“Sometimes the lights all shinin’ on me. Other times I can barely see. Lately it occurred to me, What a long strange trip its been…” Grateful Dead
This is the story about a girl and a truck. Once upon a time, this girl always rode in trucks. I can barely remember a time when my Dad was with out truck. In the nineties he drove a red molester van, complete with no back seat. I remember we would ride in the back of the van, usually sitting on lawn chairs and laughing hysterically when he would make a turn and we would tilt sideways and go flying. Other times, he would drive a group of girls home from baseball practice. Since it was the pre cell phone (and even pre pager) era, there was no way to for a parent to call (or text) and say they were running late. If a kid was parent-less after all the bats and helmets were cleaned up, bases were neatly packed in the shed and the infield was raked, then that kid was getting a rid home in the big red seatless Econoline. When you packed in five girls, a large sack of bats and some random tools from whatever construction site he was working, the ride home became an adventure. We used to slide around every turn he made and try to dodge the bat bag as it went gliding back and forth with each stop. We also had a long line of trucks. I forget their names now, but there was a couple red ones, a blue one, and most recently a white one. He is the all-American. We used to love to ride in the back of the truck and sit right on the edge. We would roll around as the truck was in motion and jump out the back right before he had a chance to make a complete stop. Can you imagine this now? The commotion that came about when Britany Spears drove with a kid in her lap was a random act of weekend twenty years ago. (insert walk to school uphill both ways line here…). How else did you please a whinny toddler but to let them sit on your lap as you gently held down the gas and they turned the wheel? Things are way different now. Kids don’t ride in the back of trucks, on lawn chairs in work vans and they definitely don’t steer cars for grown ups.
There is something about a truck that makes me think of those days when riding on the corner of the truck bed as the wind whipped through your hair as you were on your way to get ice cream that takes me back to a time of my life where things were just simpler. There was no job, no responsibilities, no financial difficulties, there was just long and lazy days of summer. The back of a truck was an endless source of entertainment as well as great way to haul lots of kids and baseball bats to Dairy Queen. You would double dare someone to hold their arms up like a roller coaster as the truck was rolling down a hill. It was a slow motion forever young moment where the only decision I was making was what kind of ice cream cone I would get. Since my dad passed down a truck recently, I have been getting that nostalgic truck feeling. I love driving a truck..it is such a bad girl feeling. The kids say they feel more important riding in the truck. (buckled in the back seat of the extended cab of course). When the truck is parked in the drive way, I watch them play in the bed..enjoying a beautiful day. I smile and hope they have the same truck love as I do.