Little Truck, Big Life{21}

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Little Gray: In it for the long haul.

Little Gray: In it for the long haul.

In 1998, I bought my little gray Mazda truck with a 150,000 miles on it for $1500. The gentleman I bought it from was a Delta Airlines pilot who used the truck to commute between his Seattle home and Portland base. All I had to know was he was a former Navy pilot with a meticulously maintained vintage MG in his garage, and I was sold. (I withheld the fact that I was an Air Force brat, just in case that was a deal-breaker.) While my budget was set ridiculously low, the stars had aligned and found me the perfect truck. It was now time to say goodbye to my Volvo station wagon, a vehicle more at home on a mechanic’s lift than on the road. We parted ways amicably and I never looked back.



Fast forward to 2014, and an odometer reading of 236,000 miles, and I must sadly report that the time has come to bid a fond farewell to the truck that never said die, well, at least until this month. Little Gray went out with a bang, a thrown rod in it’s final moments, producing enough smoke to conjure a genie and celebrate its last hurrah.

So join me in remembering the little truck that could–a friend ’til the end. Oh and it’s best not to mention this to Boz and Gracie, they are still in denial.

Boz and Little Gray were all about the dump runs.

Boz and Little Gray were all about the dump runs.

Little Gray reluctantly agreed to hauling manure, but only if I lined the bed with a tarp.

Manure runs were okay, too.



 

Boz and Gracie's favorite feature: lay-flat bucket seats.

Boz and Gracie’s favorite feature: lay-flat bucket seats.

 

Foreman Boz supervising an off-loading of cedar.

Boz supervising delivery of the goods.

Flower delivery beat manure-hauling any day.

Flower delivery beat manure-hauling any day.

For everything my truck was, snow-worthy was not one of them.

For everything my truck was, snow-worthy was not one of them.

Truth be told, Boz and I were beginning to outgrow the truck

Truth be told, Boz and I were beginning to outgrow Little Gray.

While Little Gray remains on the island with mechanic who may one day get her running, I found a successor worthy of her flower-delivering, manure-hauling, shotgun-riding, dump-running legacy: a 1992 Toyota 4×4 truck. There’s just one problem; a senior bulldog’s jumping range is no match for the lofty elevations of a monster truck wheel. So Boz and Gracie, a little patience please, I promise to build you a ramp.

Boz and Gracie as photographed by my friend Rondi Lightmark, who specializes in greeting cards featuring dogs and their trucks.

Boz and Gracie as photographed by my friend Rondi Lightmark, who specializes in greeting cards featuring dogs and their trucks.

Update…

The New Truck: Big Red

Gracie needs a springboard.

Gracie needs a springboard.

Big Red has a welcomed spot.

Big Red says, “Bring on the snow!”