|It requires no explanation as to why
we become so attached to our pets. But inanimate objects? Now that's a
whole different deal. Or is it?
That truck in the left of the pic (taken
about 1986 or 87) is a 1979 Dodge W250 Sno-Commander. Dodge doesn't sell
that package as such any longer. I liked the "4-wheel lock" feature. Great
traction but now only available for utility companies and military vehicles
- so they tell me. Bought it new (only 8 grand at the time). It has
70,000 road miles but must have the equivalent of a half million with all
the snow it has pushed over the years..
A few years ago I had to take it off
the road because no garage would put it on the lift for inspection as the
frame is too rusty. It kinda sags in the middle now; the bed is twisted
from firewood overload up and down these hilly fields and the floorboard
on the driver's side is rotted through and is now plywood. The transmission
doesn't go into Drive any longer, the main headlights don't work and the
door is hard to shut, but hey, it doesn't go on the road anymore so it
doesn't really matter.
In fact it has become a fairly accurate
metaphor for myself. Age takes a toll.
Every winter I say to my wife, "We're
gonna have to put a plow on the other truck and send this thing to the
junk man". But at the first snow the old truck roars to life in a cloud
of exhaust and I raise and lower the plow, angle it left and right a few
times and I just know it'll once again make it through one more season.
So far, so good.
The old truck has hauled lumber, dirt
and firewood, a dead hog and a dead sheep. The latter two were taken into
the woods for chowdown for the critters. In a month you couldn't even find
a bone. Ultimate recycling. I felt I was doing my mother-earth "green"
duty. Almost called Ralph Nader to make a full report.
So this spring when snow plows get marked
down for their annual post-winter discount sales I'm gonna have to face
up to it: that Dodge is destined for old- truck heaven.
But I remember when the truck was young
-- and I was younger -- and I'd make that last cut late at
night down our 800 ft drive with the plow lights blazing, the heater blowing
warm, the radio working (then) and our dog at the time (now long
dead) named Poochie that loved to ride with me. The kids were young at
the time, and of course at home, and they tagged us with "Captain Snowplow
and his side-kick: 'Poochie the Wonder Dog' ".
Old Pooch loved plowing. She would
have a ball sitting up in the passenger seat. Even tolerating getting bounced
onto the floor when I would slam a big load into a snow bank. She knew
it was worth it as there would be a cookie waiting for her when we were
After I filled the woodstove and furnace
for the night and poured my last cup of coffee she got her snack. By that
time everyone had gone to bed, the house was warm and quiet and Poochie
and I knew that we and that Dodge had once again done a good job. (And
the next day we'd get to do it all over again)
Gonna miss that truck - just like I
miss that dog.
Just thought I'd share.
It's what an old guy thinks about at
0500 on a snowy morning here in the boonies.