Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pullin' Truck

My husband rarely buys me flowers, and if I had to sell my jewelry to feed our family, we wouldn't be eating well for very long....

But after nearly twenty years of marriage, he knows me pretty well, and buys gifts that keep on giving. Not in the sappy Hallmark sense; rather, the gifts he surprises me with are the kind that serve me well as I do my job and make my life a whole lot easier.

Once, it was a heavy-duty stand mixer. I was overjoyed to the point of tears to receive it, and that machine has mixed hundreds of pounds of bread dough over the years. Last year, it was a much needed tractor that would help to put up hay & feed hay to the livestock and clear out snow.

A few weeks ago, when I was out of town for the night with our girls, his gift was to completely renovate our poorly-designed laundry room and replace the old machines that came with the house, with the newer, more efficient ones we had brought from our old home and had not yet installed. He stayed up all night to finish it, and even bought me new laundry baskets.

And today... today, it was a pullin' truck.

My old pickup's engine had given up its ghost, its tires are bald, and some jerk had found it necessary to smash out the rear window while it sat waiting for us to retrieve it from our old farm. Fixing it up just to the point it was usable would prove quite expensive, so we put off making a decision on it. I've since been finding it difficult to haul all the feed and bedding necessary for our animals with our Expedition, or wait until he was home and could help with his work pickup. And now, of course, we will more frequently be hauling cattle and horses to various places for various reasons.

So, he bought me a truck.

It's not a fancy truck, by any stretch... but I love the thing. We went to pick it up today, and while it is starting to rust a bit around the wheel wells, is missing some trim and needs a new front grille, to me it was a thing of beauty. She is an older diesel Ford F250 Lariat, red and silver, regular cab, five-speed 4x4 with lock-out hubs, a fifth-wheel hitch in the box, a heavy-duty bumper, trailer brakes, big ol' tires and an aftermarket turbocharger under the hood. Seriously, is sounded about like a Kenworth when I fired it up.

As I pulled out of the lot and into traffic, I gave thanks for all those dark nights chauffeuring my friend Tom around in the service truck during sugarbeet harvest, years ago... and all the miles driving grain truck in the years before that. I've not driven a five-speed or any truck like that in probably five years, and so was a little hesitant to jump right out into rush hour traffic....

But it all came right back. And as I drove out of town and began to see what she could do... WOW. It is not a Ferrari, and does not corner like its on rails. But its got snort. And guts. And rides far better than my husband's company pickup, a year-old Chevy .

I found myself eagerly anticipating each stop light and turn, because feeling the horsepower while I slapped through the gears was so much fun. Its low-geared and doesn't care to go much over 70, but sure doesn't take long to get there!

It even has an FM radio. Better pinch myself, either I'm dreaming or died and went to heaven!

Okay, so I like gifts that are practical and help me do my job. I don't need fancy, or shiny, or expensive. My favorite gifts are those which will put in as honest a day's work as I do.

The other girls can keep their flowers and jewelry. I'll take a truck with a turbo kit, any day.

Thanks, Honey!

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