("Good Bye Old Friend" by Bill Mauldin courtesy Stars and Stripes)
I had to put my old truck down today. It still wheezed and rattled along, more rust and chrome, and just 80 miles shy of 200K. Though it owed me nothing more it somehow kept on going. It was a 1994 Ford Ranger with absolutely no frills - no power steering, no automatic anything, no sound system - and still it got 27 mpg and until this August was my drive-to-work vehicle as well as drive-to-the-dump. My sister gave it to me in 1999 when she moved to the big city and downsized the number of vehicles in her household, and I've been a man with a truck ever since.
Until now. Now we have two cars in the driveway, a late model Subaru Legacy that we got for a steal and an older model version that has many years yet to go. There was no way to justify a third, nor enough money in the till to go for a truck that seats 4 and gets more than 20 mph. I had to jump it every time I wanted to go anywhere and the insurance - even minimal coverage - just wasn't worth it. Still, I feel like the trooper who just lost his faithful mount. I sold it for junk today for $200.
Having no truck is like having the goat without the cart. A truck means never having to have stuff delivered that you can pick up yourself, and always having the option, if not the inclination, to declutter the house and haul all the accumulated detritus to the transfer station. Now I have to downsize our garbage cans to fit our garbage in the trunk of the car.
What I need now is a trailer. That fat V6 on my sweet new ride ought to be able to handle a 1/2 ton hitch. A trailer with removable sides so I can load up with gravel at $10 a yard or bark mulch at $40. Maybe throw a Sunfish sailboat on - if I had one - and take off for the beach. Until then, though, I'm truckless.