Boys love trucks. Our boys love Daddy's big red truck. Tonight we took some pictures in it, Daddy and his three boys. Sitting 4 across. As it should be. Sometimes the boys cooperated, sometimes they didn't. As it should be.
Sadly, tonight was our last night with the truck. As things often go when you're a mature adult and parent, sacrifices sometimes need to be made. When Nate started work last November, we needed a commuter car and from a financial and physical space perspective, we weren't able to keep three vehicles. Nate found a nice guy to buy the truck, and after shaking Nate's hand and promising to take care of her, he drove the truck away.
We felt like we had to take some photos to commemorate our life with that pickup. I almost called this blog post "Goodbye to a friend," but I didn't want anyone to worry at the onset of reading that an actual person had passed away. Perhaps you think it is silly to eulogize a pickup truck, but you have to realize, she's been around for the past 10 years.
The truck didn't really sit 4 across. It had a big gray bench seat, which sometimes held me, sometimes held a car seat. Luke liked it best when he was Daddy's wingman, sitting in his booster seat in the passenger seat. He could see so much from that seat. His favorite thing to do was listen to music and ride with Daddy... "make it loud, Daddy." And away they'd drive, singing Dave Matthews and bobbing their heads together in time. Luke still likes to talk about going to get mulch in the truck last August, and the thrill he had when the front loader dropped a full yard into the bed of the truck.
When I first met Nate in 1998, he drove a gray 1988 Chevrolet Celebrity sedan, which for some weird reason, he and his friends called the Coche del Rio. The coche had seen better days, having been broken into a couple of times at the University of Rochester. I can remember my mom chastising Nate for driving her daughter around in it. I don't know if that embarassed him, but I do know that he was awfully proud to show her the truck when he bought it in 2001.
I have so many memories of that truck. I was a 20-something girl sitting on the tailgate in a parking lot in Johnson City, NY - watching Nate, Chris, Martin and Rick play street hockey. Totally in love with my future husband. That was back when I drove a red Mazda pickup and Chris had a red Dodge. The three red trucks parked side by side always made me laugh.
Nate got cussed at by a Massachusetts Highway Patrol Officer on the side of the Mass Pike in that truck. Heavy Boston accent. Serious potty mouth.
The truck was the scene of many discussions that formed our relationship. Trips to Albany in the snow to see Dave Matthews shows. Breaking up in 2002 when things just seemed unclear. Getting back together a couple of months later when things suddenly became clear again.
Nate visited me in Syracuse in that truck. I was so lonely living by myself during grad school. Nothing made me happier than the sight of that truck outside of my apartment or MacGregors Grill and Taproom, where I tended bar.
We drove in that truck to get engaged at Cortese Restaurant in Binghamton. What an exciting scene when we nearly rammed his parents brand new house in that truck, not being able to wait to get inside to share our excitement and my engagement ring with the thousands of festive, waiting Slaviks inside.
We loved that truck so much that we used it as our departure vehicle from our wedding. Somewhere there is a photo of us in our wedding dress and tux (though I sadly don't have the photo), smiling from the front seat as we prepare to drive away to start our married life. Our lovely friends toilet papered the truck, but they hadn't planned on Mother Nature dropping an inch of rain towards the end of our wedding reception. That toilet paper turned into globs of toilet paper mache. We went to the car wash on the night of our wedding, to wash that darn truck. Then off to Denny's at 3am. How pickup truck of us.
In 2005, we moved from NY to North Carolina. The truck made the trip and enjoyed her time away from the salt and into the sun. Since we moved here, we have moved two times. The truck was a key member of the moving crew each time.
Since we had the twins in 2007, the truck got washed and waxed a lot less. But when the stars aligned, she got a wash. Nothing was more thrilling for Nate and Luke than to wash the truck together. The earliest photo I have of them doing this is early 2009, when Luke was just 2 years old.
I drove the truck to the hospital when I thought I might be in premature labor with Matthew. I needed to get there, and Nate needed the van to stay home with the boys. Thankfully I drove the truck home that night too. Big truck for a 30-something girl and her big belly.
Luke sobbed when we told him the truck wasn't going to be here anymore. I think Nate's heart was breaking a little too, but he comforted Luke and headed off to meet the new owner. My love and his big red truck, one last time.
After the transaction was complete tonight, Nate and I toasted the truck with some Woodford Reserve (I don't like bourbon, but I do like my husband) and did what we do best... smiled, hugged, separated two fighting boys, and got everybody ready for bed and another day tomorrow.