We saw her in town yesterday; tucked in among the other vehicles being serviced at the auto mechanic. Only her tail end sticking out, we could tell she was feeling fine with her nose in the oats while they fixed her innards. I swear she has a personality and that she was standing up especially tall; her bed crammed and bulging with a huge load of stinking garbage.
My husband and I were on our way to the dump with a half year’s trash when she started acting up. We had to turn around immediately and get her back home. My husband made an appointment with a shop right away but rather than empty the carefully compacted and piled-high garbage, he decided to take her in just as she was.
It was summertime and she sat at the shop for two weeks with that garbage baking away in one-hundred degree weather, waiting for her turn. They had her on the cancellation list so she waited at the curb across the street but then they moved her closer to the shop. Every time my husband would see her in town, he would cringe and mutter something about how “I couldn’t help it, I was on my way to the dump when she got sick”. I just point and laugh.
She’s supposed to be ready today. I’m popping the popcorn and grabbing my soda. I’ll be hunched in a dark corner of our car, eyes darting back and forth, watching the doings as my husband picks her up. I want to know the obvious; how bad was the stench and are they going to give him grief about it? Will we ever be able to get the smell out?
Bridgette is a 1986 Ford F-250 pickup with a 460 engine and some Edelbrock under the hood. She is my husband’s other woman. He says she is sexy. I sometimes slip up and call her Gertrude or Gidget or whatever comes to mind but I always apologize to her immediately. She’s a good girl and has done us well. I don’t want to be on her bad side.
My husband acquired her as part of a deal where we helped a guy move out of his house. The man no longer had room for her and was in a pinch so Bridgette was offered as part of payment for the job.
She was covered in green moss and her back was full of refuse when we first saw her. My husband took soap and a toothbrush to her lines and hosed out her backside. A friend of ours gave her a once over with a tuneup and took her for a nice blast down the street, burning rubber. Man that engine is tough! I’m a chick and I even think she’s bad-ass.
She has also been indispensable.
She steadfastly delivered us and our trailer over the mountains from our temporary summer home near Snoqualmie Pass over the nights of September 17th and 18th, 2017 and they were memorable.
The moment we decided it was time to hit the road, it started raining. We packed her and the trailer up in a deluge. It was evening when we finally hit I-90 and headed up the fairly steep grade toward the pass. Then her headlights suddenly began to flicker on and off and panic ensued.
We had to pull over on the side of a major interstate. Thank God traffic was light. We popped the hood and messed around with the various wires, looking for something obvious that may have come lose. We found a wire coming out of the battery and tightened it and got the wagon train moving again. Everything was fine until I turned on the brights. That was the problem; the brights wouldn’t stay on.
We stopped at the pass for gas and messed around with the wires some more without any luck . I had to role up my driver’s side window which meant breaking into the door panel of the truck and manually pushing the window up. The decision was made to drive the rest of the trip over the night with only the low beams. I was driving and I couldn’t see much past the short strip of light so our trip turned from about a 7 hour to an 11 hour voyage because I had to drive slowly.
I was so relieved when I saw the first rays of morning light coming from the east. We were almost to Colville at that point and tired and grouchy. We just had to find our home as we had only been there once. Long story short; we couldn’t find our place on Google maps but our son found it. We were almost there…going up a long hill when we realized a previous washout had dead ended the road.
My nerves were frayed beyond frayed at that point and I had to back up the rig on a hill into a dirt area on an incline, pray that the tires would hold going forward again (thank GOD they did), and we turned around and chugged back down the hill. Luckily we managed to find another way up the hill to our new home.
Bridgette had done it. She was the hero of the day.
I could go into to multitude of stories about Gidget, I mean, Bridgette. She also got a flat tire whilst pulling the rig up a one lane road near a place where we had been camping. It was just my son and I that day and we had to limp her up the hill to a safe spot to pull over. We unhooked the trailer and AAA came and picked her up. The tow truck driver recognized her. Apparently, she already had a reputation in the area.
Seven-hundred dollars later in new rear wheels and an extra rim, she was back but we spent two days in our rig on the side of the road just outside of town. Interesting.
So today we pick her up. Oil changed, engine purring like a kitten and reeking of garbage that has percolated for six months. We’ll probably drive straight to the dump.