Her name was Annabelle. She was cherry red and when I turned her key, she purred like a kitten being scratched behind the ear. Annabelle was a 1997 Ford F-150, extended cab. I became her proud owner in the summer of 2000. With the Las Vegas temperatures soaring to a sweltering 120 degrees, I sat back and let her icy cold air cool me down as I pulled off the lot.
At this point in my life, I had not owned a vehicle with air conditioning. For that matter, I hadn’t ever owned a vehicle I could depend on to start. Certainly, she was a real treat from the very beginning of our relationship. I was impressed with the way she handled on the open highway; it was time for a road trip. This was the first of many over the next half dozen years. Mostly, I traveled with my three children, but occasionally we’d go solo. It was during those solo trips that Annabelle kept me company with her twelve disk compact disk changer. The remote control for the juke box on wheels was an added safety bonus. Eyes always on the road, safety first!
We grew closer and got to know each other quite well over the years. I learned that she liked to foul out her number four spark plug every three to six months and that I needed two extensions on the ratchet to reach it. She learned that I liked to push her limits and she never let me down. From over loaded camping trips, to cross country adventures, Annabelle was always there for me. In six years, I had only to give her the tender loving maintenance the factory recommended. And, of course, I kept her well fed. Only the best for my girl: high octane fuel and Valvoline synthetic!
We had a very intimate relationship, Annabelle and I. So, I was especially broken hearted when she passed. Sitting in traffic that fateful afternoon, waiting for the light to turn green, sweet Annabelle’s life was taken from me instantly, upon impact. That was in October of 2006, and I will miss her forever. Thank you Annabelle, for being everything a truck owner could ask for and more. Thank you for being the best truck I’ve ever owned.