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Monday, January 6, 2014

Resolution? Driving The Beast

Resolutions, shmesolutions!

Every year I make resolutions to lose weight, get in shape, and write that Great American Novel, lots of well meaning but vague blah blah blah that I never quite manage. Life - and if I am honest, Say Yes To The Dress, cherry pie, and my own monumental lack of willpower - gets in the way.

So I have decided two things. First, I don't need resolutions. I need a guiding light, a one size fits all, all-occasion, Swiss Army knife of encouragement to Climb Every Mountain Instead of Eating Every Dorito and Catching Something on TLC. I need a mantra to focus my powers of concentration. I need a motto. A short one. Something with a bit of drama...and I found it in a book review in the Washington Post.

For 2014, I will adopt as my motto the words of one mostly forgotten nineteenth century author, Mary MacLane, who exhorted: "To the winds with regrets!"

With motto in mind, what is the first metaphorical mountain of 2014 to climb?

I will tame The Beast.
The Beast
The Beast is what we have named my husband's brand new pickup truck. The white Chevy Silverado hulks over our family minivan and dwarfs my own little sedan, The Green Bean. Heck, The Green Bean could fit in the rustoleum lined caldera/bed of The Beast. The Beast replaces the Prius (aka The Flapper) which went west with Older Child. The irony of a two and a half ton truck replacing my eco friendly gas sipper is not lost on me.

Despite its size, The Beast is a modest, hard working truck - no diamond plate tailgate, no blingy trim, no steer horns on the hood. My ever sensible husband bought it to tow a boat trailer for the high school crew team he coaches. So The Beast a practical animal - a big, herking oversized animal that's tricky for me to wrangle down our clogged suburban streets.

I've decided I'm going to make The Beast my own.

Piece of cake, you say. It's got power steering. Power brakes. Get yourself five or six pillows to see over the dashboard. But consider that my 6'4" husband did not feel the need to buy a step in. For me to even get my much shorter self into the cab involves either a vaulting movement akin to Olga Korbut's in the 1972 Olympics or a sideways rock climbing move I believe is called the belly traverse.
I'm not going to let this truck beat me.

The open road is calling! I'm powering up The Beast, putting some Florida Georgia Line on the radio, and flooring it.

To the winds with regrets!

Do you have a motto or resolution for 2014?


E. B. Davis said...

So far the theme of 2014 for me is: Revise, revise, revise. Come spring it will be: Perfect query and submit, submit, submit.

Don't let your feet fall off the pedals, Shari. Those trucks are built for big men. My feet fall off the pedals of my husband's truck all the time. It's disconcerting. The seat just won't go far enough forward for me to reach the pedals properly. It's like I'm driving with my toe point. Good luck!

Shari Randall said...

Good advice, EB, with the writing and the truck!

Gloria Alden said...

I gave up a lot of things over the year; excessive cleaning, dieting, cooking more than was absolutely necessary and making New Year's resolutions. Why add more stress to my life since the resolutions never lasted very long.

As for the truck, when all four of my kids were in 4H with horses, a truck with a super cab was my only means of transportation. I even learned to pull a horse trailer. Now backing was a different story. I only mastered that sort of.

Kara Cerise said...

Fun blog, Shari! I will be on the lookout for a tiny lady driving a large truck and playing "Cruise" by Florida Georgia Line.

One of my resolutions is to start writing a screenplay about the 1893 Cowboy Race. Another is to begin learning Chinese. Both will be daunting, but I love a challenge.

Anonymous said...

I don't make resolutions--I just don't find life predictable enough! Or maybe I just lack direction and self-control.

Most of the time I drive a 17 year old short bed FWD Mazda truck, which I really like, but which isn't great with the gas mileage.

Since neither my hubby or me is mechanically inclined, for repairs and bodywork, I depend upon a good buddy (who thinks I'm his mother) who is also a great resource for information on my characters, having served 30 of 45years of a sentence for murder, and is constantly on his toes worrying about violating his parole.

Jim Jackson said...

When we first got our property in the Michigan's U.P. we had to haul everything in and out each year since there was no building. I bought a Ford Expedition (named Beasty).

The Expedition was built off the F-150 frame. I did make sure Jan could drive it before I bought it and I did purchase the add-on running boards so she could get in without the gymnastics.

I discovered (another) character flaw once I started driving it. I liked seeing over other cars.

I'm sure you will "Tame the Beast."

~ Jim

Shari Randall said...

Kara - I will look forward to news of your screenplay and Chinese skills in a future blog!
Thanks KM and Gloria, for sharing your truck experiences - it gives me more confidence. And Gloria - pulling a trailer! You've got truck skills!
Jim - I feel better knowing that Jan tamed Beasty - but, still, maybe I'd better get some running boards.