I signed the Bill of Sale today for our 2003 Dodge Ram truck.
"You just got yourself a really good truck. We're gonna miss it," I said as I handed him the keys.
I stood on the porch and watched it back down the driveway, the glossy, newly-buffed sides reflecting the oak trees as it passed by.
Had the new owner noticed the shine?
The familiar rumble faded as it disappeared around the curve.
And then...it was gone.
For fourteen years, that black 2500 Heavy Duty Diesel Ram stood proud in the driveway. I still remember the week we brought it home, and a friend looked under the back bumper and said, "LOOK AT THE REAR END ON THAT THING!"
I was sure proud of that torque!
It pulled our three horses with a gray 16-foot trailer and built my confidence as I drove through downtown Atlanta with a horse yelling, "WHhhhhheeeeeeeEEEEEE!!" out the back.
I sat many an afternoon on the laid-out tailgate, singing songs to Jesus and shooing away the geldings and mares who wanted to chew on the truck out of curiosity.
The Ram saw my new-driver, 16-year-old daughter sit in the seat like a little bunny trying to see over the dash, and was equally as gentle when my British friend (who had no license!) cautiously inched it over hills and pastures, stating with satisfaction, "This is jolly good fun!"
And my high school son, who up to that moment had been the picture of 'good', couldn't resist the lure of an off-road adventure one night when we were out of town, and if it weren't for the tell-tale bramble and brush stuck under the bumper, I'd dare say he would've gotten away with it.
And I'm quite sure it was 'jolly fun'!
The Ram moved both children to colleges, new apartments, and new adventures. And it even tattled on my husband by giving me a whiff of a hunting trip cigar. More than once.
It smelled of saddles, manure, cigars, gunpowder and french fries. It was the manliest truck I'd ever seen, even with rubber mats which said, "Cowgirl Up"!
Over the years, a slew of dogs, taking an afternoon nap, would wake, hearing that familiar Cummins Diesel rumble coming down the street. They'd run, skidding into the kitchen, "Daddy's home!"
But that's all over.
The last time I rode in it, I didn't realize it was the last time.
I suppose that was best.
Happy trails dear old Ram. I hope you give many memories to your new owner. We're gonna miss you.