Heart Of Steel


His name is, General, and I teared up writing this post. He isn’t a horse, family dog, or a cat. No blood pumps through his veins, oils keep his heart of steel alive. To some, he might be just a heap of metal, but twenty years in our family, means hundreds of memories are attached to this truck.

Our family names their vehicles, and often when we talk of them, it’s like we’re referring to a person. Odd as it may sound, we even find these metal additions have unique quirts which give them personalities.

You know those multi picture frames people use for family photos, Mister has them for vehicles he’s owned since we’ve been together.

We even shared our wedding day with one of our classics. No, actually the customized 1958 Pontiac Parisienne probably starred in more pictures than Mister and I did that day.

General, is one of two we’ve owned the longest. The other is an antique only driven occasionally, whereas for years, General was the work horse. He pulled holiday, horse, or flat-deck trailers and hauled whatever daily life required. He took the family on tons of vacations and road trips, crossing borders and racking up miles, never once leaving us stranded.

He was the grandkids favorite to take for their driving test, labeled the lucky truck by the oldest who passed on her first try.

Mister got a new truck replacing, General, years ago. That’s when his duties and demands became less and less. He was our daughter’s daily driver for a spell and a back-up vehicle for the son from time to time. For about a year now though, he only started when the lawn beneath him needed cutting.

General’s mileage is up there, a couple patches of rust tint his white paint, and he has a few minor hail dints. Yet, his motor purrs, his oils stay level, and his interior shows little wear.

He still has life in him, so the difficult decision to sell him was made.

With our minds made up, Mister and I still seemed to put off advertising him but then I thought to send a niece a message. Her having a family of teens, I thought maybe one of her kid’s friends might need a faithful first vehicle.

It turned out their son needed something reliable to get to and from college.

As sad as it was to part with this truck his story has an interesting twist. The first family trip we took in, General, when he was new was to this young man’s parents wedding.

Him buying, General, made it a tiny bit easier for our family to part with him.

Items of sentimental value don’t have to be expensive heirlooms, jewelry, furniture, etc.

For some it could be a simple ticket stub, or a dried flower, the list is endless.

I believe everyone has a some kind of keepsake which holds a precious memory.

Does aging alter emotional attachment to things like keepsakes?

Does the whole space limited downsizing process change how a person views the importance of keeping items?

My answer is, with age comes wisdom, wisdom brings practicality, practicality has me realizing that the memories will remain with or without the physical object.

Have you been able to part with an item from your past that at one time you thought you could never get rid of?

11 thoughts on “Heart Of Steel

  1. Pingback: It Happened Again | kathy knull

  2. I like the way you describe General. We had lots of memories of an old brown staion wagon a Matador. Many camping trips packed full and roof rack. It was noisy so we called it the beast. The wheel wells rusted out and the dust from country roads enveloped the passengers. Finally the hinges on the hood rusted out and we couldn’t check the oil. Martin sold it for $100 to a student. Within a week the police pulled him over and that was the end of the ride. The hulk ended up at a a wrecking yard then finally at a place where it was a bump for mud bog big wheel vehicles to drive over. sadly we passed it on our travels daily so we watched it rust away.

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  3. My husband and I used to name our cars too, until it became to hard to part when them. So I understand how you feel about General! It is easier when something we are so attached to is going to someone we know, or that we know it will be put to good use.

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  4. I have a friend who names her cars – it’s something that I’ve never done. I imagine I’ve gotten rid of a few things I thought I’d always hold on to. Times and circumstances change. But, I have a few things from my parents’ estate that I’m finding it hard to let go of. I always feel better if my cherished items end up in the hands of someone who can appreciate them.

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    • I’m not even sure, when or why we started naming vehicles, it’s been that long. 🙂
      Parting with things from our parents is the hardest. I still have a stuffed animal I was given, it’s been in a bag to give away numerous times but always makes it back out. I also have the sorriest looking plastic fern of my mom’s that should be thrown away because it has lost the tips of most of the stems, but it sits on our deck.

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  5. This past summer I parted with my mother’s old chest-on-chest. It was the last piece of furniture I had that was hers. She passed in 1986 and it wasn’t easy. By luck, my niece took it. I was so relieved because I couldn’t stand not having it in the family or perhaps having someone paint it purple for a kid’s room. I know I can still visit it and stick my head inside the drawers to smell the old mahogany wood.

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