My mechanic has a lot in common with my mother’s doctor. When the steering wheel locked up on my 3/4-ton, 4-speed 1969 Ford F-250 with split rims and a manual choke, we cajoled it down to George’s garage in town. On my truck’s last visit to George’s, he replaced the power steering pump, so I figured I was good for a while but not so! I left it over the weekend with instructions to please fix it. My sweet mother has had a long relationship with her doctors. They have kept her ticking through the Great Depression, World War II, four children and two husbands, as more than her share of afflictions struck away at her health. She still has an ongoing schedule of doctor’s appointments. Sometimes she has a complaint, or the visit is just for a checkup. But no matter the purpose of the visit, it seems the doctor can always find something that’s not quite right which requires an additional test or pill.

I have found that I have to be specific when I take my truck to George’s. If I just say, “If you see anything wrong, fix it,” George could retire to the Bahamas after I paid the bill! The motor has been rebuilt, but the runnin’ gear is wearing out – kinda like Mother. She has a strong heart, but her tie rods are loose.

The steel cab rusted out so it was sitting unattached on the frame. It created what one would call a startling visual rattle. All the mechanic could suggest was a transplant. Using my cowboy ingenuity, I used a piece of a rubber tire, a 12-inch bolt and two tarp rubbers to attach my floorboard to the frame. We usually keep power steering fluid, brake fluid, motor oil, a jack, a tow chain and jumper cables in the cab at all times.

Mother has a suitcase full of pills, a sphygmomanometer, blood sugar machine, record diary, oxygen, nitroglycerine and cell phone close at hand.

And we use the pick-up truck usually everyday. It’s the ranch truck. It hauls trash, rocks, gates, wire, dogs, hay bales, protein blocks, railroad ties and kids. It’s got the gooseneck ball so it makes trips to the sale barn with cows and to the pasture with horses.


In a way it’s just like Mother. She gets up everyday, gets dressed, takes her pills and paints or cooks, or visits or plays games or goes for a stroll and does her best to make it a good day. Sometimes my ol’ truck is hard to start in the mornin’. But with a little tender, lovin’ care, it keeps on tickin’.

Well, I’m on my way up to Mother’s to cook breakfast. She’s already up. I can see the lights on in the kitchen. PD