200,000 Miles

My little red truck turned 200,000 yesterday. It’s poor little body is showing its age, but it’s heart and soul keep pumping forward.

I love that little red truck and have enjoyed the 125,000 miles or so I have contributed. I’ve had so many adventures from Maine and the Jersey shore to the flatlands of Illinois — and most of the states in between.

My little red truck is just that, a 1998 Ford Ranger. No frills. Standard transmission. Four cylinders. Dents and dings all over the place. Mismatched tail lights. A fair amount of Swiss cheese effect on the bumper and quarter panels from years of New York winters. Even a drip on the passenger side when it gets caught in a downpour.

Most recently — like last weekend — I added a little over a thousand miles on another venture to Maine. During the time in the cockpit, as I watched the odometer spinning, I thought about some of those adventures. I’ll share some of them with you…

It was the first vehicle I bought entirely on my own {without any input} in about 45 years. Sure, I bought a lot of vehicles over those years, but I always at least talked to Karen about it before making the purchase. I didn’t always listen to her counsel, mind you, but I did talk to her.

I didn’t have it two days before I got a ticket. In my defense, I had my boots on driving down an empty Route 96A without benefit of speed control. As I was pondering {I do that a lot while I drive} the little four cylinders whined to 72 before both I and an oncoming county deputy realized it.

It has carried everything in its bed from rocks to dirt to furniture to wood and, of course, a weekly load of newspapers. She never complained.

Even though it is just a two wheel drive, it handled pretty well in snow {not as much on ice}, thanks to the control from standard transmission. She handled well going downhill on Route 95 during a snowstorm in New Hampshire … probably the most stressful time we shared. Of course, trips to Red Creek in winter were always interesting as well.

She’s been to Maine three times, the Jersey shore three times, Massachusetts a few times, Ohio a couple of times, Illinois twice and various spots in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. We’ve camped out together, watched the sunrise over the ocean, experienced downtown Chicago traffic and hills, valleys, flat roads and countless curves. And she has never complained.

Karen has been in the truck a couple of times, too. Less than a month after she died, I found myself at the Jersey shore. We — me in the flesh and Karen in her urn — drove down to watch the sun rise over the ocean. I needed that to help me start healing. I felt her presence on a crystal clear, albeit chilly night.

Then came Thanksgiving. Again I placed her in the truck and headed to Illinois for Thanksgiving dinner. It was bittersweet, but it gave the grandchildren from the west a chance to say their goodbyes to Grandma. We placed the urn on a mantle and they respectfully visited with her.

The dogs loved the truck as well — at least Tess, our Havanese did. Tag didn’t like traveling too much, but Tess was quite at home in the truck. In fact, if I left the door open for some reason, I would often find her sitting in the seat waiting for me. She especially like looking out the open back cargo window. She was my shotgun while delivering my papers.

I’ve laughed and cried in that truck but always had the radio/CD/apps cranked up (country sounds a lot better in a pick up truck).

Let’s hope we have many more adventures and many more miles together!

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Spend a chunk of time every year with people who are much less fortunate than you are. It will fill your heart with gratitude.

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About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
This entry was posted in growing old, Memories, truck and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 200,000 Miles

  1. sysmoe says:

    Great story, I bet you can get another 100,000 miles. Safe Travels!

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