Remember me? It’s Randle, the weird vegan who decided to live in an RV with my husband for 4 months and travel across the US. The one who has been blowing up your Instagram feed with pictures of tofu and rocks. Really old rocks.
And in typical Randle fashion, I am back here—not to tell you about what #RVlife is like—but to announce a NEW adventure.
Ready? Here it is: I got a new job in NYC, and in a few days, my husband and I are moving our lives from Waco to THE CITY. I’m going to be running content (like I was at Skillcrush) but at a company based in NYC that I really love—Teachable. I’m pinching myself.
But before we get too deep into all that, I want to tell you about the pickup truck I had to sell to make this big move happen.
Now before you write me off as one of those Texans, one who has feelings for a truck, let me explain. It’s not just any pickup—it’s a cherry red single cab 2010 Ford Ranger XLT (i.e., it’s adorable), and I bought it when I got my very first paycheck as a college grad.
And not being a teenager whose parents could feed her brand new cars, buying something with a squeaky clean title and a warranty was a big deal. Buying anything was a big deal! So yeah. It’s one of those “started from the bottom now we’re here” things.
When I got the Ranger, I was starting a brand new scary job as a high school teacher, and a few weeks before my first day, I opened the hood of my ‘96 Honda Accord to get sprayed with an 8-foot blast of some kind of fluid. I promptly slammed it shut and didn’t open it again.
That was the death knoll for ye olde Honda, and I scraped together all my cash (plus an advance on my salary and a very generous cosigner) for a down payment on a new (new!) car.
Only…for the first time I could remember, I didn’t want to be smart about it. I didn’t want a practical sedan. I wanted a truck. Not a big utility truck that I could use for hard labor—a miniature, bare bones, so small as to be almost nonfunctional truck with a CD player, no back seat, and terrible suspension. I’ve never forgotten one of my longest friends suggesting we take her car cause mine was “all jiggly.”
Choosing that truck felt unconventional, a statement for a liberal English grad like me. (Look, I was 22, don’t judge me for seeing myself as the star of the Randle show.)
When I pulled up in the driveway with my prize, my family friend took a look under the hood and said in his most Texan accent, “Well, it’s all ye need.”
And I think that sentiment is the root of my romantic attachment to the thing.
The truck (and how much I love it) is physical proof that I can be happy with what I have and nothing in excess of that. It’s a symbol that I am, much like Frank Sinatra, doing it my way (ha, sorry). And a truck that really can’t do anything besides get you from A to B can keep you sort of grounded, which is funny considering you buy it to take you places.
And I took it places! I drove that truck back and forth to work in Houston, over 50 miles a day. It took me all the way from Waco to Boston when I moved to grad school…and 3 more times after that. On one trip the radio broke after 6 hours and I spent the remaining 20 in complete silence with nothing but the struggling transmission for company. Once I pulled it into a Lowe’s in Little Rock where a stranger helped me secure my tarp with Gatorade bottles. Another time when I was driving it through New York, I got berated by a Yankee for the first time when I asked a toll booth worker for directions and told me she wasn’t my GPS. Valid! The Ranger is where I first experienced the joys of shoveling snow…and driving on ice with a bed loaded with sandbags.
Now, New York City is no place for a flimsy truck with rear wheel drive and an outsized ego, so this week I finally sold it to the house painter here in Waco who has been dropping hints about it for years.
As you can see, I am really sentimental about selling Le Ranger, especially considering its market value. And I know from experience—complaining that I voluntarily sold my car is a MAJOR privilege. So I’m focusing on that. 🙂 Ranger or not, we have exciting things ahead. 🙂
To be honest, I never thought I’d be a person who would cry about a pickup truck in the middle of First National Bank of Central Texas, but it’s actually kind of comforting. I don’t have to worry that moving to New York will make me any less me (or—good lord—any less Texan, even if I’m a flaming liberal). Now I have proof that this shit is deep. No self-respecting New Yorker would write an ode to a Ford Ranger and share it with the public.
And that leads me to the future. What does this mean for The Waco Vegan?
Well, for now it’s going to have to be The Waco Vegan…in New York. Lord knows the New Yorkers won’t consider me a local yet! We’ll run with it till it stops working. 😉
So in 2017, I want to use this blog to share with you:
- More vegan food! Coming up with new recipes in a tiny kitchen will be exciting! And think of all the vegan New York food I can tell you about.
- Behind the scenes info on RV life. I haven’t forgotten! I am still processing the trip and I have LOADS to share about what it was like, what to do if you are interested in living on the road, etc.
- Life stuff. In the spirit of “you do you,” I’m not going to worry so much that posts like this are a little out of place on a food blog. I’m just going to keep sharing till you cry Uncle.
- Hopefully…video! I am a video addict (but not a video editing addict), and I really want to get going on YouTube and share that with you here.
A few other fun things I have in mind. 🙂 🙂 More soon.
If you made it this far, I love you and I am sorry for the lame jokes. And I would love to hear in the comments how you deal with major changes like this. Have you ever named a car? Had feelings for it? Or bonded with any inanimate object? Have you ever made a major life change and suddenly confronted lots of weird things you believed about yourself without realizing?
The Waco Vegan is no longer updated. You can find me over at RandleBrowning.com instead.