Seems Like Old Times
Viking, Minnesota

Rural Reflections Radio

Wednesday night’s drive home from work was sweet with the fragrance of alfalfa newly kissed by a sunny sky. The drive was also sweet as it is one of the last times I will drive my current pick-up. I like my little pick-up but it’s a five speed. Constantly shifting a manual transmission is like another part-time job. My current truck is also a half-ton which gives it a reason to take a pass on heavy loads. I need something to handle heavy loads, like an old friend willing to give a helping hand.


You probably guessed it already but I‘m getting a new pick-up. New is a relative term both in the age of and my familiarity with this truck. It’s a 1989 ton pick-up, a product manufactured during my youth. I don’t believe in new vehicles because they don’t make sense for me. I traded the opportunity to buy a new pick-up for the opportunity to farm several years ago-a good trade. Rebates and low interest automotive loans mean nothing when you’re trying to maintain a good cash flow and build equity in a farm. An old truck also gives me the freedom to work aggressively without the worry of maintaining a new truck’s shiny surface.

I said my new truck wasn’t new, I also said it wasn’t new to me. My brother Dave and I took a trip to Bismarck, North Dakota the winter of 1998 to buy a truck. We found a real gem of a truck that needed just a little work. This was my first nice vehicle so I added running boards and fender flares. Eventually I sold it to a dealer in Grand Forks. My brother, Darrel, was looking for a pick-up the week after I sold my old truck. He visited the same dealership where I traded my truck and faster than you can say “loan approved,” this pick-up was back in the Nelson family. I saw the truck from time to time and it was strange. My truck had a good home with Darrel but it was like seeing your brother date your old girlfriend. I don’t believe my brother, the truck or I were comfortable when all three of us were together.

Darrel got a new truck, he’s a mechanic and needs a good work pick-up so he and his partner Rick Neuschwander can drive through muddy conditions to get to the local golf course. My truck was cast aside until Darrel’s son Derik was old enough to drive. My old truck and his father’s old truck was now my nephew’s new truck. Derik recently got a car, my old truck now had no emotional ties to anyone.

It’s a beautiful evening as I drive home with the sun in my face. As I approach our driveway, I reach for the stick shift but grasp only air. You see my new truck is my old truck and it’s an automatic. It is a ton and doesn’t fear a heavy load, like the friend who helps you move into a new house. It’s been a friend to my family but once again it’s all mine. Seems like old times.