Friday, October 29, 2010

A Fond Farewell

We returned the Penske truck today.  I can honestly say, despite the fact that the cab did leak in the heavy downpours she was subjected to enroute, and despite the fact that the cargo area ALSO had a leak (minor damage to only one box as far as I know), it was a very good truck.  I am mystified as to why there was such a huge difference in the cost of renting the Penske versus the U-Haul version.  I'm telling you the truth, U-haul wanted three times what Penske charged us, for the same sized cargo area.

Maybe Not Exactly Water Tight?
I was a little sad to see the truck go.  We were supposed to return her by 11:26 AM today, but, due to work schedules, etc., we pulled into the lot at 11:31 AM... they did not charge us the late return fee.  The folks here in Gloucester were just as pleasant as the one in Fresno, CA where we rented her.  All in all, it was an excellent experience.

The trip was definitely a good one.  Spending that many hours in the cab of a truck with another person can sometimes result in getting on each others' nerves, getting in bad moods, etc.  But I can honestly say, Joe is an ideal travel companion... he does all the driving and never gets in a bad mood! 

Close Quarters
Over 3000 Miles Traveled
Me, I snooze when I want, and fool around with the camera and the computer... if I have to get some work done, I can do it while riding in the passenger seat of the cab.  My biggest complaint is, I suppose, a factor of age... after sitting for such long periods, I can barely move... I look like an 80 year old when I take my first steps after carefully climbing out of the truck.

Judy, Prepared for Anything!

One of the things I love about driving across the country, besides the pictures of the sights we see, is the opportunity to share stories.  We each come from a different set of experiences and every now and then something happens, or we end up in some town that triggers a memory... and so we share our stories.

One of these moments happened when we found ourselves ready for a break in Gallup, New Mexico.  To me, it was just another town I'd never seen, with ample food offerings and fuel choices.  To Joe, it was a trip down memory lane.  He told me of a time more than 30 years ago when, helping his sister and brother-in-law move across country to CA, the rented truck he was driving broke down.  This being in the days before cell phones, he had to wait until the police "discovered" him, hanging out in the shade under a bridge.

It was a fun and interesting story, wherein Joe remained in Gallup, NM for several days while the truck rental company found another truck, and reloaded his load onto the new truck so he could continue his journey.  Because the process took several days, he was put up in a local motel and he made friends with some of the locals.  And he discovered "blue corn."  The story was of a young man with big dreams ... dreams of fields of blue corn.  I had to laugh when he told me he'd wanted to be a farmer all those many years ago. Funny, I did far back as my teens, I wanted to live on a farm.

For typical reasons, neither of us ended up having a farm.  Until this year when we bought the old farmhouse.  We haven't really started the "farming" part of the whole deal just yet, but we have tried growing a few things, with some success.  Watermelons, tomatoes, and sunflowers were great successes for us this first season on the property.  Next year we will try some other crops, just to see what works well for us.  I'm doubtful that blue corn, that grows well in the New Mexico climate will do so well here, but I am tempted to try it, just because.  I have this vision of Joe, standing in amongst the blue corn plants and the sunflowers, just smiling at his successful crops!

So, yes, it was truly a "fond farewell" to that Penske truck today.  She inspired old memories, and she helped make new ones.

Tranquility in Arkansas
Resting in Oklahoma
Sharing a Meal with the King
Admiring the Aliens in New Mexico

Bidding A Fond Farewell


mixednut555 said...

This post really made me smile. Thank you.
WV: innestr

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Hi Judy! What a fun post that also made me remember our cross country treks--We drove from Virginia to Seattle when we went to Alaska, and 10 years later we drove back the same way--It had memories coming and going!! I hope you're having a good weekend!