The first car I ever had was a tiny little duster of a thing, a Renault LeCar. I can’t tell you what year, but it was silver and had a radio and it was mine. It was an annoying little gnat of a vehicle, dwarfed by almost everything else and tossed about by the slightest breeze. It had a hatchback that held my book-bag to and from school, the hideous brown polyester uniform I wore for my after school job and little else. My uncle taught me the basics of how to drive the four speed and then set me loose on my own on the mountain roads. My cousin Greg risked his life to help me but preferred to drive while I rode shotgun, DJing the best 80s music by laboriously fast-forwarding and rewinding to cue a favorite song on one of a multitude of cassette tapes. Eventually the car caught on fire and melted into a lump of aluminum foil.
Through the years I drove a lot of different cars, eventually even the mom-van needed to haul my three offspring to their various activities with enough room for each of them to invite a friend. When Gary and I married, both of my girls were learning to drive and my van was often occupied leaving me to drive his Chevy Silverado. Though I had never driven a truck, I found quickly I rather liked it. I could see better sitting high up in the cab and felt much safer on the road.
My son, the youngest, eventually totaled the minivan and began to drive the Silverado leaving me once again without transportation. We were in the market for an SUV – but nothing really suited me. Everything was too small for my Sasquatch and I loved the freedom a truck gave us to haul things. On our excursion I fell in love with a Ford F150. My reasons may or may not have been the sunroof, the radio, and the leather seats. Little did we know, this truck would be an integral investment in the start of our pallet sign business.
When we first started doing craft shows and the local farmer’s market, everything we needed fit tidily in the truck bed and extended cab. Eventually we purchased a trailer and then a larger one. Though we hadn’t known we needed it, the truck had a tow package that made all of this possible – like something bigger than ourselves leading us in a certain direction. It’s funny to look back to see how clueless we were that a business plan was being developed for us.
Once in a while, our dog Capone would take a ride with us in the truck. He adored going with us. We rolled down the windows so he could stick his nose out and take in all the smells. He would breathe heavily like he was running with a look of pure joy on his face. I still can’t think about the last ride we took together to the emergency vet. I didn’t know yet that his heart was failing, and that mine would follow. Even as poorly as he was feeling, I think he still loved being in that truck, right there beside me.
This truck is a part of the fabric of our lives. We have taken vacations riding for hours with the sunroof open soaking up the rays. We have loaded it up with belongings to help friends or family members move. In the bed we have propped up chairs on a summer’s evening at the drive-in theater. We have used heated seats and four wheel drive to traverse snowy mountain roads. But by far, the greatest gift of having a truck is the ability to attend events near and far and share the things we make with our customers.
I love my truck.