I was wondering and doubting for a while. Serious depression was beginning to settle in also. After empting our load in Baton Rouge we were offered layover options of Baton Rouge or Jackson, Mississippi. We chose Jackson since it was a good start in the right direction (anything that gets us closer to home.)
We drove up the interstates heading in that direction. It was a fairly long dead head. While in route our truck owner called and suggested just shooting on up to Memphis to be more sure of a load. That is a really long dead head but it's still closer to home. Dead head is travel with no load, unpaid.
We did stop in Jackson though for a few minutes to use the restroom, take the dogs for a walk and check the place out for future reference.
I was driving all this time and I love eyeing landmarks and noticing my surroundings. Everything interests me and facinates me. When I say, Batesville, does anything come to your mind? When I hear Batesville, I immediately think, Caskets. I see so many trucks, even back home that say, Batesville Casket Company with a green logo of a big tree. As we were driving past an outlet mall in Batesville, MS and I said to Pops, "I wonder if this is where they make the caskets?" He said, "Do you see an outlet store over there for them?" hahaha, Imagine.
Well within 2 miles I shouted, "there it is, there it is." It was the Batesville Casket Company and it was a really big plant. I was surprized at the size. Hmmm, interesting. Now I know where caskets come from.
Then I was driving through a rural, wooded area and I saw an area of about 100 yards where the trees on both sides of the road were brown and dead and broken off about 1/2 way up. What in the world? The only thing I can think of to explain that, is that maybe a tornado had come through a while back. It was odd.
We found a welcome center in Memphis and decided to park there for the night. It was in between the highway and a large airport, so it was noisy all night, but we were tired. It didn't take long to fall asleep, but it didn't last. I woke up coughing and choking and couldn't fall back to sleep. It didn't help that I was worried about my kids and wondering if I was going to get home in time for our annual Christmas eve get together at my dad's house. This is only one of two times my whole family tries to be together. Is it too much to ask?
So I sat awake listening to the traffic, planes and the dogs snore as I read my book. Why is it that once you're good and awake you stop coughing?
At 5:30 I thought I could possibly go back to sleep but suddenly load opportunies started hitting our computer, one right after the other. They were good paying loads too. But everything was either going south or west. Nothing was going east or north. Well, that isn't true, we were offered a load going to Michigan but someone else took it right away. We had at least 15 loads go by and I was getting more and more discouraged.
I hard boiled a dozen eggs. I always take potato salad in to my dad's house so I thought I better get busy just in case we get home at the last minute and don't have time to make it. So I thought about cooking my potatoes too. But then I thought, what if we don't get home in time, then I have all these cooked potatoes and what would I do with them and how will I keep them anyway, I don't have enough room in my refrigerator. So I gave up on that idea and that depressed me even more.
I decided to make fudge to pass the time and get my mind on something else. I had purchased all the ingredients earlier and planned to make it eventually so it would be done. My sister always gets fudge from me and I like to make some for my dad and my kids. So I got busy making a batch of peanut butter fudge. I love it that I figured out how to make it here in the truck, I have already made a batch of chocolate with cherries for Pops, that is his favorite. So now with two batches done, I need to only make one more, chocolate/walnut. That is my favorite although I like to add raisins to mine. Making fudge always seems to calm me. I love making fudge and used to daydream about owning a fudge shop. I would love that.
I was really starting to lose hope that we were going to make it home in time. I know this was only Tuesday but if we got a load for morning and it didn't deliver until Thursday, even if it was close to home would we still get home in time? I want to go home so badly although I hear it's cold there and I am loving being able to go outside without a coat and boots. It is 63 degrees here and cloudy. It's kind of hard to leave somewhere like this too.
We headed on over to a nearby truckstop hoping that they would have a truckwash, but they didn't. We need to get the truck clean before we get on a load. It is really dirty. But it would have to wait a little longer.
About 5:30 in the evening after I had given up all hope of anymore loads for the day we got an opportunity for a load going out of Atlanta, GA and going to Warrendale, PA. That is close to Pittsburgh. It delivers Thursday morning at 8:00am. Oh my, too good to be true but would our owners allow us to dead head to GA for the load? Pops called them and they told us to get the load, so we accepted the offer. Once you accept you have to wait for 10 minutes to see if anyone ahead of you with more "dwell time" will take the load. Dwell time is the time you earn while sitting at a layover. The truck with the most dwell time gets first choice of the loads. There were 4 other trucks here according to our computer, would one of them want this load? It was a long 10 minutes. I couldn't stand it. I had tears in my eyes I wanted this load so badly.
Finally the dispatch orders and directions started to come through the C-link computer, we got the load. Hallelujah, I'm going home for Christmas. Thank You, Lord.
My mood changed in a huge hurry for the better!
So we gathered ourselves together and headed for Georgia. We had about a 6 and 1/2 hour drive. Pops took off and we got within 20 miles of our place of pickup and stopped at a truckstop to sleep. So that is where we are.
We are going to shower and find a hopefully find a truckwash and then head up north. I can't wait to see everybody. I have missed you all so much.