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Thank Goodness, 2020 is Over!

• CATEGORIES: Features

Happy New Year 2021!  Whew. We made it! Let’s hope 2021 is not the “Shit Show” 2020 was:

To no ones surprise, none of what I thought would happen, happened this past year. I could go through the long litany of what I had planned vs. what actually occurred, but I expect that’s true for all of us. Instead of tackling plans, we hunkered down, got two pups and stayed home. On the plus side, this did allow me to spend time better learning how to utilize our Traeger, as we had a freezer full of meat. I experimented with brining, smoked prickly pear (seems to reduce the stickyness) and chicken feet (for the dogs), played with chicken wing recipes, and cooked some amazing lamb/beef/pork/bison roasts. I also now have a pretty good workout gym in the garage, so I have returned to working out regularly, though, sadly, no gym means no basketball.

In July, Ann contracted the virus, and subsequently Covid, which hit her pretty hard, though thankfully didn’t seem to affect her lungs. She’s had various health issues since, similar to other ‘long haulers’; as of an ER visit in early December, one that required emergency dental surgery, her T-cell counts were still unusually low. Hopefully, she continues to improve.

For Ann and I, we expect 2021 to be a continuation of 2020, in that we begin the year with doctor appointments for our oldest dog, for Ann, and for Ann’s mother. That our oldest dog and Ann’s mother survived 2020 were minor miracles, but recent doc visits leave us doubting they will make it through 2021, so we will remain tied to home for the foreseeable future. Because of this, eWillys will continue as is (because I have plenty of short time bursts available, just not the long ones necessary to return to book writing).

My goals for the year are pretty modest, such as continuing to grow out my hair. I hope to get my hair to the point where I can donate it to a cancer patient as a wig. That means I have at least another year of growth. I’ve let my beard grow as well. Thankfully, Ann seems delighted by the whole process; she’s always up for an adventure.

I do have two short trips planned for 2021. Assuming the Homefront can survive without me, one trip will be a week-long adventure to Utah’s San Rafael Swell in late March to hike some remote trails with my oldest son. Sometime, probably in May, I’ll likely return to Salt Lake to help him build a shed for his backyard.

All that said, we did have some good fortune during 2020 and at some point late this year or into 2022 we will be buying a house or buying property and building a new place; that may require significant time away from updating the site and answering emails, Rest assured, there will be fair warning before that happens.



16 Comments on “Thank Goodness, 2020 is Over!

  1. Frank

    Your Dad I believe would be happy your back working out. I think you told me he did it till his final day. Happy New Year. San Raphael Swell sound good to me. Love hiking in that State. Frank

  2. neal jung

    2021 , just another year for my WILLYS fleet to get RUSTIER … happy holidays , neal young

  3. the cable guy

    ” hair , long beautiful hair ” … the cowsills , 1967 — in 1967 i was thrown out of school for having long and luxurious JESUS hair .. i was also driving a 1951 willys overland 4-73 wagon at the time — ex-city vehicle from san carlos , calif — i still have the drivers door with the city seal — F-134 , T-96 , R-10 OVERDRIVE , MODEL 23 rear axle 5.38 gear ratio which i still have — heres what killed the vehicle , doing donuts in a muddy field at high speed blew the differential gears to pieces — this same vehicle almost ripped my arm off riding on the back bumper , drunk , at high speed down a mountain dirt road i was thrown off and the hook on the upper rear window impaled my arm , ouch , its still good though , nasty scar — i too plan to grow my jesus hair back , if i can , all the barber shops are closed anyways .. peace out

  4. David Eilers Post author

    Thanks guys.

    Frank: It was actually a short workout that ended his life, which seemed fitting. He dropped his legs off the bed to the floor, then, with hands on the bed behind him, pressed himself up and down a couple times. He died minutes later… I had a foot issue this summer (stepped on a goat head while out walking that gave me a slight foot infection) which kept me from working out (that and no gym access and sick wife and Mother-in-law). Now, I’m back at it!

  5. wavy gravy

    david thats tough , i watched my 96 yr old father pass away several yrs ago , pearl harbor survivor , the japanese couldnt kill him but old age did – as for long hair , i just remembered , its not real practical , i’m a professional mechanic and the long hair would get caught in my ” jeepers creeper ” under vehicles + extra shampoo costs ..

  6. SE Pennsylvania Steve

    I agree, Dave, 2020 was an entire year of Fecal Follies. Let’s hope things gets much better this year for all of us.

  7. Dave T in CT

    Healthy , Safe and Happy New Year to you Dave , Ann , Ann s mom , the kids (dogs) and all fellow ewillys fans – thanks for all you do for us fans Dave !!

  8. Michael

    Happy New Year, Dave. May God bless you and your family. Thanks for your great site and your support of us Willys fans.

  9. David Eilers Post author

    I watched a show about Woodstock. Now, I know who Wavy Gravy is 🙂 … Dad was a Cold War veteran, a Navy man of only 3.5 years, but he served his country ’til the day he died, as he refused to discuss what he did during his Navy days (or later days). He admitted he never spent time on a boat while in the Navy; instead he claimed he was a cook on the planes. As his mind deteriorated he occasionally admitted that he’d flown over China in a radar plane during the 1950s. After the war, he worked for Boeing as some kind of conduit to “Langley”. Dad was pretty hush hush about his work at Boeing. Mom, who once worked at Boeing, brought up a topic once concerning a defense system, a detail I didn’t know, and Dad shut her down. Dad will remain forever partly a mystery to me.

  10. Allan J. Knepper

    Dave……thanks again for everything that you do for all of us ! I sincerely hope that everything works out for your entire family in 2021 and beyond……you truly have a lot on your plate. Keep us updated on family as you see fit.

    I find your comments on your father very interesting. Many people of that era and earlier don’t always open up and share a lot about their lives and especially things having to do with war and combat. As a youngster, I worked around WWII vets including my uncles. Some wanted to talk and others didn’t. I was in the Navy during the Viet Nam era as were my brothers,local friends and some college friends. Very typically the one’s who saw real action or were really involved, never talked much about things.

    Really excited to hear that you have “property” plans in the future. Remember your priorities…….90% of the space should be workshop and Willys storage…….then the remainder ……kitchen table……bathroom…… and a bed !!

  11. draft dodger

    one last post 4 the thread — allan hit the nail on the head — real vets dont like to talk about their service — my ww2 father would rarely talk about it — and he was a real hero — he was on the uss enterprise when it sailed into pearl harbor , december 8 , 1941 — they resupplied in 7 hours and went out to sea to confront the enemy — later he was at midway — still later , he was on the uss hornet when it was sunk , had to abandon ship , and couldnt swim ! ! –he then fought in other theaters of the war , south sea islands , then the korean war , finally retired in 1959 , as a CPO — one tough son of %^&* !! — they would steal jeeps on the islands from the marines ? army ? and change the numbers on the hood — hahaha !!– he would also mention something about the cia , but i just though the was bullshitting – who knows ? — allan is also correct about property — my barn and house are full to the rafters with willys this and that — a whole fleet on the ranch , 15 , 20 ? i’ve lost count — more to come — i need that barn for a workshop , so i will have to make new storage buildings — its so remote the animals have never seen humans — biggest alligator lizard i have ever seen just crawled up to me and stared !! — ok , god bless america and god bless our troops ( thanks joe biden )

  12. David Eilers Post author


    Thanks or the kind words. My hope is to build some facilities to host some jeep events. That will take a few years, but that’s my hope. We’ve had lots of fun visiting other folks events, so I feel like that’s one area where I may be able to contribute.

    – Dave

  13. Allan J. Knepper

    Dave……..great minds think alike. After I had just finished my comments on the “property”, I thought…..darn, I should have also mentioned …..most importantly…….build your new building on one corner of a 500 acre woods, so we can all come and do some real world testing of our Willys skills !!

  14. rdjeep


    I experienced some things this year that I would like to forget ever happened. Dropping by each night to check things here was a needed respite, and a connection to what was the old “normal”. Thanks for all you did for 2020 and continuing into 2021!

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