Long before I knew her, Mrs. Mack505 had a habit of naming her cars. Since we’ve been married, each of our cars has had a name. Some have gone on to have nicknames, and nicknames for their nicknames. The current fleet consists of Emma, Connor, Hans, Featherstone, and the Batmobile. (Plus a pair of motorcycles which might or might not be sometimes known as Bert & Ernie.)
About a decade ago, my truck was new and nameless. As we were leaving Fryeburg Fair that October, we watched a draft horse loose in the workout area. He tore around at a trot, dragging a sledge in circles behind him, with his owner running behind shouting, “Whoa Emmett!”
Big, strong, kinda slow but unstoppable. We had a name for my truck.
Emmett stayed in the family longer than any other vehicle. We patched and repaired, repaired and patched. My mechanic and especially my body shop guy had visions of boat payments every time I called. I still loved that truck.
Last month, as I was coming out of a store, I noticed rust on Emmett’s rocker panels. It’s a common failure mode for GM trucks of a certain vintage. I bent to inspect the decay, and put two fingers through the floor of my truck.
140,000 miles. Eleven and a half years.
We had vowed we would keep it until it became cost prohibitive. I feared the day had come. I took it home, sat on the front steps, and stared at it. Part of me felt like I was losing a friend. In the last eleven years we had driven the entire East Coast together, mostly with some sort of trailer in tow.
It’s only a machine, yet the decision felt almost like deciding that it was time to take a beloved pet for that final trip to the vet. Emmett had known only me and the Mrs. since the day he left the factory.
Eventually logic triumphed over emotion as it must always (except in politics,) and I put Emmett up for sale. We did some cool things with the money, and now we only own one truck like normal people. Here’s hoping Emma lasts just as long.