My Uncle used to drive this big, dark green, diesel Ford dually truck. It had a crack in the windshield, and a dent in the fender where he had backed over something. But it was massive. He would hitch up the rusty white horse trailer, we would load up, and drive off. Abbie and I liked to ride in the back, what he called the “Cowboy Cadillac” because we could feel the wind in our hair, and watch the mountains whiz by.
If you ever needed to patch or tie anything, or wanted something to eat or drink, or take an extra pair of gloves, socks, even a hat along, it was in the truck. He always had sweet tea, slim jims, little debbie cakes and fun sized candy bars in the cab, and a cooler full of water, pepsi, root beer and orange soda in the back.
That truck was loud too – the engine would shake the whole can when it started. Sometimes it would die while we were driving, but he knew exactly when to jiggle the key back in the ignition, and get it to roar to life. We’d listen to Alabama, or the Zac Brown Band on our way to wherever we were going, with the windows down I could hear him singing along from all the way in the bed.
One time, Sadie was mowing the barn lot, and a rock flew up from under the blades and shattered the back window. When James saw it, he just shook his head, and taped a black trash bag over the hole where the window used to be.
I’m gonna miss that truck. As badly as Sadie and I need one on the farm, it just wasn’t reliable – something about the fuel lines going cold. And we couldn’t get a clear title from it. So James’ brother in law sold it for parts, and it was towed off our land yesterday afternoon.
It’s raining today, the first good rain we have had in a while. I didn’t have to go to the office, it’s been nice watching the clouds drift in. From my window, you can see them hugging the tops of the mountains, rolling across the land like smoke. Maybe I’ll go for a ride – that’s exactly what James would have suggested.