Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Old Truck and Daddy

Today is my Dad's 64th birthday. He cannot be found on the hopefully my mom will inform him that I gave a little shout to him on his special day....which  most likely be spent in the garden or in the cab of his current "old truck." I wrote this little piece several years ago for Father's Day...but I'm sharing it with you in honor of my Dad. Maybe some of you have an Old Truck in your childhood, as well. 

FYI. This is not a picture of the Old Truck. I'm sure one the corner of my parents' storage building.

The old truck had been around for a while. The little girl couldn’t quite remember when the black, gruffy truck had replaced the green one with the big green wheels. The little girl didn’t know what kind of truck it was. Not that she even cared. The old truck always announced Daddy’s arrival home. Not that he honked. The little girl wasn’t sure that the old horn even worked. But she could hear the old truck coming a half a mile away. 

The truck was her Daddy’s constant companion. Who knew when dusty work clothes, misplaced tools, contrary tractors and even the old truck had replaced Daddy’s childhood friends of balls, bikes and other boyhood pleasures. The truck carried many things…feed from the feed store…a church member’s furniture to a new home…and the occasional wanderer down on his luck.

Daddy would load up the fishing poles and giggling children into the old truck and drive to the deep creek nestled in the hills. They would spend the day in perfect bliss. Fishing off the cool creek, wading into the fresh water, feeling the smooth pebbles beneath their toes. Daddy showed them how to skip rocks. He could make his rock skip effortlessly across the water where it landed neatly on the other side. 

The little girl remembered riding in the back of the old truck along dusty country roads with the wind whipping her hair…singing at the top of her lungs, while the warm summer sun played on her face. The best time, though, was when the old truck would make the trip to feed the cows. The little girl, sitting beside her little brother and baby sister, waited in breathless anticipation for Daddy to “hit the bumps.” The little girl’s head would almost hit the ceiling of the old truck as she screamed with laughter. Of course, not a word of this was said to Momma. Momma would have fussed at Daddy for playing “rollercoaster with the truck.”

The old truck grew older as did the little girl. One day, the little girl ( who grew into a fuzzy-haired, awkward teenager), discovered that riding in the old truck was…well…almost embarrassing! It was always the old truck that came to pick her up from cheerleading practice, Girl Scouts, and band rehearsals. The little girl would stand in front of the gymnasium…books and instrument in hand…giggling with her friends about boys and other teenage matters of the heart. The little girl would suddenly hear the old truck, making the slow climb up the hill towards the school. The little girl would inch her way to the bushes and pray that none of the other girls would notice her speedy getaway. Daddy would just smile in his quite way while the little girl crouched down in the seat, hoping that no one she knew could see her. The little girl was sure that Daddy thought it was funny….and he probably did. The little brother was sill proud of the old truck, no matter how old he got. He and his friends, in boy fashion, would talk with shining eyes of how they hoped to own such a truck when they were grown. 

The old truck remained faithful for a long time. But, as old trucks tend to do, it grew too tired one day to make the climb up and down the Ozark hills. Daddy brought home a small, shiny white truck. The little girl grew into a woman and realized that little boys didn’t really grow up at all. They just replaced their little toys with big toys like trucks, golf clubs, tools, tractors, computers, and boats. The little girl misses the old truck.

Sometimes she can sit back and feel the summer sun hitting her face…riding the “rollercoaster” next to Daddy..driving down the dusty country roads.

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