You Can Take the Girl Off the Farm…


What do you think? I know, right? I haven’t had a pick-up in any part of my life since I left the farm. I learned to drive in one from as far back as I can remember. It’s where and how I learned to drive a stick and popping a clutch and finding that exact tension of how far out to let the clutch and then press the accelerator to rev the engine without going anywhere. Sorry Dad, that was probably one of the things you told me not to do, so let’s pretend I didn’t. Through the years I’ve had cars, SUV’s both small and XL, I’ve had crossovers, both foreign and domestic, and I wasn’t really searching for a different vehicle, but sometimes some things are such a good deal it would be more expensive NOT to make the purchase. Sort of.

See there was this guy, and yada yada, and he loved this truck but he wanted a Toyota, yada yada, and this truck was a 2010 with only 70,000 miles on it, yada yada, and it needs a couple-a things fixed and yada yada here’s the price. I’ve always had in the back of my mind I wanted a pick-up again. I don’t have to haul bales of hay, I don’t need it for a gas wagon to take diesel fuel to the tractors in the field, I don’t need a set of stock-racks to take a couple cattle to the vet, or home from the sale barn, or from one pasture to another. But isn’t nice to know that if I needed to do any of that I could? It’s got a rhino lining and a locking cover and it’s a 4×4, well, of course. A little bit I don’t completely know why I decided on a pickup, other than it’s 2020 (maybe ‘nuf said) and as I said to my dad – you can take the girl off-a the farm, but maybe you really can’t completely take the farm out-a the girl even after 35 years!

I won’t take my neighbor kids on a ride on the tailgate. How many times we did that as kids and how many times in the pasture would we hit a bump, going slow, and one or a couple of us would fly a little off the tail gate and onto the ground. It sounds way worse than it was, because it was no small amount of fun. We may not have had amusement parks but sometimes our rides had their own sort of fear factor. I won’t put Max in the back so he can go check the cattle with me because a., I don’t have cattle and b., Max isn’t a farm dog that grew up riding in the back of the pick-up. I bet he’d be good at it. I won’t try my blind-driving game in it like I did with my friend Beckie in my Dad’s aqua-colored Ford F-250 in high school. While fun, the likelihood of never running into another person on the road during the game is slim to none in Johnson County.

With viruses and murder hornets and contested elections and people yelling at each other about whose lives matter instead of listening to those who haven’t much in our history, a pickup seemed the thing to do. I can throw a bike or two in the back and head for the Katie Trail. I can throw a couple of kayaks in the back and head for Tuttle Creek in Manhappiness. And someone has already borrowed it to haul a lawn mower some rakes and shovels and other various “farm” equipment for a mission day in KCK to help a grandma clean up her yard and haul away a bunch of trash. That’s not a bad thing by anybody’s measure.

It took a fair chunk of my savings. It won’t set records for great gas mileage. The right rear tire needs 3-4 lbs of air about once a week (not ready to buy a new one), and it doesn’t have a sun roof or a gun rack for my super-soakers, but all in all I’m pretty pleased with the shape it’s in – it might say the same thing about the 58 year old driver?

When you see me headed to the JoCo government office annex just down the street from Grace to VOOOOOOOOTE as soon as early voting is available there, don’t worry about the weather because I’ll simply put it in 4-low and there won’t be any stopping me! And my gratitude and celebration that we live in a country where everyone can GO VOOOOOOOOOOOTE early, or on election day, by mail, or drop box, or in person, driving a pickup or a car or an SUV or a limo or a vespa, we can all GO VOOOOOOOOOOOOTE!!! I may very well make my way to the DQ for a blizzard of joy!!! And I may just sit on the tailgate to eat it! If you want to join me, send me a pic of your “I voted” sticker and I’ll meet you at the DQ and we’ll socially distance on my tailgate and talk about anything BUT politics!!!!