I'm a writer. I've always been a writer. But I like fixing cars. (No, I am not interested in writing about it, thank you!)
I used to do the fixing, along with my boyfriend, Gary, who taught me everything on our 1962 VW bug (with a steering lock -- ahead of its time -- and a canvas sunroof, which still worked in 1978).
(Hey, he and I also built dulcimers together.)
Now I pay others to fix my cars, but I make friends with my mechanics and they teach me stuff and give me discounts and sometimes let me pay them over time.
I also troll junkyards on occasion. Replaced the entire interior of my boxy classic 1987 Volvo 240DL. The car was originally grey on the outside and this awful rusty orange on the inside. I had the car painted blue and found an old junked Volvo that had blue seats in perfect condition. You can see from my ad on Craigslist that I've had a lot of other work done on it, too.
Am doing the same with my 1990 Toyota Camry. It was an abused car from Ohio. The entire hood was pock-marked with dents from a hail storm. (That was some mean hail, I tell you!) I replaced the hood and trunk. I've replaced nearly every other moving part in that car, too, except the engine and trans! Next I'm working on the rust. Ohio has winters and salt. I replaced the seats in that car, too, and behind the back seat was a layer of road dirt-dust caked on thick.
So, why do I do this? Simple: it makes me happy. Why? Because there is peace of mind in it. Because the car "feels better" when I fix it -- it drives nicer, smoother, tighter, happier. Because the complicated world of people and thoughts and reasons and arguments and betrayals all fade. A car can't lie to you. And it will give you good service, get you where you want to go in relative comfort and ease, as long as you're kind to it. No BS. No shenanigins, no mind games. Just listen to it, let it talk to you and tell you how it's doing, and it'll be there for you.
Now, I'm not a girl who grew up on a farm in Kansas. I grew up around intellectuals, in Think Tanks and baroque European castles, with a number of substantial abductions to hospitals. Old cars are better.