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by Steven D. Johnson
Racine, Wisconsin

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Could This Be The Next Big Country Song?

Have you noticed that couples seem to become more alike over time? They start to sound alike, think alike, and some even start to look alike. Some people have been reported to gracefully age into a striking resemblance to their dogs. Me, I'm starting to feel more and look more like my ten year old truck...or vice versa.

Early on, it seemed nothing went wrong. Maintenance was cheap. Now the repairs are becoming more and more frequent, expensive, and time consuming. There are squeaks and rattles where before there was a quiet solidity. Years ago I would not think twice about setting out on a long journey. Now a jaunt to the store seems somewhat risky. The seat used to be firm, but sags a little now, and there is a little shimmy in the curves. Bumps in the road seem a bit rougher now and the view in the mirror seems a little fuzzy.

It takes a little longer to warm up in the winter. It takes a little longer to cool down in the summer. When girls looked before it was out of admiration, now it is more likely derision. We are growing old, and more alike, my truck and I.

It seems no load was ever too heavy before...now more care is called for. Speed was important before, now we just enjoy an uneventful ride. No weather was daunting, now rain slows us down, snow can stop us cold.

Each ding, scratch, and scar is a badge of experience though, harboring a memory and a lesson learned; that sagging seat feels just right. I don't think of the color as dull; rather, it has character, like gray around the temples and the tingeing of a beard. Years and miles are just a metaphor for experience and wisdom; wear and tear is really just comfort and familiarity. Last week I thought about taking the truck out for a night on the town, but my truck said, "Aw, let's just stay at home." Me and my truck...getting more alike every day.

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