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, December 19, 2012

Well Not Quite Normal

Pops did drive out his time and he did fine. It seems like we are going to be ok now. We made our delivery and it went well and then we drove a few miles to a rest area to wait for our next load.
Pops tried to lay down and get some sleep. I worked on addressing and writing some post cards that I needed to get caught up on.
We waited for a load opportunity and one or two came but they weren't what we were looking for. Finally an offer came that was going to Texas. I accepted the load and we got it. It wasn't picking up until tomorrow in Carlisle, PA so we drove closer to pickup and stayed at a truckstop.
While we were there I got all of our laundry caught up. We relaxed the evening in the truck and it was calm and peaceful. I have our Christmas lights up so it had a nice, warm glow. I was loving the peacefulness.
The next morning we drove over to our pickup and we were a few minutes early and another truck was in the dock where we were supossed to be. Eventually the guard came out and asked that truck to move so we could get in and then we were loaded.
It was a very high security load so after we were loaded we pulled up to the guard and he put a seal on our truck. Now we were ready to go except that the truck didn't want to go into gear. We tried and tried and it would not go into gear.
We called our owner and he suggested unhooking all the batteries and letting the computer reset. We did that and started the truck and then it went right into gear.
Now since this load was such high security we weren't allowed to stop until we had driven over 200 miles away from the shipper. So after about 4 hours of driving I was ready to stop for a restroom.
I pulled into a rest area near Roanoke, VA and went in the bathroom and took the dogs out and we got a bite to eat. But when I tried to go again it would not go into gear again.
I woke Pops up and told him that it was doing it again. So he got up and dressed and went outside to unhook the batteries again. This time it didn't work. We tried it several times.
Our owner called the repair service and when they came and looked it over they informed us that our truck would have to be towed in for repair.
Well the tow truck couldn't come until the next morning. Our company was very anxious about this load and they kept calling us . We really did not and could not afford to lose this load but it looked like we were going to.
Then Fedex decided that we were going to transfer the load to another truck. The tow truck came and hooked us up and then towed us to a Fedex Freight facility. We were unloaded and then watched as the other truck drove away with our good Texas load. Then we were towed to a repair place in Roanoke.
We waited around there all day waiting for someone to come look at our truck. We were told to take the dogs and go to the drivers lounge to wait. When we went in there it was packed with other drivers also waiting.
The dogs were nervous and too excited and would not settle down so I took them outside and saw that no one had done anything yet with our trick so I went and got in it. I figured I would stay there until they pulled it intoo the garage. I called  Pops and told him what I was doing.
After an hour or so he came out too. We were there clear until late evening and no one had come to get our truck.
Our owner told us to go to a hotel because we weren't allowed to stay on that property all night. So a hotel shuttle came and picked us up and took us to Days Inn.
As soon as we got to the front desk and was checking in Chucky peed on the floor. I guess he had enough excitement for a while. He just could not make sense of everything that was going on. Well, neither could I. So I cleaned up his mess and we were given a pet friendly room.
The pet friendly room smelled like dog.
Oh well, it was warm and had a big, big bed and a tv and a shower.
So we got showered ordered a pizza and settled in. Well, we did, but the dogs didn't settle. They paced and paced and just would not calm down. Life had been upsetting for them too for the past several weeks.
Around 10:30 I took them outside one more time and then when we came back in and Pops and I got into bed the dogs seemed to sense that it was ok and they settled. Everyone slept pretty well that night.
The next morning was Friday and when we turned the tv on we heard the awful news about the children of Sandy Hook Elementary being shot. Although at first they weren't reporting just how awful it really was. But as the day went on and on we saw just how bad it was.
There are just no words for something like this.
We found out that our truck still hadn't been looked at. But the manager promised that he would "try to have it in this afternoon." What? Are we supposed to go over there and sit in the crowded drivers lounge and hope that they get to our truck?
Pops talked to our owner and we decided to stay in the hotel for another night. We would just wait in the hotel room until our truck was finished.
We got a call around 3 o'clock that it was done. It turned out to be a fairly quick, not too expensive fix. So Pops had the hotel shuttle take him over to get the truck. He brought the truck over to the hotel and parked it near our room.
Around 10 o'clock I went out and started the truck and made some good coffee. The dogs wondered around te grass while I left the truck run for awhile.
Then we went back to the room.
The next morning we had hotel breakfast, showered and checked out. When we got into the truck, it wouldn't start. It seemed the batteries were run down. We have never had this kind of problem before so something must have run down the batteries.
We were having some issues with our refrigerator not working right so maybe it was that. And sure enough the refrigerator wasn't working at all. All of our food was warm. So I threw it away. This was the second time I threw away all our food.
Once we had the truck going again (a repair service had to be called), we then drove over a truckstop to stay. We spent the night there and the next morning we went shopping for a refrigerator.
We shopped and shopped and could not find one that was the right size for the hole that it needed to fit into. I never dreamed that it would take all day to find one. We finally settled on a smaller one just to get by with.
I'll tell you it was getting easy to give in to frustration and defeat. Pops and I and the dogs too were ready to go home. We just need some things to go right for a change.
A good friend of ours sent me a real encouraging email and a sermon outline. It was just the right medicine. Pops and I used that outline as our Sunday lesson and it helped inflate our spirits.
I sure wish that we could have heard him preach this sermon, but it helped us anyway. Thanks, you know who you are.
On Monday we got a load that was picking up in Richmond, VA and going to Minneapolis. We accepted and got the load. Once we accepted that load we were bombarded with load offers that were either going to California or Las Vegas. Our company really needed these loads to go badly. But Christmas Eve is only 1 week away and that is when my family is getting together. I would have liked to take some of those loads but we know better than anyone that there are no guarantees that everything is going to work out right. And if one thing fell out of place we wouldn't get home on time. So we kept declining those loads.
We made our delivery in Minneapolis. We were right at the Mall of America in Minneapolis. We didn't go in though because it looked really crowded and really to me a mall is a mall. They all have the same stores and we didn't really feel like all that walking.
So we drove over to a favorite truckstop and now we are waiting on a load.
I sure hope that we get lined up to get home on time. I really am discouraged. I know Pops just wants to try and feel "normal" again.
I want to get home, spend some time with my family, get him to the doctor, then get back on the road and back to whatever kind of "normal" we will have.
I need normal!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Back to Normal

I drove us back to the Pilot Truckstop that we were at on Thursday before we went to the hospital. We found a good parking spot. It was pouring down rain.
We got Pops as comfortable as we could and then I swept the floors and tried to clean up a little bit.
I got him something to eat later and then we just relaxed for the evening. I wanted to go wash some more clothes, but because of the rain I thought I should probably wait and do them later.
But as the evening went on, I began to feel really antsy and nervous. And before too long it was turning into full fledged anxiety. I started to get really worried.
I realized that I was really wondering what normal was going to belike now. I was worried about Pops and what he might not be able to do now with the catheter attached. I told him my fears and I think that I even had some tears. We sat down and had a good long talk. We decided that it was going to be ok. And whatever we had to face we would face it together.
Pops also told me that he had been on the internet and had been doing a lot of research. So my worries and fears went away.
I guess over the last few days I  had to face up to what I might have to do if something worse were to happen. I am not ready for our job to end. I am not ready for anything to end.And I for sure do not want to face life without Pops. I don't even want to think how sick he was. We were told that if he had waited any longer he could have gone into Cardiac Arrest. Well, thank Goodness he didn't.
We got a good nights sleep and then this morning after breakfast I did go in and get another load of laundry done.
We waited and waited for load opportunities to come but when they did, they weren't any good. And then finally one came that we were interested in. So I accepted it and we got the load. Now was the test to see how normal our normal would be.
I go all the paperwork done and then I began the drive toward Scottsburg, IN.Pops laid and on the bed and slept a little while I was driving. When we got to thhe pickup, I took Chucky and Lucy outside while Pops went in to find out which dock we were to use. So far, so good. It wasn't going so bad. I fixed us a salad while Pops was helping to load the truck and get it secured.
When he came out he told me that he was almost ready to startdriving.
I drove back up to the interstate and then we pulled in to fuel the truck. Pops told me that when he went in to get the fuel slip he automatically went in the restroom. I guess that is a habit.
So now it is his turn to drive and he said that he feels pretty good. We have over 600 miles left to reach our destination of West Hazelton, PA. I think things are going to be fine. We all just adapt, adjust and keep on rolling. Life doesn't stop. Try to keep up.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Pops in the Hospital

This is Atrium Medical Center in Middletown, OH

Pops still not feeling well

This is Matt. He's a great guy. We are glad we met him and want to take him to dinner. (Get in touch with us, Matt.) Pops is being discharged.

Atrium Medical Center

Here it is Sunday. We have been here several days. Pops is ready to leave. I am ready to get going. I have been living in the parking lot, going out to start and warm up the truck every 5 or 6 hours. No one has said nything about me staying here.
The wonderful nursing staff has trained Pops in how he is going to have to live for. While with the catheter.he is looking much better and seems to feel a lot better too.
The staff here is fantastic. Pops has had some really great nurses and patient care technicians. He really liked Matt, Nicole, and Melissa, but everyone was great. The urologist, Dr. Miller came in and said he was the plumber and I wanted to make jokes bout his pants being pulled up too far among some others that came to mind. He referred us to someone he knows that is closer to our home.
I can't say that it has been fun, but I'm glad Pops is better.
We got a nice visit from Bob Stacy. He is a friend of ours on Facebook and is a Minister in the Middletown CC right here near the hospital. It was good of him to come and nice talking about all the people we knew in common.
We are waiting now for his IV to finish and then we are discharged.
I am so thankful for everyone who has called Pops and for everyone who sent him messages and words of encouragement.
A few days ago on Facebook I asked, "What is normal?" No one really could give me an answer. I wasn't surprized though because it seems that normal is a destination that we are forever chasing. Everyone wants to be there, but it it always one step away.
Well, we are ready to be chasing our normal again.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Sickness

Pops started out feeling a little better but it was short lived. His pain seemed to go away but he still was not able to urinate the way that you are supposed to. He did go a little at a time though so he wouldn't go back for more treatment. He didn't eat hardly anything and drank very little.
I was outside the truck with the dogs when a load opportunity came. He accepted the load. So we had to leave now. So I quickly got all the paperwork done and away I drove. Pops stayed laying down and didn't get up until we reached our pickup.
He did get up then and got the piece loaded.
Then I drove again. I drove out of New England and into Pennsylvania. Then it was his turn. I could tell that he was really sick but he did drive and I went right to sleep so that I could drive early if I needed to.
He did stop to rest a few times but basically kept moving. Then when I woke up the next morning, we were in Ohio so I finished out the drive to Cincinnati. We made our delivery and then went to a truckstop. He was really sick now. He had been sleeping really a lot and was very weak and dehydrated. So I talked to Shirley and then I drove him to the hospital.
It took awhile for them to get him into a room in the ER. But once they did things seemed to by quickly. A catheter was inserted and it drained him right away. Blood work was done and a urine sample collected.
The doctor came in then and told us that his kidneys weren't working like they should be. They were hoping that it was because of the backup of urine but they are not sure. They also think that it is actually a prostate problem too.
So they admitted him to a room and said they are keeping him at least over night and maybe 2-3 days.
I am so worried about him. I knew that he should have gone right back on Tuesday. I wish he wouldn't have waited but I guess his pain threshold is high.
So he is in Atrium Medical Center in Middletown, OH.
I am in the truck in the parking lot of the hospital right now. I hope they let me stay here. I want to go back in right away in the morning.
I am very concerned about our insurance. We have never had to use it. We got it right away when we took this job and paid a small fortune every month since. I sure hope it helps us. And I feel awful for even thinking about that right now.
Please pray for Bill. Please pray.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My Big Fear

Every since we started this job I have always wondered what would happen if one of us got really sick. Well, last night I had to deal with that exact thing.
I woke up and we were parked at a rest area only about 9 miles from our delivery destination. Pops had driven all night long again. That is 2 nights in a row with well over 600 miles for him. And he was tired and worn out.
I got up and made some coffee and then took the dogs outside. When I got back into the truck we drank our coffee and got caught up with all the happenings on Facebook. Then I did my morning devotions.
Pops decided to make some phone calls before he laid down. So he called a few people. After a little while he told me that he was going to go inside to the bathroom and just then his phone rang. It was someone returning his call. So he took the call. The phone call lasted about an hour.
When he got off the phone he tried to go to the bathroom and then told me that he couldn't go and that his abdomin hurt.
We drank another cup of coffee and he decided to go try again. I saw him walking and walking all around the sidewalks of the rest area.
When he got back into the truck he looked worried. He told me that he still could not go even though it felt like he had to and that the pain was getting pretty bad.
He drank a whole bottle of water and waited, then he went for another walk. Now he was in a lot of pain and the pain was in his back now as well.
He tried to lay down and rest but the pain kept him from getting comfortable. So he sat up in the front seat. Every so often he would go for another walk and another attempt at going to the bathroom. And nothing was happening.
I tried to talk him into going to a walk in clinic or to an emergency room but he didn't want to. So we waited it out.
I talked to all of our kids and everyone was concerned and wanted him to go.
He finally made a bargain with me that if he did not go to the bathroom by 7pm he would go to the emergency room.
When 7 oclock came he made one more attempt to go to the bathroom. I called all the kids and told them that we were going to the hospital. He was in the bathroom for more than 20 minutes and I was getting worried. I was about to get the attendant to go in after him, but then I saw him coming.
We drove 10 miles to the closest hospital. It was St. Joseph's hospital in Bangor, ME. We slowly walked into the ER. We were checked in right away and then told to go sit and wait.
We didn't have to wait long though. Then we went into another room to get an initial exam. His temp was good. His blood pressure was a little high, but always is when he gets a check up. Then we went from there to the financial desk to sign all the financial paperwork.
We have insurance but have never had to use it, so this is the test to see how good it is. I hope it is good. It is very pricey.
Anyway, from there we sat in the waiting room again. We were mildly amused watching an obnoxious family trying to get attention. It seems that no matter where you go, there is always one of those families. I try to be kind and patient, but I am forever amazed by way some people act in public.
After about 7 or 8 minutes which seems more like 30, we were taken back to a room. A nurse came in immediately and gave him a gown to wear. Then they rechecked all his vitals.
A few minutes later they did an ultrasound on his bladder. Soon a nurse came in and said that his bladder was holding about 900ccs of fluid. And that they would need to drain it.
They explained that his blockage was causing some of that urine to back up into his kidneys and that is why he was having so much back pain. The abdominal pain was because of the bladder being stretched so much. The ultrasound did not reveal what was causing the blockage.
Shortly after the ultrasound a catheter was inserted and immediately it filled up. Pops said he felt better right away. The pain in his back was gone and so was the abdominal pain.
The doctor was glad to hear that because he said that meant that the pain was just pressure and not something more serious.
Soon we found out from the lab that he did indeed have a bad infection. Antibiotics were prescribed and he was given 2 other options. #1, he could have the catheter removed and we could leave and hope the problem was solved. Or #2, he could leave the catheter in for 3 days, spend the night in the hospital and then come back in 3 days to have the catheter removed. Option 2 was the doctors preferred treatment. Pops chose #1. He wanted out.
I think he was worried about our delivery in the morning. I am sure that he did not want me to have to do it alone.
So the catheter was removed and we slowly walked out of the ER. He did look much better and was walking much better too.
When we got to the parking lot we noticed that someone was trying to get into our truck. It was the security guard. He said he thought we were in there sleeping. We explained that we were in the ER and he left us alone.
We drove from there to a nearby Walmart. It was closer than going back to the rest area and it was closer to our delivery too.
Once we got parked, I called everyone and left them know how Pops was doing and then I took the dogs out and we prepared for sleep. Pops had now been awake for about 30 hours.
He took his antibiotic and then he got ready for bed. But guess what? He couldn't pee. He tried to convince me and himself that it was because they had drained him completely at the hospital. I didn't buy it. So he drank some more fluids and tried to go again, no use. Oh no.
The hospital told him to return if he didn't go within 8-10 hours so instead of going right back he said he was going to wait until in the morning.
He could not lay down again because the pain in his back had returned. So he wanted pillows and the blanket and said he would sleep sitting up.
I did go to bed around midnight. I didn't wake up until 6am and he was awake. He looked in pain. He told me that he still couldn't go.
He wanted to make our delivery and then would decide what to do.
So we made the delivery which went very quickly and very well. Then we were given layover options of Boston or Manchester, NH. Pops wanted to go to Manchester and then decide what to do. So I drove us to Portsmouth, NH about 40 miles from Manchester and stopped at a Walmart that we shop at a lot when we are here.
I got his prescription filled and picked up a few groceries.
Pops had now started to urinate a little at a time. So he was hopeful but still in pain.
And little by little all day long he did gradually go. He is still uncomfortable though.
Our truck owner, Shirley has been calling me all along. She called us as soon as we got here and told me to take our truck out of service and let him rest a little. So that is what I did.
We are now sitting at our favorite New Hampshire rest area. We are out of service until 6am. Pops is resting and is dozing off once in a while.
I am very thankful for all the kinds words, phone calls, encouragement and prayers. We have so many people that care about us and that is truely a blessing.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Random Pictures








































Back at it

Starla was the only one at home when we left there. We hugged her goodbye and took off. We had to drive to Washington, WV to pickup our load. I began the drive. It was in the late part of the afternoon but I figured I would drive until we got to our pickup. We had to stop in Grantsville for fuel.
By the time we got fueled up Bill was home with Starla.
Pops tried to sleep a little while I drove but it is always hard to get back to a routine. He did manage to get a little though.
We got to our pickup and the dogs were just now settling down their nerves.
They had really enjoyed their time at home this time. Chucky is feeling much better. Both of them has lost weight and they were gettting a lot of exercise. I really need to try to do better with them. I have to stop giving them people food and try to get them moving more. I am not ready to say goodbye to Chucky just yet.
So after we got loaded Pops began to drive. I called home and talked to Bill and Starla for a bit then I went to bed.
I woke up as we were coming into Nashville. Pops drove us through there while I made myself some coffee. He stopped at a rest area on the other side of Nashville and I began to drive. He stayed awake for awhile and then laid down to sleep.
The day was pretty uneventful and I know the roads well. Traffic was very light and none of the weigh stations were open because of it being Thanksgiving Day. So I just cruised along. I drove us through Dallas and stopped on the other side at a rest area. Pops started driving at that point and he drove us to a rest area about an hour or so away from Laredo. We stayed there for the night and then the next morning early he drove us to our drop off.
It was really busy at our destination and that surprized me. There was a lot of stuff being picked up and delivered. We had to wait in a line of trucks until it was our turn.
Then we drove back up toward San Antonio but stopped for a short time at a rest area for Pops to take a nap. Then we drove to SA to a truckstop and got showered.
Tate and Shirley said that they were picking us up and then we were picking up another one of their driver teams and we were all going out to dinner. I am always nervous meeting new people. I guess that goes back to my younger days when I was so shy and backward. But once they got into the car, I was fine and we all chatted as if we'd known each other forever.
Tate took us to a Catfish place called Clearwater Fish House. I think all of us ordered the catfish and it was so good. Tate and Shirley had taken us there once before. It is an old cotton mill turned into a restuarant and they have all kinds of interesting and unusual antiques hanging on the walls and on shelves. The tables are wooden and rustic and so are the walls and floors. It is really a neat place.
After that Tate and Shirley dropped Jeff and Sandra back to their truck and us back to ours. We will see them again tomorrow.
Pops was going to Tate's ranch in the morning. He was going to hunt deer.
As we drove up their driveway in the morning Pops saw a big turkey gobbler and then when we parked in the driveway we saw a deer run across the field.
So Pops hunted, Shirley and I went to town and Tate hung out at the ranch tinkering with his trucks.
Shirley and I had bought some stuff for supper and a big cake too. So we had a good supper. After supper we visited for awhile and then we went out to the truck.
The next morning Pops and I used Shirley's car to go to church. We had gone to this church once before and we liked it here. Everyone is so friendly and we made new friends this time as well. It is called Life Bridge Christian church.
The evangelist there is Robin Thompson. He speaks in such a way that is so easy to follow. He is in the middle of a sermon series.
After services we went back to the ranch.
Shortly after we got back Shirley and I took off. We wanted to go to the flea market. We had talked about doing it so many times but it never seemed to work out, this time though we were going. And we had a really good day just wondering around looking at everything.
When we got back to the house, Shirley used the leftover chicken from yesterday and we had chicken salad and ham salad and of course the cake too. And then Pops spent the evening taking his gun for a walk.
It is always so nice to be here. I just love visiting with them and I am loving Texas more and more. Lucy was having a good visit too, but Chucky got a sand burr in his foot as soon as we got here so now he didn't want to even get out of the truck. Oh well, not everyone loves Texas I guess.
We hadn't had any load offers and figured that it was because of the holiday. But Monday came and we still weren't getting any. Pops hunted again a little bit and Shirley and I went into town again to check her mail and pick up some things.
When we got back I found out that Pops was negotiating a load to California. Our company wanted to pay us to drive clear out there with no load and then pickup an explosive load, drive it 200 miles and deliver it. Then they were giving us a return trip picking up in Las Vegas and going clear to Bangor, Maine.
Once I looked it all over and figured it all out, it really was paying pretty good and there was a lot of spare time built in so we wouldn't have to rush. So we accepted the load but that meant we had to leave right away. So we said our goodbyes to Tate and Shirley and off we went.
Pops drove all night. I drove all the next day. Then Pops drove some more and then we slept. We got up early Wednesday morning and went to pick up our load.
Hauling explosives in the state of California is a whole lot more tedious than anywhere else. CA has so many regulations and inspection stations. We were both so worked up and nervous, but we met a really nice Fedex couple that specializes in hauling these explosive loads and they helped us out so much. We were very fortunate to meet them.
Once loaded we drove away from Los Angeles and headed toward Baja, CA. We figured it would take us about 3 hours but we weren't taking into account the CA freeway traffic. So it took a lot longer.
It was a really nice drive though. And once we got off the freeway it was even better. I drove while Pops tried to get some sleep. I passed by what looked like water. I knew that we were in the desert area so I didn't know if it was a mirage or not. The water just went on and on. I finally spotted signs stating that it was the Salton Sea. Hmmmm, imagine a sea in the desert.
We got a little confused with our directions and after making some wrong turns and then getting corrected we found our destination. It was at a hidden place on a military base. As a matter of fact our gate looked like a school bus shed on the edge of an airport runway. But we got escorted to a building and got unloaded.
Now we were deadheading to Las Vegas for our Friday morning pickup. That means that tomorrow is a day off for us and we can take our time and enjoy the ride. We decided to drive back to the interstate and then sleep and then have the whole next day to drive up through the mountains and enjoy the scenery. But I sure wish we would have slept there because I think we missed seeing some great stuff as we drove by in the dark.
We drove by a place called Imperial Sand Dunes. Many businesses were selling passes for Glamis. I looked it up on the internet and found out that it was a large recreational area where many people bring their atvs to ride.
It was a full moon and we could see some of these sand dunes. They were huge. Some of them were bigger than houses. And they seemed to go on for miles and miles. It sure was something.
When we got up the next day. I was driving. We were on a smaller road. It was a good road but not an interstate. The scenery was very pretty and it was a nice, slow enjoyable drive. We got up to Las Vegas in the late afternoon. We found a good parking place at the TA truckstop right in Las Vegas. I thought it would get loud but it never did.
We got up the next morning and made our pickup. It is Friday morning and we have 3335 miles to our destination on Tuesday. It is a long, long way but we don't have to hurry. And our route is taking us across RT 40 instead of Rt 70 so it would/should be much easier of a drive too.
After only about 15 minutes into the drive I realized that we were going to be crossing the Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge right at the Hoover Dam. This made me so excited that I could hardly stand it. I had wanted to go there so badly but found out that commercial vehicles weren't permitted there unless they were traveling through. Now we were traveling through.
But it was a bridge, a really big bridge and it was windy. The kind of wind that they actually had warning signs telling high profile vehicles to avoid the area. So, ok, I am excited to be here but scared that I might die here. haha
It really was exciting to cross. We didn't get to see it as well as I would've liked but I was kind of busy holding the truck onto the roadway.
Pops slept while I drove and then I slept while he drove and we made our way across the whole United States. It got colder and colder the further we traveled. But finally after a long couple of days and many many miles here we sit at a rest area near Bangor, Maine. We had the whole day off so we are resting up. I am trying to get caught up on some things and Pops isn't feeling well. I think he has a bladder infection. I hope that's all it is. Please pray for him.
Also we got some sad news that a good friend, Gyneth Bennett passed away today. Her husband Ray is a traveling Evangleist and together they spent many mailes all over the US spreading the word of God. Keep Ray in your prayers as he is feeling the loss of his life partner.

Vacation pt. 3

Ugh!, I could not sleep last night at all. I don't know what the deal was but sleep would not come to me. So I sat awake downstairs and watched TV for most of the night.
After awhile I did dose and then when I woke up I made some more fudge. Starla has been taking orders and selling it again and she needed a couple more pounds to fill some orders.
We just kind of dwindled the day away for the most part.
In the late afternoon, we drove over and picked up Allison and Hunter. We were driving them to Ohio to meet up with Pops and Bill. Ohio was having their Youth Hunt this weekend and those two wanted to go. Kailey wanted to go too but she made the basketball team and they were having practice so she couldn't go.
It was a long 3 hour drive but we passed the time by chatting with kids and getting caught up on all their school and sporting adventures.
We met Pops and Bill at a Pilot truckstop and unloaded my car of hunting equipment into Pops' truck and said hello and goodbye to everyone and soon Starla and I were making the long drive back home. After about an hour we got a phone call from Bill. We had forgotten to give them shells for the guns. We pulled over along the road and sure enough they were still in my trunk, so we had to turn around and go back. Oh boy, everybody was grouchy about this. But whatever, that's the way it is. So we met back up with Bill who came alone and gave him the shells and once again Starla and I were headed for a long drive home.
We got home about 2am.
Needless to say not too much took place on Saturday.
On Sunday, when I got up I saw a note that Starla had left for me that she was driving seperately because she needed to meet someone for a fudge delivery. I heard her go out the door and then I heard her try and try to start her car but it wasn't starting. So I got ready quickly and decided I would drive her to her fudge meeting.
I hurried out to start my car while I finished getting ready. There was a heavy frost so I cranked up the defroster too. As I put my things on the backseat and shut the door, I heard a click. Oh no, I had locked my keys inside my running car.
So, I ran over to our truck because I was sure I had an extra key there, but I couldn't find one. I ran up to my bedroom and looked all around there, but no key. I looked everywhere I could think to look but could not find my spare key. So the only thing I could do was call a locksmith. I called every one of them from the Cumberland phone book and none of them could come. I called one in the Somerset County book and he said he would come right away. So 1/2 hour and $100 later we were on our way to church. Oh well, better late than never. We made it in time for the worship service.
We left right after church though because my niece, Kacey and nephew Levi were coming to visit and my son, Tom was coming too.
We had a really nice day visiting with all of them and watching the Steelers play the Ravens on TV. We are a family of mixed fans. Some Steelers and the rest Ravens fans. It is always interesting to watch them play. Our son, Drew and his girlfriend, Shelbie were in Pittsburgh at the game today.
And today the Ravens won.
In all the franchise history of these two teams every game but one has been decided by 4 points or fewer. It is always a good rivalry and good game to watch.
The game did go into overtime so it was late when everyone went home.
I loved getting to see Levi and Kacey. It is so hard to get to see people since I started this job and even harder to see everyone in the short period of time that I am home. So I like it when they come to the house to see me.
Even later that night, the guys came home from Ohio and carried all there stuff into the house.
Tomorrow is going to be our Thanksgiving day. Because that is the only day that all of us can be here at once.
Pops and I got up early on Monday morning and I got the turkey going in the oven. Then we had to take off to Cumberland to get some stuff done to Pops' new truck. Bill P. had to go to work and the boys were coming up this evening for our meal.
We dropped the truck off at the garage and then we took my car up to get Pops' new phone. He had decided to go with the Iphone like mine but neither of the places at the mall at the Iphone 5. So we asked questions and he decided to go with the Iphone 4. It is a little smaller and heavier but that is about the only differences, at least that is what we were told.
So we got him activated and bought him a rugged case and then back to the garage because the truck was done.
I finished cooking our meal and then everyone showed up. Shelbie was sporting a Ravens jersey! What?!? I know that she is a dedicated Steeler fan. But she and Drew had made a bet that if the Ravens won she would wear a Ravens jersey to our Thanksgiving dinner and if the Steelers had won Drew would have had to wear a Steeler jersey to their Thanksgiving dinner at her home. Well we couldn't let her get away without a few pictures posted directly to Facebook. Sorry, Shelbs.
I love my family and as the evening got later, we had to tell them goodbye. Now I wouldn't see them again until Christmas.
Tuesday morning Pops and I got up early because we were now in service with our job. And so we waited and waited for load opportunities to come. And when they did they were ridiculous. They weren't paying more than $1 per mile and we don't run for that.
We figured if we were having to go out on a holiday week and work we better get offered better than that. So we kept waiting and couldn't leave the house to go anywhere because of being on call.
It was a long frustrating day.
Finally on Wednesday a load came that we were interested in. It was picking up in Washington, WV and going to Laredo, TX.

Vacation pt.2

Tuesday morning Starla and I got up early and drove to Berlin. We were meeting my sister, Amy there. After picking her up we were driving to Strasburg, PA to a big theater there called, Sight and Sound.
Sight and Sound does about 3 shows a year in big theater fashion. The shows always have a biblical story. The first time I was ever there was a bus trip I took with my mom many years ago. We went to see the production of Noah. It was fabulous. We had such a good time and its a memory I will always have.
I have seen most of all the shows that they have done there with the exception of In the Beginning and Joseph. I want to see both of those yet and hope someday I will.
But this day the three of us were going to see Jonah.
We stopped in Bedford for gas and to grab a quick bite to eat in the car. Then we got moving. It is about a 3 hour drive to Strasburg.
We did get there a little early so we stopped at an outlet mall and shopped for a while.
Then we went to the show. Oh my, we had great seats, right in the center and only 4 rows back. It was awesome. The production was grand as always and we really enjoyed the show.
Afterwards we stopped and got some supper and then we were back on the road. I love getting to spend time with my sister. We used to get together at least once a week and spend the whole day together, but then we both got jobs and couldn't do that anymore and then our lives just got busier and busier and we didn't get to see each other much at all. And now with me in this job, our times together are rare but are always special. I love my sister so much.
It seems like I never get to see my brother either. I love him and his family just as much but it seems like we can't ever seem to line up our schedules.
It was late in the evening when we got back to Amys car. I gave her a big squeeze and hug because I didn't know if I would see her again before we left. It is so hard to say goodbye.
Then Starla and I drove back to the house.
The dogs have been neglected. I felt badly for them. They have been spending long hours lately at home with no human contact. So I was sure to allow them all to come and sit with me on the loveseat for the evening.
I was really tired after 2 very long days but I had made arrangements to meet my son, Tom for coffee in Cumberland when he got off work at 11. I was looking forward to one on one time with him.
We drank way too much coffee and talked for several hours. Finally I was just too tired so I had to go home. I really miss my kids so much. I miss this kind of thing with them, just the "hanging out" and stuff.
Wednesday morning was non existant for me. I didn't wake up until afternoon. Then I went with Starla to a couple of her doctor appointments. When I sleep like that, it really messes with my sense of reality and things and times seem strange and unfocused.
After going to the Dr appointments I went to the AT&T place and updated my phone. I really like my Blackberry phone and it takes awesome pictures, but it was time to renew our contract which allows us to upgrade our phone so I got an Iphone 5. Well I actually owned 2 brand new Iphones that day. The first one I got was activated and tried out. It didn't work. So they had to deactivate it and then Activate the only other Iphone they had in the store. It worked fine.
I was content with the Iphone because I have an Ipod and an Ipad and I am very familiar with how these products work. So I didn't feel like I had to "learn" a new phone.
Pops was planning on getting his upgraded phone as soon as he gets back. He is still undecided as to what he is getting.
After we left the store Starla and I went over to the Chinese restuarant for supper. And then we went home. Yay, I am so tired and worn out.
Thursday was going to be kind of a quiet day. I spent the morning making fudge. I made 4 or 5 batches. And then I got busy cleaning our truck and making the bed and restocking our winter clothes and supplies.
Later in the afternoon we drove over to St. Paul to visit with a good friend, Elizabeth Housel. She has really been a good friend to Starla lately and a huge encouragement to me. I love getting her messages of inspiration and good words. She has such a kind and gentle spirit.
She invited us over for tea. She showed us around her lovely home and we took some pictures. Then she served us tea, Pears that she had canned herself and homemade cinnamon rolls.
We really enjoyed our visit with her.
After that we went back home and had a quiet evening.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Pictures

I have many pictures I would like to post but since I have switched to Apple products I am having trouble figuring it all out. I guess I will have to go back to my computer to put those on, but first now then is getting them to my old computer. Technology is so great if you know how to use it.

Vacation

Well Pops and I ae now back to work after having 15 days off for vacation. He and my son in law Bill went to Ohio for a hunting trip and Starla and I had a jam packed 2 weeks of girl time. I don't want to bore you with too many details so I will try to be brief as I tell you how we spent our days.
Pops and I got home Wednesday afternoon. We were pretty close after we delivered in Kearneysville, WV so we headed home right away.
Pops and I had talked about trading his pickup truck in for a brand new one. Our logic in this thinking was, it is almost paid off and still has fairly low miles, but we are retiring in 3 years and Pops will not ever get another new truck if we don't do it now. So he, Starla and I went to Somerset for some new tires.
We hated to buy new tires but the ones that were on were in really bad shape so we decided to replace 2 of them. But when we got to the tire place we were offered a set of 4 used tires for a fraction of what I was going to spend on 2 new ones. So we took the used ones.
After that we drove directly to a Chevy dealer in Somerset and Pops shopped the trucks. He did find one that he liked and a deal was worked up. However Pops doesn't shop like that without comparing so we took the figures and left the dealership.
When we got home we ate some supper and visited with Bill P. for awhile before everyone went to bed.
Pops and I got up early the next morning and drove to Cumberland, MD. I needed to get some groceries and Pops and I also stopped at a Chevy dealership down there. Well, 5 hours and 4 deals on paper later we did leave the dealership with a brand new chevy silverado. We got a good deal. Pops seemed pretty happy with his new truck.
When we got back to the house I got busy preparing food and Pops gathered his hunting things together. He and Bill were planning to leave tonight sometime.
After supper the guys went to bed and Starla and I sat up watching movies. The guys got up and left the house by 2am. Girl time will now begin. Well, after we get some sleep girl time will begin.
On Friday girl time didn't seem like so much fun. We cleaned the entire house putting away every trace of man stuff. Then we went shopping. I wanted and needed to get some Christmas shopping done while we were home and I wanted to get stuff to make fudge too.
After getting all of our shopping done and carried to the car we stopped at Applebees for supper. Then back to the house for the evening.
Saturday was used mostly for just relaxing and hanging out. I got to catch up on several tv shows that Starla had recorded for me.
On Saturday evening it was game night at the church building. Wills Mt. has several game nights throughout the year and I really like this one in November because it is usually the only one that I get to go to. We had such a good time too. The kids and the adults played some really fun games and of course there is always good food. I had a great time.
Sunday morning Starla and I got up early so that I could attend the Ladies early Bible study at the church. After that was Sunday school and then church. Drew and Shelbie came to church today. It was so good to see them. I really like Shelbie. I think she brings the best out of Drew.
I stayed for the fellowship lunch after the services but then quickly ran home to let the dogs out for awhile.
Then I went back down to the church building because Shelbie was getting baptized today and Drew was baptizing her. I knew that this was going to be special for both of them.
Her mom and grandparents were there when I got back and it was nice meeting them. Drew was nervous but he did do a good job and now I have a new sister in Christ. Congratulations, Shelbie.
Starla and I stuck around after this because there was going to be a church financial meeting and then evening church.
Jeff came to church tonight. It was good to see him. I miss seeing him. His health hasn't been real good lately so I was glad to see him there.
When Monday came I was really excited. Last year my boys and Starla and I traveled to DC for a first time visit and enjoyed a fun time. This year we decided to go to Gettysburg. Starla and I had spent the last 2 evening at home watching the Gettysburg movie because I wanted a little background as we toured the area. And once there, I was really glad that we had done that.
We stopped for breakfast first in Cumberland then headed to Gettysburg. The day was warm and sunny and it was a really nice time. I think that all of us enjoyed it. We did the auto tour and stopped at many of the memorials along the way. Then we went into the visitors center for a little while. After we left Gettysburg we stopped for supper at Shoneys in Hagerstown. Then we decided to go see a movie before calling the end to our day. We looked to see what was playing and a Denzel Washington movie called Flight and a catoon movie called Wreck it Ralph were the 2 we settled on. We flipped a coin to choose between the two and Wreck it Ralkph won the toss.
I could not believe 4 full grown adults were sitting in a theater watching a cartoon movie and it seemed a little odd at first but then the movie actually got good and we had a good time.
Then Starla and I headed home after dropping the boys off at their house. It was a long tiring day and tomorrow is going to be another one. We have plans with my sister, Amy.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Military load

The next morning after breakfast and taking the dogs out, we drove the 9 miles to the military base. We didn't have to do anything at the gate because we have been here so many times, they know us and we know what to do. So we basically drove right through the gate and to the building that we load from.
We were only hauling 2 pallets so it didn't take Pops long to get it secured in the truck. By the time I had the paperwork signed and done he was done also.
We had both slept pretty well all night long so as I started the drive, Pops sat up and chatted with me and played on his Ipad. I drove us back southeast through Wisconsin and into Illinois. Pops then went to take a nap so that he could drive during the night. Although we figured we would get there around 2:30am if we drove straight through. But we couldn't get there early and we couldn't stop for more than an hour at a time with this particular load. So I drove and only took 2 breaks which meant that Pops would drive, take an hour break, drive some more, stop for an hour and repeat until it was time for our delivery.
Anyway, I drove until we were almost at the Ohio line and then he started to drive.
He drove until near Pittsburgh and thats where he took his first hour break. We both laid down and slept. When he got up he didn't wake me. I kind of remember him getting back into bed at one point but not really.
It turns out that he stopped at one point for fuel and lingered there awhile and then somewhere near Winchester, VA he did get into bed for another hour.
He called my name and woke me up when we were 15 miles away. Usually we both have to be awake at the gate. But this time I wouldn't have had to be. It was a Reserve unit and there was no security at all. We drove straight to the building and around back to the dock.
There was a young man there that was very excited to receive our load. He told Pops that today was his day off but he decided to come in and good thing he did because there was no one else there. So he and Pops unloaded the truck and we headed to Alexandria, VA for layover.
I was driving now and we were on a rural road. Pops was in the passenger seat. I looked over to the right into a field and there stood 2 eagles. They were closer than I've ever been to one, right along the road. They were huge. Pops and I both saw them and wished that we could've stopped and taken pictures but we had traffic behind us and there was no where to pull over. Oh well, that's the way it goes.
We got to the rest area near Alexandria and settled in for layover. We were offered many loads that were going into the storm damaged areas. We declined all of those.
Finally around 5pm we got a load that picks up in the morning near Dulles airport and is going only 50 miles away but it gets us less than 100 miles from home. And after that we are heading home for vacation!!!!
I can't wait to get home. I can't wait to see my kids. I can't wait to see my friends. I can't wait to get home.
But in the meantime, today is Election Day. Pops and I had already voted by absentee ballots. So we are listening to all of this on the radio just like most people I suppose.
Oh, I can't wait to get home!

Wisconsin Weekend

Pops drove us on to Illinois to our delivery. When I woke up he was not in the truck and we were backed into a dock. Someone was knocking on the door. I got up and looked and there was a young man. He told me that the truck was empty and I could go ahead and move it across the lot. So, ok, where is Pops?
I looked for his phone in the pouch beside the door and it wasn't there so I guessed he took it with him. Thank goodness. I called and he answered. "We are empty." I told him, so within a few minutes he came across the lot to the truck and we waited to see where Fedex was going to send us for our layover.
It took a few minutes but finally we were headed north toward Wisconsin for layover. We figured we would probably get a military load from Ft McCoy. We usually do when anywhere near there.
Pops was very sleepy so we stopped before we even got out of Illinois and checked into a truckstop. And slept. When I woke up I tried to be quiet so Pops could get some more sleep, which he needed. I went inside the truckstop which turned out to be a really nice one. They had everything including a hair salon, phone store and several other stores, a movie theater, a game room, and several restuarants. I wasted some time and money in there.
When I got out to the truck I read my book and played games on my Ipad. Then when Pops woke up we took the truck and got it washed and then decided to drive to Madison, WI. We found a church there that we were going to attend the next day.
During our drive we did get a load offer picking up at Ft. McCoy on Monday and it was going to Virginia to a Reserve Base. Monday is my birthday and since when you are doing a military load you cannot stop and leave the truck Pops decided to take me to eat today or tomorrow after church. I wanted to go to the movies too.
We decided to do all that tomorrow after church so after driving to Madison we got our showers and then just relaxed for the evening.
The next morning we drove to the church. It had a nice parking lot and parking was easy for us. We got out and went inside. We barely made it 2 steps inside the door before we were greeted warmly by a swarm of ladies. They were so kind and gracious. They showed us where to go to worship.
Worship service started with lots of singing. They sang many songs and all of the verses to each. The singing was awesome. There are some really good singers in that church for sure. Then a man named Terry gave the sermon after communion. The regular preacher there was not there today. He was attending an ordination service. Terry did a good sermon on "The cost of discipleship." It was a really good sermon.
After worship they have Sunday School and what they do in the adult class is discuss the sermon in more detail with the opportunity for people to ask questions and discuss. It was a good discussion with almost everyone participating.
They were having a dinner after services. It was a memorial dinner for a deceased member. We were invited to stay, but we really already had other plans in mind. So we said our goodbyes and left.
We were going to drive up to Sparta and stay the night then we would be there in the morning so we looked for an Olive Garden restuarant along the route. But of course we couldn't find one without going 30 miles out of route. So we just decided on a chinese place in Tomah. And naturally the theater there wasn't showing the movie that I wanted to see either so that was that. But the chinese place turned out to be really good and good priced too. We slept in the Walmart parking lot. We are 9 miles from Ft. McCoy.

Kansas to Massachusetts.

Once we got a load leaving Nebraska, we had to head to Kansas to pick it up. We had to drive about 4 hours to reach our pick up, so I was driving. It was mostly rural two lane roads, so it took longer than usual to drive there.
We reached our destination about 10pm. A man met us there and he was the person who was going to load our truck. It didn't take long for he and Pops to get the product onto the truck. While they did that I made a pot of coffee and filled the thermos for Pops. He was going to be driving now. I also took the dogs out and then rustled up some food for Pops too.
I stayed awake until we got through Kansas City, MO. It is awesome to drive through Kansas City at night time. It seems as if you are driving under the city. There are a lot of streets that cross over the interstate and they are all right in the city and close together.
Once we were through there I went to bed.
I drove the next day and it was now after Hurricane Sandy had destroyed the east coast. So as I drove across northern PA and into NY it was raining and it was cold. A lot of WV had received a lot of snow from the same storm. But we didn't see any of that.
Pops took over driving again and drove us to our destination in Massachusetts. It was around 2:30am so I was sleeping and didn't even hardly realize we were there. Then he drove us to a rest area to sleep.
We had a predispatch that was picking up in Nashua, New Hampshire the next day and then it was going to Dover, AFB. So after we slept for a little while we drove up to the rest area just inside the New Hampshire line. We often stay here and it is a good place for the dogs. We stopped at a Walmart for a couple of items before we got to the rest area.
We spent a quiet day at the rest area and then the next morning we made our pickup at Nashua. We were hauling a load of explosives and our company sent us some hazmat re routes. I was a little concerned that we might have trouble getting through the New York and New Jersey areas because of the storms. So Pops and Fedex were on the phone going over all of our options. It turned out that we were not allowed to go through that area at all with our load so we were turned around and sent back to our shipper. We had already driven to Hartford, CT. But we turned around and in less than 2 hours we were back at the shipper. Oh well, we were compensated but I sure hated losing that good paying load.
After unloading the freight back to the shipper we drove back the favored rest area and settled in for another layover.
But we didn't get to relax too long. We got another load offer that night. It was picking up the next morning in Vermont and going to Illinois. It was about a 4 hour drive through New Hampshire and Vermont to reach our destination so Pops decided to drive part way during the night and get closer and then sleep. So We drove until we only had about 20 miles to our place of pickup. Then we slept until morning.
The next morning I took the dogs out while the coffee was brewing. We weren't out long though because it was still raining, really hard and it was cold.
When we got to our pickup we were delayed a little while. So I fixed us some breakfast and in the meantime it quit raining.
I was going to be driving the first part of this trip and I was glad that it had quit raining. We had about 4 hours of rural roads and small towns until we would reach the interstate. It is a very beautiful, scenic drive though, so it is hard to dislike it. But it does seem so very long. And Lucy was getting restless and needed to go outside.
I was trying to wait until we reached the interstate where I knew there was a nice rest area and she could run free of the leash. She made it but I think she was about to let loose on the floor.
At the rest area I tried to make myself something to eat and another cup of coffee without waking Pops. That is not easy to do though because he is such a light sleeper. He did wake up but only briefly.
After a little while and a quick phone call to the house I got rolling again. I was so glad to finally reach the interstate but it was short lived. For some reason Gypsy changed and decided to send me off the interstate onto a non toll road. It was going to be slower and rougher roads and also add an extra hour travel time to the trip but it would save quite a bit on tolls. But after already driving 4 hours of rural roads, this route didn't make me happy. But I did it.
After about 3 hours I stopped at another rest area. I needed to stretch my legs and take the dogs out. Then right back to driving. After about another hour Pops woke up and talked to me until we came to another rest area. Then he was going to drive. We were almost to Erie, PA.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

oh Romeoville

On Monday morning many loads started being offered to us. We saw that most of them had a pickup location of Romeoville, IL. Well, it being Monday we knew what Romeoville had to offer...LG appliances. Every Monday many loads of appliances leave this location and go all over. It is a pretty easy but time consuming procedure and the pay isn't ever very good. However every once in a while they will pay more on one of these loads depending on who knows what.
We were fortunate enough to get a who knows what load from Romeoville today. It was going to Nebraska, Omaha to be precise.
So we drove south to Romeoville and waited our turn to be loaded. There were already about 14 trucks in the dock and it was 4pm so I know that most of the loads were already out of there.
LG has several locations that we have shipped appliances from. Some of those locations are in Texas, Alabama, New Jersey, and Georgia. It is always the same procedure no matter the location. Hurry to get there for your appointment(which means nothing), wait in line, back into dock, sit in waiting room while truck is loaded, wait for guard to seal your truck, go. It usually takes hours. And like I said normally the pay stinks. I don't know why anyone would do these loads for the normally low pay, but as I mentioned before we got a higher paying one. I think because it was going to Nebraska and no one likes to go there because you may sit there 2-3 days to get a load back out.
We got loaded, sealed and away we went. I was driving first and I drove us into Iowa to the Iowa80 truckstop. Then we switched over and Pops drove. I looked at facebook, done the dishes and then went to bed.
Pops did get some rest because we had an appointment to deliver at 2pm. I was driving again the next day and we got there a little around noon. They were waiting for our load and took it off right away. I don't understand appointments. Some times we don't have them and really need one and other times we have them and can show up whenever to be loaded or unloaded. Military appointments seldom mean anything. Strange.
So after that we drove to a truckstop that was past Omaha headed toward Lincoln. And we found a good spot since it was the middle of the day. We parked and got settled in and figured that we might be here awhile, at least until tomorrow.
I went inside to buy some postcards. Since my dad passed away I have decided to continue with the sending of the postcard tradition to my brother, Jim; my sister, Amy; and my grand-son, Zachary. So I try to pick up 3 postcards at each state that we go to. I have not yet completed my dad's set which now belongs to my daughter, Starla. Pops and I haven't made it to Montana yet. And I missed getting Rhode Island and North Carolina. Although North Carolina is proofing to be quite tough. We have stopped at many locations there and can't seem to find postcards. So when I do find them in that state, I need to get 5 for Jim, Amy, Zachary, Starla and my own book.
Our book has many that the others don't have because I have some from each of the Great Lakes and several cities and various locations that we have visited along our travels. It is always so nice to get them out and page through and "remember."
We have been following the news closely trying to hear what is going on with the big storm that is hitting the east coast, particularly New Jersey and New York. It is really sounding bad. I'm glad that we can't see pictures or videos.
We didn't wait long until we got a load offer. It was picking up in Kansas and going to Massachusetts. We did check the weather and the route for our destination and decided it would be okay to go there so we accepted the load. And once again we were on our way. We didn't even have to sit for 3 hours.
I would drive us to our pickup because it was about 5 hours away and Pops had only gotten a little sleep. So he layed down and I drove.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Toronto

Pops began the drive out of Florida. I stayed awake for a little while and listened to the radio with him. And then I went to bed.
When I woke up we were still in Florida but about to cross into Georgia. We stopped at the rest area and I made some coffee and took the dogs for a walk. We were getting in lots of walks but I know that sometimes we are so rushed they get out much and also winter is coming and they won't want out too much. It wasn't raining now and it was sunny. It is hard to believe that a big storm is coming. They named the hurricane now, Sandy.
After we left the rest area, Pops drove us to a Walmart so I could get some things. It really seems like I shop a lot but we don't have a lot of storage so I do shop more than if I could store better. We do always eat well though. I always have at least one good homemade soup in the refrigerator and we usually always have a pretty decent breakfast. And we have to have fresh bananas for Pops and apples for me. And of course dog food and gallons and gallons of water for cooking and coffee.
After I got our stuff put away and took the dogs out again, we got moving. This time I was driving and Pops looked at his facebook for awhile then he went to bed.
I listened to a book on CD as I drove the trip today. I was bored with storm coverage and election coverage so the story on CD was a nice change. It consisted of 5 CDS and all total would take a little over 6 hours to hear.
I was driving through Georgia and then into South Carolina, then North Carolina and into Virginia. I try to drive most of my driving without too many breaks so that if we have any built in time in our trips Pops can stop during the night to rest if he needs to. He usually drives longer hours than I do so sometimes he does need to stop if we have time. I only took 2 real short breaks while driving today. The book was a good one and helped make the day faster. I did stop it a couple of times to listen to where the storm was now and find out how bad it was. It was in Ft. Lauderdale, just north of Miami and causing some flooding and beach erosion to the areas we had just visited. Oh boy!
By the time I stopped at Wytheville, VA to get fuel I still had part of the last CD to listen to, but Pops began his driving so the story would have to wait.
We finished up the vegetable soup(Pops) and the beef barley soup(me.) I took the dogs out. Pops fueled the truck and then we were on our way again.
I stayed awake for a while. I talked to Bill and Starla on the phone and then once we were across the horrible bridge at Beckley, WV. I laid down to go to sleep.
Then next thing I remember was Pops calling my name. He said we were only 14 miles from theCanadian  border. So I got up and got dressed. Then I got into the front seat and got our paperwork and passports ready for the customs officer. We got through without any trouble at all.
Then I went back to sleep. I woke up again as we were at our delivery. We were inside of a building backed into a dock. I could feel the truck shaking and a lot of noise. It didn't take long to get the load off. It was only 3 pallets of mail that we brought up from Florida.
So then Pops and I planned what we were going to do now. We were going to deadhead back out of Canada to Buffalo, NY. We usually do pretty well from that location, although it is Saturday.
It was raining hard here and it was cold too. The dogs didn't even want to get out of the truck this time. But they did and then right back inside.
I was driving and it was miserable to drive the 100 miles back to the US in this rain. But traffic wasn't too bad and I liked this drive along Lake Ontario anyway. The lake looked really cold and choppy.
It took almost 2 hours to get to the border and we pulled off in the parking lot of the exchange building just before the bridge. I took the dogs out and while I had them out we got a load offer. It was picking up in Buffalo right away and going to Green Bay, WI by 6am tomorrow morning. We accepted and got the load.
We drove to our pickup. It was a place we had been before. It is a publishing place so we thought we would probably be hauling books or printed paper, but we were actually hauling ink. Three big totes of ink.
They were glad that we were available to do this today. And even more excited to hear that we would have the product to our destination by tomorrow morning.
So Pops tried to sleep while I drove us the rest of the way across NY, through PA and Ohio. It did continue to rain all day. As I was driving through Cleveland I saw that Lake Erie, too was real choppy and at one place the waves were actually throwing water up onto Interstate 90.
I finished listening to my book on CD and then listened to the radio. We have several channels that we like and have them set so we can go back and forth through them easily.
I drove until we reached a truckstop near Ft. Wayne, Indiana. We stopped for fuel and I decided rather than cook, I would go inside and get us food from Wendy's. I got us each a burger called, Son of Baconator and some chili cheese fries. It was fabulous. Of course, as someone from facebook told me, bacon makes everything better. I agree.
Not long after that I went to bed. And Pops drove us the rest of the way to Green Bay.
I woke up as we were at our delivery. It was 3:45am. Ugh! I'm glad he made it early but I did not want to be up yet. When he got back into the truck and we pulled away, I stayed awake and talked for a little while then I went back to sleep.
In a little while I remember hearing him say, I'm going to sleep for an hour. I think he got into bed, but I don't remember. The next thing I remember we were rolling down the highway and we were almost to Milwaukee.
I got up and sat and talked to him until we reached the truckstop at Racine. This is where we will spend our layover. We need to get an oil change for our truck. And I need to do some laundry. We will have to have our own church too.
Another good week. I really like this job. I am so fortunate to get to do what I like doing with the person I would most want to do it with.
Pray for us. And pray for all those in the pathway of Hurricane Sandy. They are now calling her, the Frankenstorm, the perfect storm, the storm of decades. Oh boy! God have mercy.

Slow Start

After Church on Sunday morning Pops and I went to Lowes and purchased some things we needed and then drove back to the rest area that we like.
We spent the rest of the day quietly and just relaxed.
On Monday morning we didn't yet have a load so I played with dogs outside. Then just after lunch we got a load. We had to drive the whole way across the state of Massachusetts to pick it up and it was going to Florida.
I began the drive and it was a sunny, typical Fall day. The leaves were past their prime but still looked pretty from a distance. The drive through the mountains was pretty awesome. I even saw an eagle soaring.
We reached our destination and got loaded. It was a government load so it was top secret and our truck was sealed and in addition a big combination lock was also placed on the doors. We didn't even know what we were hauling although we could come up with some pretty good guesses because we knew the destination. But really it didn't matter to us. It was just a load going far.
Pops drove all night and didn't stop to rest which turned out to be a bummer. Because we found out that instead of delivering this day our load wouldn't deliver until the next day and because of the nature of our load we were not allowed to stop for more than 2 hours at a time and someone had to be awake and in the front seat at all times.
But by the time we found this out we were only 7 hours or about 420 miles from our delivery and we had 19 hours until we would be permitted onto the site. So we did the only thing we were allowed to do....drive for one hour and then sit for 2 hours. We did this this way for the remainder of our trip. I can tell you that was probably the most relaxing, but boring trip we ever have done.
We arrived at our destination the next morning and had to go through a lot of security and clearances.
I got to see the bleachers where people sit in front of the water to watch rockets or shuttles take off. That was cool. And we were also shown a video about the wildlife on the base. We were told to give wildlife the right of way. And this wildlife included alligators. Haha, well who wouldn't give alligators the right of way?
It really was a pretty neat place to visit. And we even ran into a couple of Steelers fans that were working there.
While at the last rest area I found a penny lying on the ground. I picked it up because I always do and put it in the container for lost money. Finding pennies is a reminder to me from God that He will provide for us. So it wasn't long before we got another load.
This one was picking up near Miami but not until day after tomorrow and it was going all the way to Toronto. It was a good load. And it gave us the opportunity to get to enjoy our time in Florida. We drove part way toward our pickup and found a really nice rest area that wasn't very crowded at all. So we relaxed and made plans for the next day.
The next day we decided to visit Vero Beach. It wasn't very far at all. We stopped at a Petro for fuel and had a good breakfast and got directions to the beach and parking. The man gave us really good directions. So here we were, at the beach. The dogs were not allowed past the sand dunes and onto the beach so after having them out for a little while I put them in the truck and Pops and I walked down to the beach.
We walked through the palm trees and other trees with big leaves along a wooden walkway and entered the beach. There weren't many people here today even though it was a beautiful day. There was one family with 3 children and about 4 older couples, a single lady who just walked up and down the beach and a man that was having a great time riding the waves on a boogey board. And us.
I did actually get my feet and legs and wet but didn't swim. I don't like to swim in the ocean anyway. And Pops just wanted on the beach taking pictures of the ocean.
It was a really enjoyable day.
When it was time to go we walked back to the truck by a different path this time. It was pretty much the same as the other one though. We rinsed as much as the sand off our feet as we could but it is hard to ever get it all.
I took the dogs out again and then we left there. That was fun.
We went back to the rest area again.
The next day we had clear until 6pm to get to our pickup so we got up early, had breakfast and then drove down the highway until we came to Del Ray Beach. We exited the highway and drove along A1A which is the route that runs right alongside the ocean. We saw some beautiful homes, probably the prettiest homes that I ever, ever saw including the mansions from Los Angeles. Wow, I wonder what kind of jobs you would have to have to own a home like that? Pops said probably a drug dealer. Then we found a place where the ocean was up against the street with parking available. That meant we could sit in our truck and watch the waves and the ocean.
That was good because there was a tropical storm brewing and the waves and winds were high. As a matter of fact, they were flying 2 red flags at the beach which meant that no one was allowed to go into the water.
We did walk down to the beach and spent some time taking pictures and watching the big waves roll in. We even saw a palm tree with a lot of coconuts on it.
We stayed parked there for awhile while we ate lunch and caught up with our facebook. I love this job. Well, most of the time anyway.
When we left there we drove to our place of pickup. We were early but sometimes we get loaded early and we get on our way. That was not the case this time though. We actually ended up being there 4 hours past our pickup time.
Pops tried to sleep and I read my book while we waited.
Finally it was ready and we got loaded but then there were some problems with the paperwork and since it is going into Canada everything had to be just right or we would get held up at the border. So after another hour we had everything in order and we got to drive away.
I really like my trip into Florida this time and was really a little sad to drive away from it. Although we've been listening to the news and the tropical storm was now a hurricane and headed this way for tomorrow, so it's good we are going.

Riverside Christian Church

Bill and I were so excited as we got ready for church this morning. I think I was a little moreso than him. I was so happy to be able to attend Riverside Chistian Church in Merrimack, NH.
We had attended here a little over a year ago but we made some friends that had kept in contact with us ever since then.
As we drove over and parked where we did before the excitement in me just kept growing and growing.
We went inside and was directed to the adult class. Some things had changed since we were here before and the location of the class was one of those things.
There was more than one to choose from but we chose the one being taught by a man named Steve Tiller. He was teaching a series on some of the very shortest books of the Bible. Today's lesson came from the book of Haggai.
One of the main themes from the book was, "Consider your ways." God's people had lost sight of what should have been their main focus in life and instead was placing too much importance of the appearance of their homes and their finances. The Lord sent the Prophet Haggai to redirect them back to God, by building a dwelling place for God on earth.
It was a very good lesson and one that we all should consider about our own priorities. I know that sometimes my possessions seem too important to me.
After Sunday School we went downstairs to the lobby. It was there that Pops got into conversations with some of his Facebook friends from this congregation. And this is also where I found Jacqui. Jacqui is the one person that I was really hoping to see. Her friendship and genuine hospitality toward us has really meant alot to me and she recently has had to battle some major health issues. I am really inspired by her faith and determination.
It was so good to see her looking healthy and well. When the service began she came to sit with us.
RCC has in my opinion the best worship and praise band of anywhere that we've attended. They do such a good job and the songs they choose always go hand in hand with the message. I love when the music and words are so very moving.
The evangelist here is Ray Pouliot.  He gave a message entitled, "An Obedient Relationship." His main scripture came from Psalm 119:1-9.
It was very good to be reminded that for me to have a right relationship with God I must respectfully and reverantly fear Him and that fear should bring me to obedience. And then the obedience will move me toward the Love I need to have that right relationship.
Ray preaches a good sermon. And it is good to find out that his sermons can be found on their churches website. So we now have another option if it comes to where we do not have a church to attend. We can now hear pull up a sermon by Ray at www.riversidechristian.com
Of course there was communion and an invitation also.
After the services RCC has a "cafe" next door in the fellowship hall and Jacqui wanted us to come over. They have coffee, tea, and other beverages. They also have fresh fruit and many home baked muffins and breads and cookies.
The fellowship was good and we got to meet some more people that we didn't last time.
Pops talked a good bit with Tony while I chatted with the ladies.
I also want to mention Russ who came over to us and shared his story of how he came to know and serve The Lord so many years ago. That is amazing. I wonder why more people don't share their stories like that?
We had a great time and got to worship The Lord at the same time. That is why we were there in the first place as always when it is time to say goodbye I get sad because I don't know if or when I might see them again.
I am so grateful to God for enlarging my forever family. God knows how important that constant strengthening and encouragement is to me. It is so good to have so many friends all over the United States that do that for me. I hope I bring something to them as well.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Texas

We got a strange load offer. Remember we are in Little Rock, AR and they offered us a load that was picking up near Austin, TX which is over 535 miles away and then going to Gloucester, MA. The entire trip had a mileage distance of 2550. It was paying really well too. So we accepted it and wondered what the catch was.
When the dispatch came through we didn't see anything to alert us as to this being a fishy load. It was a hazmat load but we knew that from the offer that came out. So we got moving right away since it would take us almost 10 hours just to get to the pickup.
We drove about 32 miles and then got a message that the load was cancelling. Oh man, that's too bad because this really was a good load. Oh well, that happens.
So we pulled in to a Pilot truckstop that was only about 2 miles from us and tried to settle in and wait for another load offer to come.
When we are sitting like this we have to check in with our company and put our location on the computer which shows them where we are and then they can dispatch us. But Gypsy would not let us check in for some reason. Pops tried several times. Finally he called Fedex and asked why this was happening and they informed us that it was because officially our load hadn't cancelled yet. So we waited and after about 20 minutes we did get to check in.
I started reading my book and Pops was playing on his Ipad. We got a load offer but it wasn't a load we were interested in so we declined it.
Then wonder of wonders, the other load came back out as a load offer. So we accepted it and got it. Now we had been sitting here wasting time for over 2 hours. We could've been to Texarkana by now if it hadn't of cancelled in the first place. Oh well, we got moving right away.
Thankfully, I didn't get caught in any heavy traffic which was great considering we hit Dallas about 5pm. Everything seemed to move smoothly.
We managed to reach our destination before 11pm.
Like I said, this was a hazmat load so while Pops secured the load from movement I handled the paperwork with Aaron, who was representing the shipper. He had his wife with him. They lived nearby and had come in just to load our truck.
When I called the load description into our company we realized that we needed an additional placard for each side of our truck. We were hauling ammonia which besides being a non flammable gas it is also an inhalation hazard and that had to be commicated to the public. So Aaron went in search of those placards and the labels for on the cylinders also. But then we got moving. It was Wednesday night about 11:45 when we got moving and we had 1998 miles and had to be there by Friday afternoon. We hoped we could make it by noon.
But that was not meant to be.
At first everything went really well. Pops drove throughout the night and when I woke up in the morning  we were still in Texas just short of Texarkana. So I started to drive from there. It was a gorgeous day, weatherwise and I enjoyed the ride across Arkansas and Tennessee while Pops slept. I drove until we were about 40 miles on the east side of Nashville and then pulled in to a rest area. It was a place that was good to just allow the dogs to run without their leashes so we stayed a little extra time. Pops began to drive from there. I stayed awake until we got through Knoxville and started north on Route 81, then I went to sleep.
When I woke up in the morning. We were in Harrisburg, PA and Pops had just pulled into the fuel aisle. His time was up and he told me that I would be driving from here. I got up and got dressed and got some going. But I didn't realize was that the coffee pot still was half full from last night so my fresh new hot coffee was dripping down into the stainless steel carafe with the cold day old coffee. Then it proceeded to run over all over the counter and down onto the floor. Oh boy, that was all it took to make me grouchy. I tried to heat it up and that made it taste really bad. Argh! I didn't have time to make more coffee we needed to get going. It was raining now and we were running a little behind schedule. So I sucked up the awful coffee and listened to my belly growl as I rolled us away from there and onto the highway. The dogs needed out yet so we agreed to stop at a rest area and take them out. I hurridly made some fresh coffee and waited for the dogs to pee while standing in the pouring down rain. Then I tried to quickly get us something to eat. I heated some frozen sausage links and fried some eggs but the greasy sausage made us both a little sick. Oh well, at least I had fresh coffee.
So I drove in HEAVY rain all that day. Traffic was driving really slowly too, but we still saw dozens of accidents. We saw one really bad one where a tractor trailer was actually sitting on top of a car. People were standing all around with umbrellas, the ambulance hadn't gotten there yet. It was ugly.
What should have been a 7 hour drive to our destination turned into 11 hours of me driving my complete time out in all that rain. I was getting really exhausted and stressed.
We kept sending messages to our company letting them know that we were not going to be able to keep our scheduled time and the reasons why. We never heard anything from them. Then when we were about an hour out Pops called our company and they told us that we wouldn't be delivering until 6pm the next day. Oh no, this wasn't happening. Not after all we went through today to try and get here. But we couldn't argue with them.
So we continued on to our destination, parked up against their fence and slept. They did agree to unload us at 7:30 in the morning.
We actually got unloaded at 7 and then was offered Boston or Manchester, NH as our layover options. We chose Manchester because, there really aren't any nice truckstops in Boston and there was already 2 of our trucks there. And also because since it's Saturday we probably won't get a load until Monday and there is a church near Manchester that we like but haven't been to in over a year.
We drove first to Portsmouth, NH to shower and get groceries. Then we went to a rest area just inside the New Hampshire line that we like.
So we rested, Had a good supper of homemade beef barley soup and lemon merinque pie. It was a nice, quiet, sunny warm day and we enjoyed our free time after that long trip. And it does look like we will get to attend services at the Riverside Christian Church. I can't wait to see my friend, Jacqui. We met her the last time we were there and she has become a good facebook friend to both Pops and myself.
I am excited.