Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Trucks on the Bridge

We've got a farm, see.

My folks do, that is. And we have a stand, where we sell the things we grow, a little white building with a blue tin roof that sit on the corner of two county roads.

     Every day at six o'clock we close up the stand for the night, and every day at six o'clock, that intersection is busy. From hither and yon the cars and trucks come, whizzing through the green light, screeching to a stop at the red, rumbling over the bridge where the road eventually leads to the Pennsylvania state line.

I'll be out front under the awning, packing up blueberries or carrying in tomatoes or something, and I'll hear the sound of a diesel engine and peek underneath the awning at the bridge where there sits a big ol' Ford truck on a lift-kit with smokestacks on the back and a nineteen-year-old kid at the wheel. And just the sight of that gets my heart to racing. Just the idea of it sparks a fuse in me that I sometimes wish I could blow out.

 It's just a truck.

A dirty old truck and some redneck kid driving it. It's not a big deal.

But it is a big deal because HE'S DRIVING A TRUCK AND HE'S WEARING A BALL CAP.

 I'm going to be honest with you folks: I'm a little redneck crazy.

When most people think of New York, they think of New York City. A lot of people don't think of NY as being much of an agricultural state. We have NYC, Broadway, West Point, Niagara Falls, stuff like that. You don't expect cow pastures and rural communities and tractors on the county roads slowing down traffic. But where I come from, that's the way we live.

Now that I've seen a lot of NY state, I can say a large part of it is rural. Where I live, on the edge of NY and PA, we have farms. Another thing we've got?


Who wear ball caps.

And fly 'Don't Tread On Me' flags.

And drive around big loud trucks.

Here's the Webster's Dictionary definition of a redneck: a white member of the working class in the South.

Here's my own definition of a redneck, personalized, localized, and elaborated: an individual who lives in NY or Pa, wears jeans and ball caps, listens to country music, hunts/fishes/rides horses, and drives around a big noisy truck. Usually male between the ages of 18 and 80, and usually really really attractive.

    I have a predicament, and my predicament is that I'm surrounded by hot redneck boys and I don't know what to do.

Being as I am a girl through and through, I'm a little boy crazy. Always have been, if I'm honest. I can't help myself. At seventeen I've never had a fella in any way, shape or form. The closest I've come to all that monkey business was last year at the county fair when a random boy came up to me and told me I was 'cute'. (Among the top Most Awkward Moments in my life to date. Right up there with driving my daddy's truck into a ditch.) In my own opinion, I'm still too young to mess with having a fella. I'm too immature and I'm too flighty and besides I wouldn't know what the heck to do with him if I had one anyway. I'm not ready. I don't want a boyfriend.

....But at the same time, I really want a boyfriend.

Especially when I listen to Luke Bryan (which you really shouldn't do, ladies, if you know what's good for you) and when I watch Clara and Robert Wheeler in Into the West and when I see hot redneck boys driving by in their souped-up trucks, with their diesel engines buzzing louder than kingdom come. That's when I start to falter and grow weak at the knees and drift down that path of dangerous wishing....

I wish I had one.

I don't know, but I think just maybe, if you're a girl like me, you know what I mean.

The truth, inconvenient though it may be, is that I'm ridiculously attracted to rednecks. This is a fact of life. The boys who drive big trucks and listen to loud music and love getting attention and chase after girls....Strange and confusing as it is, that kind of thing -- well, it turns me on.

But really, when I think about it, I probably won't marry somebody like that. Anybody I marry will likely not be so attention-drawing. Redneck boys are full of themselves. Just because I'm innately attracted to that doesn't mean it would last. After the excitement wore off, what would have to talk about? Trucks? Now, I can talk about trucks for a long time, but we're talking long-term here. We're talking serious, like, forever.

Guys, I'm a romantic. I also believe very strongly in God. And because of this, I believe there is one fella out there for me and one fella only. I'm going to find him one day. Or he's going to find me. Somehow it's going to happen that we're in the same place at the same time and then the spark's gonna hit the gunpowder.

There may be others before he comes. I'm not one of those people who believes you should only date one person for a definite amount of time and then marry them, just because that's what everybody wants you to do. But neither is it right to just fly off the handle and go through boyfriends/girlfriends like contact lenses or socks. Like I said, I still don't know. (And I'm sure not going to pretend I do.) But this is one thing I don't want to be practical about. I don't want to go through life and love with a road map and only take the turns I'm 'supposed' to. I don't want to look at it in a logical way. (Put aside the math and the logic of it.) I don't want to listen to statistics and jump over the puddles that come along...I want to wade through them. Love is too precious to handle with so much care sometimes. Love is wild. You can't put it in a neat and tidy box. You can try, but you'll lose something.

I'm learning that there are things in life that are better appreciated when you don't think about them too much. Love is one of them, especially when you're seventeen.

Stewing over this, I'm wondering what I should do. It's hard being a redneck crazy girl on the state line of New York and Pennsylvania. It's hard watching all those trucks whiz by, and when the ache sets in and that longing I can't really escape, it's hard to know how to feel. It's hard to know what to do with everything I feel.

But you know something?

It won't last forever.

 And someday, maybe soon, I'm going to find something that will.

These days only come once.

So I'm thinking I'll keep on keeping on. I'm thinking I'll bide my time and keep my fingers crossed and pray a blue streak. Because I'm seventeen and I'm a girl and girls are allowed to act silly over trucks because it don't hurt nobody. And I'll watch the people around me who know tons more about love than I do, and I'll write it all down, and I'll listen to Luke Bryan. Because youth is youth and it's a gift God gives us and it's like nothing else in this world.

And in the meantime, it can't hurt to keep my eyes out for those trucks that come barreling over the bridge every day at six o'clock.

(photo credit: Mary)


  1. Oh how I know what you are talking about!! I know SOOOOOOO well!! Only out here, in the western US, it's really cowboys! And there are more Dodge trucks, though I'm a Ford girl! Btu you're right, just keep on keeping on and God will bring the right one along eventually.

    1. You're out west, it must be EVEN WORSE! :-P (And Dodge trucks. I adore Dodge trucks.) Here's to both of us, girl, that we make it out of this boy-truck-crazy stage with our hearts intact!

  2. I am SO with you girl on pretty much this entire thing!!!

    "I wouldn't know what the heck to do with him if I had one anyway." - That bit made me laugh, which is something I often need about this subject. :) I also like how you began it all light and fun, but showed the depth that is always (or should always) be lurking in a girl's mind, too.

    Ricky Nelson is my thing and in some crazy way I think in some manner it keeps me more rational.

    Ha, and yes, Math can (sometimes) be fun, but it doesn't need to be everywhere. ;)

    There is a magic and gift in the daydreams too I think; a bit of story magic to spin and there really is something special about a good, hard-working country kid...

    1. Sorry for using your comment box, Emma, but I wanted to quickly let you know, Eowyn, that ever since re-watching Rio Bravo, I was inspired to look up Ricky Nelson's music and....well, I'm kind of hooked. ;)

    2. Glad we understand, Eowyn. :-) A good, hardworking country kid is exactly what I hope for....someday, be it soon, or years down the road.

  3. That was really a sweet way of looking at it, Emma! I always enjoy your posts :)

  4. Yeah . . . I live surrounded by redneck guys and Ford trucks, TOO. So I kinda know what you mean ;-)

    I think you're right to hold on and wait for now; and I also think you're right to not try to plan too much how your future love life will look. Because it's true--you can't really KNOW. I mean, sure, you can have expectations and rules and boundaries for yourself, and that's a good thing (like, "I don't want to do X when the time comes, because it's not right") ; but you really can't plan when or where or how you'll meet the guy, or what other adventures you'll have along the way before you do. (Which is a little hard for me to do, actually, because I LOVE TO PLAN THINGS. But sometimes it's just not possible.) Enjoy the ride, that's what I try to tell myself :-)

    1. It's hard. :-P

      Exactly -- what you said makes me think of the line in Leap Year (I forget, have you seen Leap Year?) when she says "Will you not make plans with me?" I don't want to make plans, but I want to hold on to my dreams, cuz I feel like they're given to me for a reason.

      And yes, above all, enjoy the ride. :-)

  5. Oh, Darlin', I feel ya! I feel ya so much. You just have to wait for the steady redneck kind, because they're out there and they're wonderful. :)

    1. Reyna, thanks. :-) I know they're out there!

      (So good to get a comment from you again! It's been ages! I miss ya, girl!)

  6. I still don't know what reading this made me feel. At first I was expecting deep and inspiring... and then it turned me into smiling and shaking the head thinking "Oh, Emma..." and then I was left tossing it over in my mind, and then I felt like giggling out, "Yeah, aren't boys driving Utes{trucks} so HAWT!" ;P

    It really made me chuckle when you said the closest you've come to having a fella is the guy who said you were cute at the fair. ;P (I still think that story is hilarious, although I'm sure it would have been tremendously awkward at the time.) It's just like the closest I've come, with the guy who worked at McDonald's. ;D (He was cute, though. Hahaha.) Well, actually, I HAVE had *ahem* instances with certain boys, but it was a one sided thing, and it wasn't my side that was in favour of it. (Seriously, there's not much worse than a boy following you around everywhere and won't leave you alone. GRR.)

    Yeah, well, I think I getcha about the whole 'boyfriend' topic. ;) I think the best thing you can do right now is to make friendships with boys! It's not as bad as it seems, trust me. Find an interest you both share and stick with it, and then move onto other topics from there! (We know a family, and one of the young guys has a mutual love of literature, so we always get along splendidly. ;D) They're not as scary as they seem. ;)

    AHAHA. I feel rather cheeky today, so I'm going to go listen to Luke Bryan. ;D (Oh, they're kinda fun...)

    "And then the sparks gonna hit the gunpowder." Love that!

    Oh, that's a beautiful picture that Mary took!!

    Despite all the teasing and everything in this comment, I really enjoyed reading this. <3

    ~Miss Meg

    1. Haha, maybe you shouldn't expect deep and inspiring from least not at this point in my life. :-P All the same, I hope I didn't disappoint.

      Making friendships with guys is waaaaay easier said than done (and it's easier for some people than others) but I know what you're saying, and I think it's important too -- just really, really hard. But it's getting easier. And yes, when you find common ground that's a wonderful place to start.

      Uh, what did I tell you? DON'T listen to Luke Bryan! (Okay, if you're going to, listen to 'Do I', because that's a good one.)

      Well, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  7. First, can I just say how positively accurate this is?! Especially the whole want a boyfriend/don't want a boyfriend feeling. I'm entirely too young (16) to be thinking anything long-term, but those boys with their trucks... *grins* Such flirts. NY/PA isn't the only place they reside. We have them over here in NC and GA in abundance. ;)

    I haven't commented here recently, but I always smile when I see a new post from A Lantern in Her Hand. :)

    1. Faith, we're on the same page! (Ohhh, those boys with their trucks....) Oh my, I'm sure you've got them in NC and GA. I can only imagine.

      Oh, thank you! That makes me so happy. :-)

    (Only not about the trucks. And rednecks. Replace that with good haircuts and pianists and handsome smiles and guys who play with kids.)
    (And I still don't like the word hot.)

    1. I don't really like it either but 'hot' and 'redneck' just goes together.

    2. Naomi, I love you. We should talk more. Hahahahaha. ;)

  9. Oh! I loved how you wrote this! This is great, and oh-so-relatable!!

  10. I related to so much of this, Emma. The trucks, the boys, the wanting-a-boy-friend-but-also-not-feeling-ready and just...all of it. :P I'm eighteen years old and have never ever ever been in a relationship. I can only think of two times in my life when a boy expressed interest in me. One guy almost-sort-of asked me out (but I was 14 and...yeah. Enough said.), and one guy once asked me for my email but he didn't realize I was only 15. :P Neither of these guys were ones I would want to marry, and I've never had a guy that *I* would like, like me (to my knowledge). Funny how both of those instances occurred when I was way too young to even think of relationships, and now that I'm at a legally marriageable age....nothing's happened. Haha!

    Anyways, sorry for rambling on. Basically, I know exactly where you're coming from. I understand, I relate, and I totally share that wondering about when/how/will I ever get a boyfriend. ;) I firmly believe that if God wants two people to be together, come rain or mountains or sandstorms, THEY WILL BE TOGETHER. (As long as said people are following God's will, etc.). But still. It can be a source of worry sometimes, and the best advice I can give you (and myself) (and anyone else) is to trust Jesus and leave it in His hands. If you're doing what He wants you to do, that's the best possible thing you COULD be doing.

    Well, I should finish this. I only meant to leave a short comment. :P

    ps. And why why WHY do trucks automatically make an attractive guy even more attractive?)

    1. Natalie, thanks so much for your comment! I was pretty sure I wasn't the only one....but to hear it from someone else is that much more encouraging. I appreciate your words, I relate, and I agree 100% percent -- that IS the best thing for us to be doing right now. It's just the waiting that can be unbearable, but in the end I know it'll be worth it.

      Right?! There's somethin' bout a truck.

    2. Definitely something about a truck. ;)
      I recently was talking with my friend about old, beat-up trucks and how they're STILL cool. An old, beat-up normal car isn't, but a truck can get away with it. I guess it's kind of like how a cowboy is still amazing even if he is old and beat-up. Does that make sense?

  11. Annnnnnnnnd I so could have written this post when I was seventeen.

    I didn't date until I was 19. Then I went on two dates with one guy, and that didn't work out. Then I eventually started dating a different guy, and we got married a couple years later.

    Seventeen is fun, what with watching the boys from afar and kind of wanting one, but also knowing they're a lot of mess and fuss and bother. And time-consuming. So Very Time-Consuming. Enjoy seventeen! And enjoy watching the boys :-)


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