Light Notes

Ol' Ford holds 40 years of tales

Are we there yet? Not by a mile!

From where I’m sitting on memory lane, we’re stalled in the past. The very thought of parting with our clunker has us looking in the rear view mirror.

“I keep looking at that old truck... ” my husband, Bill, sighed the other day.

My head moved so fast I almost got whiplash, “And what does that mean?” I said as I peered over my laptop.

“Well, that maybe I could fix it up; the body is in good shape,” he continued. “All I’d have to do is put in a new engine, a little paint, shine up the chrome rims... ”

I shuddered. From my viewpoint, 40 years of memories with this Ford truck have been just about enough.

How could I forget the double gas tanks we added in its first year of life? On vacations we could drive for miles and miles ... and miles.

The only requirement was to refrain from liquid for two months before climbing in for the long haul.

Lucky kids. They wore diapers.

Or what about the camper we perched on its back a few years later? Parked in the desert at Lake Havasu, Nev., people would have died to trade places with us. In the heat, we nearly did.

That shiny new truck could go anywhere — because we never stopped to ask directions. Remember, we had plenty of gas.

One time at dusk, a wrong turn out of an old mining ghost town in California had us sliding down an impassable muddy mountain road. In the rain. In the dark. Locals still tell the tale.

And there are plenty more: I’ve dodged a snapping Texas turtle in the front seat; begged a toddler to unlock the truck from the INSIDE; abandoned Bill on a rural railroad track as train whistle blared; almost left a child in the middle of nowhere who slipped from the camper to use a restroom; wiped bugs as thick as molasses from the windshield in New Mexico and helped put out a fire in the spare tire in Oregon.

Camping, s’mores, and sightseeing. It all comes back to me now. No wonder Bill is so sentimental about our old junk heap.

And I guess I am, too.

So, are we ready to sell this clunker? I don’t think we’re there yet.