ford.jpg We made an after-hours Wal-Mart run this evening for some medicine. Driving on to the parking lot, I was astonished that there, under the misty lights, stood an orange,’83  F150 Ford pickup.

Could it be?

No,, surely not.

But it has the markings, the battle scars: the missing “R” from the letters in the tailgate that spell “Ford,” the electrical plugs for the trailer hitch dangling below the trailer hitch ball, the indentation on the right front fender from the shopping cart that I ran into on the old Wal Mart parking lot more years ago than I care to remember. And anyway, how many orange Ford pickup trucks have I ever seen?

Yep, pas d’erreur, it was my old truck. Bought second-hand in around 1987, handed over to Zach around 1998, and sold to a nice fellow in town for $1800 around 1999. I used to see the truck around town for the first few years after I sold it. But then, it disappeared . . . until tonight.

Ah, precious memories. Old trucks are kind of like old dogs, or old slippers–they have character and they evoke memories.

All those commutes to Lake Charles and Lafayette when I was a graduate student; hauling lawn mowers to mow grass all over town those years as an underpaid school teacher trying to make an extra buck to keep the family in milk and potato chips; having Ann in the child seat in the middle, Zach and Sarah squeezed into the passenger seat, as we drove across the state to MaMaw’s and PawPaw’s, and Ann kicking the gear selector into neutral while whizzing down Hwy. 190 at 65 miles per hour. Yep, that was old ‘Rusty.” (I never called the truck by that name, but these years later in retrospect, it seems like a good label.)

And thank God for the marvels of technology, for Sarah took the snapshots with her phone, and Ann blue-toothed them to my phone so I could email them to myself to post here in the blog.

We’ve come a long way since 1983!