Wheels And Steel

My latest vehicle, a 2003 Ram with Cummins diesel

A friend of mine sent me pictures of the beautiful vehicles she has owned in the past decade. That got me thinking about my own list, so I compiled one just for fun.

1. 1969 Fargo pickup truck – blue and white. I was 15 and bought it for $150 from a farm.

Steeny Lou and the Fargo, 1982

2. 1973 Plymouth Valiant 2-door – navy blue

3. 1976 Chevy pickup – ugly brown. I taught myself to drive with a clutch in this truck as I bought it and had to drive it home. I’d tried to learn on other people’s vehicles before but never got the hang of it till I had no choice.

4. 1965 Chevy II 4-door – burgundy (I got into an accident with it in 1986 and had it parked on the fishing docks of a business owned by some friends in Ladner, BC, while I waited for it to get repaired by mobile mechanics. Before the job was complete, someone stole my car. It never did get found.)

5. 1969 VW Beetle, red with a blue stripe painted onto each side (not quite a Nike symbol but slanted like that)

6. 1974 VW Bug – yellow. It had a sunroof. The muffler got a hole in it. I liked that because it sounded like a Harley.

7. 1964 Chevy II 2-door post (bought in 1987 and kept till 2005) – shiny cherry red. I found a 283 engine from a 1963 Corvette and had it installed. My car still had the stock “6” symbol on it, but when I hit the gas, it blew down the highway like a spaceship!

“The Steenmobile” – see the plate?

8. Datsun of some sort that was dirt cheap and barely ran for the week I owned it – flat ugly red

9. 1989 Ford F250 4×4, brand new from the dealership – blue and white

10. 1976 VW Bug – deep dark metallic blue, almost black. Threw a rod on day 2 of owning it while on a trip to Seattle, WA. It would have cost more than the vehicle was worth to get it towed from the States to my home across the border in BC two hours north and get it repaired. Sold it to a junk dealer for $20 and caught a Greyhound home.

11. Ford Econovan (mid 1970s, can’t remember which year exactly. Kept it at a harbour parking lot in Petersburg, Alaska, so we’d have something to drive when we arrived in town via our boat) – ugly brown, and with mushrooms growing in the carpet in back after spring thaw

12. 1991 Ford Explorer (aka “The Ford Exploder” because it blew a transmission and then a few months later its engine blew) – dark blue

13. 1998 Dodge Ram 4×4 with Cummins diesel – black

14. 1974 Mercedes – cream with dark blue roof (still own it)

15. 1996 Dodge Ram 4×4 with Cummins diesel – shiny cherry red like my ’64 Chevy II

16. 2000 GMC Safari van – bluish green

17. 2003 Chevy Suburban – boring tan colour so commonly seen on these

18. 2011 Toyota Matrix – metallic black. (Still have it, but needs a new transmission.)

19. 2016 Kia Soul – Caribbean blue (bought brand new from the dealer in 2016 and still loving it)

20. 2003 Dodge Ram 3500 4×4 with Cummins diesel – burgundy. (This and the Kia Soul are our daily drivers.)

There were other vehicles I drove, but they were more the property of other people, such as my parents or the ex, so I didn’t list them. Actually, #9, the Ford F250, was more the ex’s than mine, but I ended up with it when I escaped from him in 2004 as it was relatively junky by then after him using it as his work truck for years, and he wouldn’t let me have the black Dodge Ram even though I mostly drove it – long and disturbing story there.

Most of the vehicles on the list had standard transmission. Personal preference.

I love my little blue Kia Soul. I bought it a window sticker that says “It is well with my Soul”.

My 2016 Kia Soul in Spences Bridge, BC

And the ’03 Ram in this blog post’s top photo is a joy, too. I’m grateful for all the wheels and steel, gas and diesel, leather and cloth, heat and air conditioning, that got me around in style (more or less) these past decades of my driving life.

Looking at this list humbles me. It is a lot of material goods. They are not all the fanciest vehicles, but still, wow, it’s more than some people could dream of having.

Yes, I worked hard for it – don’t we all? But I realize it is temporary, in the big scheme of things.

It’s just “stuff”. I could lose all my stuff tomorrow.

It hurts to lose stuff, especially when we have worked hard for it, but it’s not like losing a soul. We only get one of those, for free, and there’s only One Way to preserve it for eternity. And that is also free: by believing Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died and rose again to save you.

Imagine, your soul, preserved for eternity, but not in the body you’ve always known, with its aches and scars, its imperfections that drive you mad, it’s quirks and its demands. It’d be you, but YOU 2.0!

I’m looking forward to that new me, thanking Jesus all the way Home.

The Ultimate Repair

This was where I sat on Mother’s Day last year, in the sunshine, overlooking a lake, at the top of a small hill. The best part was that I was talking on the phone to my mom.

Today, the lake is still there. The sun will still shine. The hill I can still climb. But my mother is gone.

That beautiful Mother’s Day was the last time I got to talk to my mom. A week later, as she was walking home from Sunday church meeting, she had a massive stroke.

A woman driving by saw my mom fall and went to help her. My mom told the woman her name and where she lived, and then she lost consciousness.

The woman went to the assisted-living complex where my mom lived and left her number in case there were family members who wanted to talk to her.

I got a call from the complex and received the woman’s number. I called her and she told me about having seen my mom fall and having spoken to her. She said she called an ambulance and waited with her till they arrived. She told me my mom was calm and pleasant – which I know is so characteristic of her.

Hospital staff called to let me know my mom was unconscious. A few of my kids and I started driving the six hours to go see her, but four hours into the trip, my sister messaged to let me know it was too late. So, we got a hotel and went home the next day.

The doctor told me my mom was not in pain, and that she died peacefully, with no struggle. The stroke simply was too major and left her beyond repair.

I look forward to the ultimate repair, where nothing will erode or corrode the perfection given to us by God, free from sin and its effects of slowly – and sometimes more quickly – killing the body.

And I believe I will see my mom again, in her new body, in a better place. That is one moment to which I look forward, as well as to seeing the other believers I miss who have passed on. But even if I didn’t know anyone else who followed Jesus, I trust I will be in the presence of them all, and we’ll all be on the same page.

No more conflict. No more pain. No more of anything that destroys.

Unity, at last, with the focus of our adoration and gratitude flowing toward our Loving Savior.

(See you soon, Mom. You know I’m coming Home, and then we will never again be apart.)

“After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace [who imparts His blessing and favor], who called you to His own eternal glory in Christ, will Himself complete, confirm, strengthen, and establish you [making you what you ought to be].” (1 Peter 5:10, Amplified Version of the Bible)

[This post started out as a comment here. Thanks, G.W., for encouraging me to use it.]