her in the garage and work along on her in the evenings throughout the winter and ...viola!! She's ready for spring.
Charles' first idea was to remove the tires, hopefully this would lower the trailer enough (on paper we thought this would work) to go through the garage door and into the garage, out of sight, out of the rain and a nice dry place for us to work this winter. The trailer sits at 7'10" with the wheels on, the garage door is 6'11". Well, it should have gone in .... Guess what, it didn't! Without the tires and wheels, the springs on the axle and the bolts hang down lower than they do with the tires on!! NUTS!! It was still too tall. First, put the wheels back on.
OK, we have a three car garage. Imagine this ...the trailer is sitting in"slot #3 of the driveway but we want it in "slot #2 of the garage (then we can work around her). Sounds easy! but without a car or truck with a hitch, (yes, I know we bought the "cart before the horse") armed only with a car jack (mind you it had a hitch ball attached to it, Charles' idea), me at the handle of the car jack and Charles with his 60+ year old brut strength" pushing at the front corner of the trailer we WERE going to move this thing down our driveway, in control course (by the way we have a rather steep slope on our driveway) and back UP the driveway into slot #2. Well, we started off OK for about the first 2 minutes. When we got her stopped I was in the middle of the street still hanging onto the jack handle .... not straddle it, thank God, and not in the neighbor's front yard with Donna's flowers all plowed up. We must have been a sight if anyone was watching, come to think of it, if they were watching they should have come to our rescue if they weren't doubled up laughing.
I still don't know how we did it, really. I just remember Charles yelling push...then he'd hold it and yell to get the wheel blocks moved up. so, we inched our way back UP the driveway. Well, I think that's the way it happened...it's all rather a blur in my memory. Of course there are no pictures since I was manning the jack handle and pushing all the way. There also was no front page pictures from the Fresno Bee with headlines proclaiming...."Husband, wife and small trailer in neighbor's living room." Almost sounds like a Lucy moment, doesn't it?
With the motorcycle jack at the back, the car jack and jack stands, the trailer was sitting in "slot" #2 ready to have her tires and wheels removed again and the axle removed. Great, but now how to get it lowered down without her listing on her side, looking more like a boat who has taken on water and the bilge has quit. And then of course, into the garage??? Hummmm! Well, we inched her down removing the jack stands, balance...balance. I was a wreck. Mental pictures started forming in my head....little trailer on her side...Charles pined underneath. Again, I'm thinking...Fresno Bee...headline..."Husband gives his all...wife's fault!" Another Lucy moment? Well, Charles had purchased 2 piano dollies from "good old" Harbor Freight and at 1000 lbs each, or so the label said, these should easily hold the weight load. but first we have to get her into the garage.
We couldn't tell if she was going to actually clear the stucco of the garage....this was going to be close, so close. We measured and measured, but remember the last time we measured her against the garage opening! Just as we're about to start with the "pushing and pulling" thing again, our neighbors came home (little do they know they almost had a new front yard decoration) and offered to help. Relief.... Gary is now manning the motorcycle jack at the rear, I'm still on the car jack and Charles is pushing from the front corner of the trailer. Donna is on a step ladder surveying the clearance. The jacks are down the trailer is slowing moving in...but "Wait." Donna yells, "it's going to hit the house!" Gary can lower the motorcycle jack a tiny bit more and then in she goes with a hair's clearance to spare.
What a relief, she's in the garage, no code enforcement officers to pester us. This is going to be great!! The piano dollies are in place at each of the back corners, the trailer stand in the front is lowered, the jacks are removed and she's sitting on her own "behind door # 2" just like the "Price is Right". Just a minute, ..... I think I hear Ricky calling, oh ... I mean Charles.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Well, with a little elbow grease the aluminum can look just like chrome!! I wouldn't have believed it ... this 45 year old aluminum looks great. Charles is doing a wonderful job. Can't wait to see how good she looks with all the aluminum buffed out. We're still "thinking" about what to do about the city of Fresno's ordnance on parking anything on your own driveway for more than 2 weeks that is not being moved regularly (they consider it storing). How are we going to do this when we want to work on her every night for an hour or two?? She won't fit behind the fence even as little as she is. She's about 7 or 8 inches too high for the garage (which would be perfect, we could then work on her during the winter without worry of rain and moisture). We're got to do something right away or take her back to our daughter's house in the next few days. Time is running out!! Thinking......