I’m grateful for Derby. During the night thirteen more inches of snow fell and the temperature rose to -12. When my phone rang at 4:45 a.m. I knew it’d be fishing guy calling to say his car wouldn’t start. Could I give him a jump and sorry for having to ask.
Smart-wool socks and hiking boots, fur-lined gloves. This is not the time for red mittens. When I opened my front door, the exterior storm door didn’t want to give way—snow almost to my knees was crowding the concrete landing. Outside, planet earth was spinning in a thick, silent peace. Muffled and wrapped in cotton batting. And a 19-year-old GMC, twice-wrecked, once-divorced, scarred Derby waited in my driveway. One turn of the key and he was awake. Ready and willing.
Willing. This is what I thought about on my long drive out to the country where fishing guy lives along the old Hardin highway. I drove through unplowed streets, knowing by rush hour cars would be stuck pulling out of driveways or turning at intersections. Shovels and sandbags. Come-alongs and tow ropes. But Derby was undeterred. Silly, I know, to think you can trust your beat-up ride more than you allow yourself to trust mankind. What the rest of the world hasn’t been able to teach me, this hunk of metal manages.