Sturdy.

The pickup turned over 143,000 miles this morning. That’s 230,136 kilometers. Not that far in terms of distance. It’s quite some distance in terms of time, reliability, and, well, companionship.

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It is a 1999 model year Mazda B2500. The 2500 denotes its 2.5 liter engine, which I learned many years ago is a little small to pull a 3000 pound vehicle. It has been a light duty truck best suited to hauling a few sheets of plywood or sheet rock, several 4×4 posts, what have you.

I had always wanted a pickup. This one fit my wants and wants, so I bought it – in 2000. It has almost always been the secondary vehicle which is why it has so few miles for its age. It still fits my needs.

It has some rust. A few dash lights are out, the a/c died years ago. And yet it has been a largely reliable partner for approaching 20 years. I might lift a glass and smoke a cigar to mark having such a sturdy vehicle for so long.

A tree for Achilles.

You may remember that we let go of Achilles, aka Chili Dog, earlier this year.

Our vet clinic is in a network which gives people who let go of a pet, buy and plant a tree in the pets’ memory. So there’s been an informal ceremony every October since the year 2000. The municipality generously allows this to happen in a public park. We’ve planted trees for BoJo, Kendal, and Stella. So of course we bought a tree for Achilles. I put in a request for specific species, a Red Oak (Quercus rubra), which is native to both Texas (where he and I came from) and Ontario.

The ceremony was today and it’s a fine October day – mostly sunny, cool, and breezy. I was very, very pleased to find a healthy Red Oak sapling tagged with Chili’s name. So we planted it. It was no trouble at all, just like Achilles was. It’s near Stella’s and Kendal’s trees.

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I may not live long enough to sit in its shade. That’s fine.

A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in. -Greek proverb