It is heartening to hear from you guys that the Cherokee may have been a better choice than I imagined. I will suspend judgment until later after the truck and I get to know each other better. I do know that the owner replaced the transfer case when he bought it, changed the valve cover to a better one from another model, replaced or upgraded (can’t remember which) the air conditioning unit and put a bigger reservoir in place for the radiator. It has the heavier duty rear axle favored by off roaders. Yes, the engine is 4.0 litres. Good to hear that the mileage will be better for highway travel. And yes, I can see that removing the back seat opens things up considerably for having room for a sleeping bag as a temporary ‘camper’ and room for hauling this and that. One of those rear bike carriers that fit into the trailer hitch receiver would be great for carrying a motorbike. Maybe this will be more versatile than I had imagined it would be. I’m adaptable. I know that I will be vigilant about checking fluids and babying it. I find it curious that new truck owners are all the time checking this and that, keeping tabs on everything and an older vehicle which actually needs to be pampered gets neglected. “Driver ‘er til she drops”, I guess. I have an old Suzuki Samurai parked back in Minnesota which I drove most of last summer until a brake line or something in the brake itself sprung a leak. And the muffler rusted off. It was a good and economical runner, absolutely terrific for the logging roads and such, but underpowered and nothing to drive long distance. I may try to get it serviceable again on a shoestring, fixing the brakes myself and seeing if I can cobble something with the exhaust using flex pipe and the remains of the muffler which fell off. That way I could park the Cherokee for the summer and save it for the fall migration to Maryland where I also don’t drive much since I work where I live. With care and saving it for the highway journeys maybe I can keep it alive for a long time. Anyway, thanks for the input.
Terron, that was a thoughtful post and I thank you for it. I liked the direction of your prayers. When the Europeans first came to Turtle Island they got the idea that Indians prayed to rocks and animals and had all kinds of gods, a bunch of know nothing heathens who needed to be saved. We all know better now that they were better stewards of the land than the invaders and had their own culture and spirituality . What many people fail to understand is that while they may have felt a deep sense of kinship to all other beings and the forces of nature, they believed in one creator, just like the Europeans did. They may have called the creator by a different name, The Great Spirit (Gitchee Manidoo in Ojibwe), but the destination of their prayers was the same. In my experience those prayers are almost never asking for something. Rather, they are expressions of gratitude, respect, and recognition. If something is asked for it is more likely to be of a spiritual nature than a material one. The Creator is not thought of as male or female, but is referred to as The Great Mystery with no one pretending to know that the Creator wants us to eat this but not that, to donate so much of our money, to do this, but not that. So there really is no dogma. There are also no go-betweens like some religions have church fathers or priests who are somehow in close communication with the Creator and can communicate directly where the average person can not and special buildings are reserved for worship. Although some people are recognized as being on a more intense spiritual journey and for whom that is their center of gravity and so they are chosen as pipe carriers and are asked and thus required to help others in ceremonial prayer. They may be counselors, are often elders, but they aren’t preachers. In the Native American tradition each person is encouraged to have their own relationship with creation and with the Creator. A young person coming of age goes on a vision quest, fasting and doing without water or comforts for a specified period of time and when the vision comes giving direction to the young person often it is a turning point for them pointing the way of their life journey. ( I think this is done less often in modern times, but it is a good practice in any culture and at any age to ‘cry for a vison’ giving direction in life’s journey). Everyone is interested in what the young person experienced on the vision quest as they also went on their own at one time or another perhaps more than once. Sometimes their name changes due to the vision. I have a Lakota friend whose name became Spotted Eagle Horse due to the vision of a spirit horse changing form into a spotted eagle taking flight. Names are more fluid in the Indian world, reflecting what has happened to a person or a personal quality, that sort of thing… maybe a physical characteristic and can change during their life time. I have gone by more than one name in my life and it is sometimes hard to answer when someone wants to know your name. Most of the time I use an anglo government recognized name, but here I feel more able to use my “real” name. I find all of the internet names people use of interest because often they tell more about the person than their ‘given’ names. Now you know more than you ever wanted to about that stuff and my coffee is long gone. Forgive an old man’s reflections. Maybe the internet connection has returned. Rainy day and I can see a serious nap in my future. Thanks again…
Someday when I grow up I will probably lose interest in toys with wheels, but until then...