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, October 27, 2011

The Scary Mountains

We are working our way east. We haven't been this direction in a while. It seems we get stuck in Texas or the midwest and can't get away from there. Anyway, I am driving and it is dark when we enter West Virginia. the more I drive the more mountainous and windy the roads become. I am not used to this. I have become a flat-lander, and I like the flat land! I can honestly say that these mountains now felt unusually scary to me. I know that I was driving under the speed limit and that alone is a big deal.
I could not wait until it was Pops' turn to drive. I just wanted to go to the bunk and cover up my head. I am not joking with you.
Once I woke up the next morning we were almost to our delivery in Virginia. Things didn't seem so frightening in the daylight and we were already on the other side of the Appalachian Mts. We made our delivery and then were pre dispatched on another load picking up in Virginia and going to Hazelton, PA. We were hauling mattress foam for Simmons Mattresses. Well, that was a quick and easy load and by morning we made our way to a nearby truckstop. It was the weekend again and I figured we would probably sit still for a day or two. We found a good place to park and settled in. The fall leaves in the valley here were so pretty. I could look across the valley to the mountains in the distance and see another highway coming down the mountains and knew that was interstate 81. It was very pretty and we relaxed all that day and through the night.
The next morning we decided to drive to a Walmart for some groceries. So we ended up clear across that valley and up the mountain on interstate 81. At the top of that mountain is the town of Hazelton and we found a Walmart there.
Where we parked in the parking lot was in line with the end of an airport runway. It was a small airport but we watched planes land and take off all day, swooping just over the top of us. It was cool.
A young man came over to us and was talking to us and wanted to know if we had any extra Fedex hats. He liked trucks and he collected hats, he told us. It just so happens that Pops did have an extra one so he gave it to the boy. He ran away so excited. It's funny how little it takes to make someone's day sometimes.
Late that night after we had already gone to bed, we heard Gypsy inform us that we had a load offer. It was a high security load for the department of defense. We would be picking it up at Dulles Airport in Virginia and taking it to Norfolk, VA. It paid well, too.
So Pops drove while I slept. By morning we were at Dulles and waiting for our contacts to come to work. They were german. We were hauling training materials for them to a naval base. All of the paperwork was in german. Well, that kind of made my job a little tougher. But I managed. So once we got loaded we took off for Norfolk.
I got my camera ready because we would be glimpsing the ocean. And we did get to see it. The day was beautiful and the weather was great and it was so pretty here.
We got to the naval base and waited for our contacts to meet us. There was a slight delay at the gates to the base because they are german, but we did get allowed in after a short wait. It didn't take too long for the men to unload the truck either and then we were on our way. (I did get myself in trouble with Pops here because I happened to mention how nice looking I thought the one german guy was. And that's all I'm going to say about that issue.)
I was hoping that we could stay at the beach for our layover. Just for a little while so I could read in my folding chair while Pops took a nap but we got another load right away.
Now we were heading back toward Washington, DC area for a pickup this evening which delivers to Illinois the next day. As I said, we have been busy lately.
This is twice in two days that we have been close to DC and I was getting a little worried that I might get to see the Capitol.
I want to go to Washington, DC. I have never, ever been there. Of all of the places that we get to go and see and I have never there. So my kids, Starla, Tom, and Drew are taking me there in about 2 weeks for my 50th birthday. So I am so looking forward to seeing it for the first time with them. I am just so excited about getting to spend the whole day with my kids. I really think that not too much of anything else in this world makes me happier.
So I didn't want to spoil that by getting there ahead of time and I didn't, I just came close.
Now we are on our way to Illinois.

Economy Picking Up?

Our company is keeping us busy and not just us, all the Fedex drivers say that they have been working really good for the past several weeks now. That is good. I hope that it means that our economy is picking up and things will get better for everyone. But it has been good for us at least compared to July and August. We wondered back then if it was time to look for other work.
Anyway we had a layover in Memphis which usually we don’t mind because it’s pretty easy to get a load from there, but this was the weekend and we needed our 34 hour restart to drive. We chose a truckstop in West Memphis which is inside Arkansas and got showers and did 4 loads of laundry!!! That cost us $16 bucks. Laundry is a pet peeve of mine because it is expensive and we don’t get any kind of receipt or proof that it was done to turn in for taxes. Someone needs to remedy that. But while we were there I discovered that because of the fall season, the pilot and flying J truckstops was offering Pumpkin Cappuccino. So I had one. And then later I had another one. They are good.
That evening as we were getting settled in and ready for bed, we had a visitor. She caught Pops in his boxer shorts too. Around the truckstops she would have been called a “lot lizard,” but I thought she looked more like the “brown sugar woman” that Pops’ brother, Juan is so fond of. Anyway, Pops shooed her away.
I read a lot that weekend, as a matter of fact I finished 2 books. I am glad that I brought a lot of books with me. I like to read so I never get bored.
The next morning, because of our late night visitor, we moved to the other side of Memphis to a different truckstop. Well, this was a bad choice because the place was dirty and stinky and even more of those kinds of “ladies” and I use that term very loosely, were wondering around. And dirty, ragged men with few teeth, too, asking for money or food. I know it was fishy because I watched all of these people being dropped off behind us by the same white van. It had to be some kind of scam going on, so I tried to not see what was going on and was very grateful for our load to Alamo, TN.
We were picking up in Alamo, which isn’t too far from Memphis and then it was going to Edinburg, TX. We found our way to Alamo by following Gypsy’s directions. It was a very rural place. And then I was driving and I realized that I knew how to get us from there the whole way to San Antonio without Gypsy or any directions! We have been spending so much time in Texas that we both are learning our way around pretty well. And that is good considering that Texas is the size of a nation all by itself.
So I drove while Pops tried to sleep and I was enjoying the passing scenery. It is fall everywhere now and the colors are so pretty and the fields are for the most part cut and in some cases re-planted. We saw huge bales of cotton ready to go wherever it goes to be processed. But it was windy, really windy, again. We have felt a lot of windy weather lately. And in the flatlands, you would be surprised how strong that wind can feel. At one point just north of Dallas we actually saw a tractor trailer rolled onto its side.
Our air conditioner quit working on the way to Edinburg. And believe me, even though it is fall, you still need air conditioner in Texas. So we sweated our way there. It was 94 degrees there that morning. It is very near the most southern point of Texas. Thank goodness we weren’t staying there, we moved right back up to San Antonio as soon as we got unloaded.
It was a neat trip though, we saw a lot of Mexican eagles. I had to call Shirley, our truck owner (who is a Texas native) to find out what they were. We also saw a lot of oranges and other produce. That area of Texas is well known for its produce.
 We spent the rest of that day in San Antonio. I got some groceries and we showered and settled in for the night. We had plans to meet and have breakfast with Tate and Shirley in the morning.
We did get a predispatch so we knew that after breakfast we would be driving to Austin, Tx for our next load.
We had a really nice breakfast and visit with Tate and Shirley at the IHOP. I really enjoy getting to spend time with them. They are such nice people and good to work for too. But our visit was short because we needed to get moving.
I drove us up to Austin which is all a straight shot from San Antonio. Austin is the capital of Texas and it is a pretty city, especially at night. They have such great architecture and they light up their buildings at night. The capital building is the prettiest building and it stands out from all the others.
But we were picking up in an industrial park and we found our location easily. But that was all that was going to be easy about this pickup. We had 17 pallets of product. And each one was 45 x 48 x30. It was going to be a very tight fit and they would have to double stack all the pallet except one. So Pops came and got me and together we got the pallets all loaded onto the truck but our two pallet jacks were not going to fit in. So we unloaded all the pallets again and gave it some thought and tried again. This time we did get everything on the truck except one of the pallet jacks and we had a little room but not quite enough unless we stood it on its handle and strapped it to the wall and that is exactly what we done.
Wow, now we were hot and sweaty and tired and sore, and we had to drive the whole way to Louisville, KY.  We made it there by the next morning and it was slightly easier to unload. And we had another pickup immediately following this delivery.
Louisville, and most of Kentucky, is so pretty. I love all the horse ranches with the wooden fences surrounding them and hundreds of beautiful horses everywhere you look. But we picked up our other load and away we went. We are heading east now.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Our Layover and Church Service

Our layover options from Little Rock, AR were Memphis, Tn or Springfield, MO. We chose Memphis because we usually do pretty well from there.
We arrived in Memphis and found out that we had 8 trucks ahead of us. Oh boy, why did we choose Memphis. But by that evening we were the number 4 truck. We thought that we would get a dispatch during the night.
But we woke up the next morning and were still in the same position. So I fixed us breakfast and then gathered up our laundry and went in to do that. By afternoon I had washed everything in the truck except the clothes on our backs and once we showered, I washed those too.
I made some fudge and cooked some soup and read my book. Actually I have more books this time out than I have so far. I finished one book and then read another complete book. I like to read.
Later in the evening we listened to the American league playoffs and listened to the Texas Rangers win their playoffs. I guess all the caps and T-shirts that we hauled was worth it to someone.
Pops was busy trying to find us a church to attend. He could only find three in the directory for this area and no one seemed to be answering their phones again. One of them was a huge congregation and we generally avoid those, but this one was different because Pops’ cousin, Jeff Whitlock, is the senior evangelist there.
Just before we went to bed he tried again to reach someone from any of the churches and got to talk to his cousin, Jeff. We were told that we were more than welcome there and there was plenty of parking. Well good then, that is settled.
We woke up early the next morning and sat and drank our coffee and found our directions and typed them into Gypsy. It was 26 miles away and through the city of Memphis so we left about an hour early. We had no difficulty finding the church. We got parked at the far end of the lot and went inside.
As soon as we entered we were greeted and made to feel welcome. One man showed us around the huge building and described the adult classes to us so that we could choose which one we wanted to attend. We decided just to go to the one that he attended.
We met several more nice, friendly people and listened as they talked about their week and the people needing prayer. Several of them asked us about what we do and how we elected to come to Eastwin Christian Church today. They were surprised to find out that Pops and Jeff are cousins.
Our Sunday School class is watching a video series that is discussing Christians who become atheists and Atheists that later become Christians. They used the writings of Freud and C.S.Lewis and then a panel of experts and scholars would discuss the topics. It was very good. Today’s particular topic was how people, whether people of faith or atheists deal with the grief of losing a loved one. I would really like to see the entire series.
After Sunday School class we made our way back to the main auditorium. It was a beautiful place. The stage area had a lot of stone and rich woods. The pews were actually rows and rows of thickly padded chairs. There was seating for about 700 people and by service time it was about ¾ filled. Along the sides were large, floor to ceiling windows but they were covered with black blinds. They had a countdown clock on the big screen and the moment it hit zero the service started.
It began with a praise team singing on stage. There were between 20 and 30 people singing up there. The words to the songs were on the big screen and when the congregation sang, it was awesome. It was great to be in the presence of that many voices lifted up to God. It sounded so good! I closed my eyes and imagined that this must a little of what Heaven will be like with so many voices praising God.
Then Jeff got up to speak. I had met his mother and father but never him. Pops hadn’t seen him in at least 35 years.  I thought that he looked a lot like his dad but I could also the Ryan in him.
He preached a sermon on Nicodemus.  It was entitled, Where are you with Jesus? He used the scripture from John 3:1-16 as his text. He spoke of Nicodemus’ encounter with Jesus and then the application for us was to realize that we need a spiritual entrance into Jesus. We cannot come to Him on our good deeds or intentions. We cannot get into Heaven just because the good things we do outnumber the bad things we do. We must have a spiritual rebirth.
It was a really good sermon with good visual demonstrations.
Sometimes since I’ve been a Christian for so many years, I take the Bible’s (God’s ) Plan of Salvation for granted and I think a lot of us do, but we need to realize that it is at this crucial time of the service that someone may be making the most important decision of the life. Too many times we begin to talk, loudly zip our Bibles closed, begin to gather our stuff, and then we may be the distraction that keeps someone from making the right choice today.  Please let us be reverent for this reason. Use this time to pray and ask God to work on the hearts that are wavering.
After services and announcements as we were leaving Pops did get to talk to Jeff. I got to meet him for the first time and they chatted for a quick few minutes. We left there with promises of getting together next time.
I am so glad that we got to visit here today.
Once we left we drove to a closer truck stop and settled in for a dispatch. We are still number four truck. I am hoping for a good load tomorrow morning.

Friday, October 14, 2011

This is our week

Our trip to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada was considered an experiment for us. We had been told that it is ok to go there because loads do come out of there. But it proved untrue. We got there early in the morning and 24 hours later we still had not had a single load offer.
We didn’t hate our trip there though. It was a new and interesting experience. The aspen leaves were a beautiful gold color and the prairies were golden too. Most of the other leaves had already fallen off the trees.
Although it was chilly and dismal we didn’t mind the weather. The city did smell of oil. Edmonton has a huge oil industry, like Houston.
While parked in the truckstop we enjoyed watching the birds seek food from the drivers. There were some crow-like birds that seemed to be “in charge” of the parking lot. They were the same size as crows although their tail feathers were very long, longer than their bodies. They had a lot of white across their backs and wings also. We didn’t know what kind of birds they were until we googled them and found out that they were magpies.
On the first morning I went inside for a breakfast sandwich. I bought one that had bacon, egg, and cheese between two pieces of bread that was then dipped in egg and fried like French toast. I dipped pieces of the sandwich into syrup while eating. Yum yum, it was so good, I got one on the second morning as well.
We decided that the smartest move for us was to deadhead back to the United States. So we set out to do just that, even though it was going to be a 1200 mile trip. On the way we looked for deer and other wildlife. We saw a lot of Buffalo herds in the wild. That was amazing to me. Pops also saw a wolf.
We reached the border around 1:30am and was very tired. We crossed easily and pulled in at a truck parking lot that was right there. We slept there for about 5 hours and when I woke up I walked my mail across the street to the post office and then we got moving. We still had over 300 miles to Minneapolis.
When we got to Jamestown, ND, I looked across toward the city and saw a giant buffalo. It was a statue. So I googled that and found out that it is made as a tourist attraction and is made out of 60 tons of concrete. It is really large.
We got to Minneapolis and planned to spend the night. We were tired, but had laundry and cleaning to do. I would’ve like to drive to the Mall of America which is about 24 miles from where we were but I didn’t know what kind of parking was available so we decided not to go until we found out about parking. I also found out that although this mall is the largest in the United States, The only other mall in the North American Continent that is bigger is in Edmonton, Alberta. Hah, how odd is that?
We did not find a church that was within our mileage range, so we listened to a sermon from West Unity, Ohio. It was a sermon by Thom Reamsnyder. It was a very good sermon and something he said about a root of bitterness caught my attention and I got to thinking about how that would make a really good lesson for our ladies back home. I really miss teaching and being with the other great women teachers from Wills Mt.
We got a load later that was picking up in Avon, MN and going to Decatur, IL. We knew this must be a Caterpillar load and going to a place that we have nicknamed, “Doozertown.” We got that name from an old animated show that our kids used to watch, Fraggle Rock. In that show the little, busy, hard-hat workers scurried around working all the time. And this plant in Decatur reminds us of the Doozers.
As we were driving to Decatur a truck in front of us kicked up a big piece of metal that came back and hit the grill of our truck. It didn’t cause any damage, but it made me wonder what might have happened had it hit our windshield. Hmmmm.
We got a predispatch load that picked up in Wisconsin and was going to San Antonio, TX. Wow, we have been going to Texas at least once a week lately.
It was a long drive but pretty much uneventful. There was plenty of time for day dreaming and thinking. And as always, a lot of time to just look around and enjoy the scenery. No matter how many times I drive by the arch in St. Louis I still smile each time.
And the Fall has brought with it a lot of beauty just about everywhere. I love this time of year. And while most areas of the country is beginning the season of everything turning brown, The Fall and Winter rains bring green and growth to the already browned Texas landscape. It was nice to now see green fields and wildflowers blooming there.
We got to meet up and spend the day with our truck owners again. I always enjoy getting to be with Tate and Shirley. We had a great time at the Chinese restaurant that we visited. I looked over to see a strange expression on Tate’s face and asked him if he was eating one of those little red dried peppers. Just as I asked he took it out of his mouth and was gasping for air and the tears were running from his eyes. The little Chinese waiter brought over another glass of tea for him and then stood by our table and laughed at him!!! It was funny once he caught his breath and the tears stopped. We kidded him about that the rest of the evening.
The next morning we were on a load that picked up at the airport in Arlington, Texas. We were waiting for a jet to come in and so were 3 other trucks like us. The jet landed and the pilot and co-pilot unloaded 75 cases of hats and t-shirts that was already proclaiming the Texas Rangers as champions. We were all delivering them to different sporting stores through the Dallas/Fort Worth area. When we got to our first stop we saw another truck there and found out that at least 4 other trucks had picked up another airport and were doing to same thing we were. So at least 8 trucks were running around the cities delivering  (in my opinion, too soon) merchandise. Oh well, it might pay off, although later this evening we listened to the game and listened to the Texas Rangers lose to the Detroit Tigers. But I am quite sure that there must be trucks scampering around the city of Detroit delivering Tigers merchandise “just in case.” Hahaha
After all of that we got another predispatch. We had to drive to Waco, TX and pick up a hazmat load that is going to Little Rock, AR.
It seems we were quite busy this week. And most of our loads had been predispatch which I like. I like to know what we are doing next.
Right now we are in Little Rock. We made our delivery this morning. We have laundry to do again. I am catching up with this blog and Pops is sleeping.
There are 8 other trucks here in Memphis that work for our company, and we are the last truck, so we may be here awhile. I guess time will tell.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Air Force Base

Our trip to the Air Force Base turned out to be quite an ordeal. We were directed by Gypsy to go to the wrong entrance and so at the gate to the base I had to turn around in very tight spaces and go to the truck gate.
Once we found the truck gate we had to get out so our truck could be inspected. We had to wait inside a big, wooden box.
Then we didn't know where to go so we waited for someone to help us with directions. And they took us the whole way to the other side of base to a building that was on our directions from our company. But that was not the right building.
So we were told to go back across the base to the other side of the airport to a big building over there. But that building was so big and there were no directions telling us where to go there. So Pops got out and went inside. He was gone for about 45 minutes when I saw him come back riding on a golf cart with two other men. One of the men got into our truck with us and guided us to where we were supposed to go. I could not believe how big that building was.
We got unloaded and had to drive clear back around the base to the truck gate to exit.
Now we were late for our next pre-dispatch that was on the other side of Oklahoma City at the main airport. We finally got over there and got loaded but it took a long to do our departure call because this load was a hazmat load going into Canada. After at least an hour we got moving.
Wow, this was going to be some trip. We really had to keep moving. We drove through the remainder of Oklahoma, through Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota and then crossed the border.
We are going to Edmonton, Alberta so now we still have about 900 miles to go. Oh boy.
We did here early this morning and found our delivery sight fairly easily. It didn't take long to unload either so now we are sitting at a truckstop waiting.
I hope we get a load from here although we have been here since 10:30am our time and it is now 5:30 and we haven't had any load offers yet.
If we don't get a load by morning we will deadhead back to the states. I really hope our company can get us something from here.
It is a very cold, dreary day here. And I drove through a wind/dust storm for about 80 miles on our way here. It was all I could do to keep the truck on the road.
But we have had a busy week and I am willing to enjoy this break although I wish I could use my phone to talk. I did pay for the internet here, so at least I can connect to my friends and family back home. But honestly, I have never felt further away from all those that I love.
I guess that's because I have never been further away from those I love.

Our Visit with Aunt Eileen

As soon as I realized that we would only have go about 15 miles out of route to visit my Aunt Eileen and that we had some extra time to do so; I got excited.
I called her and ask if you would be available for a visit on Tuesday morning. I told her that it would have to be early and we couldn’t stay real long. She told me that she gets up at 5:30am to get two of her boys up for work and she would love it if we could come. She said that she would fix us breakfast.
Oh boy, now I was so excited. I called my sister, Amy, (who was at church.) I told her that we were getting to visit and she was glad for us  but at the same time sad for herself that she couldn’t . I think I understand those emotions. She told me to make sure I took some pictures and send them to her right away.
A short time before my mom died she got to visit Oklahoma. Her and her sister, Beverly traveled by bus. My Aunt Eileen was married to mom’s brother, Frank. Frank had passed away a little while before and the two sisters wanted to go visit with Aunt Eileen and visit their brother’s grave.
I remember that mom really loved getting to do this. She came home all excited and full of stories, but the thing I remember her talking about the most is my aunt taking her somewhere to see prairie dogs. My mom talked and giggled about those little things for a long time after she came back.
Anyway, Pops and I arrived in Lawton around 12:30am. Aunt Eileen said that she would call us the next morning around 6am so I went straight to sleep. I had set my alarm for 5:45 but she called before my alarm went off. I got up and got ready right away.
My cousins, Kevin (Corky) and Jimmy came within 10 minutes. It was so good to see them.
Kevin and I always were good friends. We are near the same age and spent a lot of time together as kids. He looks just the same as he did then.
I remember Jimmy as being tall and thin, but hadn’t seen him in over 30 years! Wow! But he is still tall and thin and I would have recognized him too.
Pops and I got in the car with them and we went back to their home. Aunt Eileen met us at the door. She is on Oxygen now and is a little thinner than when I had last seen her, but she looked the same otherwise.
We had a nice visit although way too short. We looked at old pictures, we shared memories, she showed me around her home and yard. I loved getting to be there.
I got re-acquainted with my cousin, Frank. He was born in Oklahoma and I had probably only seen him twice before and the last time he was only a little boy. Of course he is all grown up and in his thirties now. We got to add him as a new friend on Facebook, so we will always have that connection.
We had a good, home-cooked breakfast of ham, sausage, French toast, hash browns, orange juice and peaches. We sure didn’t leave there hungry.
I really hated it when it was time to go. I hope we get to visit again. I am so glad that Kevin, Jimmy and Frank take such good care of their mother. She is very fortunate to have such great boys. I am lucky to have such a good family too.
Visiting with them did bring me a lot of nostalgic thoughts though. I thought about my mom and her side of the family for all the rest of that day. I miss my mom so very much. I would give just about anything for one more time with her.
Why is it that sometimes we wait so long to realize how important our families are? I do truly appreciate my family and if I haven’t told you lately, I love you.
I am looking forward to November 8th.  I will going away for the day with my kids, Starla, Tom, and Drew. I cannot wait. We are going to Washington, DC. I have never been there and it should be a lot of fun and full of memories for us.
On the way back to our truck, Kevin and Jimmy drove us past the park and we got to see the prairie dogs that my mom liked so much. They were everywhere. Kevin explained to us that they are trapped out of farmers fields where they can cause so much damage and brought here to live in the park. There were hundreds of them. They were scampering all around, darting down the holes or popping up out of them. Groups of them would gather around the holes and stand up. It looked like they were standing around perhaps gossiping or sharing stories. They were so cute, I could see why mom liked them so much.
It was a good day.

Our Geronimo


Back in the Spring while on layover in Portsmouth, NH, while I was outside walking the dogs in the rain and cold; I looked down on the ground and saw a small blue figure. I picked it up and saw that it was an Indian toy. He had been run over and was pretty disfigured. I decided to bring him back to the truck.
I washed him with some soap and water and decided that he would travel with us for awhile. We had recently been through San Antonio area and remembered seeing a small place called Geronimo, Texas. I named our new little friend Geronimo and decided that we would keep him until we returned to Geronimo. And then we would leave him there.
Our Geronimo has been all over to many places as he has traveled with us. He is fastened to our dashboard on the passenger side with Velcro tape.
We have taken him off there and snapped his picture on several occasions and he has even communicated his thoughts over facebook from time to time. We are convinced that he likes being with us.
Recently we realized that we would be traveling back through Geronimo, TX and was feeling a great sense of loss at the thoughts of leaving him there. So we put it up for a vote through our pages on facebook and we would let the people decide. We gave them almost 3 days to decide and when all was said and done, it was determined that Geronimo would continue to travel with us.
What is very strange is that on the day that it was decided that he would stay with us was the day before we visited Lawton, OK. We found out while driving there that the real Geronimo spent the end of his life in Lawton and is in fact buried there. Wow, what coincidence!
It is a really good story… the story of the real Geronimo. In fact, Geronimo is just his nickname. You can read all about it if you google, “Geronimo” and then go to the Wikipedia information. Now let me warn you, it is rather lengthy, but very interesting.
Anyway, our Geronimo is still with us and will be for a while I guess. And I think there are some who are looking for a mate for him. Although the real Geronimo had 9 wives, yes 9 wives, not lives.
We will be going back to Lawton, I’m sure, since my Aunt Eileen and her boys live there. And there is a big military base there, so next time I do want to see Geronimo’s Grave.
I love our travels and getting to see great things and learn stuff that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. I hope you like it too.

Geronimo's Story

Rhonda Ryan
Question: When we found Geronimo in Portsmouth, NH we were only going to keep him with us until we passed by Geronimo, TX. Well that time has come. Shall we keep Geronimo or leave him in TX?

Starla Perdew He's a keeper!!!
September 30 at 8:46pm · LikeUnlike
Bill Perdew i say keep him or you will miss him
Deby Lyons better let it up to him lol
September 30 at 9:01pm · LikeUnlike
Terry Strickler Leave him.
Starla Perdew Well mom....guess u got ur answer
Thomas Ryan Leave him, Pick up a new traveler.
Frank King If you had more time I could take you to his grave
Rhonda Ryan Next time for sure.
Pops ran a similar story with similar results on his Facebook page.

Geronimo Stays!!!
Top of Form
o    Terry Strickler, Randy Reynolds and 2 others like this.
Amy Gardner Bence you can always ditch Geronimo and take Amy, I don't take up to much space
Bill Ryan Now we need to find him a mate.
Deby Lyons sorry i forget what her name was but i think he had 2 i think the first one passed and he remarried.. I could b wrong idkfor sure
Thomas Ryan He had many wives.
Bottom of Form

Another busy Week

Another busy week, our delivery was in Brownwood, Texas and we made that delivery very early on Sunday morning and then made our way back toward San Antonio. We traveled through a small, hunting town of Brady, Texas. It is apparent that Brady caters to hunting parties. Pops wanted to stop at the shops there but it was a little too early and nothing was open, except Walmart, so we stopped there and I bought some groceries. We saw quite a few deer all around that area.
As we continued through the country, we passed through Fredricksburg, Texas. It was a town that was very pretty. Most of the stores and town buildings were constructed from white stone. And they were having a festival of some sort and many people were selling things along the street. I saw a homemade quilt that I would have liked to look at a little better, but we didn’t stop.
We finally made it to San Antonio around noon and we were tired. Pops and I went inside the truckstop for a shower and to get something to eat. We also did some laundry and then a quick nap before church.
We went to Evers Road Christian Church for Sunday evening service. It was good seeing the people there again and we enjoyed a lesson on Samuel. I like it when we get to return to a place where we liked previously and where we have kept in contact with at least one person. We stayed around after service for a little while and visited with some of the people there.
On Monday morning we got up early because we needed some truck repairs and we were scheduled to pick up a load later that afternoon. We met Tate and Shirley (our truck owners) at another exit and left our truck there for some minor repairs while we went to breakfast.
After breakfast they took us to see the truck that they plan to put us in within the next few weeks. It is a little newer than the one we have now. It is similar to ours inside although Tate did purchase a small freezer for us and it has a burner on the counter and a toilet. It seems to have a lot of storage too. I think that we will like that truck. It needs some work done to the front end and some other repairs which is why it is there now. Then Shirley wants to get inside and clean it up for us.
After we had a good look at that truck they took us and our dogs to their home. Lucy had a blast there. She spent the afternoon in search of small critters. Chucky just enjoyed being out of the truck, he mostly liked rolling in the grass. Pops loved the land and the pond. His wheels were thinking of hunting as usual.
Tate was telling him about the 4 panthers that they had watched come and drink from the pond during the drought and then they would go lay under the trees in the shade. He also told us about the turkeys and wild hogs that have come in also.
We got to listen in on a conference call our company was having with some of the driver/owners about the new flat rate program for the Surface/express drivers which is what we are. We are not flat rate though and I think the flat rate drivers are hurting us. They are taking loads for lower rates than we can which means they get the loads while we sit. But it didn’t sound like the conference call was going in favor of flat rates either. We didn’t get to hear the entire call though because it was time for us to go pick up our load.
We were predispatched on a load picking up in San Antonio and going to Oklahoma City.
We picked up our load at Kelly Field which is a lot of military. It was a load of airplane parts. We are now going to Tinker Air Force Base. I noticed that it would only be 15 miles out of route to go through Lawton, OK. My Aunt Eileen lives there. We have plenty of time built in our delivery. Maybe we can visit with her. I’ll give her a call.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Oh my Gosh

Oh my gosh, we have been running ragged, it least it seems that way. We barely have time to do laundry or even stop long enough to eat while sitting still. I have mastered how to brew the perfect pot of coffee while traveling down the highway and also (and this is a bit trickier) how to do dishes while Pops drives, without all the dish water splashing down his back.
We left Minneapolis; it now seems ages ago, to go for a pickup in South Dakota that was going to Garland, Texas. I was happy because South Dakota is another new state of us. The very first thing that we saw when we crossed the state line was a casino. Well, so much for first impressions.
It was getting toward evening and our pickup was not until morning so we found a rest area not real far away from our pickup. And as usual when we went inside we grabbed some brochures and info of the local area.
When we got back out to the truck Pops was busy with facebook and texting his friends and I began to look at the brochures. There was a state park only 6 miles from us called Sica Hollow. So I started reading all about it. The brochure told how when the American Indians found the spot they noticed that the area was a very deep, wooded, swampy ravine with some vertical drops of more than 200 hundred feet. They also noticed that the swamp and the stumps in the swamp seemed to glow and some of the artesian springs were bubbling up red water that looked like blood and that there was foaming quicksand. All of this frightened the Indians and they concluded that the place was evil so they named it Sica, meaning evil, and it is pronounced, She-cha.
The legend goes on to tell of a man named Mr. Roy who decided that because of all the wildlife there that he was going to make his home there and the Indians were afraid of him and called him crazy to do such a thing.
Later in years several explorers wanted to settle in the area and were never seen again. At one point, some were sent in to find the settlers but never did find any sign of them.
Well, I decided that I did not want to visit there and I didn’t even like staying within 6 miles of the place. Of course, I ended up having bad dreams that night.
We got up early and made our pickup. The scenery was beautiful. I loved the landscapes of South Dakota. It was nice rolling hills and deep ravines and at times miles of prairies. It really was a very pretty state. We saw horses running along the highway. They were running free, not fenced in. I don’t know if they were running loose because they got out of a fence or if they just run free. We couldn’t really tell.
We also saw many wild turkeys. And they were different from the ones we have back home. They had a lot of white on their backs and tails.
We finally passed  through South Dakota and was driving through Nebraska. I was searching for postcards for my dad so we were stopping at several little places all along the way.
We drove through a town called Norwalk, and I saw a house that had a sign that claimed this was the boyhood home of Johnny Carson. Well, that was cool.
We traveled through Oklahoma and then into Dallas. We made our delivery and then we waited. There were 13 other Fedex trucks ahead of us on the dispatch. Oh boy, this is why I don’t like to come here.
We ended up staying all that day and the by the next morning we were the number one truck on the dispatch list. Pops got a phone call and we got a message from Gypsy that his name was pulled for a drug test so we got directions and took off to get that done.
By late afternoon we were dispatched to pick up in Little Rock, AR and delivering in Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh.
While driving through Arkansas we saw a lot of deer. I also smelled a wildfire. I drove through smoke for about 4 miles and it was really beginning to choke me and then I was through it. I never did see any fire though.
As we drove north it got more and more chilly. And by the time we reached PA we actually turned on the heat.
We made our delivery in the evening and were already pre-dispatched on a load that picked up the next day only 38 miles away and was going to Syracuse, NY. So we found a Walmart and spent the night in their parking lot.
The next day I did some grocery shopping and then we went to make our pickup but the load wasn’t ready and we had to wait. When it was ready we were told to be in Syracuse by midnight so we high-tailed it out of there.
We were about 15 miles away from delivery and had about ½ hour to get there when we got pulled in for a random DOT inspection. Oh boy, now we will be late. We sat and waited while the inspectors went over all the paperwork and trucks of two other drivers in front of us. And then they waved us out, just like that. Whew, we still had 20 minutes.
We made it to the gate with about 3 minutes to spare only to be told that our company had not made an appointment for us and that meant that we would have to wait until morning to get unloaded. They were so kind as to allow us to park at their gate. So we slept at their gate with their floodlights on us all night long.
They did unload us very early in the morning though and we got moving. We headed toward Albany for a layover. We wanted a shower and we needed a new tire on the truck. So while they were putting the tire on we showered and by the time we were finished we already had another load.
We were heading to NJ to pickup and then taking that load to Texas.
Oh my the traffic going into and coming out of New Jersey was crazy. It was so heavy and everyone was in some big hurry. And it continued to be that way for so many miles. I know it was like that the whole way through Pennsylvania, down through Hagerstown and then began to thin down. By then it was time for Pops to drive so I hit the sack.
When I woke up we were in Crossville, TN. I made some coffee and got started driving right away. I drove the whole way across Tennessee, all of Arkansas and a good ways into Texas. By the end of my turn I had driven 684 miles. Wow, that’s a lot, especially for the end of a busy week already.
I did enjoy all of the scenery though. I especially liked seeing all the cotton fields that are ready for harvest. We did see some that had already been picked and baled. Those are some big bales, the size of truck trailers. And I was very glad to be back where the weather was warm. Actually Dallas was showing 90 degrees and it was nearly sundown.
So we were Texas to Texas and several places in between all in one very busy week. Whew, I’m tired and the laundry is needing done again.