I try to not be too attached to material objects. Sure, I may seem glued to my phone or I may overly protect my books from my cats. Yet I try to remain rational and know that if they were lost or damaged, it is not the end of the world. However, then there is Pete.
Pete was my 1996 Ford Ranger bestowed upon me by my good friend Patty about three and a half years ago. Pete has attitude. I once tried renaming Pete to a feminine name (I tried Kimberly, after the Pink Power Ranger from when I was a kid.) Some may call it coincidence, but as soon as I called him that, he stalled. I called him it again, egging him to turn over, and nothing happened. I said, "Okay Pete, you win!" and he started right up. He also has so many problems I do not understand how he is still running. I took him to Firestone a few weeks ago, for a complete check up. Now, I understand that Firestone has much higher estimates than most places, but even with that in consideration, the recommended repairs are almost as much as Kelly Blue Book value for him! Built Ford Tough, I guess.
The reason Pete was bestowed upon me was that Patty saw I was in need of a vehicle. She also knew I loved helping people. Therefore, she handed the keys over to me with two conditions. First, I had to utilize Pete to assist others. Be that in moving a couch or in giving a lift, he was to be used well. I honestly cannot count the times where I was able to help someone move furniture or whatever else they needed. However, what I can count is the times I gave a lift to someone. As in, once during a trip home to Albuquerque for Christmas I saw two people on the side of the road outside of OK City. Well, I drove by. But I kept feeling a tugging at my heart (and my eyes, toward my rear view mirror.) I even let my logic in on this, and thought "Well, they have two dogs. They can't be that bad, right?" Somehow I equated them having pets with them not being murderers. Thankfully, and obviously, I was right. Initially I gave them a lift to Amarillo, where I stopped for the night to see my brother and sister in law and a few friends. However, the next morning since they had not found a ride further West, I gave them a lift all the way to Albuquerque. The man sat in the cab with me, with him holding one of their dogs. His girlfriend lay in the bed of the truck with their packs and the other dog, while it was lightly snowing for the majority of the trip. Needless to say, it was an interesting experience.
The second condition Patty gave was that I could not sell Pete if I decided to get rid of him before he finally died. Well, as you know now, we are moving to Albuquerque. Albuquerque is a much larger metropolis than Joplin. It has actual public transit, as well as bike paths that actually get you places. Therefore, those reasons coupled with the fact that I do not feel like towing a truck behind a 22' Penske truck, I have officially signed over my title to some friends. They do outreach in Tennessee and know a man who could really use it. I feel great about this decision. Yet at the same time, I feel like I am losing a part of myself. Pete and I have been through so much together. As dumb as this may sound, I am going to miss Pete.