It was a blue Chevy truck, standard cab. It had cloth seats with a woven pattern that looked just like the blanket I put under my western saddle. At 12 I was tall enough to easily reach the pedals and see over the steering wheel at the same time, but not strong enough to pick up and throw a bale of hay. Dad took me out into our pasture and taught me how to go and stop and turn, and then when we helped various neighhbors with hay, I got to drive the truck while my brother had to help stack it.
By the time I was 13 and 14 dad would sometimes let me drive the truck on the roads. Most of our side roads didn't even have stripes on them, they were gravel and tar, compacted into hard shell by the combined weight of cars and trucks and tractors. At least three or four of the roads on the island started out paved but ended as dirt shortly after you lefour main thruway. Seven miles of island to explore. Seven miles of dirt roads and blackberry bushes and back pastures in my dad's big Chevy truck.
My dream car has never been a flashy convertible or a muscle-bound GTO or a shiny red minivan. My dream car has always been a truck of my own.
My ex had one, briefly, a truck he couldn't afford for a job he couldn't keep. It wasn't mine, and it wasn't much use. It was shiny and had leather seats and a cover on the back and a carpeted bed so that you couldn't put much of anything in it. It wasn't a truck in the sense of really being a truck. It was a showpiece. It could tow a trailer but I couldn't afford the kind of horse trailer that would do justice to a truck like that. I had a love/hate relationship with it. It was fun to drive, but it was never going to be what I wanted and needed it to be. It taunted me from the driveway every time I had to have someone deliver hay to me. You ca-an't have me! You ca-an't use me!
Shut up, Useless, I would fire back.
In this life, a girl needs a truck of her own. A truck that can haul hay and kids and fence posts, pull a horse trailer or a flatbed trailer. A truck both useful and tough. Pretty is as pretty does; this farm girl believes that there's nothing more useless than a truck that is so pretty and expensive that you can't do anything to it or with it. Trucks are for working.
This -- THIS -- is a TRUCK.
She's old, she's tough, and she's perfect for me.