Sad week here.
I had to say good bye to a devoted, trusted, beloved, hardworking friend.
We had been together many many years.
We were partners and we were a team. Through thick and thin, good and bad and we survived some really really ugly nasty times.
We slept together many times as we watched over our herd and travelled our many miles together. Hundreds of rescued animals were transported by us, together. Hundreds.
I always felt secure when we did our adventures together. I knew we would always make it home in one piece, safely.
However, lately that has not been the case. Several times in the past few months I was left stranded on the side of the road. So I knew things had to change.
As usual, I was in denial. I thought I could fix the problems.
But having been in a very toxic relationship once before, I soon realized that all the fix'in was making me a poorer woman.
So yesterday I said good bye to the biggest, bluest love of my life.
With it went my 40 year old Agricultural plates, my cassette tape player, the blue cap, fog lights, and my worn out "office" tailgate. Not too mention all that room in the front seat and in the back!!
It ripped my heart out when the Ag plates came off.
I was asked why I didn't trade my truck in during the "Cash for Clunkers" event 3 years ago.
Well, 3 years ago we were still a hard working team and I couldn't break us up. I am no traitor.
Seeing the end was near, I have been looking at all kinds of vehicles.
I got long legs so I need leg room. I got cows and do all kinds of Ag stuff so I need space to carry stuff like shavings, salt, calves, chickens and large amounts of harvested veggies from my garden. Mavis needs room in the front seat and room for her assorted stuffed animals that travel with her.
This is Vermont so I must have 4 wheel drive.
I always want and need a good truck. I looked at trucks and they were wayyyyy beyond any realistic price for used. I also hate the new Ford truck design. I wanted a pre 2004 when they looked like my truck and had room and integrity (and a cassette player).
Unfortunately that Cash for Clunkers event crushed thousands of decent pre 2004 trucks!!
I even test drove Chevys. Came close to buying a 2001 Chevy with a vortec engine but it just did not sound right. I drove many many many older Jeep Libertys. They were Ok. Couldn't find any Saturn Vues. A friend has one and her 4 dogs and Mavis all fit fine in it with the seats down, so I knew it would fit for what I do with cows, dogs and veggies. None to be had up here. No Vues in Vermont, at all.
And blue vehicles are difficult to find. Everything is silver, black or red up here.
Of course I shop for vehicles by color.
Always have, ever since kindergarten when my first love, Hartley Pleashaw, brought all his blue Tonka trucks in for play time and impacted my life forever.
All Nine of my vehicles have been Blue thanks to Hartley. He does not know this. All those "Hartley Blue" vehicles carried sheep, dogs, ducks, rabbits, geese, goats, hay, calves, saddles, grain and boyfriends. All were standards. I taught many of my parochial school girlfriends how to drive a standard through miles of cemetery roads and I had to replace the clutch twice in my blue Chevy Nova II because of those driving lessons. After all that time learning and screaming and shifting those same women now drive automatics!
Anyhow, I almost bought this vehicle:
I fit in it and Mavis did too. It was great going up rural muddy roads, but the rear seats would not fold down flat to allow dog/chicken crates to be carried safely. And I realized I needed a bit more space in the rear cargo areas to carry all my gear for work and farm.
When ever I go test drive a particular vehicle at a car lot I always end up driving 2 or 3 others as well. Unbelievable things happened on my test driving adventures. One vehicle had no brakes at all and I only made it 40 yards and had to eject out of it. I had a friend with me that day and every vehicle we drove had major issues.
I loved this Jeep but there was not even room for my purse in the back.
This is the kind of vehicle I really need and want, but the prices are so high on the older models that I can not afford one. And they all seem to be in Connecticut.
But this is the perfect Janis vehicle in Hartley blue.
A friend showed me her "special" vehicle that is in her garage and I fell in love with it. Indestructable, heavy and blue.
She bought it in 1973 for $600 dollars and only the seats needed reapolstering and she did them herself. I might be going for a ride in this.
So realistically what kind of vehicle did I end up getting ?
I got one that the dealer was willing to sell.
Too many times I would make a good offer on a vehicle only to have a salesman want much much more. WHY do carlots advertise "all offers and trade ins considered" and then try to extract so much more money from you? Vehicles I made offers on in January are still sitting in their lots depreciating. How dumb is that.
The vehicle I got was not a vehicle I really wanted, but it will do the job I need it to do and at a price I thought was fair. AND my truck brought me an excellant trade in value on top of it, bringing the price down below my budget. With additional wrangling and threatning of bringing my cows to the car lot, they also agreed to pay tax and title.
Additionally, the salesman kept his word and bought me my very first CD to replace my worn out favorite cassette. I played it as I zoomed down the highway in 5th gear:
Already this "replacement" truck is doing the job.
Today it easily hauled a block of red mineral salt, 8 pounds of beef suet, a bale of shavings, 2 gallons of milk, a new pitchfork, plus Mavis and her toys, all my gear, miscellanious tools, graham crackers and boots all the way up the deep muddy road to the farm to water the cows and fix some fences.
But its still going to be an adjustment for me. Break ups are hard.
But true love never fades.
I will never forget you Big Blue. Never.