Wednesday, April 24, 2013

She's Gone

Mrs. Jumbo
I like things that last. 

I have a Swiss Army knife that's sixty years old. 

I am reluctant to throw away comfortable blue jeans or t-shirts, and once they near the stage of perfect comfort, they seem to disappear from my closet at random, and that makes me sad and frustrated. I know not whom to blame, for my lovely wife denies complicity in their theft.

I liked this ol' girl, this 1992 Ford E-350 Club Wagon we called Mrs. Jumbo, primarily because she was large and gray and tough and could even work as a truck. We gave $14,000 for her in 1993 because the dealer couldn't get her off the lot. I sold her for $850 last week, with the engine displaying signs of severe fatigue. She'd carried us nearly 200,000 miles, and survived several minor incidents. 

A truck once backed into her on a parking lot, to which my wife's response was "How in the world could you miss a giant gray van?" My response to that was "Be polite. The guy could have just driven off and not told us."

She also jumped a fence during an ice storm. It was thereafter the incidents began, little nibbles at our budget that accumulated to thousands over the last year.

I didn't want to sell her. I especially didn't want to sell her for a niggling $850, especially since she was relatively rust-free, the interior was still very nice, and she was equipped with a wheelchair lift. But it became a case of torn, faded blue jeans and washed-thin-and-soft t-shirts. If I hadn't sold her, I think the woman with whom I sleep may have caused her to disappear.

Mrs Jumbo sat outside the window of the little room where I write for the past six months, and now this friend and hard-working lady who has served us for twenty years is gone. I miss her. 

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