Morning fog and rain in December

I remember when you shone bright red in the fog and rain, and we went driving.

I remember when you shone bright red in the fog and rain, and we went driving.


Morning fog and rain in December

These days of morning fog and rain in December bring memories of the last years of my red pickup.

Paint faded and body rusted, bumpers bent, and dents all over. Windshield cracked, brakes mushy, tires bald, bench seat sprung and sagging.

Parked on the east side of the farm yard, out in the rain and snow, moldering and rusting, mice making nests in the glove box.

In your dotage, one hundred fifty thousand miles of it, your only working days were hauling firewood and making the four-times-a-year run to the landfill with all the trash and junk tossed into you from the farm and house.

You got knocked around. A lot. Your shift linkage was all loose and your gears didn’t always mesh. There was no adjustment left in your clutch. At the end, you groaned whenever you had to work. Or even move.

You suffered one hundred-degree days and minus-thirty nights, ice and sand, flood and drought, fair weather and storm. And came though it all, engine still running, body still holding together.

You broke down a few times. Needed some parts repaired and replaced. And then got up and went to work again.

Your lights and gauges worked right up to the end, almost all of them. You burned some oil but did not leak much. You got a lot of miles out of every gallon of fuel, for a truck.

You had a good long run. Journeys with wife and friends and kids and grandkids. A thousand hunting trips, at least. Dogs and boots and blood and feathers and fur all leaving marks and memories.

You traveled plenty, more than you could have thought when you were new and shiny, more than 30 states and three countries. Plus Texas.

You were a tough truck, you had a good engine, and you did a lot of work. You carried me along highways and gravel roads, sandhills and woodlands, fall, winter, spring, summer, night and day, to places where we saw a lot of sights and had a lot of adventures.

Made me mad as hell a few times, too. Accidents and getting stuck, and that one time your starter wouldn’t work.

When the metal salvage man came, dressed in black and gray and wearing heavy boots, he gave you a pat on the hood before he hooked up the cables and hoisted you onto the flatbed.

“Come on with me, now,” he seemed to be saying. “You won’t be making any more trips nor doing any more work. It’s no good just rusting away. Let’s get you scrapped and melted down and your steel can be made into something new and shiny again.”

Your place in the farmyard didn’t grow grass for two years. But it’s green again now, showing through the melting ice on this morning of fog and rain in December.

I remember when you shone bright red in the fog and rain, and we went driving.

– Clement Seagrave


About Jerry Johnson

Curmudgeon. Bird hunter and dog trainer. Retired journalist and college public relations director. Former teacher, coach, mentor. Novelist and short story writer. Husband, father, grandfather.
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