The Pickup Truck
My husband, Mike, drives a big pickup truck. For me, it’s a climb to get into the front seat. The make and model? A Ford F-250 4X4 (whatever that means…) and it’s a diesel.
That truck can apparently haul anything we need to haul. It is a great vehicle.
The truck was a blessing the time Mike came to see me in Ohio and it snowed. Mike was born and raised in Florida where he has never had to drive in snow. Still, I climbed in the truck beside him and buckled up without a thought that this could be a challenge for a Florida boy. It wasn’t. He drove through the white stuff falling down and accumulating all around us without the least concern.
Later, when I asked why it didn’t bother him, he said if the snow started to get deep he’d just put it in “4-wheel drive high” (whatever that means…) and it could handle it.
After our wedding in April, we left Ohio in that truck and headed for Florida. We stayed a couple of days at Mike’s house before we hitched up the boat and headed to Islamorada in the Keys for our honeymoon.
Islamorada is small. The truck is big.
Still, even when I wasn’t sure we would be able to find a parking place at a restaurant or shop, Mike easily maneuvered the vehicle into a space. I continue to marvel at his driving skill.
Once we were back in Tampa, Mike offered to let me drive his truck. I declined.
I was nervous.
I know men can be protective of their trucks.
Then one day, I needed to pick something up from the store. There is a Target department store about a half-mile away from Mike’s house. Mike was busy.
“Take the truck,” he told me.
“But what if something happens to it?”
“It’s a truck,” he said.
I know a half mile on a country road doesn’t seem like much, but that’s a mile round trip with a stop sign and cross traffic with which to contend.
Okay, I admit, there usually isn’t much cross traffic at that one intersection in the middle of the morning, but it doesn’t mean that on the one day I drive the pick-up there wouldn’t be a parade going through or a covey of bicyclists or even, worse yet, someone waiting to turn onto my road while I’m being all nice and waiting patiently. They will try to squeeze to pass me sitting in that big truck. I could see it all play out in my mind.
The possibilities for failure seemed endless.
I breathed deep and girded myself for the journey. The truck is tall and wide and big. The drive turned out to be a piece of cake. I made it to Target and back without incident. (Of course I parked in the emptiest part of the lot and occupied two spaces…but parking is another story for another time.)
“I am woman. Hear me roar!” I said to myself as I pulled back into our driveway.
I lived on that small victory for a long time, but knew my resolve had dwindled when it became apparent I needed to drive to the new home we purchased.
We were expecting a furniture delivery at the very time Mike and his son, Shawn, would be at Mike’s house loading a small trailer with some of our things to bring to our new residence.
Our new house is NOT around the corner. Our new house is not a half-mile away.
Our new place, the one we are calling “home,” is close to sixty miles from our current place. The old highway I had to travel is US Highway 41. The road makes its way through a few small towns as you drive north. The day before the drive, Mike pointed out places where the speed limit changes, roads merge, and the some of the confusing parts of the drive. To top it off, there is at least one major stretch of the road under major construction.
Me? I listened carefully and prayed intensely.
The next morning, after another heavy dose of prayer for God’s protection, I readied myself for the journey.
“Are you sure about this?” I asked. “What if something happens to the truck?”
“It’s a truck,” he answered. “You’ll be fine.”
I hopped in the truck and headed off. Well…I didn’t exactly hop…though I am getting better at climbing in on a single bound. The timing was good. I made my way into the next county and the next. The small towns, lane changes, and construction moved from in front of me into my rearview mirror.
The big surprise? That came when I realized I was no longer checking the side mirrors every few minutes to make sure I was in my lane. I was passing other cars when I needed to pass and never got in anyone else’s way. Nobody honked or shook a fist at me.
I felt as if I “belonged” in that F250 4X4… whatever that means.