It’s funny how our priorities seem to change as we grow older. I have always been a “get out there and get it done right now” kind of person. But over the last decade, I have become more of a “it can wait another week” person. 

When I was younger, if something broke down, I could not rest until I had fixed it. I have laid in the gutter in a river of water from the pouring rain to replace the starter on my car. 

I could have waited a few more hours for it to stop, but I just had to get it done.

We once took a trip where our cruise control quit working. The family went swimming, and I spent the rest of that day making the repair. Believe it or not, I once removed and replaced a defective in-dash stereo while we were cruising down the interstate. 

My dad was the same way. If something was not operating correctly, he could not rest until he had it fixed. He drove us crazy.

There has to be a happy medium between being obsessed with making repairs and putting them off for months. 

Last Christmas, my family gave me a GPS system for my vehicle. Installation of the display was easy. I had it installed almost before the wrapping paper hit the floor. 

The unit was also designed to work with a backup camera. But I needed to install the external camera. I knew it would be difficult and was not looking forward to the project. 

The younger me would have had everything installed Christmas Day. It could have been snowing and freezing cold, but I would have been out there working on it.

But somehow, I just could not get motivated to do this project. I kept putting it off.

I had plenty of excuses. At one point it was too cold. Then it was too windy, it got dark too early, or rain was in the forecast. In truth, I knew what had to be done, and I put it off because I was not sure how to accomplish it. 

It’s also possible that I might have become a just a little lazy in my old age. 

But last weekend, the weather was nice, and I had nothing else to do, so I drug out the tools and got started. 

Mounting the camera was easy. It just bolted on right above the license plate. But then came the part that I had been dreading. 

The camera is designed to activate when the vehicle is put into reverse. Its power lead needed to be connected to the wire that powers the backup lights. 

Not only did I have to determine which wire I needed and how to get to it, I had to figure out how get the wiring from the outside camera into the vehicle. 

It took me about an hour to figure that out, drill the necessary holes and pull the wiring through. 

But I still had to hook it up to power. 

I pulled most of plastic panels in the back of the vehicle loose. After almost tearing my vehicle apart, I finally gained access to a huge mass of wiring. Unfortunately, I had no clue which one to tie into. 

After about 30 minutes with a test light, I eventually located the correct wire and made the connection. The project I had dreaded for months was finally completed.

Well, not quite.

All of the plastic panels I had pulled loose needed to be put back into place. I can assure you that they did not go back together as easily as they came loose, and they were a nightmare to take loose.

After spending more than four hours on the project, I finally had everything back together and operational. I must admit, it was well worth the effort. Having a backup camera and a GPS system in my vehicle is really helpful, and I am enjoying it. 

All of my tools are still piled in the back of my vehicle. I need to take them back in the house and put them neatly away. But there’s no hurry. Maybe I will accomplish that next weekend if the weather is warm, if it is not too windy or dark, and no rain is forecasted.  


CourierTraveler reporter John Shelman can be contacted at (620) 442-4200 or

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