Come along for the Ride!

I am so glad you are here. Stay with us as we travel everywhere. I hope you will enjoy the ride.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

some pix

This is the famous Biltmore estate in Ashville, NC near Hendersonville.

The stone gates that you drive through when entering or leaving Sewanee, TN

Home again, home again, jigety jig

We are home, We are home. I am so glad to be here.
I started to have real bad homesick issues last weekend. I was so depressed and upset. I just wanted to come home and was not sure how or when it was going to happen.
We were in KY with a delivery for Monday am in TN. We were delivering at a GM plant. We were carrying parts to build motors. We got there early in the am and drove around the back of the building. There was a big giant skunk running around behind the place. He ran under a rock ledge and hid there. But when we were driving away we could still see his tail sticking out.
Then we had another load picking up in TN in the afternoon and delivering in Charlotte, NC.
On our way to Charlotte we were still driving through TN and was going up a big, windy mountain. It was very steep and curvy. The scenery was pretty. Just before the crest of the hill there was a place with a picnic table in a grassy area. Across the road from there was a HUGE rock (as big as my garage) with a stone staircase carved into it. There was some sort of plaque there probably describing why we were seeing what we were seeing but we couldn't stop to read it. We were fascinated and would like to go back through there again sometime. Because now that we know it is there we could plan to stop if only for a few minutes.
At the top of the mountain we were driving through some low hanging trees very well kept edges to the roads. All at once there was a stone gateway on the road in front of us. There was no gate, just the stone pillars on both sides of the road. The sign said we were entering the town of Sewanee, population 2000.
There wasn't much there, a few stores and shops, a restuarant or two, and some kind of school. But there were signs stating that Sewanee, The University of the South was here, although we never saw it. In a very short time we were again driving through another stone gate on the other end of town. It was a very enchanting kind of place right there on top of that mountain.
Pops made our delivery in NC early in morning before I even woke up. After that we found a Walmart and parked there for what we hoped would only be a short time but by lunch time we were still there.
Pops was sleeping so I was reading and trying to be quiet. About 2:30 in the afternoon, we got the load that I had been hoping for. I knew that we had picked up several times in Arden, NC and took the load to Kodak in Rochester in NY. I really wanted that load because I still had not picked up my ring that we had ordered there during our anniversary in January. So finally I would get to pick it up.
We drove to Arden and picked up a load of printing paper.
After leaving Arden we got to drive through some of our favorite places. We drove through Hendersonville, which is very near the famous Biltmore Estate. I want to visit there so much. Even if we just have lunch or tea. Then we drive through a very scenic area of North Carolina in the foothills of the Smokey Mts. Then actually up and over some of the mountains. Oh my, the Smokies are oh so beautiful. Then, well, all of TN is amazing, what is not to like?
Of course then, later after dark I get the grand priveledge of crossing the hated The New River Gorge Bridge. I hate that bridge.
Then it was Pops' turn to drive and I went to sleep.
I woke up as we pulled into Kodak. It didn't take longer than 20 minutes to get unloaded and get away from there.
We, once again, drove to Walmart. I went in to get my ring and the jewelry counter was GONE! It wasn't there. I asked and found out that they had remodeled the store and was directed to where the jewelry counter was now located. But then, the girl couldn't find it. I explained that we had ordered it in January and sure enough she found it then. I also picked up the movie, Tangled. It is a Disney movie cartoon about Rapunzel.
So when I went back out to the truck, while Pops was sleeping, I watched the movie and chatted with some friends on Facebook. And tried to read, but the book I chose this time just wasn't catching my interest.
When Pops woke up around 4:00, I fixed us a big salad for supper and then we decided that we would work our way home and if we got a load that didn't take us too far away we would take it and if not, we would be home late tonight sometime.
So, we set off, We drove for about 45 minutes to an hour and stopped at a truckstop to shower. We talked about it and thought we would lay down and sleep a little before going the rest of the way.
When my alarm went off at 2:15, neither of us wanted to get awake. So after a cup of coffee we hit the road. I could not get awake. When we stopped to use the restroom we decided to sleep some more. So we did and didn't wake up until about 8:30. Oh well, we will be home a little after lunchtime.
We arrived home about 1:30 and it feels so good to be here. We think we will probably head out again on Wednesday. We do have a lot to do first though.
Jigety Jig.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Little House

Leaving Nebraska we went North, heading to Minnesota. We had a trip that picked up in Mankato, MN and was going to Kentucky. I knew that the town of Mankato sounded familiar to me, but I couldn’t remember why at first. And Minnesota was a state that we had not yet been to with FedEx.
I drove while Pops slept. I drove through a place called, La Mars, Iowa. It is billed as the Ice Cream Capital of the World! Wow, now that’s saying something. I love ice cream, too, but we decided not to stop for a cone.
As I drove forward across the prairies, it dawned on me how I recognized Mankato. It was the city from the show Little House on the Prairie. It was where the Ingall’s traveled to sell their grain and purchase their goods.
So then I wondered, ok, where is Walnut Grove? We must not be real far away from that. When I looked at the map later on, I realized that we had passed within 60 miles of Walnut Grove. But I’m sure that I would not have recognized it. I am very sure that it doesn’t look now anything at all like it did from the show. But it was fun to think about.
Mankato is a pretty big place. The University of Minnesota is there. And it still is a big place for grain sales. As a matter of fact, we were going there to pick up 10,000 pounds of whole wheat flour.
After leaving Mankato, we headed east then south. I passed Austin, MN. Do you know what famous product comes from there? Spam! They even have a Spam Museum. I used to eat Spam a lot, but haven’t had it in years. But I thought that was interesting.
We found a little gas station where we stopped for snacks and I bought a keychain. I try to get a keychain from each state. I also try to get postcards from each state to send to my dad, but they didn’t have any postcards.
Later we stopped at a Petro in Wisconsin. I got a keychain from there too because I missed getting one when we were there before, but I did get some postcards; And a pretty purple bracelet that caught my eye.
Before long it was my turn to sleep and boy did I ever.
I woke up in southern Indiana. We were just about to go into KY.
We found the bakery and delivered our flour. And then we headed toward Nashville for a layover. We found a truckstop just inside the KY line that was in layover reach of Nashville so after a quick trip to Walmart we settled in at the Flying J truckstop. Or so I thought.
We weren’t even here an hour when we got a load offer to pick up tonight and deliver on Monday in Spring Hills, TN. Well, we figured we would be here for the weekend anyway so we might as well do the load. So back up through Bowling Green (which is where the Corvette Museum and the Fruit of the Loom Factory are) and to our pick up. We were picking up car parts for Saturn cars.
Then we headed back to the Flying J. We got back here at 5am. Time for sleep.
 We woke up around noon or a little after and after having breakfast at Denny’s, we looked for a church for tomorrow.
We got our truck clean and our laundry done, so now I think we might settle down to popcorn and a movie. It is raining outside so we can’t go outside to go for a walk or do anything out there.
But it’s ok. Yesterday I was having a horribly claustrophobic day. I couldn’t stand this truck at all. I need out really bad. Well, it didn’t happen yesterday, but playing “guess where” games on Facebook with Starla, Jeff and Jim helped me some. But getting out today for a while helped “give me some space.” And I don’t feel too bad right now. But I need to get home. I am missing everyone so much.
We really want to come home next week. I don’t know if it will happen. We have to hope our company can send us that direction. We’ll see. Pray for us, please.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Dinosaur

Doesn't he look like he's going to run out in front of me?

The Crane, The Crane

The Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) is a large crane of North America and extreme northeastern Siberia. The common name of this bird references habitat like that at the Platte River, on the edge of Nebraska's Sandhills in the American Midwest. This is the most important stopover area for the Lesser Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis canadensis), with up to 450,000 of these birds migrating through annually.


Last couple of times we came through Nebraska, I have to admit, I wasn’t being too fair. The first time we had just come out of Wyoming and by comparison, well there is none. The second time we were in and out so quickly that I just didn’t get to really see it.
But this time, we got to drive the entire length of it for our delivery. I got to really see it in the daylight and got to get a good feel for the state.
It bills itself as the Cowboy Capital. And judging by the scenery it surely could be. There are fields and fields and more fields which means, farming. And farming in the Midwest means cowboys. We saw so many cattle ranches and fields of cattle.
They also call themselves the Cornhuskers, and I could see why. The fields that aren’t cattle fields are cornfields. And we’re talking hundreds of miles, as far as you can see!
It was a warm, 77 degrees on this day and the clouds were the fluffy white ones. It was just a beautiful day.
Just before sunset we pulled into a rest area to walk the dogs and the fields behind were full of some kind of birds. We looked and looked but could not figure out what they were. They weren’t turkeys, they weren’t geese, what were they?
I grabbed my camera and tried to get a closer look. They were making a strange noise almost like a guinea hen, but not quite. They were gray and had really long necks and legs. I thought they resembled a flamingo.
We found out that they are Sandhill Cranes. There were thousands of them. If you have the time and the inclination, look them up on the internet. The migration was amazing.
Once we left the rest area we continued to see them in all of the fields and flying in the sky. It was a sight to behold for sure. The setting sun was making it look like the fields were ablaze and the birds flying across the horizon was a picture I will never forget.
Pops was driving and I was daydreaming about what the pioneers must have thought of this prairie. It is just so open with soft rolling hills in some places and other places as flat as can be. I could picture the Conestoga wagons traveling across here slowly heading west. I could see the women cooking  over the fire and the children running along laughing and playing. I could see dogs barking and the men keeping watch out over everyone. 
I imagined how hard the winters might be for the pioneers living on the open prairies. How hard wagon travel would be once they got to the mountains that they might not know were there. Wow, it must have been something.
Once it got dark my mind went elsewhere, to the cowboys that rode the plains. I could see them sleeping on the ground with their campfires nearby to ward off the coyotes. I could smell the coffee and beans that they had cooked for supper. I heard the horses stomping around in the dark. My imagination just ran on and on as the miles rolled by.
I saw a shooting star go by. And I made a wish.
We passed an exit that went off to Buffalo Bill’s ranch. I asked Pops who he was. I had heard of him but wasn’t real sure who he was. So I googled him and found out that he was a soldier and bison hunter and most famous for putting together “cowboy shows” in the Midwest. He was an early entertainer.
We slept at a rest area and got up around 5am to drive to make our delivery. When we woke up in was cold and WINDY. It was so very windy. And when the wind whips across the prairie it picks up speed and really packs a wallop. No joke at one point it blew our truck clear off the road and onto the shoulder. I was a nervous mess. My arms ached so bad til I was done driving.
Anyway, during our second day of driving back across the state, ( it is 455 miles across which takes about 7 ½ hours) I got to notice more things.
There was a dinosaur standing on a hill just along the roadside. It looked like it might run right out in front of me.
I passed a small place called Gothenburg, which is the place with the original Pony express station. Now that got my attention. The pony express was a fast mail service which used riders on fast ponies to carry mail across the plains, the Rockies and the high Sierras. They were the original expediters, haha.
Then I passed a place called Hastings. It is famous for being the place where Kool-aid was invented in 1927 by Edwin Perkins. Hmmm, the educational things I learn. And know you learn by reading this.
The sandhill cranes were still around today as well. I just cannot believe how many there are. And again the miles just rolled away until we were going past Lincoln, which is the state capital. It doesn’t seem very big but they do have one skyscraper. And then Omaha came into view with their 2 skyscrapers and several casinos. It looks much bigger at night when everything is lit up.
I truly enjoyed my visit through Nebraska this time around. It is a peaceful, content place. The kind of place where you could sit up on a knoll on a bright sunny day and feel the wind on your face as you sip your Kool-aid, ahhhhh.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Lord's Day

This Lord's Day was a special blessing for Pops and I. We got to attend a church where we knew someone. In fact, Tommy England is in Bible College studying to be a preacher and our home church has given him monthly support for several years.
Pops texted him on the phone because we knew that he was somewhere in the Louisville area and asked him to help us locate a church for this weekend. It turns out that Tommy is an associate minister at North Hardin Christian Church which wasn't very far from where we would be. Tommy preaches there on alternate Sundays and this week was his turn to preach. How very fortunate for us.
We got up and got ready this morning and left the truckstop a little early. We wanted to go to the truckwash on the way. Our truck was very dirty.
When we got to the truckwash, we found out that they do all hand washing and brushing and that one of the employees didn't show up for work today. So one guy was going to wash and brush our truck by hand! Oh no, will we be late for church?
He got started washing and I could tell right away that when we left here, our truck would be cleaner than it's been since we had it. He was doing a really good job, but there was no "hurry up" in him. No sir. He was slow. After about a half hour another guy did show up and begin to help him. And what usually takes us 15 minutes, we got done in about 45 today, but like I said, it shines.
So we hustled down the road to church.
Sunday School was first and we were about 10 minutes late. We hated to disrupt, but the preachers wife persuaded us to go in to class. Tommy was teaching the class. He was teaching about the "lost writings." He was telling about the manuscripts and the ones that were found and used as our Bible, and how the many copies that were found were 99% accurate. He also talked about how other writings that were found and believed ie: Aristotle, Homer, Plato, many of their writings were only 90% accurate. He brought up about yet other manuscripts that have been found but not accepted into what is now known as our Bible, because they are known to be untrue or there were not enough of them found to support the writings. It was very interesting and I would like to be able to hear more about this area of study.
After class we went into the auditorium for worship service.
The service was very similar to our home church at Wills Mt. We felt very much at home as we often do in the Lord's church.
The service did have a somber feeling though because a long standing member had passed away this week and many of her family attend there. We pray that God will heal their hearts and give them comfort as they mourn the loss of this woman.
Tommy preached a good sermon on seeing people the way that Jesus sees them. He used the scripture text of Mark 2:14-17. He spoke of how many of us "ignore" or choose to overlook the real people and see only their sin if we notice them at all. He said we are to be "friends" of sinners like Jesus was and by doing so we could reach their needs much sooner than if we just comdemn them and go our way.
His sermon really got to me because I feel that through this job especially that Pops and I see people and their needs that we would not see otherwise. I pray that our eyes could be opened to see like Jesus sees and that we recognize these opportunities in a timely manner so that we can be used as God's instruments.
There are so many hurting, desperate people in this world. And they need more than pity. They need more than condemnation. They need more than to be overlooked. They are people. They are souls.
Lord, help me to be more caring toward others.
After church they asked us to go eat with them. We accepted and said lead the way. We had decided on Mexican food. When we got there the restuarant had been closed down for remodeling. So we went to Applebee's instead. It was a good time of catching up and fellowship.
We really enjoyed our time with Tommy, his wife, Tanya, their girls, Krista and Halli. Oh and I can't forget the joy of the day, Dalton. He is a handful of pure boy that comes and stays with them from time to time. He was just so stinky cute and a real show stealer. I could've just wrapped him up and brought him along with us.
I hope we get back this way real soon, but if not, I pray God watches over them and keeps them all safe until June when we will see them at Preaching in the Mountains in Hyndman, PA.
Love you guys!
Halli England

Dalton taking a picture of himself. haha

Krista England

Tanya, being silly while Dalton takes a picture.

Dalton, told ya he's just too cute.

Dalton takes a picture of Tommy

Tommy and Tanya England

North Hardin Christian Church

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Frustrating, Frustrating

This week so far has been a rollercoaster of frustrations. We began our week by being paid to relocate to Gary, IN.
I was certain that there was going to be a good load for us once we got there or surely they would not have paid us to come clear up from Nashville, TN. But once we got here late Sunday night we waited and waited and waited some more. All day Monday we were offered loads but at such a measley rate we just laughed. By Monday evening we weren't laughing anymore. It was pathetic. Why would they pay to bring us here and then offer us runs for less than $1.00  per mile? By late Tuesday morning we had had 35 load offers, and only 3 of those were "good" ones and someone higher than us on "dwell time" took those loads.
Right around noon we were offered a load and accepted. We were dispatched and getting ready to go. I had just finished filling out all of the paperwork, when the load cancelled. Ugh!
About an hour later we were offered another fairly good load and accepted. Again with completed paperwork in hand we set out. We drove 86 miles to our pickup and when we were within 1 block, the load cancelled. Ugh, again. That's two in a row.
Again I filled out the paperwork for a dry run. Then we get a phone call saying "No, wait, they want us back on the load." So we find a place on the interstate to turn around (which isn't easy.) But right before we do, they call us again and tell us no, it is cancelled. Oh, My, Goodness!
So we drive back to the truckstop and we are upset. We are tired, because we lost sleep waiting thru loads and then lost sleep driving for nothing. And me without sleep is not a good thing at all.
So right around suppertime, Pops was sleeping or trying to, it is harder yet when you are upset, I was reading and we were offered a load going to Atlanta. Usually Atlanta is not a good place to go because it is hard to get a backhaul, but one of the dispatchers (the one we like) called and took pity on us because of our 2 dry runs and told me that we could relocate to Nashville after delivery. I accepted the load without really talking it over with Pops, but after thinking about it for a few minutes, he was okay with it.
So we picked up our load and headed to Athens, Alabama. I started the drive, but late that night Pops took over. I went to the bunk.
When I woke up at 6am and looked out the windshield I saw a rocket. A rocket. What is that doing there? "Where are we?" I asked. He said we were about 6 miles from delivery. So I got up, made some coffee, went in to the bathroom, walked the dogs, and checked out the rocket.
It was an unmanned, test rocket, a saturn.  Wow! Wow! A real rocket, right in front of me. Who wouldn't want to see that when they woke up? It was brought here to display in 1979. Apparently, the Saturn rockets were built in Alabama. Cool.
So we unloaded our load and headed to Nashville. At least it was turning out to be a beautiful day. The sun was shining and it was warm and getting warmer and we were going to Nashville.
We got there and Pops tried to sleep a little. I cleaned the truck and walked the dogs. Then I settled in with my book.
It wasn't long before we got a load offer and I refused it. It was going to Iowa, which is another place that we are told is hard to get out of. I was looking it up on the map to see if there were any big cities near the delivery town. Somewhere we might get out of easier. (Even if you refuse a load, they will sometimes come back and try to persuade you to take it. So we always look for cities nearby and ask to be located there, or if no cities we will ask for more pay to cover the cost to relocate.) But before I could even research the trip completely, our friendly dispatcher called and pretty much made it hard to refuse. So I accepted. Pops really didn't want to do this trip so he was a little grumbly.
I started the drive and hadn't even driven 20 miles before we got a phone call, the load had cancelled. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME, RIGHT? Once again, I filled out paperwork for a dry run. Pops called our truck owner to see if he could get some insight on why loads were cancelling on us. We have been with this company since the end of September and had only had one load cancel on us before now.
Ok, so this is Wednesday, Noon and we have one relocation load, and 2 dry run loads and only 1 load that paid a little less than average.
I might as well make the best of it, it is still a pretty day. I took the dogs for a walk and took some pictures with my phone. The Titans football field is just one block away. Then I talked to Starla on the phone for awhile and then texted back and forth with Drew.
After about an hour a load opportunity came on the C-link computer. It was our load, the one that had cancelled, and they were offering it at a lower rate than before. I refused it!
In less than 2 minutes it came back through, this time paying $150.00 more than what was offered the first time. I accepted it this time and we got the dispatch. Well, I'm not filling out any paperwork until we are loaded.
I cannot understand why all this was happening. We now are getting $150 more for the load plus the money they paid us for the dry run. That is crazy. But oh well.
We drove to Russelville, KY. That is where the load was picking up. And we got loaded, so I filled out paperwork. We are Iowa bound.
While on our way through KY we past a tall tower. Pops and I both thought it reminded us of the story of Rapunzel. But we found out that it was a memorial to Jefferson Davis. "Who is Jefferson Davis?" I asked Pops. But he didn't know. I told him to Google it and he did. So he was reading to me all about this man who was born in Christian County, Ky and went on to be a great statesman and member of congress and later the President of the Confederate States. Neat. I love Google.
Who knew this job would be educational?
So we delivered in Iowa easily this morning and came to the truckstop in Omaha, NE for a layover. We weren't here long though before we accepted a dispatch picking up this evening in Lincoln, NE and going to Bartonsville, IL which is just outside of Peoria for noon tomorrow.
Man, I hope it doesn't cancel. hahaha

Jefferson Davis Memorial

We saw this from a long way off on a Kentucky Highway and wondered what is was. We thought maybe it was Rapunzel's tower, but it turned out to be Jefferson Davis' Memorial Tower.

Here is who he was:
Jefferson Davis(1808 - 1889)
davis.jpg (30769 bytes)
President of the Confederate States of America

Saturn 1 unmanned test rocket on display at the Alabama Space & Rocket Center

This is at a rest area just inside Alabama from Tennessee. I woke up with this right outside the windshield.

Monday, March 14, 2011


We called around as usual to try to find a church to attend and found several. We looked up a couple on the internet. There was one that looked okay, but it was a huge "mega" church and we prefer small like we are used to.
Pops had a conversation with one minister and he doesn't preach anymore, but recommended a church based on a few things that Pops said. He told us that Murfreesboro Christian Church was probably exactly what we were looking for.
We set our alarms and did remember the time change and got up an hour early. We got ready and then drove to the church. It was about 23 miles from where we were.
The first thing I noticed was the preacher waiting on the front porch when we got there. Pops went in and started getting to know Bert Scott, the minister, while I took some pictures.
When I went in I was introduced to Bert and his wife, Patsy. They are some very nice, down to earth, people. I did feel welcome right away. All the people that we met were so very nice. It was a smaller, in the suburbs, church just like we attend back home.
Sunday School was taught by Bert. It was a lesson on leadership and it's qualifications from the Book of 1st Timothy. It is very hard to be a good leader and people are so quick to grumble against them.
After Sunday School they began their traditional worship service. The songs were led by a man named, Greg. We didn't get to speak with him, but he looked like someone that would be good to know.
Bert preached a sermon titled, "Take up the Cross." It was about what it means to take up your cross, how it is something that you might not want to do, but you volunteer to do it because of your love and obedience for the Lord. Being a crossbearer is more than "putting up with" illnesses and afflications. It really means to deny yourself, your desires, your passions, your family (sometimes), whatever, and put the service and work of the Lord first.
I will never understand how many people come into the church wanting to be fed and uplifted but never, ever give back in service or works. It is Church Service. Who is the Church? We are! What is Service? Works!
We are- Works!!! Do you work for the Lord?
Get with it people. Deny yourselves for a change and get busy about the Lord's business.
I really enjoyed our time at the Murfreesboro Christian Church. Once again, we shared with the Lord's people in a worship of our King.

After church we drove up the highway to the TA truckstop. I had laundry to do and we were going to eat in the restuarant today.
When we pulled into the fuel pumps, I noticed a truck trailer in front of us and then out of the side of the trailer was the front end of another truck. What in the world? Then I saw that it was a stage with guitars and microphones. The trailer was painted up, Joey Holliday.
Then he began to sing and I recognized a few of the songs.
He was very nice and friendly. He made a point of talking to every one that walked by even he was in the middle of a song.
Once in the restuarant, I ordered a New York strip steak with shrimp in alfredo sauce. Yep, from a truckstop, and it was so, so, so very good. It came with a baked potato and corn and of course bread, soup and salad bar. Pops got meatloaf, it was all you can eat. We paid with the points that we earned from getting fuel there, so it was quite a bargain for $4.95.
It was 70 degrees and sunny so the dogs and I took a little walk around the place after eating. Then our company offered to pay us to relocate to Gary, Indiana so we took them up on their offer.
It was a super Sunday.
Joey Holiday


Bert and Patsy Scott
Church Sign
Murfreesboro Christian Church

Saturday, March 12, 2011


I have two stories to relate to you from this week that I know you are not going to believe, but I promise you I am not making it up. You can ask Pops if you need verification, but I promise it's true.

Gypsy- is our beloved (usually) GPS. She really is like a family member to us. She has been having some problems lately. She stops on us and sometimes shuts down completely. Even though that is very frustrating and at times more than frustrating, we count on her every single day. Well, for the past few days, every so often she will, for no reason, say, "a 2." We have heard her do this several times and wondered what is going on, what is she starting to say?
Yesterday, she got mixed up on directions and could not right herself. We were upset about not having her assistance, but we were feeling sorry for her. (I know, we aren't right, but like I said, she is real to us.)
Remember this show? They loved their "family member, Robot." Well, we love Gypsy.
Anyway, last night while laying in bed waiting to sleep we heard Gypsy, "A 2" and suddenly it dawned on us, she is sneezing. Our Gypsy is sick, she has a virus! Oh poor, Gypsy.
We spoke to our company and without sounding "CRAZY" we explained to them that our GPS is not working properly. We are supposed to call back Monday morning and they will work with us to "fix" her.
I told you you wouldn't believe me.

Gas Company- Our last trip of the week was a pickup in Gloucester, MA. It was a Gas Company and it was a hazmat load.
We worked our way to the town of pickup, with little help from Gypsy. It is a very little town above Boston right on the Atlantic Ocean. It is a quaint little town with cute little marinas and cape cod style homes. But because of it being right out on the edge of land, everything is crammed into small amounts of land.
We were looking for a gas company and was being directed to drive through a residential area and it didn't feel right.
Then Gypsy told us that we had arrived and to look for our destination on the right. Well, on our right was a big old grave yard. I busted out laughing. Hahahaha, very funny. "Are you a Gas company," I asked the grave yard.
Just as a got that out of my mouth, I looked and the first name I saw on the biggest tombstone was:
I am not lying. That is the truth. Well, maybe Gypsy has a sense of humor even when she is sick.
We drove another "a 2" blocks and found our real destination on the right. We got loaded and headed to Tennessee.
I just love Gypsy. She's a hoot.
Daylight Savings Time

Don't forget to set your clocks ahead tonight. We are going to "Spring Forward" in time.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Interesting things

During our travels through Missouri we have seen some interesting things. Of course, I can make just about anything seem interesting. I am easily fascinated, I guess. Anyway, I love seeing scenery and places of interest.
Right near Kansas City we saw a field with 2 coyotes on one end zigzagging back and forth with each other apparently hoping to “scare” up some food. I found that neat, watching them hunt like that. We see a lot of coyotes, but usually dead ones along the highway. We have seen coyotes in just about every state we’ve been to.
On the other end of the same field, there were a flock of turkeys. Of course the field was huge, but I wondered why the coyotes weren’t down there sneaking up on supper. Haha
There was a small patch of woods and then another field with a herd of deer. All of this was just outside of Kansas City!!! And directly across the highway were 2 sports stadiums. One was the field that the Kansas City Royals play on. I knew that because of the huge crown that was built into the design of the stadium. I would guess the other stadium might be for the Chiefs, but not sure.
We saw many interesting places to shop if I would’ve have the time, but we don’t have anywhere to store things like that anyway.
Later in the evening after delivering our second load of the day we noticed that we were traveling on the “Historic Route 66,” near St. Louis. Well, let me tell you this, although I thought it was cool to be on the road that had a song named after it, I surely wasn’t “getting any kicks.” We also drove for a while on a rural road that was deemed, “Lewis and Clark trail way.” Hmmm, to think I am now driving truck on a pathway that great pioneering explorers have traveled. I wonder what it looked like when they first saw it? I am pretty sure it looks a whole different now. And the wonderful Arch of St. Louis looks absolutely beautiful at nighttime.
We are on a layover now in near St. Louis. I have cleaned the truck and fixed us some breakfast of sausage, eggs, cheese, and  potatoes with sausage gravy over the top. I know that might sound yucky but it is pretty tasty. Try it. We first tried that in Los Angeles, CA.  Then I cooked some chili and a small batch of spaghetti to put in the refrigerator. I got all of the dishes done and am fairly content right now.
I have already done my First Place lesson, so I guess I shall kick up my feet and read for awhile. We are being offered runs, but none we want so far. It could be a long day. Oh well, I have a good book . Pops is pondering the loads and the dogs are sleeping.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Rain, rain, go away!

We have been in so much rain lately. It started for us on Saturday evening while in Dayton. We could see by the flooded areas that it had been raining here for quite some time. It seemed that every field was under water and creeks, streams and rivers were way past their normal boundries. It rained all evening, sometimes really hard, sometimes mixed with sleet.
We walked up to the truckstop for showers and saw some young girls selling Girl Scout cookies. I didn't bring any cash with me so I walked back through the sleeting rain to get some and came away with 3 boxes of thin mints. They were out of Dos si dos and Tagalongs. :(
Anyway, in a little while after returning to the truck, the rain started to mix with some snow and later turned to all snow. By the next morning when we were in Poco, WV it was laying on the ground.
We picked up our load and headed back toward Michigan thinking that we might be driving through snow, but by the time we got to Dayton it was back to rain.
We delivered that load and waited out a layover in Michigan. It wasn't raining now, but it was cloudy and dreary.
We got a load picking up in Deleware,Oh and going to St. Joseph, MO. By the time we entered Ohio, it was raining again. Wow, I think just about all of Ohio is flooded! There is so much water everywhere.
The further we drove the more it rained. It rained all through Indiana, Illinois and Missouri.
We were going to St. Joseph which is on the western side of Missouri, just 25 miles north of Kansas City. We were hauling a hazmat load but not a big quantity so we didn't need placards. It was just one barrel of a corrosive material.
We made our delivery and was given a choice of two layover destinations: Kansas City, MO or Omaha, Nebraska. I wanted to go to Kansas City because it was closer, Pops wanted to go to Omaha. When I asked him why he wanted to there he said something about Mutual of Omaha. I asked him to repeat what he said because I hadn't quite heard him, but he wouldn't repeat he just agreed to go to Kansas City.
I asked him if he wanted to go there to see Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom? I was joking of course. He didn't answer me, he just gave me one of those side-ways glances. I said, "You know, he's dead." "Who," he asked.
"That guy, the one who hosted that show." Wild Kingdom was a show about wildlife. It was on when I was a kid. It was on Sunday evenings just before Walt Disney. I loved that show and I can picture the host as if he was right in front of me, but I couldn't think of his name if it would've saved my life. And that bugged me!!!
Pops and I talked about it for a few minutes, but nothing would trigger the name, "Merlin," I said. "I think it is Merlin."
So I posted the question on Facebook and George Rigo came right back with the right answer, Marlin Perkins. Thanks George.
So we still sit in the rain waiting out a layover. Rain, rain go away
Oak Grove, MO - 03/08/2011
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Monday, March 7, 2011

Did you know that a truck driver at some point transports nearly everything you wear, eat and use on a daily basis including everything from your refrigerator to laptop computer to the materials used to build your house?


Sunday was a nice day. We don't usually ever have to pick up on a Sunday or if we do it is normally later in the day, but today we had a pickup at 10am. This meant that we wouldn't be able to go to church this morning.
We got hold of our nephew, Mikey, the night before (he lives within 15 minutes of our pickup) to see if he would be available to go to breakfast. We made arrangements to meet up with him at 7:30am. I was excited. Mikey had gotten married last summer and we have not had a chance to get to know his wife, Lina.
Sunday morning was cold. It had snowed the previous evening and a little was laying on the ground. Pops and I walked across the road to the Shoney's restuarant. We had to wait about 10minutes for them to show up.
We had a real nice visit with Mikey and Lina. But it was over far too soon. We had a pick up to make and they were going to be working on a house that they had purchased.
We were close to our pick up so we drove up there and got loaded really quickly. And then we were on our way to Michigan.
We looked for a church in our directory that would offer an evening service because we didn't deliver until morning. We called many, but most didn't have evening services.
We did locate one in Findlay, Ohio. They had a service at 6pm. So we chose that one.
Our good friend, Keenan, lives about an hour off our route and we would have loved to visit with him and his family at their church, but we felt it wouldn't be good to deviate that far from route. Next time, hopefully.
Anyway, Findlay Central Christian Church was a good choice. We had good parking and even made it in time to have a quick nap before service.
They don't normally offer communion on Sunday Evening, but they did see that we got served.
After that we joined in on their study of How to Study the Bible. We caught them on lesson 6, but it wasn't a problem and we both participated.
There was a young lady there named Nicki. She was a very nice young lady. She explained to me that she is the only one of her family that attends church. She trys hard to get them to come, but only her dad asks her questions about church and the rest don't pay attention to her. She was very sweet. She even told me that sometimes she walks to church when it is very cold, like today, but she doesn't like to miss. I loved her attitude.
She said she felt sorry for us because we had to live out of our truck until I explained that it was like a camper and that we weren't "homeless."
She also told us that sometimes the teenagers picked on her because she is different from them.
It's a shame that people don't see the soul and spirit of other people instead of challenges and appearances.
We really enjoyed our visit to that church and was spiritually fed. We would go there again.
It was a very nice day, indeed.

Central Christian Church of Findlay, Ohio

Mikey and Lina

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Long Stressful Week

This week seemed long. It seems to me like every day was endless.
Once we left the house on Monday morning, we drove over to Grantsville to see our mechanic, but once over there we changed our minds. So we pulled in to the Pilot truckstop and waited for a load. We didn’t wait long either. We were going to be going to New Jersey to pick up a load of appliances and taking them to West Virginia. We have picked up at this place before. Security is a big issue,  and the people aren’t very friendly, but usually a good load. And we were wrong, Pops had some trouble with the guy that loaded us, he didn’t leave enough room for Pops to get our load bars back into the truck. That is what is used to secure the load. So the load needed to be taken off and put back in differently. Well, the shipper was not happy about that, but Pops kept his cool and eventually everything got worked out. So away we went.
We got to our delivery in WV ok and immediately got another load, this time picking up and going to Tennessee. We drove through the beautiful mountains of Tennessee in the morning just after sunrise. The mountains are already very green and daffodils were in bloom and way down in the valleys, the fog laid heavily. It was a beautiful thing to see.  I love seeing the flowers and the buds on the trees and the flowering trees are already blooming too. It was good medicine for my soul.
Later that day I got a phone call from my sister about Dad. He had experienced some kind of a melt down at his personal care home and had to be taken to the pysch ward of the hospital. None of knew for sure  what was going on with him, but he was acting terribly and saying and doing things that were almost unforgivable. He has badly hurt my sister, who is and has been his constant care-giver for the last 10+ years. She was telling me that the hospital can’t find anything really wrong with him. Except he was out of a medication that he had been taking for the last 50 years. Could this have caused all of this? No one is quite sure.
I called him later that evening and he was still talking crazy. I couldn’t believe it was my dad. What on earth? It was a really hard week on all of us in the family, very stressful and unsettling, especially for Amy. What are we going to do now? The personal care home did not want to take him back, his behavior and breakdown had been so bad.  I could hardly focus on my job at all this week. I just couldn’t wrap my head around anything. Thank Goodness Pops is so understanding.
Our next load was another load of appliances, this time picking up at a different place. It was a pretty good size load to and the people there were so very nice. It is honestly true about the southern people being more friendly. We have proved that over and over again. Anyway, while there, Pops was telling them about how often we haul appliances and he was asking them questions. They are all in agreement, at every appliance place we’ve been too that LG appliances are by far the best for the money. Their quality and reliability is better than many name brands that I won’t mention. So if you are looking for an appliance, anything from microwaves to refrigerators to washer/dryers, consider an LG brand for sure.
We had a pick up in North Carolina. It was at a place that had a lot of silo-looking things and a couple of big muddy ponds in the back with things that churned up the water and made it bubble. It was very secure and we had to get security badges and everything. Whoa!
Our load wasn’t ready yet, so we had to wait. Okay, by me I will just sit and read.
I tried to call to talk to my dad again, but he was released from the hospital. He was going back to the personal care home. I don’t know for sure what had transpired, but he was going back there. I don’t know if it’s permanent or temporary, but I’m glad he was going back but at the same time very embarrassed about the whole ordeal. So since I didn’t catch him to talk to him before he left the hospital, I decided to wait a day or two to let him readjust to the home before calling. I talked to my sister and she was going to do the same thing.
Finally our load was ready. We were hauling one big plastic vat of enzymes. We looked it up on the internet. It is an anti-fungal agent for food products. We were taking it to a big name place that makes corn syrup. I always see train tankers hauling their corn syrup. We had to take it to Dayton, Oh.
I always hate leaving the south. It honestly makes me a little sad. This time the further north we got the darker it was becoming. Somewhere above middle West Virginia we ran into rain. It once near Dayton it was pouring. It rained all night long. We parked at a Walmart and when we woke up the fields all around were flooding and the water was really running into storm drains. But at least, it wasn’t cold.
After we got unloaded  we went to the truckstop to wait our layover. I figured we were done for the week and was looking forward to resting and relaxing and cooking. But we started to get load offers, many of them actually. There was 2 loads that kept coming back and an increased rate each time. They must really need these loads covered. One of them was to Laredo, TX and the other was a Sunday load picking up in WV and going to Michigan for Monday morning. The Michigan load is the one that they finally persuaded us to take. We will have to miss church tomorrow unless we can find one that doesn’t start until 11am. But if we are unable to attend, we are planning on using our friend, Chad’s blog as our study and also some materials that Jeff from Wills Mt. has given us.
I have been thinking about my old workplace a lot this week. I don’t know if it is because of hearing about the death of one of the residents, the very bad health of another, or the birthdays of two good fellow workers this week, or just because of what my dad was doing, but I sure miss my friends there. I think about them way more than they will ever know. Between the workers and the residents, I’ll bet not one single day ever goes by without me thinking about that place. I wish things could be good there. I wish the residents wouldn’t get sick or cranky, and I wish the workers would not have to work so hard. It can really be a good place. I do think about them so often.
So now, Pops is sleeping. I have cooked up a few days of food. We have stocked up on drinking water and groceries. I have cleaned as much as I can with the rain outside. And now that all of you are updated I am going to read and relax.
I have the very best friends. I know this because of all of the texts, phone calls, messages on facebook and on email. It is so good to hear from all of you. I miss everyone and am so glad for the technology to be able to hear from you. Please continue to pray for us, pray for my dad, my sister (upcoming surgery,) Melvin (upcoming surgery.)