My brother called me, excited, “I just bought you a truck!”
“What? Where are you? What truck?”
“I’m in Soldotna, and I’m not telling you what it is, but you’re going to like it! You have to see it for yourself!”
It wasn’t typical for my brother to buy me things besides the odd coffee and a Christmas present, but I was just back from Africa, broke, and needed wheels to get me to my new job(s). Borrowing my mom’s car wasn’t going to fly for long.
Hours later, he pulled into the driveway, and I raced to get outside. Orange! My favorite color! An old ford step side, with the classic rounded features, It was truly love at first site. Never mind the lack of a back bumper, a little rust, a butterfly window that wouldn’t quite close all the way, it was perfect. It was the first vehicle that was all mine, and it represented freedom to me. Especially since I was living with my parents again.
I flew around town in my hot ride. I got a million looks and comments on it, making me feel like a movie star. My friends all knew when I was working or at the coffee shop. I learned basic mechanic skills so I could take care of it. Although he won’t admit it, I’m pretty sure it helped me hook Matt.
But that was seven years ago, and my life has changed a lot since then. Instead of cruising over to the coffee shop, I fix coffee right here in my cozy home. Instead of meeting friends out at the bar, I invite them over for dinner. And instead of waitressing, I have my own business and work from home. When Matt and I go out we take the car because it is more gas efficient, and when I’m without Matt, I usually ride my bike.
In fact, I’ve been absolutely loving riding my bike this winter. It takes less time to suit up than it would to warm the truck up, and it is so fun to cruise past all the traffic. When I get to where I’m going I feel energized, and when I get home, I can relax since I got my exercise. I feel more connected to nature… noticing things like the way the wind is blowing and what color the sky is. I feel more connected to my community, saying hello to the people I pass and waving to the drivers who yield to me.
I was shoveling the driveway a couple weeks ago when I noticed that my truck hadn’t moved in a while. Actually, there was dry pavement underneath it, and it was piled high with snow. I realized I had spent more time changing the tires this season than driving it. So why was I still paying insurance, just in case I might need it? It’s still a great truck, and someone else could be using it, getting all the joy out of it that I once did.
I got more excited as I thought about it. If I sold it, I could get a trailer for my bike to haul gardening stuff around, and eat good food to fuel me instead of gas to fuel the truck. How great is a gardening service on bicycle? A zero carbon way to help others lower their own carbon usage by growing their own food. It is line with my ideals. It’s perfect for me now, just like this truck was perfect for me when I bought it.
And so, out it goes… hopefully to someone who loves it as much as I do. Someone who will put a bit of TLC in it to keep it running and out of the land-fill. And I will move on up in my transportation status to bicycle, smiling smugly when I pass a Prius.