Sing loosely to the chorus of Rawhide:

Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’
Though the cars are swervin’
Keep the cargo movin’ 
Tie Downs!

Load ’em in, Line ’em up,
Pack ’em in, Pull ’em tight
Lock ’em down, Tie ’em up
TIE DOWNS!

Ok, so it is a very rough approximation of Rawhide, but it is the song that plays in my head with every trip that includes something dangerous hanging out of my open tailgate.
I love my truck. I LOVE my truck. It’s got close to 150,000 miles on it and has hauled cargo of all kinds. The truck used to be a family truck, but like the rest of us, has morphed this year. Now Blue Betty is a farm truck. She has scratches and dents earned while engaging in off-road, back-pasture adventures. She is perpetually filthy from dirt road dust and let’s not discuss the state of her interior. Let’s just say three little boys practically live in her and leave the rest to your imagination.
And my beloved truck has aided in my transformation into Tie Down Queen.
On any given day I can be spotted driving down the road with 10 ft. long central vac line, appliances, 8 inch by 8 ft. wooden fence posts, barb wire, T-posts, tillers, two-man augers, etc.. hanging out of my truck bed. I keep in my cab, an entire bucket filled with bungees and tie-downs to aid in my activities. So after some friendly, well-muscled man has helped load up my truck, I bring out the bucket. I keep a serious face while weighing my options, never letting them know that my 10-year-old had to teach me how to use the absolutely non-self explanatory ratchet tie-downs…
Side note to the makers of the ratchet tie-downs: thank you for the lack of instructions on usage, if it really was that obvious there would not be a plethora of instructional videos on YouTube. I’m just sayin’.
Despite the many items of questionable nature that I have hauled, the one that keeps the cars furthest behind me is a ream of barb wire. Apparently those frightened drivers have never actually tried to lift the thing… trust me, ain’t no way that roll is going to accidentally fall out.
Still, it must be a strange sight. Driving up behind a truck loaded down with something that makes you want to pass on the right side, a movie screen hanging over the back seat playing Mary Poppins, and a woman behind the wheel.
After all that we have been through, my truck has my utmost respect. I will drive her completely out of the way to get Texaco gas when she is having a bad day. I will never sell her. I now totally get why farmers have old clunkers in their pastures. To the rest of the world it looks like junk, but to the old farmer, it is the well deserved resting place of a loved one. Someday when visiting the farm, you will see her parked in the shade of a pecan tree, rust having changed her color, and wonder about all the places she has been.