Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fun with Truck



When I married The Husband he already had this truck.  No, it was new then, this picture is about 20 years down river from then.

This was his pride and joy.  He loved this truck and when it fell to pieces, and the kids were all in high school and money was so tight we didn't have the funds to repair it, so he parked it for good.  I thought he was going to cry.  He still has it, and is talking about getting it going again.  I hope he does, this hunk of metal holds so many wonderful memories.....


When we met, I was living in Indiana, and after we decided we couldn't live without each other, he gave me the bad news.  He wouldn't even think about marrying me unless I came to Alaska first.  Many marriages go belly up because the wives couldn't take living in Alaska, let alone in a remote village.  A long, long plane ride, and then finally! Joy!  We fell into each others arms, which had been so empty without each others warmth.  And that is my first view of the Truck.  Sitting in the airport parking lot, gleaming in the midnight sun, he had washed and polished and vacuumed Truck into cleanliness.

A week or so later, we are taking a ride down on the Denali Highway.  If ever a road was misnamed, it has to be this one.  It is gravel and dirt, and washboard....  Anyway, being young, and in love, kissing was a major part of this day.  He kept pulling over to let me look at glaciers (awesome!) and the over(out?) looks, impressive, and of course kisses were exchanged.  Each and every time we pulled over to look and kiss, this old truck would pass us by.  And later on they would be pulled over, and we would pass them.  This continued for miles, and miles.  We finally arrived at the roadhouse for lunch, and were sitting at at table waiting for our meals, when who should walk in?  Yup!  The man from the other truck.  Seeing us, he asked if all that kissing made us hungry?

A while later, I needed the truck to go to the next town over, they have a small grocery store.  This place is like something right out of the movies.  Dark almost black wooden plank floor, that creaks when you walk. And a little bit of everything.  Food, ammo, gloves, puzzles, pots and pans, light bulbs, pants roofing felt, etc.  At lunch I rode back to work with him, and then at quitting time, would come back to pick him up.  Kisses!  And then he was gone.

 At this point very few people had met me.  He worked on a military base.  Him being 6 ft, and me a foot shorter, I had to move the seat forward.  I jumped out of the passenger side, the truck was lifted and was easy to get out of, but I had to climb up in it.  So, around the truck, open drivers door, and begin to work the seat lever to move it forward.  Finally, after putting up a valiant fight, I won and the seat slid forward. Climbing in, getting the pillow on the seat, clicking shut the seat belt, ready for take off.  I throw the gear shift into reverse, the truck lurches, and into reverse we go.  And not just the truck!  The seat slides back, taking me with it!  The truck is still going slowly in reverse, and I can't reach the pedals!  Finally getting the seat belt undone, pulling my self forward with the steering wheel, I can reach the brake, and stomp it.  Throwing the truck back into park, I look around.  Whew!  Thank heavens he didn't like to park up close!

Opening the door, jumping out, war on the seat begins.  Shaking and pulling, pushing and cursing, the seat gives up and moves forward again. Whew!  Yay!  Giving it one last shake, jerk, to be assured that is is indeed locked into place, it makes a comforting twangy sound.  Climb in, pillow under me, the hell with the seat belt for right now.  Hanging on tightly to the wheel, yeah that is right I have not trust for this seat now, drop it into reverse, lurching!  And then, the seat goes sliding back again!!!!  Now the truck is beginning to fill with noxious fumes from all of the cursing taking place.  Opening the door, little birds flying by fall from the sky from the fumes...  Out I jump, and the war begins anew.

Making the angels cry with my foul language, I shake and jerk, getting into the truck at one point, kneeling on the floor board pulling the seat.  Hearing that twangy sound again, but this time I was not going to be deceived by that placating sound, and continued to work the seat over. And then I heard it!  A deep thunking sound!  Yes!  Fist pumping in glee, so full of adrenalin, I jump in!  Sticking that damned pillow back on the seat, I hang on for dear life, and drop her into reverse, hoping the seat will hold.  It does!  Angels weep for me again!  Stopping, putting on my seat belt I head off to town!

I only get to the guard shack on my journey, when I am stopped by the M.P.'s.  They all knew The Husband's truck, but not me.  Unbeknownst to me a M.P. had been watching me the whole time.  They had called ahead to stop the truck and had already called The Husband.  Turns out they thought some kid was trying to steal The Husbands truck!  He still teases me about it to this day!

A few years down stream, we are out cutting fire wood.  There there is a jolly big swamp between the cutting area and the rest of the trail.  Our first baby is with us, he is all of 20 months or so.  We cut get to the area The Husband likes to cut firewood without any problems.  On the way back the truck is overloaded with wood.  And we get stuck.  From years of experience, The Husband cut fire wood in truck lengths to make it easier to unload and reload the truck in the swamps if he got stuck.  So, we empty the truck, quick work, jump in, and vroom, we are free, bouncing and jumping, leaping and bucking we make it thru the swamp.  Leaving 1st in the truck, we begin the long work moving the wood up to the truck.  Meanwhile 1st falls asleep, and sleeps thru most of this activity.  Then he wakes up, moves around the cab, and manages to lock all the door locks!  Moving yet another load of wood to the truck we find that we have a crying baby, he wants out, he wants us!  We can't get the doors opened, The Husband had left the keys in the ignition!  He finally pries the sunroof open, reaches in, and pops the door open.  A very tearful boy fell into my arms.  He was soon soothed and all was sunshine and rainbows again.  Lesson learned, we never left the keys inside the truck again!

5 comments:

  1. Sounds like the truck is practically a long lost member of the family! It was there when you guys started, there through kids and adventures! If he does get it going it would be a great thing! Fitting retirement for an aging friend!

    I loved the story about the seat fighting you! And the locked swamp story was all too cute! Great post!

    Lots of love,
    Ryan

    PS: Confirmation word is emathh!

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  2. No Not Math!!!!!! Run Ryan! Run!!

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  3. Hey Biki,
    Nice truck history. Very Palinesque, chopping wood with the baby! Lots of memories. What fort were you guys at?
    R

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  4. Biki, your seat story brought back memories of my own. While we were engaged and living 900 miles apart, my fiance took me to the airport in this old Plymouth station wagon she had just bought. She was late arriving to pick me up for the trip to the airport and I was scared that I was going to miss my flight. So I was kind of quiet and sullen to begin with. So she started driving that old wagon like a bat out of hell. It had a long bench seat in front and since I was kind of mad, I was sitting close to the window instead of close to her. Well that bench seat was firmly fastened down on the driver's end, but not fastened at all on my side. So as she started shifting through the gears, my end of the seat flew back, clutch in and forward, clutch out and backward. Thank God it only had 3 forward gears. Every stoplight created a recurrence of the back and forth. When we finally got to the airport, I grabbed my suitcase at curside and ran in, just barely making my flight. By the time she had parked the car and come in, the flight was in the air. She later told me that she was afraid that the engagement was over then and there, since I said not one word after that seat starting sliding back and forth. Well, I did call her that night after getting safely back and we have laughed over the years about that ride to the airport. I insisted and she agreed to sell that old Plymouth station wagon before our wedding date.

    David

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