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.

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

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