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.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Random Pictures

NYC tunnel traffic

We were surprized to see a Christian Flag flying at this TA truckstop near Jackson, TN.

The Brooklyn Bridge

We have been doing a lot more Canada trips.

The FallsView Casino at Canadian Niagara Falls.

The George Washington Bridge in NYC.

Coming out of Brooklyn

Lady Liberty, too bad it was raining and dreary

Lucy looking out the little window, watching traffic in NYC

Neat Church we saw in St Georges, Quebec, Canada

The Dead and the Living of NYC

Passion Flower

Passion Fruit

Rainbow Cloud

Franconia Notch, New Hampshire

Ski Slopes at Franconia Notch

Upper New York State Sunset

Our truck, DR4439

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Our Church Service

We were so fortunate as to attend the Westview Christian Church in Spartanburg, NC this morning. This is our favorite place to be when we cannot be with Wills Mt.
David, the evangelist and his wife, Linda are the best people and we really enjoy getting to see them. The other members there have also made us feel very welcome and are very friendly to us too.
We drove there from the truckstop, it is only 8 miles away from here. And we know the way by now.
I pulled into the lot and got parked right away. And then we went inside.
Sunday school was just getting ready to begin but as soon as David saw us he got up and came over and warmly greeted us. He even reminded the class who we were by names and even where we live. That made me feel really good. I was so glad to be here.
They were asking for prayer requests when we got there so they continued with that and then prayer was offered up for the sick.
The class is beginning a lesson series on Joseph. It is designed for 8 lessons with each lesson supposed to last a week with day to day studies. But they were using it differently. They were using one day per week and really getting into it as a class group.
Today was day 5 of lesson 1. It was called, You don't get to pick your family. It was about Joseph's family starting with Abraham and Sarah, then Issaic and Rebecca and then Jacob and his wives. It talked about how this was such a fine family of faith in God. But yet each of them also had faults.
We discussed the "lack of faith" and the "acts of faith" of each of them. It was a good lesson with many reminders of these wonderful people of faith.
After Sunday School everyone went into the auditorium for worship.
We sang several songs. We sang the song, In Christ Alone, for the communion song. It was so touching. And then a young man named Jimmy gave the communion meditation. It was about being ready for the return of the Lord.
Then David got up to give the message. He was preaching a sermon series called The Pillars of Christian Living. Today's sermon was the last in the series. It was titled The Return of Christ. It was right in line with Jimmy's communion meditation. David used scriptures from Revelation chapter 19 to tell us about the Plan the Lord has regarding His coming, informing us of the need to be watching and waiting for Him. He talked about the Promise of Jesus' return and he talked about the Purpose of Christ's return.
It was a good sermon and one that is needed to heard by everyone. We need to be reminded that even though we are good christian people we can still fall or at least stumble.
We should always be prepared to meet the Lord, don't let His return catch us off guard.
I am so happy to have gotten to be there today. It is always good to be in the house of the Lord, but especially great when you get to worship alongside people that you think of dearly.
Thank you, Lord for this opportunity.
We also learned today that many churches are giving 9.11% of their offering on 9/11/11 to the Orchard Group. The Orchard Group is a group that starts and funds new churches in New York and the northeast region of the US. They do good work and I think this is a wonderful idea. Westview Christian Church is participating in this event.
Riverside Christian Church in Manchester, NH where we attended recently is one of the churches that has been started by the Orchard Group. And mentioning this church reminds me that our friends there are suffering loss of power as the storm Irene is now threatening them. Keep them in your prayers.

My how time flies!

I just cannot believe how fast this past week has flown by. Seriously, it is Sunday and I feel like yesterday was Sunday also.
Last Sunday we were on layover in the Jackson, TN area. We were parked at the TA truckstop and I was outside after our noon meal gazing at the flowers near where we were parked.
I didn’t know what kind of flowers that they were so I took a picture and ask the facebook people for info. Sure enough within minutes I was getting answers.
I found out they were passion flowers and the vines also produced fruit called passionfruit. These vines did have fruit,but it was still green and not ripe or I would have tried it.
We did try some interesting food while there. There was an item in the prepared foods case that neither Pops nor I could recognize.  It looked intriguing so I asked the cashier what it was. She said it was Chicken meal on a stick. Here is what it was, you will have to use your imagination to picture it because I forgot to take a picture. It was 3 big pieces of chicken breast on a stick with green peppers chunks, chunks of onion and thick slices of potatoes and then the whole mess was dredged through batter and deep fried. When done it was the size and shape of a batter fried Pringles can. But, buddy let me tell you, it was some seriously good stuff.  And then I got a piece of chocolate cake from the restaurant and I am glad I only ordered one piece because their one piece equals at least 3 of my size pieces of cake. And it was good.
That evening we drove up to Walmart to restock our supplies. And Pops waited in the truck while I went in to shop. After the deep fried mess and the cake I figured I better buy some more healthy stuff so I picked up a lot of fruits and vegetables from the produce section. And then finished with the other stuff I needed.
When I got to the check out it was exactly 11pm and just as I pulled in to an aisle the young man turned his light off. But he waved me into his line. I told him that it was okay I would go to the next line but he insisted. He told me that he was supposed to get off work at 11 and that he was hungry and couldn’t wait to go home and eat. I felt badly for him and again offered to go to the next line but he said no.
Well, once he started to ring up my items we both realized that most of the produce that I had put into my cart did not have the necessary codes so each item he would have to call for a price check. I felt so bad that this was taking so long. Finally my last item was a small seedless watermelon so he called back and asked for a price on a baby watermelon, I heard him say, “I don’t know, it’s a baby one.” Well no one could give him a price on a baby watermelon so we had to wait until someone walked up to the front of the store and then go see what the price was. When they came up to the front with the code the young man punched it into the register but made a mistake when he punched it in and it rang up as $829 for the watermelon. I told him to put it back that I didn’t want it. We all laughed until they realized that his mistake would mean that my whole entire order had to be rung up again. Oh no.
But we finally managed to get it all done and I left the store. When I got to the truck Pops helped me load the groceries into the truck. I handed them up to him and he put them on the counter and on the bed. Then I heard him scolding Lucy and asked what was going on. He told me that Lucy jumped up to the bed and knocked the watermelon down and it broke when it hit the floor. Hahaha My $829 watermelon! That’s funny. But it was still in the bag, no part of it touched the floor, so I just scooped it out and put in into a bowl, simple.
We got a load the next day picking up in Kentucky and going to North Carolina. We took a lot of back roads to our destination in Kentucky. We saw a lot of farmers harvesting their tobacco crops. We saw a lot of it on racks to dry and hanging in barns. We even saw what we first thought was a barn on fire but we found out that sometimes tobacco is cured in barns with smoke.
Then in North Carolina we saw a lot of cotton fields.
We delivered in North Carolina and then got a load leaving there and going to Canada. While we driving north from NC we found out that our family back home had just had an earthquake. For real! An earthquake. And then we found out that the whole east coast had felt the earthquake. Wow!
I am still nervous going in and out of Canada. So Pops decided to drive us across the border this time. We were hauling wine bottle corks. We got right in, no big deal and no delays.
We got to our delivery and got unloaded and then headed back out of Canada. This time we got detained at the border because someone from our company typed something wrong when they sent our clearance papers to the border. But it didn’t take very long and we were on our way.
We got to the truckstop on the other side of Buffalo, NY and was waiting for a load. By evening we did get a load. But we needed to go into Canada to pick it up and bring it back to NYC.
So we drove up and crossed the border with no problems. And then drove to our destination. It was at a Casino right at Niagara Falls. So while our truck was getting loaded, I walked down to the falls. I didn’t stay long and I’m glad I didn’t because it started to rain and within minutes the streets were flooding.
We drove out of Canada and found a rest area to sleep. We got up the next morning to drive into the city. We had to go 39 miles into the city and then back out. We were in such heavy traffic that it took us mostly all day to go in, get unloaded, and then drive back out.
It was evening by the time we got 13 miles away from the city.
Now the news is talking about Hurricane Irene getting ready to hit the US. So our company was trying to get us to haul water loads into the city. We declined. We were too long in the city today and our nerves were shot from the stress of trying to drive around there. But our company was persistent and kept calling far into the night. So in the morning we drove more inland to Harrisburg, PA. We hoped that by doing that they would stop asking us to go back into the city.
By evening we got a load. We needed to drive up to Rome, NY, it is near Syracuse. We picked up our load and then got on our way toward North Carolina. The hurricane was due to hit NC in the am but we would be over 300 miles inland.
We only ran into a few sprinkles on our way to our destination.
We made our delivery and then were told to go to Greenville, SC for our layover. That makes me happy because we usually get a load out of there right away. And we would be able to attend church in Spartanburg with David and Linda Wilson. This, you will remember, is our church home away from home.
So we sit here and listen to the radio tell us how bad the hurricane is hitting and we wait with the world to see how bad it is going to be.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Flying Moose

We delivered to a trailer mfg. in Canada and they use the flying moose as their logo.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Flowers, Snakes, and Locusts

Ok, let’s see, this has been one of those weeks that I’m glad is finally over.
To be honest, August has historically been a rough month for me with depression and anxiety. I contribute this to when I worked at the bus garage and August was so very stressful.  But anyway, I have been having a lot of emotional stuff lately.
I get very homesick. I miss my kids. I talk to them or hear things that they are doing and wish I could be geographically closer. I know that all of them are grown up and have their own busy lives, but I miss just getting together with them.
I miss our church family. I hear about activities that they are working on and I want to be a part of that. I miss working along side of them. I miss having their encouragement and support whenever I feel down. I also feel that Pops wishes he could be there to help out more. We both try hard to stay in communication with our church family and stay connected with them.
Our work is slow right now and we are doing a lot of time wasting. And then I wish I could be wasting my time at home. And I wonder how we will make our funds stretch enough.
I do hear from friends and family and that helps a lot. But it is still hard when you seem to have a lot of “thinking time.”
Anyway, enough of that. We got another Canada load right away. It picked up in Connecticut and was going into Quebec. We drove to our place of pickup. It was a hazardous materials load. We had several types of chemicals that we were taking across the border.
Because of it being a hazmat and a Canada load there were many additional precautions to be made. So while Pops was securing the load inside the box, I worked with the shipper on the paperwork. I found that they had made a mistake on one of papers stating that we were carrying 36 pieces when in fact we were only loaded with 26. So they re-did that page of the paperwork and then Pops and I went outside to put the placards on our truck. We were hauling flammable solids, corrosives, and toxins (poisons.)
After making our departure call to our company we got moving. We were going to be going up route 91 in upstate New York through the Adirondack mountains and crossing into Canada at a place we hadn’t crossed before. I always get so stinking nervous at the border crossings.
We enjoyed our trip through the wilderness of NY. It was just incredibly beautiful.
And then we came to the border. Pops was driving and the officer was a young lady. She was very stone-faced as she asked all the usual questions and then released us to go. That was easy. I had expected that since we had a hazmat load there might be more to it. But, ok.
It was about 11:00pm and we were about an hour from our delivery, but we weren’t scheduled to deliver until morning and we were told that we couldn’t sleep at our place of delivery. So we needed to find someplace. And of course, that turned out to be an issue. We drove around an extra 45 minutes at least until we found a truckstop. So we climbed into our bunks and slept.
The alarms sounded way too soon and we got up and made coffee, took the dogs out and got moving.
We made it to the airport around 6:45 and they left us right in. We got unloaded in a short time and that was that. Now we were going back to Boston for our layover. Boston was about a four hour drive from where we were, but it is the pretty ride through Vermont and the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
We arrived at the border shortly after and the officer there actually remembered my face from last week and he mentioned that. Then he asked me what we brought into Canada and I told him that we had brought chemicals to the airport. He then asked me if we planned to blow it up. I could not believe that he asked me that so I laughed. And said that no, I think most of it was cleaning materials. So he released us and we were in Vermont.
We did enjoy our ride. It was a nice, sunny day. We got to a rest area within 50 miles of Boston, so we checked in and parked there. We spent most of the day there until we were dispatched again. This time we were picking up in Shrewsbury, MA and taking the load to Tennessee.
When we got to our pickup, we were surprised to see that we were at another trucking company. We found out that our load had already been handled by two other companies. No one could understand why we were now on the load. But, who cares, we’ll take it from here.
We were hauling 12 giants granite counter tops. It was a heavy load. They were stacked on a slanted, wooden frame with 6 on each side, so that it looked like an A-frame. It was a valuable load.
We had about 26 hours to get this load delivered and about 1250 miles.
Pops started the drive since it was already near sundown. We hadn’t had much sleep but he thought that he would drive as far as he could then I could start early in the morning. I tried to sleep but it wouldn’t come. I tried some more but the harder I tried to make myself sleep the harder it was to fall asleep. Finally I did, but awoke after 2 hours and laid awake again. I did sleep a little more before it was my turn to drive.
Once we switched over driving and had gotten something to eat Pops went to lay down and see if he could sleep better than I did. And he did. He was sleeping really good, snoring even. But I noticed that we were having some mechanical issues. Our batteries were not holding a charge and we were running only on our alternator. So I found a place and pulled over.
I hated to wake him up but didn’t know what else to do. He woke up and we called our owners and then called for roadside service. We had to wait for 2 hours before they could even show up to help us and then he couldn’t seem to find the problem so finally after talking with our truck owner and trying somethings that Pops suggested the mechanic did get us going again. Wow, now we were going to have to hustle or we would be late.
Pops went back to bed and I continued to drive and things were going okay until we neared Knoxville, TN. Traffic was backed up and at a total standstill. And when it did start to move, it was a crawl for many, many miles. Well, that did it, we were now going to be late, so I notified our company and left them know about the traffic backup. It turns out that it was an accident involving at least 2 tractor trailers, one of which was a tanker hauling a hazmat load. But we were moving again.
However that didn’t last long either. Just before coming into Nashville, we encountered another traffic backup. This time it was because of a fair that was taking place and 3 exits of the interstate were designated for the fair. Surely once through this we should be good. And we were. We did make it to our destination about 1 hour and 45 minutes later than what was originally scheduled. They were understanding though and had been informed of our progress by our company. So about 6 men from that company worked together to get our load off and before I knew it we were leaving there.
We were driving back through Adamsville, TN and saw a road called Buford Pusser Road. Pops said right away that he knew who Buford Pusser was. He told me that he was the cop from the movie “Walking Tall.” I had seen that movie a long time ago and barely remembered it but Pops was recalling a lot about it.
So I got on my phone and googled it and sure enough Pops was right about all of it. Buford Pusser was born and raised in Adamsville, TN and was very much against moonshining and gambling and worked as a police officer to try to halt these things from happening.
It is a very tragic story. If you’ve not seen the movie, get it and watch it. If you have, it is still interesting to google it and read all about it.
It was kind of cool driving through here and thinking about this man.
But then we were passed by a police cruiser driving very fast with his lights flashing and saw him pull off into the parking lot of a business where another police car was already with it’s lights flashing. We also saw an ambulance there. We saw a car that had crashed and a body laying on the pavement. Pops said he saw the person moving though. But that whole episode upset me and caused me some anxiety.
Our layover was in Jackson, TN. We got there and parked the truck. It was late and we were tired so we got ready for bed almost as soon as we parked. I took the dogs out and hoped they would be quick.
I could hear the locusts. They were noisy and I wondered if they would keep us from sleeping. Just then one of them landed on the pavement right beside us. It was “trilling” very loudly. It was almost eardrum piercing. Lucy pounced on it and grabbed it with her mouth. She was carrying it in her mouth and I kept telling her to put it down but she was strutting, very proud of herself with her catch. It was still making it’s locust noise inside her mouth and it was creeping me out.
I remember back several years ago when it was the year for locusts at our house, she would catch them and eat them after getting the wings off. Well, she was not bringing that thing into our truck. So I kept swatting at her trying to get her to drop it, but she kept turning from me and trying to hide it from me. Finally it somehow got away from her and as she lurched after it I pulled on her leash and kept her from getting it a second time. And we went back to the truck.
Now Pops was telling me about a lake that is near where we are and if we are going to be here for the weekend that maybe we would drive over there and see about renting a fishing boat. So I googled it. And I found out a lot about it. Especially that they seem to be well known for their snakes. And they have several articles on their site about the snakes.
They boast to have 30 different kinds of snakes. And tell many stories involving snakes. If you get a chance, google: Reelfoot lake. I liked the Indian legend as to who Reelfoot was and how the lake came to be, but it was the snake stories that made me decide that I didn’t want to visit there.
For instance, did you know that according to this site, a water snake will only bite you 5 or 6 times and then it won’t bite anymore even you give it away? What???????? 5 or 6 times? Give it away? To whom? Why?
So then I started to wonder, if this lake is close to us, just how many snakes are here? Hmmmm.
We were so busy today, Saturday. We cleaned, did laundry (all laundry, sheets, blankets, rugs, dog beds, clothes) showered, moved things around. We were busy all day. And we managed to get an oil change for our truck too. So, oh too bad, we didn’t have time to go to the lake. Lol
We parked along the curb after getting our oil change. Now we have grass right outside our driver door. I like to do this, it makes it easier for the dogs to go right out rather than to have to walk across hot pavement to find a place to pee.
So after we were done with everything and we were relaxing. I was looking out the window and noticed some really interesting flower vines. They had some kind of “fruit-looking things” and really pretty flowers. I didn’t know what they were so I put a picture on facebook to see if anyone knew what it might be and of course, I googled it.
I found out that it was a passion flower and the fruit really is a fruit called passion fruit. But they are still green and they are supposed to be either yellow or purple. Maybe we’ll get here again when they are ripe and we can try them. You know I will, I try anything, except octopus!
So while I stared at the flowery vines and was lost in thought guess what happened? A snake. A snake crawled right out of the grass and into the lovely vines. Yep, can you even believe that? Oh man, now how am I supposed to get the dogs out of the truck especially after dark knowing that there is a snake right there? Well, sorry about your luck dogs, we will be getting out the other side and crossing the hot pavement and you will just have to pee on the cement posts around the parking lot. I just hope we don’t see anymore screaming locusts. Good grief, I’m creeping myself out. Let’s get out of here. hahaha

Monday, August 15, 2011

Nightmare at the Border

Monday morning we woke up still parked in the lot of the church. We decided that we should probably go to the truckstop to get our truck washed and to wait out our layover; which we hoped would be short.
Pops put himself on off duty driving (we are each allowed 45 minutes of driving time that we don’t have to log) to get us to the truckstop and in less than ½ hour we were there looking for a place to park. We found a suitable place at the upper end of the lot.
I cleaned the truck while Pops worked in the back of the box cleaning. Then I took my book and my chair and sat outside in the sun to read. I lasted only about 20 minutes though since it was well over 100 degrees again.  The news said that Texas was now in the 38th day of 100 plus temperatures. Ugh!
We did get the truck washed later and it looked so good.
Our generator kept shutting down. It just wouldn’t run longer than an hour. We thought that maybe it was too hot, but we weren’t sure. So we had to idle the engine of the truck to have power and a/c.
On Tuesday morning our truck owners, Tate and Shirley, came to the truckstop to check out our generator. They were going to try to flush it out and see if that would help but then Tate and Pops thought that maybe our batteries weren’t working properly so the decision was made to get 4 new batteries.
So we followed our owners for several miles to a mall. There was an interstate battery store there. Four brand new batteries were bought and Tate and Pops installed them.
Then we went to lunch with them. We went to Panera Bread. It was very good and we enjoyed spending time with Tate and Shirley.
When Tate and Shirley left us we drove up to the other end of the mall where I had noticed a Christian Book Store. We needed to purchase some communion bread and I wanted to look for a hard copy of the book that several of us were using for Bible Study. The book is called, The 40 Day Bible Adventure. It is written by Christopher D. Hudson. It is “A Fascinating Journey to Understanding God’s Word.” My sister, Amy, noticed it while shopping back home and was telling me about it so we decided to do it together. And then Pops said that he would do it too and then Starla said she thought that her and Bill might enjoy doing it with us and then Kacey, my niece joined in too.
So I found the e-book at Barnes and Noble and downloaded it while Amy went back to the Christian Book Store to purchase the book for Starla and Kacey. And then we all started the adventure. It is an overall quick study of God’s plan for mankind through His Word. We are enjoying this study.
Then Pops and I went over to Walmart to spend the night. Surely we would have a load by morning.
I went into the store just to pass time while Pops tried to sleep just in case we would get a load and he would have to drive through the night. While in there I found several items that caught my attention. I like to eat and I like to try interesting foods so while shopping I noticed that the store carried several kinds of boudin. I first found boudin while traveling through Louisiana and we liked it so I picked some up to take back home for our family to try along with the ostrich, alligator and buffalo that I already have in the freezer. Then I noticed that they also had venison sausage. Umm Umm, I picked up two packages of that, one to take home and one for me and Pops to enjoy.
While I was exiting the store I got a notification on my phone that we were getting a load offer, so I hurried back to the truck to see what it was, just in time for Pops to tell me that we got the load and were picking up in Seguin, TX going to Peoria, IL. It was a caterpillar load. Caterpillar has many locations throughout the US and is big business. We usually like these loads, but there was one place that we absolutely hated. The guard was a butt! And the whole place was a giant aggravation. But this was not that place. So we got our paperwork started and took off for Seguin which was only about 20 miles from where we were.
We got our load and started off for our destination. We would be traveling up through Oklahoma, Missouri, then into Illinois. But it was night so I slept while Pops drove.
I woke up around 5am because the truck was shaking and lost all power. Something was obviously wrong. Our  automatic transmission wouldn’t shift and we were losing our lights. Pops found a place to pull off the road. And we waited until right after daylight to call our owners. They located a road service for us and Pops called them and they agreed to come right out. When they got there they discovered that one of our brand new batteries had shorted out and caused the others to short out. So the truck was running only on the alternator. So the men fixed the problem by by-passing the bad battery and we would have to run on only 3 for now. So in a short time we were once again moving down the highway.  And by late that night we delivered and were on our way to a rest stop.
When I woke up at the rest area on Thursday morning I had an overwhelming feeling of homesickness. I missed my kids so much. I wanted to be with them.
I took my coffee and walked up on the hill to a picnic table. I took the dogs so that Pops could sleep a little longer in quietness. Except that Chucky had other ideas. He didn’t want to go up the hill. He wanted to follow other people around the parking lot and would not come to me when I called him. So I angrily walked down the hill and grabbed him up and put him in the truck and then Lucy and I went back up the hill. We sat up there for about 45 minutes soaking up the peacefulness of the morning. Then I went back to the truck.
Pops and I drank some coffee together while watching for a load. By noon we had one that was going into Canada. So we picked in Morton, Il, another Caterpillar load and headed toward Ontario. We were to deliver early in the morning. While we were on our way up to Ontario, we got another dispatch that would pick up in Syracuse, NY and go back up into Quebec, Canada. We accepted that load also.
So on Friday morning after delivering to Caterpillar we were headed past Niagara Falls and into Buffalo, NY and on toward Syracuse. We were picking up a transfer load at Fedex Freight. We hoped that all the Canada paperwork would be completed so that we wouldn’t get held up at the border.
We waited about 15 minutes until the other truck showed up. We both backed up to the docks and in a few minutes Pops came back out and told me that the load was damaged.
None of the product was damaged but the pallets and wrapping were destroyed. The product had shifted and the drivers of the other truck said that they got the load in that condition. Pops called our company to report the damage and they were upset because they hadn’t heard of it before now and not only that, they other trucks had not completed ANY of the Canada paperwork either. Argh!!!
So I worked on getting the paperwork in order while Pops took care of the load transfer. And then we headed to the border. It would take us about 90 minutes to reach the border and we waited to hear from our company if we were clear to cross.
We were about 45 minutes away when we got a call that we couldn’t get cleared just yet and that we would have to delay somewhere until we were cleared. So we found a mall to waste some time. Then we decided to drive a little further to a rest area that is just inside the border so once we cleared we could go in right away. We stopped at the rest area and was only there for about 15 minutes when we got the call that we were clear to cross. So we got moving.
What a beautiful area. We crossed in at an area called 1000 Islands. It was a big high bridge and we could look out over and see such pretty sights everywhere we looked. And then we came to the customs station.
We have been in and out of Canada quite a few times now and usually took 15 minutes or less, but with waiting for our clearances we didn’t know what to expect this time. So the customs officer asked me all the normal questions and then handed me a yellow paper and instructed me to pull over to the docks and wait. We were getting inspected!
I backed the truck into a dock and Pops took our paperwork inside. I had to get out of the truck too and so did the dogs. They completely tore our truck apart and searched the entire thing, every compartment, every cupboard, under our mattresses, into our toolboxes, under the hood, they made us cut our seal and inspected the freight, they searched EVERYTHING!!! And then finally we were told we were clear to leave.
We drove and drove through Canada and once through Montreal we realized that we needed to locate a fuel stop. Well, Canada is all English speaking except for the province of Quebec and that is where we were. They speak French here.  We found a flying J truckstop and pulled in to get fuel. Pops got out to start the fuel pump, but realized that everything was written in French. We pondered how to go about doing what we needed to do when another truck pulled in to the pump next to us. Pops asked him if he spoke English and he said that he did, so he graciously helped Pops with fueling our truck and then I went inside to use the restroom.
There was another lady in there and only one restroom so she was trying to say something to me and I couldn’t understand her. I told her that I spoke English and she sputtered out a few more words, shrugged her shoulders and went “shouting and looking for someone.” I thought she was trying to locate an additional restroom so I went on into the one in front of me and locked the door. When I opened the door she was there and I tried to inform her that there was no paper in the restroom and she made a body gesture that kind of led me to think she was saying, “duh, you moron.” Oh well.
So back to the truck and we got moving again. We got a phone call from our dispatcher telling us that our load would not be delivering until Monday morning so we would be spending the weekend in a Canada city with no English speakers. He called back later and told us that he found us a place to stay through using a translator. He was laughing at the experience that he had trying to find us somewhere to spend the weekend and also at our dilemma with having to stay in a non English speaking area. He told us to have fun. Haha Oh, yeah, we would be paid for the inconvenience of detention. But we had to stay where they told us.
We found our destination town and drove around looking for Walmart. Gypsy took us straight to the center of the town. There was a huge, old church there. It was all lit up and very beautiful. On the front lawn was a statue of a man on a horse, killing a dragon with a spear.
Anyway we did manage to find the Walmart and parked in the side lot with about 8 big campers. It was not a 24 hour Walmart.
When I woke up Saturday morning, I took the dogs out for a walk and noticed that most of the campers had already left and that the store was open and already busy. I read my book for a  while and then went into the store.
Well that was an interesting experience. No one was speaking English. All of the products were labeled in French. All the prices reflected Canadian money and I felt like I was in a “foreign country.”hahaha
I picked up a 4 liter jug of water and dish liquid. I had a Canadian 10 dollar bill and a 2 dollar coin and a 1 dollar coin and a few other coins. When I got to the checkout I waited while the cashier checked out a man and woman in front of me. They spoke a little chit chat in French and when the transaction was complete she said, “thank you, have a nice day.” In english.
So when it was my turn I said, “good morning.” She just smiled and when she finished ringing up my charges she told me the amount in french. It showed 2.97$. So I handed her the 2 dollar and 1 dollar coins and she handed me back a canadian nickel. Cool! I now felt so cultured. Lol
I came back to the truck and washed some dishes and swept the floors. Pops was awake now so we drank some coffee and talked for awhile. Then I decided to do some cooking.
I peeled potatoes and diced an onion and made some potato soup using the package of venison sausage that I bought in Texas. I also cooked some frozen ravioli and sauce and mixed the two together and put all into the refrigerator for later in the week. After cleaning up, I took my book and set up my chair and soaked up some sun while reading. The dogs liked being out of the truck too. We had a nice grassy area next to our truck.
While I was reading Pops was working around the truck. He was sweeping the back and working on the ratchet straps and just doing some regular upkeep. I continued to read and watch the dogs.
Then I heard Pops talking to someone. I strained to listen to see who was talking to, but I couldn’t hear another voice, only his. I was hoping that he wasn’t using his phone. We found out that the charges for using your phone while in Canada are out of sight so we agreed not to use our phones while here. That alone was almost torture. Anyway, I hoped he wasn’t using his phone for all this time.
And then after about another 10 minutes he walked around the front of the truck and came around to my side of the truck. There was a man with him. The man was introduced as Laurent. He stopped by to see our truck. And they walked back around the other side and continued talking.
I read some more and then when Pops came back over Laurent was not with him. He had gone.
Pops said that he came over because he liked our truck. He is 75 years old and was born in Canada. His wife is from the US and refuses to speak or learn French. They have lived in NYC and Florida. They continue to go to Florida every year to visit.
He was a business man and is now retired. They live about 15 miles from here. He liked our dogs and was telling us that he had one big dog and two horses that he is training to pull a buggy. He had invited us to his home for the weekend. He felt badly because we had to stay here and didn’t know the language. He said that he understood what a barrier that could be for us.
After Pops explained that we live in our truck and that it is very sufficient for our needs he was okay to leave us. But he did tell us that we were welcome to come there and take a shower. He also gave us his phone number and told us that if we run into circumstances where we might need a translator or just assistance to call him. What a nice man. His name was Laurent Jacques. He said that was Mr. Jack in English. I wish we could’ve gone to his home and met his wife, but Fedex is paying us to stay here for the weekend.
Later, I watched a movie and then went for a walk. Pops played cards with Gypsy. The day went by pretty quickly.
Sunday morning we woke up and did our devotions together and had church. Then we had communion.
After “church” we went into the store together. We shopped for some things we needed and just walked around looking at things and listening to the French and watching the people. They looked different in a way I can’t explain. You could see a “foreignness” about them and they spoke so fast.
We picked up several items and went to the checkout. The cute young girl tried immediately to speak with us and I told her that we were English. “Oh,” she said and that was that. She took my debit card and charged me 33$ for 10 items. I can’t wait to see what that equals in American money.
I finished one book this afternoon and started another. Pops again played cards with Gypsy and also looked up routes on the map.
We went for walks with dogs and watched the people some more. It was not boring. But then it rained, and it rained hard, so we took a nap.
Now we are enjoying the late evening and preparing to start our work week tomorrow. We will be going back to Portsmouth, NH for our layover after we deliver here at 7:30am. It should take us about 5 hours to get there from here (if we aren’t detained at the border) and it is through the very beautiful area of Vermont and New Hampshire that we traveled down through on the fourth of July. I am excited and again hoping that we get a chance to see a moose. I really want to see a moose.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Is anybody out there?

I have been feeling lonely lately and a little frustrated with how the economy is affecting our job. I miss my family so much. And even though we have been finding some really good churches and making new friends I miss my church friends and family so much and I miss what goes on there.
I haven't been blogging as much because it is hard to find something to write about when you are feeling down. But I do want to snap myself out of this mess and do better.
I put some makeup on my face today for the first time in awhile. I just was thinking "what's the use?" But even though we don't see many people I need to look acceptable for the ones I do see. And I need to feel good about myself.
I am wondering too if anyone still reads the blog. I do this mostly to feel connected to others. And also because I've always liked journaling. Anyway, just to see who's paying attention: We are on our way to Ontario, Canada and if you leave me a comment on here or if you comment to me on facebook that you read the blog today or if you call my phone and leave a message, I will send you a postcard from Ontario.
Love you all.
PS: My cell number is, 814.442.4271 I will be driving and probably won't answer unless we are stopped, but leave a msg.

My new grandpuppy

His name is Bullet. He is a silver lab.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

This sculpture show with a big dot where Laredo is. This was at the rest area.

This bus belonged to, "Los Traileros del Norte." Look them up on Google and listen to their music.

Evers Road Christian Church in San Antonio, Texas

Evers Road Christian Church

Today is the Lord's Day so we found a church to attend in the San Antonio area. We looked through the directory and found several and did get 2 of them on the phone. I also found one on the internet through a website and I for some reason favored that one. But that one did not answer when I called. I did leave a message on their answering machine so they called this morning.
We got ready and drove the 20 miles to get there. We found a good place out of the way to park and went inside.
We found out right away that the minister was away for the week and that a young military chaplain that attends the church would be filling in for him.
Sunday school class started almost right away. It was taught by Pat Pennington. He brought a lesson on examining ourselves. It was very good. He made us realize that too often we try to portray ourselves as something we are not.
Other people usually can see right that and God always sees us for who we are. Why then do we try to be something we are not?
After Sunday school the worship service started. They had a praise team up front who led the songs and they used a drop screen with powerpoint and it was really nice.
After the songs they served communion and then a lady named, Peggy sang a beautiful special song about a river.
After she sang the fill in minister got up to speak. His sermon was entitled, "Obey your Thirst." And it seemed like the previous song and the sermon were coordinated although they said that they weren't.
His sermon was very good. His main scripture text was Psalm 63:1-5. He talked about how in this passage David yearned for God. And how we as Christians need to seek God in the same way.
He told a story of Socrates and how a young man came to him and said that he wanted to have knowledge. Socrates led the man outside the city to a pond of water and took the man into the water up to their chests. He again asked the man what he wanted and the man said that he wanted knowledge. Socrates pushed him under the water and held him there for 30 seconds and then left him come up. He asked the man what he wanted and gasping for breath the man said that he wanted knowledge. Once again Socrates pushed him under and held him down for 45 seconds and then left him up. He asked again, "What do you want?" The man said through ragged breaths that he wanted wisdom. Socrates pushed him down again and held him under this time for a full minute and then left him up. "What is it that you want?" he asked the man. The man breathed in and out rapidly gasping and said, "Air, I want air." And Socrates said to the man, when you want knowledge as much as you want air, you will have it."
I thought that was a great story. How much do we want knowledge? How much to we want God's love? How much do we want to serve God and be used by Him? How much do we want air? We need to yearn for God. We need to earnestly seek Him out. We need to "Obey our Thirst" for Him.
Everyone was very friendly and we enjoyed our time very much.
After church we drove across the street and on for about 4 blocks to Walmart. I got some items that we needed and then we were going to go eat but it was too crowded so we waited. Later we walked down the street again to go eat but it was still crowded and now it was past 4pm so they were charging $3.00 more for the same buffet. So we left.
I went to Subway and we ate that instead. It was good.
While we were parked at Walmart a bus pulled in. It was a big tour-type bus but it belonged to a band. The men all got out and went into Walmart. The bus said that they were, "Los Traileros del Norte." I don't know what that means so when I googled it I found out that they have over 30 CDs and do concerts everywhere. There were several of their songs on Youtube so I listened to 2 of them. Pops hated it, haha. Of course it was mexican so we couldn't understand the language. I really didn't like the first one either but the second one was too bad, I guess.
Then when they came out of Walmart they went in different directions. Some of them walked to Burger King, some went to a clothing store and two of them went to a ......Chinese restuarant? haha too funny.
At 6pm we went back to Church. Once again the lesson was taught by Pat Pennington. He is such a good teacher. Our lesson tonight was about Christian Basics. He gave 4 pages of scriptures and notes. It was a discussion type lesson and it seemed everyone liked it.
After church we stood outside and talked with several of the members. They invited us back anytime and told us we were welcome to stay parked in the church's lot until we get a load.
A couple of little boys, Mathias and Andrew aka Batman climbed up into our truck to take a peek at where we lived and they played with the dogs for awhile.
It is so nice to meet new people and make new friends. I hope that we can come back here again sometime.
So now I hope that we will get a load out of here tomorrow. This heat (100+) is wearing me and the dogs down.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A lot of Texas

It has been a busy week finally after several slow weeks. It felt good to be running again. That is why we left home. We are out here to work and run.
We left Iowa Sunday afternoon for a pickup that was delivering Monday in Michigan. So I started the drive while Pops slept. It was a fairly boring drive really but that gives me a lot of time to think. I also called my dad. I miss him a lot.
He said that he is doing well and always enjoys hearing about our travels. I didn’t have many travels to tell him about this time, but we talked about other stuff. He loves getting the postcards we send him and complained a little bit because he hadn’t gotten any for a couple of days. I have tried to send him one from each state that we’ve been to so now I guess I will get more specific and send some from the cities that we visit.
We delivered our spark plugs to the Chrysler plant the next morning and went to a truckstop to wait for another load. We didn’t have to wait too long we got a load picking up in Toledo, Ohio and going to Olive Branch, Mississippi which is just outside Memphis, TN. 
Once again I started the drive and Pops drove through the night. After that delivery we missed out on a good load going into Ontario, Canada. But ended up getting a transfer load picking up in Louisville, KY and going to Eagle Pass, TX.
A transfer load is one that we get from another truck and take to the final destination because they for some reason cannot complete the load.          We got to the Louisville Fedex terminal around 4pm and the other truck wasn’t scheduled in until about 10:30pm. So I husked some corn and cooked it up with some other stuff and we had supper and then I done the dishes. I took the dogs outside and we stayed out of the truck for a few hours while Pops tried to catch up on some sleep. I talked to my dad again on the phone and then called and talked to Starla also.
When the other truck got there we pulled around to the docks and prepared to transfer the load. That is when the other drivers, Fred and Mary, noticed that one of the crates had fallen apart and the contents were spilled. Well the guys decided that they would try to re-nail the crate and stack the freight back inside. It was heavy cast iron pieces, and the crates were made out of ¼ inch fir strips. What junk! So I took several pictures. The dock workers at the freight company brought some rachet straps over and put around the damaged crate and bound everything together. Then made the transfer from Fred’s truck to ours.
I stayed outside the dock with Fred’s wife, Mary. She is funny and I was glad to get to know another Fedex couple.
Once the transfer was complete and the pictures were emailed to Fedex we got on our way. It was going to be a 30 hour trip.
Eagle Pass is on the south western side of Texas right at the Mexican border. Our load was going into Mexico, so we were carrying it to another transfer place. We did negotiate the load pay up enough that we could deadhead back to San Antonio. Our truck owners live there and we needed new tires so we were meeting them and they were going to get new tires on the truck.
I was hoping that we would go through Houston and across Texas because then we would get to go through Louisiana but that is not the way we were routed. We were routed back through Nashville, Memphis, Little Rock, Texarkana, Dallas, Waco, Austin, San Antonio and into Eagle Pass.
I don’t really care for the trip through Arkansas, honestly I think it is boring but I like Texas so I enjoyed that part although once through Dallas it got dark and so I didn’t get to look around much. Pops started the drive after passing through San Antonio. We had less than 3 hours drive left and about 7 hours to get there so we did get about 3 hours sleep in a non-moving truck. That is always good.
When I woke up we were at the delivery and Pops was out of the truck. So I got dressed and made some coffee and then we were finished and pulling away. We could see the Mexican border and their big flags flying in the breeze. On the way back up route 35 we got to the border inspection site and they checked us and our truck with drug sniffing dogs.
We made it back to San Antonio by lunch time and met up with our truck owners. While the tires were being put on we went to lunch. I ordered a patty melt and French fries. When the waitress brought our food I asked her for some vinegar for my fries and she gave me the strangest look. When she brought it back she asked if I was going to dip my fries and I told her, “no, I’m going to pour it on them.” Well, you should have seen the look on her face, it was priceless. Our truck owners had not heard of this either so Shirley asked if she could dip hers in the vinegar and try it. She must not have liked it though because she only dipped one.
After we got our tires and told Tate and Shirley goodby we headed to Houston to wait out our layover.  We got there around supper time. I made us some vegetable soup. What a dumb thing to make when the temps are hovering around 100 degrees at 10pm. Oh well, it was good.
There were a few load offers that we would have liked to have the next day but we didn’t get them and there were a few that we didn’t want at all. Finally around 3pm a load came that we wanted. It was a load picking up in Dallas and going to Kansas. It paid pretty well. So we accepted and got the load but less than 2 minutes later it cancelled. We were paid $47 for the dry run and placed at the back of the pack that was here in Houston waiting for a dispatch. Pops called our company and complained because we had lost our load status and hadn’t even moved our truck. So we were given our load status back, which put us as the number 2 truck when loads were offered.
There was a man in a pickup truck parked next to us at the Flying J truckstop. He was on his computer for 2 days. He had a cat in there too. The back end of his truck was full of all kinds of belongings. We think that he lived in his truck at the Flying J. He was there the whole time we were playing on his computer the whole time. He would turn his truck around in the morning so that the sun was shining on the back of his truck and then around 1pm would turn it around again so that the sun would not shine into his truck, strange. The cat jumped in and out of the truck window whenever it wanted to. We never saw him get out of his truck except to get a can of sardines out of the back or get something to drink from a cooler in the back.
It was Friday and I figured that we were probably here for the weekend so I made supper of steak, baked potatoes and salad, along with apple pie for dessert. Banquet makes good little pies that can be “baked” in the microwave and they aren’t bad really, although apple is my least favorite. I like the berry ones.
At 6pm est,  a load offer came picking up in Seguin which is near San Antonio and going to Laredo, TX. We really would’ve liked to gotten out of Texas but at this point thought that we were done for the week so we accepted the load as kind of a bonus run for the week. So we packed up our belongings and got moving. Of course it was rush hour through Houston and Katy. But once I made it through all that traffic it was a pretty good trip.
At one point I saw a bird in the air. It seemed to be having trouble flying and as we got closer I could see that it was carrying a snake, a pretty long snake and the snake was trying hard to escape. Once the bird got the snake under control, it flew better. That was really cool to see.
And then I saw in a field 6 elk. They were right along the road. They were behind a fence so I assume someone was raising them but who knows. That was cool to see too.
We did get to our pickup and they were laughing because we were going to Laredo. Apparently no one wants to go there. Oh boy, well, we’ll see.
We did get to sleep again for a few hours in an unmoving truck and then Pops drove us there this morning while I finished sleeping.
It wasn’t a bad place really. Except hardly any English was spoken.
On the way out of there we stopped at a really nice rest area. It was decorated with colored Spanish tiles and it had many fish ponds. It was beautiful. We got a nice packet of brochures for just about anything there is to do in Texas.
We made it back to San Antonio which is our place of layover. We went in to get something to eat and while eating a gang of motorcycle riders came in. There was a man with them that had on a big tall witches hat. I kid you not! And no one batted an eyelash. And then there was a woman with them wearing a bandana around her head and when she walked past I noticed that she had a tail! A tail!!! She had a raccoon tail coming out of her behind. I almost spit coffee all over the place. Well I tried desperately to get a picture of that but I couldn’t.  Oh my oh my. Well I’m going back to my truck now, this place is strange.
When I passed on to my daughter and son-in-law what we had seen they wanted to know what drugs I was on, but come on you couldn’t make this stuff up.
When we got back to our truck a man came around like a traveling bake sale. He was selling banana bread to help his church which helps get drug addicts off the street, cleans them up and gives them somewhere to live while getting them clean. So we bought 2 loaves. What would Jesus do?
We plan on going to church tomorrow and then the Alamo and the Riverwalk and then I seriously want to find a real Texas barbeque to eat. But who knows? We are so unpredictable.

Some pix

Sitting next to an airport

Peacock at the Jackson, MS truckstop

For my friend, Jeff. He was at the Laredo rest area. I couldn't resist.

Laredo Rest Area

Fishponds at the Laredo rest area

Laredo rest area also

Texas always has the best clouds, really. Feel free to "borrow" this picture if you want.

I love Texas road systems!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Church Service

While Pops slept on Saturday Evening trying to catch up on some much needed sleep I looked in the directory for a church. There was only one listed for Cedar Rapids and no one answered the phone there. They did give a web address for their website so I looked it up and found out service times and directions.
Pops roused a little while later long enough for me to tell him that I had found a church.
So I set my phone alarm for 6:45am and we both fell asleep.
I woke up in the morning and looked at my watch and it was 7:41. Oh no, we slept in. Well there is no point in rushing around, we just weren't going to make Sunday School.
And then I wondered why my alarm hadn't gone off so I checked my phone. And then it dawned on me that we were on Central Time Zone. I still had 2 minutes until 6:45. Okay, good.
So I got up and took the dogs out for a walk while the coffee was dripping.
Pops and I got ready for church and then sat and relaxed with our coffee until time to pull out.
We found the church easily. It was only 2.2 miles from where we were.
We again took the dogs out for a minute and then went inside.
There were coffee, donuts, cookies and bagels right inside the door. We were offered whatever we would like. Well, I would like some more coffee and they had that delicious hazelnut creamer that I like but don't ever buy.
We were told which direction to go to find our Sunday School class.
When we got to class there were several people there already and the teacher said that they always start by going around the table and finding out how each person's week went. So we listened and when it was our turn we informed them of our long frustrating week. And then the teacher prayed for each person there. It was nice.
Then we got started on the lesson. We were discussing 2 Peter chapter 2. It is Peter's warning about false teachers. It was a good study and Pops and I both particapated in the discussion. We were given travel mugs as a souvenier of our visit there. Nice.
After Sunday School we went to the auditorium for worship.
Once again there services very much resembled ours back at Wills Mt. except for they took their communion as it was passed which a lot of churches do.
I enjoyed the praise team leading the music and they had a nice mix of contemporary and old hymns.
The youth minister which they called, "Next Generations Minister," got up and gave a little talk on a recent mission trip to Colorado that the youth had taken. It sounded very interesting.
Then the preacher got up to speak. His name is Bill Holley. We met him in Sunday School. He got right to the sermon which was Genesis chapter 26 about Jacob and Esau.
He preaches on book of the Bible at a time and in order. I like that. That way the audience can always have a heads up and study ahead if they want and also you can't ever feel like the preacher is preaching "at you." If you are convicted by a sermon then for sure it is the Holy Spirit convicting you.
Anyway he spoke of how each of these family member of Abraham were deceiving and dysfunctional. And yet how most were considered to be Godly, even patriarchs.
We all have the option of being good or not, we all influence others each and every day. When you look in the mirror do you see the good person or a bad person? Which person does the world see? Hmmm, there is a lot there for me to think about.
I want the world to see the good in me, I want to always be a positive role model and good influence, but I am human and I fail. And usually those close to me, such as my husband and family see the "real" me more often than anyone else does.
The preacher also said something that I grabbed on to. He said, he wanted his children to love God and have a good relationship with God inspite in him. I want to say the same thing, I want Starla, Tom and Drew to love God and have a good relationship with God inspite of me.
After church we said goodbyes and went to the truck.
We were changing our clothes and trying to locate a laundramat when the preacher and his wife came over and invited us to their home for dinner. Oh how I wish we could go but laundry HAD to be done and what if we get a load offer and can't stay anyway. We explained our situation and they directed us to a laundrmat.
We just got all the clothes washed, dried, folded and almost put away when we did if fact get a load.
See, story of our lives. We sit and sit with nothing to do and as soon as we meet someone nice and want to be able to do something we get a load. Oh well, I'm thankful for our job. It is good.

Eastview Christian Church

Eastview Christian Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Monday, August 1, 2011

Fighting Deer

These are the fighting deer I talk about below. I wish we would have been better at blocking the glare. We tried, lol.

This has been the worst week of our job

Oh it seems like we sat in New Hampshire forever, although it is a very pretty place to wait. I did get tired of being there. We just wanted to work. What is going on? I cannot believe we are so close to Boston and not getting anything.
Then Monday late afternoon we did get a load picking up in Norwich, CT and going to Dallas, TX. We didn't really think going to Texas was a good idea for loads but at the same time we couldn't pass up this load and risk not getting one at all.
So I started the drive and of course, it was rush hour all through the state of Connecticut. And we all know that rush hour means you don't move very fast at all. So down through Bridgeport and again at New Haven we stopped and started and stopped again until we inched our way across CT. I did manage to get a peek at the ocean every once in a while as we passed through there.
Finally we got through the state of NY and into PA and there Pops and I switched driving. I stayed awake the rest of the way through PA and for the 12 miles of MD and the 26 miles of WV that we traveled through on I 81. Then I went to the bunk, exhausted.
When I woke up we had already gone down and then across the state of VA and we were near Crossville, TN. Pops got us to a Walmart and then after picking up a few items, I began my day driving again.
I drove through Nashville, I just love that AT&T building there, and then through Jackson, and then on into Memphis, across the Mississippi River and into Little Rock, AR. Somewhere around that time we switched driving again.
VA and TN take a long time to travel through, it seems.
When I woke up the next morning we were already unloaded at the place of delivery and Pops was looking for a truckstop for us to head to. We took our time and drank some coffee and read our Bible and prayed before we got moving.
I love it that we can read and study together and pray together finally after all these years. It is the most enjoyable part of my day.
So we found a truckstop at Rockwall, TX to wait out our layover. It was Wednesday morning. We were 12 miles from Dallas. Surely we will be out of here by noon. Hah, we waited and we waited and we waited and did not get any load offers until 4:30 in the afternoon and it was snatched up by another truck before we even got it read the whole way through.
We did not see another load offer that day or by noon of the next day. So Pops sent a message to our company asking if something was wrong that we weren't seeing loads. They replied that they were working on something for us. But by now we were one of 21 vehicles in Dallas, just our company, not to mention the competitors, waiting for a load.
We tried to be patient and keep busy. It wasn't easy to keep from irritating each other especially since the outside temps were 106- 107 and we had to stay in the truck.
By the next day at noon we had received another 3-4 offers but we watched each one be snagged by someone else even though we were supposed to be the top truck.
Then around 2:00 we did get a load, a pretty good one too. It picked up in Lewisville, TX (just north of Dallas) and was going to LaCrosse, WI. We were so happy to get moving.
We made our pickup in Lewisville and routed ourselves toward WI. Our Qualcomm computer in the truck wasn't working. The whole system was down we were told and no idea when it would be fixed. Great! So we had no idea about any of the details of our load or our trip. But it was a long way to Wisconsin so we could use a map and follow the interstates and then worry about when we got closer. It did help that we would be traveling Route 35N for almost the entire way.
I watched the dried up cornfields of Texas pass by and then watched the dried up cornfields of Oklahoma pass by and then we entered Kansas and again mile after mile of dried up cornfields. Wow, what is this going to do to our already messed up economy? How sad to see the farmers baling up the dried corn. At one point along the way we saw a wildfire burning up everything along the highway. You could see the smoke from miles away. Boy, do they need rain here. Pray for rain for Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.
Once we reached Iowa though the corn looked amazing. It was fresh and green and oh so tall. It was also good in Minnesota and Wisconsin. We saw so much good corn there. Of course we had to stop so I could buy some. Umm Umm, I love fresh corn. There's nothing better. Oh yeah, I bought some tomatoes and zucchini too.
The Mississippi River Valley around LaCrosse, WI was the most beautiful place we have been to in a long time. It was so green and fertile looking and the people enjoying the water and the parks made us want to linger there. But wouldn't you know it, when we wanted to spend some time we got sent away from there for our layover. We were going to Cedar Rapids, Iowa for layover. Oh well, LaCrosse I hope we get to come back here before winter.
But while we were there we needed a slight repair and went to the repair shop. While we were there Pops found out about their farm and the large deer that were there.
We had seen on the internet a picture of two very large bucks that had been fighting and got their antlers tangled together and couldn't get apart so that neither could eat or drink and they both ended up dying. Well, these deer were here. They were found on their farm and were here at the shop. So Pops and I tried to take a picture but the glare is pretty bad. You can see it a little bit. But what a small world that they were here.
Anyway we made our way back to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Along the way Pops and I saw several cropdusting airplanes and one helicopter. They are so much fun to watch. They swoop and dive and then climb into the air only to do it again, with long trails of smoky dust following behind.
And then finally to Walmart at Cedar Rapids. Pops was so tired that he fell asleep while eating supper. It reminded me of when my kids were small and fell asleep in their highchairs.
So I sit and wait.