“Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.”
Growing up, I wanted to drive a Kenworth. From ages 6 to 16, I aspired only to drive a semi-truck (notice that this aspiration faded once I actually learned how to drive). When most girls put up posters of pretty things, or (later) boy bands they “loved,” I wrote to Kenworth and received, gratis, a plethora of shiny marketing posters. I’m sure the PR people were delighted to have a young girl into their trucks, and they reflected this by sending me any literature I wanted. I papered my walls with these posters.
With no small effort, I put up a gigantic homemade “Sullivan Trucking Company” banner on my ceiling.
One year, I held a Kenworth birthday party, where a friend who drove a Kenworth picked me and my friends up from school in his cab, drove us to my house, and we washed his truck (a bonus for him — I’m sure washing a cab that big is an onerous task, generally!).
I knew everything about Kenworth specs. On the freeway, I called out different makes and models of Kenworths, at times even knowing the year, the engine, its intended use. I disdained cabovers (for the uninitiated, they look like this) and Peterbilt trucks (illogically, as they’re actually made by the same parent company, like Ford and Mercury). I knew all the brands of semi trucks by sight and could recognize them from across a crowded freeway, by just the glimpse of a bumper or curve of a wheel well.
All this to say that I loved trucks. At age 12, on a family vacation on the Oregon Coast, we happened to pass a sign that said Little River Miniature Trucking Company. I couldn’t pass it by, and my parents indulged me by making a detour. I don’t remember anything about the place itself, except that it was full of handmade wooden model trucks. Some were small and modest, but I saw the big ones and fell in love. You could customize them, choosing colors and putting whatever you wanted on the side of the cab. I had to have a big model semi truck.
Of course, Mom and Dad didn’t buy me one, but they said that if I really wanted one, I could save up and buy it for myself. They were expensive; for a 12-year-old with a small allowance, they were very expensive. Probably they thought this was a whim, and once I left, I’d forget about it and spend my small savings on something else.
It took months to save up the cost of that truck, but I never gave up. Eventually I saved enough to buy the model truck of my dreams. Then, once we put in the order (by mail, of course), it took more months of waiting for them to make and ship the truck to me. I have no idea how long the entire process took, but it felt like an eternity. Finally, one day, UPS delivered a big, huge box with my name on it.
It contained my Kenworth.
I never crawled around on the floor and played with this truck the way I did other ones. I’d worked hard to earn it, and I valued it deeply. Too deeply to scratch or dent it. I caressed it gently, I put it on a shelf and admired it, occasionally I rolled it around very carefully, and of course I dusted it. I valued it so deeply that I own it to this day, and have given the cab a place of honor on our bookshelf. It’s a very real part of who I was, and I’m proud of that part. And who knows? Some day I may yet end up driving a Kenworth. Anything’s possible.
Oh, yes. I’ll be a good mom for a son.