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.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Starla's surgery

We woke up the next morning in the parking lot of Walmart and went to make our delivery. It was an easy delivery with the exception of the having to watch the safety video and get visitor passes. And once we were unloaded we headed to Jacksonville, FL to get some work done to our generator.
Our generator is what provides all the electrical power to the inside of our truck, our refrigerator, stove, lights, and outlets. And it wasn’t working properly, it kept throwing breakers whenever I would try to cook something. And it also powers our in cab air conditioner so unless we let the truck idle, we had no AC and we were in Florida!
On our way to Jacksonville we passed through Orlando. This is where SeaWorld and the DisneyLand are located. It was kind of cool to pass by those areas, especially since Pops’ brother, Buck, had his youth group from Church there for a visit.
I kept seeing signs for Florida fruit, $1.00 a bag. I wanted some fruit. I love oranges and grapefruits and I knew we were heading home for the upcoming weekend and that we had a Big Breakfast planned with the family so I really wanted to stop for fruit, but at the same time I just wanted to get to Jacksonville, get fixed and get out of Florida. We weren’t making any money here and there aren’t any loads that come out of Florida. So I didn’t stop for fruit.
We made it to Jacksonville shortly after lunch time. We got in almost right away to get our work done. It was hot! And we couldn’t let the truck idle while they worked on it so we sat in there and baked in the Florida heat while they worked.
Finally at 5:00, quitting time, they rushed the man that was working on our truck until he claimed it was finished. We pulled out of their lot and sat to do some paperwork of our own and watched as one by one all of those workers left the area. Just as we were pulling away from the front of their building our breakers tripped and generator shut off!
So we parked right there in front of their building and camped out for the night. Of course we idled our truck so that we had AC.
In the morning when the workers came back, Pops walked over and explained what happened and they got us right in. So once again they worked for several hours trying to get to the bottom of our problem. And by noon proclaimed we were fixed. This time we tested all the appliances and everything seemed to be working well. Hallelujah! So we headed out and were told by our boss to drive to Atlanta and wait for a load.
Once again I watched the billboards for fruit and debated whether or not to stop. Eventually right on the border of Florida and Georgia I did stop and purchased some oranges, grapefruits, green bananas, and Georgia peaches. Umm Umm it all smelled so good.
We got to Atlanta around 3pm and pulled into a truckstop for the evening. We were not even backed in to a spot yet when a man flagged us down and asked us for food. He said that he was out of work and needed food for his family and wondered if we had anything to spare, so of course I filled up a bag and handed it out the window along with a nice cold can of Pepsi which he opened up right and drank straight down.
After that we got settled in and began to relax. Towards evening we put up our privacy screen and turned the lights on except that they didn’t come on. Oh no, now what. We hadn’t tested the lights when we were done at the shop. Everything else is working good, but no lights inside our truck. So we managed to get by with a battery lantern and 2 flashlights. Honestly, I was about ready to pull my hair out.
Very early in the morning we were awakened by our company wanting us to do a short but very important load. It was hauling pharmaceuticals. These are high paying, high security loads, but we had just wasted 2 working days with no pay and didn’t want a short load, we wanted something long and good revenue. But they talked us into it and off we went.
We got to our pickup and had to wait a little while. But once we got backed in it went quickly. We were hauling 6 small pails of pharmaceuticals. That was it. The whole deal weighed only 19 pounds. Haha
We drove that stuff 56 miles away to a secure plant. We had to go in and watch a safety video and then take a test. We were given security badges and visitor passes. We had to be escorted to our loading dock that was about 125 yards from the front gate and totally visible from the front gate. We were not allowed out of the truck except to unload the freight. And during that 125 yards we had to go through 3 security gates where we had to each swipe our badges to get through. It was slightly ridiculous if you ask me. But whatever.
It took Pops about 90 seconds to unload those little buckets and then back through the 3 security gates and then we were back outside the plant and headed back to Atlanta.
Our daughter, Starla, was scheduled for surgery on Friday and we really wanted to be home so now we had to hope for a load heading that direction. We were offered just about everything else, including good trips to Canada.
While Pops took a nap we were offered a trip going to Rochester, NY. That was the right direction and it delivered at just after midnight onFriday morning. So we accepted that load. But once we accepted it and our dispatch started coming through I realized that I had made a horrible mistake. It wasn’t delivering at 12:30am it was delivering at 12:30pm. Oh no, now we won’t be home for Starla’s surgery! Oh no, how hard would it be to get taken off this load and then find another going in the right direction, this was Wednesday afternoon.
I called Starla and told her that unless a miracle happened we would not be home in time for surgery but we would still get home that evening afterwards, sometime. She said that she understood, but I felt so terrible. I called our sons and asked them to please go to the hospital and sit with Bill during her surgery and keep me continuously updated.
Our pickup was in Alabama, just across the Georgia line so we drove down there in the evening. We found a truckstop and stopped for the night. In the morning we drove to Walmart and I bought all the food for our “family breakfast” that we were still having on Saturday morning. Then we drove over to our pickup. We were scheduled to pick up at 1:00pm, but we figured if we could pickup at 10:00 we could get a good headstart and get home earlier.
I was figuring in my head how we could deliver early and just maybe get to the hospital before she was released from the hospital, but no, it wasn’t going to work out that way. We got word that our pickup wasn’t ready, a machine was broken down and we were going to be later than expected, possibly as late as 7:00pm.
Now this was Thursday and I wanted desperately to be home as early on Friday as possible! Iwas so frustrated. But then I started to think about what if our delivery can’t be made until Monday now because what if they close tomorrow around 5:00 and we aren’t there yet and then we have to sit around until Monday. Well, I’m not! I’ll go home! But wait, if that happens, we can go home for the weekend, it’s not out of the way and then leave Sunday night after church and still deliver on Monday morning. There it’s all figured out, that sounds good, we’ll even make it in time for her surgery.
Except that didn’t happen either. The pickup was ready at 6:00pm and our company set our delivery time for 5:00pm the next day. That means that we couldn’t be at the surgery and we wouldn’t get home until around midnight at the earliest if all went well. But, I don’t live in the land of: Everything goes well.
I was so upset, so frustrated and I just wanted to cry. But what good would that have done?
So the next morning I was awake at 6am and we talked to Starla before she left for the hospital and prayed with her.
And then prepared to drive and be updated by others. Some very good church friends were at the hospital and our son, Tom was there too.
So we waited, and we waited. She was to go in at 8:30 and by 9:00 she hadn’t gone in yet.
I called around 9:30 to see if she had gone in yet only to be told that they might have to postpone because of technical problems at the hospital and within 15 minutes we got final comfirmation that indeed the surgery was postponed until Monday morning.
Wow! Now we can be there. Thank You, Lord. I never saw it working out this way. But I am so thankful.
We drove to Rochester with a big burden lifted and made our delivery. Now we go home to see our family. Praise you, Lord.

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