First, know that I’m alright. No injuries whatsoever.

On the way to work yesterday I made my routine turns through the snowy streets, routine run through the countryside, routine paranoid lane change through the profligate stop lights and sprawl of airbag alley (the northern fringe of Kalispell), and made a left on to a small back street which is depending on traffic flow the fastest way to the office. 20 seconds later, going perhaps 25 mph, a big blue truck pulled in front of me and, lacking even a second to tap the brakes, I hit him.

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Occasionally things do end with a bang, rather than a whimper.

Beyond the fright of a very close call (wear your seatbelts, between mine and the airbag my decceleration was remarkably gentle), and the inconvenience of expedited car shopping (we were due in a few months, anyway), I am sad because of the abrupt and rude end to a very good era. M and I bought Josey the Xterra almost eight years ago. We had been married for a year and a half, and were embarking on what would become our path as adults sharing the world as a way of life. I built a plywood sleeping platform in her parents driveway with a rented circular saw, we lived in the truck through the winter, landed in Arizona the next summer, and put over 200,000 miles under the tires in the course of seeing a lot of our world, together.

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Cars are a necessity in just about any corner of America, especially ours, where almost everything is over an hour away at highway speeds. Cultural tropes and baggage aside, spending all those hours inside something so intimatly tied to both happiness and safety cannot but engender a connection. Josey, we’ll remember you fondly.