Goodbye Millie, Hello Dottie!

Our poor groaning van and its inability to pull the Tin PeliCan with ease was a major setback in the planning of our trip. If it couldn’t handle driving up RTE 19 on a flat road going 55 MPH how would it ever make it over the Rockies??? We want to go to Devil’s Tower and sing the Close Encounters tune “Mmm, Mmm, Mmm, Mmm, Hmmmmm.” We can’t do that with the van whining “I think I can, I think I can.”

The morning after the big van test disaster, I woke up, grabbed a cup of coffee and headed to Command Central only to find it covered with a multitude of automobile dealer ads. Jerry must have been up for hours! The good news – it was the week before Memorial Day – car buyers heaven! Ooooolala, you wouldn’t believe the sales, the discounts, the deals to be had. Loaded with all the deals, we headed over to our local Ford dealer to check things out.

My experience with trucks is somewhat limited. Jerry has had a couple of trucks. In Virginia, he had a cute, red Dodge truck that was fun and easy to drive. Then, when we lived in Connecticut, he bought this huge thing – I think it was a Ford F-250. The only thing that sticks in my mind about that truck was how hard it was for me to climb in. That dang truck was a million feet off the ground and even though it had running boards, they were half a million feet off the ground. Whenever I was going to go with Jerry in the F-250, I would stand outside the opened passenger door and reach my arms to Jerry and he would pull me in, sliding on my stomach, with my legs flapping in the breeze. It was not a pretty sight. Then, there was the problem of getting out. I begged Jerry to buy me a emergency escape fire ladder. I was nervous this would be the case with any truck we considered. And if I was going to give up my Beetle convertible, I, at the very least, wanted something a bit easier to enter and exit.

At the Ford dealer, we explained our situation and needs to Doug, our salesperson. He lead us out to the new truck lot to show us a Ford F-150. As we were walking up, he started the truck, with the keys, before we were even next to the truck. OMG. Who knew????? The truck he showed us was a pretty blue. It must have been really easy to get in – I didn’t really notice, so obviously it wasn’t hard. The truck had so many cool doodads. Of course the number one consideration: awesome cup holders. Check. But – this truck had something beyond my wildest dreams…back up tow assist. Get this, when you are pulling a trailer and want to back up, you tell the truck where you want the trailer to go and the truck drives it there! I sat there with a thought bubble over my head…Picturing Jerry giving me back up directions “TURN THE WHEEL TO THE LEFT! THE LEFT! LEFT!!! THE OTHER WAY!!! STOP! STOP!! STOP!!!!! I had to have this vehicle.

But. There was one slight problem. The truck, while a pretty blue, was not the color we wanted. We wanted white. We wanted to match the Tin PeliCan. We wanted to put dots down the sides of the truck to match the trailer. The blue would have clashed. We wanted a white Ford F-150 that had the exact same features as the blue. But of course, Doug just happened to have one coming in the next day.


Meet Dottie. We are now proud owners of a brand new Ford F-150.

(dots to be added in short order…)


Jerry’s happy as a clam.

For me, she’s going to take some getting used to. It is definitely bigger than the Beetle. It looks smaller than it feels when I am driving. All of a sudden Tarpon Springs roads seem a whole lot skinnier. And when did they shrink parking spaces? I think I am going to need to practice a bit.

I do feel like Thor driving a Transformer. Our old Raymond Elementary School playground game comes to mind – where a line of kids lock arms and go from one end of the playground to the other singing “WE DON’T STOP FOR NOBODY!

Goodbye Millie, you served me well.


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