Where Did All That Come From?

The Stuff That Ends Up In My Truck… and STAYS

By Jeff Salter

Our specific topic this week is “What do you keep in your [vehicle]?

Well, I’m not so glad you asked that question.

Before I reveal any particular confessions, let me establish that I’m NOT one of those guys who washes his vehicle every single week and gets it waxed and detailed every month. [Heck, I used to know a man who was such a fanatic that he’d take his wife’s car every Saturday to be detailed!] Well, that’s not me, folks. Seriously.

To me, a vehicle – in my case, a small pickup truck – is basic transportation which I occasionally use to haul stuff. Plus, every week, this truck conveys my trash cans down to the curb – some 600 feet away – and brings back the empties the following day. Every month, this truck carries recycling down to that same curb.

My truck is a utilitarian machine with seats. It’s not designed to travel in a parade or preen in a “car” show. It will never make the cover of any automobile magazine… unless the featured article is a “before and after” project. This poor thing is nearly 12 years old and has the dents and scrapes to show for it.

So, let’s depart from the notion that my truck is pretty, neat, or clean. If it’s been raining, my truck is wet; if there’s been pollen attack, my truck can be a state’s witness; if there was a lot of mud or slush on the road somewhere, you’ll know exactly where I’ve been.


No, this is NOT my actual truck. But, except for the pizza boxes, it gives you a fair idea of what mine looks like.

So what’s in my truck now?

As I’m writing this, I still have my “winter ballast” in the extreme rear of the truck bed. That’s because these quarter-ton pickups – when empty – have zero traction on the rear wheels and you can skid even on mild turns. In wintry road conditions, I need that extra 250 pounds (of gravel, sand, salt, and scrap iron) just for an extra measure of safety and stability. I carry that ballast from about November through about March. [By the time you read this, all that ballast will be stacked at the corner of the house where it will wait until next winter.]

INSIDE my truck, you will find the following:

** a spare jacket (because you never know when you’ll have to hike from wherever your vehicle stops… for whatever reason).

** maps, including Texas and Mississippi (because I used to travel in those states and in these past 10 years, I have not seen fit to weed my map collection).

** a five pound bag of cat food (because King Sipper will break open the bag if he can find it… and the vermin will get into it. In my truck, it’s safe until the cat’s regular food container is nearly empty and I can transfer the new bag’s contents from the truck to Sipper’s feeding platform).

** the usual assortment of vehicle manual, registration, and insurance… plus receipts from: oil changes, the last battery I bought, and 296 gasoline fill-ups.

** a hodgepodge of napkins from various fast-food places (because you never know when you’re gonna spill something in the truck cab).

** a flashlight that barely works (but I keep forgetting to change the battery).

** 129 empty candy wrappers and an un-used sundae spoon from DQ.

** a set of plastic traction plates (if stuck in snow or ice) which I got for the recent Christmas.

** and, like the Foxes so far this week, a windshield scraper.

I guess that’s about it for the contents of my truck.

What’s in YOUR vehicle?

[JLS # 326]


About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
This entry was posted in author's life, Miscellaneous, vehicles and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Where Did All That Come From?

  1. jbrayweber says:

    Inside my truck (aside from a layer of pollen, dust, and leafy debris from shoes, and the required legal paperwork): 2 umbrellas (one adult, one child), a set of resistance bands, bands for my knees when I jog, armband phone holder for when I jog, wristband for key for when I jog, headband to keep my ears warm for when I jog in cold weather, face powder to freshen up after I jog, assorted hair clips and ties to pull up hair for when I jog, a couple of pair of sunglasses, bag of quarters for the toll booth, several pens, a light jacket, a pair of flip flops, pack of gum, oh…as a really old can of mace. That’s all I can thin kof off the top of me head. I’m sure there’s more.

    Fun topic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      hmmm. a forensic “life detective” would conclude that you have a minor interest in jogging, Jenn.
      Also interesting that you have that extra jacket in case you get cold… but the spare flip flops because it’s liable to be warm.
      Memo: buy new can of defensive chem. spray


      • jbrayweber says:

        Minor interest is stretching it, Jeff. I do it for the exercise. But make no mistake, I don’t enjoy it. That serotonin its suppose to create? Yeah, I lack that. Jacket = daughter’s year-round hockey; it’s cold inside the building. Flip-flops = in case I forget to throw in a pair in my bag after I’ve gone jogging. Mace … nah, I’d have to move all the workout gear to get to it. LOL!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Anonymous says:


    Liked by 1 person

  3. I should keep some spare jackets and umbrellas in the car. Last autumn the kids and I ended up walking home because of car issues. By the time we got home an hour later we were all chilled and wet because it had started sprinkling. Maybe I should put those items in my back seat since we never use that area.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I find that my cats won’t eat dry food if it has gotten too hot. I guy the big bags as well, but I have a large storage container in the laundry room that holds the cat foot and treats.
    As for flashlights, I finally got The Husband to let me keep the batteries in the ‘right ‘ way.He’d use an old Boy Scout trick of putting them in backwards to make sure it didn’t turn on by mistake and be without power when we needed it, but after I finally find the dang thing, switch the batteries, I seldom need the light any more…that is IF a battery or two didn’t drop and roll under the seat!

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      I need a larger storage container that the can can’t get into and the mice will leave alone. The one I have is a glass jar that holds maybe 2 quarts.
      Never heard that battery trick. I’m afraid I’d get too forgetful and not remember the proper way for the batteries to be oriented.


  5. Patricia Kiyono says:

    You mentioned that you thought I was organized…well, I have to say that your list makes you sound well-prepared for ANY eventuality! You never know when you’re going to need catfood to distract a hungry cougar, or need a wrapper to write a note on, or prove to the gas station that you paid for gas in 1993.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dana Romanin says:

    Great post! It makes me feel better about my van. I won’t detail all the gross stuff in my vehicle, mainly because the contents now have a life of their own, morphing into something otherworldly. It’s best to avert your eyes from my floor board.

    Liked by 1 person

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