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.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Ranch

We got a load offer shortly after I settled in and was prepared to stay in Houston. Our load was a military load picking up Monday at Lackland AFB and delivered Tuesday in Florida at another AFB.
Lackland AFB is in San Antonio. And since this was Friday we drove over to Tate and Shirley’s ranch to spend the weekend. Oh Boy, I am so totally happy now, except for one thing, Shirley is away for the weekend. She had traveled to her family’s home in Mississippi for her nephew’s graduation.
Oh well, I am still going to enjoy this weekend. I love it here.
Tate had made plans to rent a backhoe for the weekend and he had some projects lined up for himself. So Pops and I occupied ourselves. But we did not mind one little bit.
We got there Saturday morning at about 1am. So we slept until around 8 in the morning when Tate got awake and was ready to work.
The dogs ran around and just loved the freedom and exercise. They totally wore themselves out this weekend.
Pops and I relaxed and enjoyed the sun, the wildlife (we saw turkeys, coyotes, rabbits, turtles, and saw signs of the wild hogs.) I also got to do some homecooking which I love to do.
Tate worked from early in the morning until almost dark. Then he came up and ate with us. He is working on his pond. He is trying to make it deeper on the one end and keep it from drying up in the summer. He is also doing some landscape work around it that will make it look really good when it is all finished.
Shirley has wild turkeys there that come around and she does not allow hunting of them so they aren’t bothered by human presence. Pops had such a good time keeping track of the hen and gobbler that came around several times while we were there. We did get some good pictures of the gobbler.
At one point while we were watching him strut around with his tail all fanned out, he suddenly ran away. We looked behind us and saw a coyote running across the field. Hmmmm.
Sunday morning, after much thought, we decided to go to a new church that had been started that was a lot closer to Tate and Shirley’s place. We sure did have a hard decision to make because we really like Evers Road Christian Church, but we decided on the new, closer one.
It is called Lifebridge Christian Church and it is in Schertz, TX. They are meeting right now in the Senior Center in Schertz. It is still a small congregation, but everyone was really friendly and nice.
The evangelist there is doing a series on improving one’s self and this week he was talking about Being a good parent. He brought out many good points and his sermon was very good. Next week his sermon is about Excelling on the job. I would really like to hear that one also.
I liked this church and we will attend there whenever we are at Tate and Shirley’s for the weekend.
After church we went to the grocery store to get some stuff for lunch and supper and some other supplies that we needed. I was so proud of myself for finding our way around. But that all dissolved when I was sure I exited the store by the same door that I went into, but I couldn’t find Pops or the car. I walked all over the lot, pushing my cart of groceries until I was almost in a panic. Now I can relate to early Alzheimer’s disease. I finally had to call Pops and tell him that I couldn’t find him.
He told me to walk back to the door with the blue awning. That is where I came out, he walked to the same door. It turns out that it was the right door, but it was a corner door with parking on both sides of the store and I went to the wrong parking lot when I came out of the door. Oh well.
We finally retraced our way back to Tate’s ranch and had lunch with Tate and James, the young man that helps Tate at the ranch.
After lunch Pops took a short nap and I read my book and soaked up as much real sunshine as I could. The day went by so quickly.
Toward evening I fixed supper of homemade spaghetti sauce and cooked some spaghetti noodles. I also sliced some cucumbers and made a dressing for on them. And I baked some bread. Oh yeah, supper was good.
Shirley’s plane was getting in the next morning at 9am and we told Tate that we would pick her up so that he could stay and continue his work uninterrupted. But her plane wasn’t getting in until 9:55 which is 10:55 eastern time and if she was delayed at all or had any trouble collecting her bags it would cause us to be late for our pickup at the military base. So Tate had to go get her.
So we used the morning to watch the turkey and then to fill up our water tank. And allow the dogs a little more runaround time. All to soon it was time to go.
We got to the AFB and of course drove all around the place until we found the right building to pick up. The paperwork always takes so long on these military loads and then there is extra computer work too because of the satellite surveillance. But we got moving after about 1 ½ hours since arriving there.
We were meeting up with Shirley for just a few minutes so that she could give us some stuff that she had for us. We each got a new Fedex shirt too.
It was good to see her. But this is two times in a row that I only got to see her for a few minutes. We really would like to go to the flea markets so we NEED to get together soon.
Pops and I agreed that I would drive to exit 59 off route 10 in Louisiana. What a coincidence that is where I buy boudin when we go through here. I was worried that it would be all gone when we got there because it would be around 9pm. But it wasn’t. There was plenty.  Oh, jalapeƱo boudin balls are so good. I also bought some cracklin’s and a Cajun blackberry pie. Yum yum.
Right before I went to bed Pops stopped so I could take the dogs out one more time. He pulled on the edge of an exit ramp. I looked up and noticed the road sign. It pointed to a destination called, Infinity. I thought that was funny, so I took a picture and put it on facebook with a caption that read, We are going to Infinity and beyond.
When I woke up Pops was calling my name. He said he called 4 times. I was sleeping good, haha. We were only 8 miles from Hurlburt Field AFB. So I got up and made some coffee and took the dogs out. When we got to the base, they searched our truck and checked our ID and gave us the password to get through the next guard gate.
So after spending forever at the pickup, we got unloaded and left this base in less than 15 minutes.
We were offered Mobile, AL as our layover. So we drove there. We were offered a few loads on our way there but none of them were interesting to us. We have to keep in mind that we are going home so we have to work that direction. I sure hope and pray it all works out. I can’t wait to see my kids and sleep in my bed.

Random pictures

jalepeno boudin ball

cactus growing in the tree

my friend, Deby

Dry air fern

Air fern after spraying with water

Going to Infinity and beyond

Low rider, show truck built for the handicapped  driver

another low rider, show truck

sunset at the ranch

this guy is at least 1/2 inch in diameter and 8-9 inches long

This just makes me happy

This just made Pops happy all weekend

Friday, May 18, 2012

The famine

Well we ended up having Monday off and boy did it feel strange to have no where to go. We totally relaxed and waited for a load. Another Fedex custom critical team pulled in along side of us. We had met them before and I realized that we worked with them on a load out of Memphis airport before.  There names were Rholand and Trudy.
We spent a few hours talking with them and just hanging out. I talked to Starla a few times on the phone and watched tv for awhile.
A man came by and wanted to polish our wheels for $1 a piece. He was very dirty but otherwise looked ok. He was carrying 2 backpacks that looked full. I turned him down but offered him a few bucks anyway. He declined and then asked if he could wash our windshield and mirrors. I told him no. But he told me that he was not a bum and wouldn’t take any money without earning it, and started to walk away. I called him back and said ok, polish the front wheels only. I gave him five bucks.
He worked for over an hour on those 2 wheels and they sure looked nice when he was done. I got one of the meals out of the cupboard that doesn’t need refrigerated and a cold bottle of orange juice and a fork wrapped in plastic and laid it out with his things.
When he was done he came and got Pops and showed him how good the wheels looked. Pops wanted to give him more to drink but he refused saying that “the good lady had been more than generous already.”
We saw him several times throughout the day working on other trucks in the lot. Around 3 o’clock I saw him walk back through the grassy lot. I guess his day was done.
I talked to my good friend, Lettie, on the phone for awhile. I miss her. I miss our conversations and getting together. It sure was nice to hear from her. She was telling all about their up-coming family vacation.
Later in the day I also got a call from Ginny, Lettie’s mom. She is another good friend from home. It was good to hear from her too.
Towards evening Pops and I walked up the street to the Hardy’s restaurant. It was a good burger and the dogs enjoyed the French fries. Hahaha
We had a good nights sleep even though we didn’t yet have a load.
The next morning we decided to go inside and have breakfast. We haven’t done that in a long time and just wanted some time out of the truck. While we were eating in there another Fedex driver stopped by and asked us if we were busy. We talked for a few minutes and the more we talked the more I wondered if he was the man that my friend Deby had just started driving for. I asked if his name was Dave, and he said yes. I asked about Deby and he said she was outside sleeping. I got up and ran outside. His truck was parked at the fuel isle and I knocked on the door and then opened the door and got inside. The curtains to the back were shut and I called out to her and she popped out of the curtains. We hugged and then hugged somemore. I was so glad to see her. And she had been out now since Easter day and hadn’t been home yet and is very homesick. So I’m sure her seeing me was helpful to her. She likes her job but is not happy working for this guy and now looking at his truck I could see why. There was not an inch of free space anywhere. The dash, the floor, the passenger seat all were covered with stuff. I would not have lived like that for more than 10 minutes.
We got to visit for only a few minutes before they were on their way. But it sure was nice.
I immediately called our truck owner and we worked together to find someone else for Deby to work for. Within 2 hours we had her someone that would appreciate her and help her to be happier in her work.
But Deby and Dave were on their way to California so it would have to wait until she got back from there.
We took a DOD (department of defense) load that picked up Wisconsin and was going to Louisiana. But it didn’t pick up until the next day. So Pops got busy cleaning in the back of the box and I caught up inside the truck with whatever needed done.
We left for Wisconsin in the afternoon. That would give us time to get there, get a shower and have a good night’s sleep before heading to Louisiana.
We were picking up at Fort McCoy. The base looked busy. It looked like they were packing up and getting ready to go somewhere. We found our building and got loaded in short time. Now off to Louisiana.
Starla was having her bladder surgery today so we waited to hear from Bill. We had called her early when she first got to the hospital. Now by the time we were loaded she was already done and waking up from anesthesia. Wow, that was quick. The drs. Said that everything went well.
So here we go to the south. It was a pretty good trip. We drove the whole length of Illinois, then around St. Louis. I got to see the arch again. Then through parts of Missouri and most of Arkansas and into Louisiana.
We found Ft. Polk and of course we went into the wrong gate. So we drove across the big base to other side and that wasn’t right either so we drove to another location and then finally somewhere else. We eventually found the building that we were looking for and got unloaded. All the soldiers are always glad to see us because we are bringing them new weapons. I guess it’s like Christmas to them.
We were given the layover option of Houston, TX and that made me happy because I love Texas. We got here around 3 in the afternoon on Thursday. We were hoping to get a quick load but that didn’t happen. We have only had the one load this week so far. See what I mean about feast or famine?
So we had a relaxing evening. Pops mostly slept. I read my book. Then we again had a good, full night’s sleep.
When we got up on Friday morning we went inside for Denny’s breakfast. And now we are waiting. I hope to get a load out today, but if we are in Houston for the weekend, I plan to relax and enjoy because I Love Texas!

Monday, May 14, 2012

R & R

Well we did not get to go to Atlanta for a layover. We got a call from our truck owner and they had made an appointment for us to get our generator fixed. So we were heading to Montgomery, Alabama the next morning.
Once we made our delivery we drove toward Montgomery to a truckstop. We were still about 20 or so miles out of Montgomery and it was fairly rural. There was a Horse/Dog Race track right next door to the truckstop but it was closed down.
I googled it and found out that apparently the owner of the track had been caught up in some kind of illegal activity and had to be shut down. Oh well, I think it would be kind of neat to watch a horse or dog race live.
But we were tired. So not long after we got parked Pops hit the bed. And boy, did he sleep. I think he would have slept through just about anything that day and night. Until our layover was all done he had slept for about 13 straight hours.
Not me, I was tired, sure, but I stayed awake that evening and read my book, worked on some studies that I have been working on, talked to some people on the phone and made friends with a stray dog.
When I did go to sleep, I slept soundly.
We got up the next morning and drove in to Montgomery. It took about 2 ½ hours for them to fix our generator. Now it is working good. And because it is, our A/C is working and we have electric when we are parked without running our engine.
Next our owners wanted us to go to another place to get a regular service maintenance performed on our truck. So we headed in the direction to get that done but we were offered a good load and accepted it.
This load picked up in Opelika, AL and was going to Hastings, NE. We haven’t been to Nebraska in a long time. It was Friday and this load wasn’t delivering until Monday morning so for once we wouldn’t have to rush to get there.
We had to drive for about 90 miles to our pickup. And we got into that town we passed a discount bakery store. I told Pops that if we came back past it again that I wanted to stop there.
Gypsy, our GPS told us to turn onto 13th street and as soon as I did we saw that was a HUGE mistake. The street didn’t even go for one full block and became a dead end with only a very small driveway at someone’s house to turn around. Oh, Gypsy, sometimes I don’t like her at all! But I wiggled and made a 21 point turnaround and finally got out.
We did find our destination shortly after that and got loaded quickly. But we noticed that our original dispatch information did not match our Bill of Lading. So we called the company and found out that some of the product had already been shipped by air because it was needed so badly.
We left the pickup and stopped at the bakery store. I found some good buys of stuff that we buy regularly. And of course, I  picked up some snacks too.
When I came back out of the store Pops was on the phone and I realized that he was talking to Fedex. Our times which had been confirmed were now changed. We had to make this delivery tomorrow afternoon. They said this product is needed badly. The funny thing is we are carrying cardboard boxes. That’s it, boxes!
My theory is: that our division of Fedex is wanting us to beat the airplane to that company. And in fact we can. Until someone picks up a product, gets it to the airport, loads it on a plane, get it from the airport to the destination, at least 3 carriers have handled the product all of which takes time. Where we can pick it up, drive it straight there and not have to stop the truck except for very short periods. So we hustled.
I had to mentally change gears because in my mind we were driving leisurely and now we were rushing and had to re-think driving strategies. I was on to drive first so Pops needed to sleep. I drove most of the day through Alabama and into Tennessee. It was dark when I reached Nashville and something was going on that city because all exits that went downtown or through the city were blocked off by policemen. So I had to re-route and Gypsy would not help me. She was insistent that I follow her route through the city. So Pops had to wake up and help me navigate around Nashville.
Once we reached the welcome center of Kentucky he began to drive and I went right to sleep.
I woke up somewhere around Kansas City. But Pops continued to drive for several hours. I did start to drive while we are still in Missouri.  
Finally we reached our destination in Nebraska and got unloaded quickly. There were 2 Custom Critical trucks sitting there waiting for loads that couldn’t be shipped until they had the packaging that we brought.
We were offered a load leaving this same plant and going into Quebec for Monday, but I did not want to be out of the country on Sunday which is Mother’s Day. So we refused that load.
We were told to go to Omaha, NE for layover, but Council Bluffs, Iowa is just 3 miles from Omaha’s exit so we went there because there is a shop there that can do our oil change.
We set up our service at the shop and they told us they would call us when the bay was available. So Pops went to sleep while I caught up on some computer and paperwork that needed done. Then I read for awhile. I just got into bed and began to doze when the shop called us in. It was 11 o’clock pm. Ugh! I wish it could’ve waited til morning.
We got our oil change and a DOT inspection and was done by 1am. So we found a parking spot in the lot and went back to sleep.
We got up early the next morning so that we could shower and go to church. There are 3 churches in the directory that were 3 miles or less from us. But none of them answered the phone so we chose the one that was medium distance away and drove over.
It was Twin Cities Christian Church. We parked a short distance away in an empty dirt lot and walked over to the church. We were greeted outside by the Minister, Mike Galloway. He brought us inside to the adult Sunday School Class and introduced us to the others there.
They were doing to DVD series by Bob Russell entitled, Falling in Love with Jesus. We didn’t get very far in the lesson because we had such a good discussion. I enjoyed the class and everyone participated and it was very interesting.
After Sunday School we walked to the church with some people that had been in our class, Robert and Renee. They came over and sat with us in our pew because they didn’t want us to sit alone. I thought that was a very thoughtful and nice thing to do. They were very nice people.
This was a small congregation of about 60. But they were all very warm and friendly. Pops met a man that was originally from Indiana, PA and now lives here. He is a hunter and he and his father just purchased a farm in Iowa for hunting. He told Pops that he could come hunt for free if we are ever out this way. He would just need to purchase the license.
Of course the sermon was centered around moms. He preached on Hannah, the mother of Samuel. He called her a “true grit” mother. He talked about her desire to be a mother, the ridicule that she endured because she didn’t have children, her earnest prayer to God, her faithfulness, and her keeping of her promise. He tied it in really well with what today’s mothers face and endure.
I am so glad that God continues to bring us to good churches. I love meeting people all over that love God and live for Him.
At the end of the service each of the mothers were given a flower to take home to plant.
After we left there we went to the Laundromat that we had noticed earlier. Yay, we were going to have clean clothes and rugs.
After that we drove to Walmart and stocked up on our groceries. Then we went back over to the truckstop. We would’ve gone back to church in the evening but they cancelled their evening service this week because of it being Mother’s Day. So we just relaxed.
I did take the dogs outside and brushed them and clipped their nails.
It is so wonderful to have this break. I checked our mileages from our service appointments. We left home on April 12th, today is May 13th. In that amount of time we have driven 18,092 miles!!! That is a lot of distance. I could hardly believe it. No wonder I felt exhausted.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Doggy Pictures

Look how afraid she is.

She doesn't know if she can trust me.

Starting to trust.

Look at that belly!

She trusts me now.

Return visit at night.

She stayed for awhile.

My pampered pooch, Lucy.

Extra spoiled, Chucky.

My special visitor

We were on layover near Montgomery, Alabama. We pulled into a truckstop for fuel and a parking spot. Once we got parked and had something to eat, Pops went to lay down and rest and I settled into the front seat with my book and my ipod.
Before long I noticed something out of the corner of my eye.
There was a dog, a reddish colored, part collie, part everything else dog running around and as soon as he noticed me he was gone like a flash.
But there was another dog, a very pregnant female, lab mix, with him. She, too, was very skittish and shy but she didn't, or couldn't run.
I started to talk to her but she didn't trust me and kind of shied away.
I threw some dog treats out of the window and she slowly came over and ate them all the while keeping her scared eyes on me to see what I was going to do.
I found some chicken in our refrigerator and gave her that as well. She ate it all and then looked at me for more. She kept looking all around, ready to run at any moment. She was very frightened.
After she ate, she stood around while I talked gently to her. I did not get out of the truck because I'm sure she would have run away. But eventually she calmed down enough to lay down outside my window. She stayed close by until another truck came and parked next to us and then she was gone.
I sat there reading my book for a few hours and around 10pm I looked and she was back. Just sitting outside my window, looking at me.
I threw her some more dog treats and again talked to her. I could tell by her eyes that she was beginning to trust me.
She laid down outside our truck and I watched the unborn puppies move around inside her belly. She looked very uncomfortable and I so badly wanted to wake Pops up and make him move so I could give her our blanket, but I thought he would be upset. So I just felt sorry for her and watched her.
She stayed for about an hour. I continued to read my book and I would glance at her from time to time.
Around 11:15 I looked and she was gone. I felt like I could go to bed now so I did.
Of course I never saw her again, although I looked for her all morning until we had to leave.
It's a shame to see and know these happen.
I am truly an animal lover, especially dogs. I just can never understand how some people can have an animal and then discard it so easily.
I hate to see dogs tied to a box at the furthermost point from their house in a dirt ring that turns to mud in the rain and no one ever speaks to them let alone touch them. It breaks my heart.
People spay and neuter your animals. And if you can't commit to loving them and caring for them their entire lives then don't get them. They deserve better.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


I know I wrote about how busy we were and we are and I'm not complaining. It seems this job is Feast or Famine and right now is definitely feasting.
We barely got showered during the layover and we got another load. We had to drive into Kentucky to pick it up and then it was eventually ending up a little north of Chicago.
We drove to KY to the airport and was loaded with 2 huge metal containers that had just moments before been unloaded from a plane.
They were temperature controlled units. This meant that we had to monitor the batteries and the temperature of the units. Inside they were packed with dry ice and whatever the product was that we were hauling that required freezing. And freezing it was, -30C which converts to -22F. That is cold. Anyway, we loaded those onto our truck and drove them to the delivery site and had to get readings from them again and then they were unloaded.
Once they were unloaded, we then loaded the empty metal containers back onto the truck and took them above Chicago where they would sterilized and then reused. It was all pretty interesting.
I drove us up there while Pops tried to get his sleep. While I was driving, just about 35 south of Chicago, I saw a deer and knew that it was going to run across the highway. There were 3 lanes of oncoming traffic and then our 3 lanes with a small grass median. The deer came from the opposite side ran across the 3 opposing lanes dodging traffic, through the median, into our lanes, again dodging traffic and then right in front of the truck ahead of me. I surely thought that was the end for him but what do you know, he came out the other side and was safely across 6 lanes of heavy traffic. I could not believe it. I just could not believe it. Wow.
It was around 5pm when we got unloaded and was offered Milwaukee as a place of layover so we headed in that direction. We didn't even travel half a block before we were getting multiple load offers.
We accepted and got a load that was picking up in Indiana and going to Alabama.
I was still driving at that point so I continued driving while Pops tried to get a little more rest. He helped me navigate through the worst of the Chicago traffic before he laid down.
So I drove us into Indiana and stopped somewhere at a rest area south of Indianapolis. We slept there until about 2am. Our pickup was only about 12 miles from there.
Pops got up and drove us over. I barely heard him go. I was sleeping good.
He made the pickup and drove for about 145 miles and then pulled in to a rest area. He was going to make some more coffee since I had only made him the small pot earlier, but he ended up dozing off for about an hour.
I woke up and got dressed and took the dogs out and then came back and got us something to eat. I talked to some church friends on the phone for a little while too. Boy, I miss them.
I talked to Starla for a little while too. At that time we were driving through Nashville, TN.
Nashville is one of my favorite cities to drive through. You can actually go all around the city depending on where you are coming from and where you are going. We drove what I refer to as the lower circle today. It goes past the Titans stadium and you can see the river from that side. There is a tall building with 2 points on the top. It is the A T and T building. For some reason that building reminds me of Batman. Anyway, it is a nice city and at night when the lights are on it is really pretty.
So it is 10:30am on Thursday. We should be to our destination by 3pm and be unloaded. Then I guess we will head to Atlanta for layover.
I sure hope that we can get some work done to our truck, but mostly I would just like to be still for awhile.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


We have been working so much. I am about run ragged. Since I last wrote on the blog we have left Danville, VA and gone to Scarborough, ON then from there to Ft. Drum, NY to Little Rock, AR then to Jackson, TN to Laredo, half way to San Antonio, back to Laredo then to San Antonio, TX. From there clear south to Brownsville, TX and then way north to Toronto, ON and then to Decatur, IL; all in one week’s time.
We were on layover in Danville, VA waiting on a load that picked up Monday evening. It was Orbit gum boxes and it was going to Scarborough, ON. So we hung out at the truckstop and got all caught up on all of our normal layover stuff like laundry and such. I watched movies and just relaxed. It was relaxing.
We went to pick up our load and had to wait for a little while because it wasn’t quite ready for us. When it was, Pops helped to load and then secured the freight while I took care of all the necessary Canadian paperwork to clear the border. Shortly after that we were rolling down the highway, or up however you view going north. Haha
It was foggy and we were seeing a lot of deer along the roadway. Pops was driving and the roads were winding and curvy. It wasn’t long before I left him on his own and I hit the bed. I woke up once during the trip and then again when we crossed the border.
We both have to be up front anytime we cross the border, which definitely causes loss of sleep sometimes. But we got through the border with no problems.
Our delivery in Ontario was about 1 ½ hours inside the border. I decided to lay back down for a little while and Pops continued on to the delivery.
I woke up at the delivery and took the dogs out. Now it was my turn to drive. We were offered a load that picked up at Ft. Drum, NY and was going to Little Rock, AR. This was a military load.  I drove us back out of Ontario and toward Syracuse, NY. We stopped at a rest area north of Syracuse. It was a real nice place. We were going to stay there for the night.
We woke up early the next morning around 5am and when I checked my phone I saw that my daughter, Starla, had gone to the ER. I knew that she had an infection and then I knew that things became complicated, but I found out that chest pains is why she was at the hospital.
I kept in constant contact with my son in law, Bill. He told me that all tests were coming back ok and that the ER said that if it weren’t for her pacemaker history he would send her home. But they were waiting for her heart doctor to come in.
Several people from our home church were at the hospital with her, Chad our preacher, Melvin and Ginny our elder and his wife and our good friends, Clarence and Robin, and Mary, Bill’s mother. I was so worried about her but glad that she had good company.
Bill P., our son in law was so good through all of that. He took the day off and called me about every time a nurse walked past the room. But that was comforting for me. I was glad when she was released to go home.
Meanwhile we had been making our pickup at Ft. Drum. We were hauling weapons. We drove to the wrong part of the base so we had to wait for an escort to show us where to go. Then it didn’t take long to get us loaded and away we went.
I was driving first and it was a nice day, but a very long trip. Pops tried to rest some while I drove us the whole length of NY and then around Lake Erie, through Erie and into Cleveland. We switched over somewhere after that. I stayed awake for awhile. I remember going through Columbus, OH and then into Cincinnati, I really like that city at nighttime. It is so pretty and there happened to be a Reds game going on as we drove through, so the stadium was all lit up too.
Just on the other side of the Ohio river is Florence, KY and this is when I decided that I better go to sleep. I must have slept ok because the next thing I remember was seeing an airplane fly across the road right in front of the windshield. What a thing to see when you first open your eyes! But because of that I knew without asking that we were in Arkansas.
There is an airport there that always has low flying planes. They mostly do crop dusting but this one was just flying around.
It was my turn to drive and we were only about 40 miles from the military base where we were delivering. We stopped at the gate and went through the normal clearances to be allowed to enter. Because of us hauling weapons we had to be escorted to our delivery site, but they drove us to the wrong building so we had to go back to the opposite side of the base.  We only had one skid so it was unloaded quickly.
Now we were headed toward Memphis for layover. It is about 2 hours away.
Before we got there though we were offered another load. It was picking up in Jackson about 90 miles east of Memphis and going to Laredo, TX. We accepted the load. I was so happy to be going to Texas. I love Texas. I am always so happy whenever we get to go there especially if there is any chance that we can visit Tate and Shirley. And usually when we go to Laredo we head to San Antonio for our layover.
So I drove us to Jackson for our pickup and then I started the drive to Laredo. Our pickup was easy but Pops always has to break up his sleep. He never seems to get enough sleep. I don’t know how he keeps going.
Once we were loaded I turned us back west. We would go back through Memphis, Little Rock and kept going. Pops started to drive just before we got into Texas. It wasn’t long before I was in bed.
When I woke up Friday morning we were not too far from Laredo and it was HOT! Already in the morning. We stopped at a rest area on I35 that is so beautiful. I had pictures of it before on the blog. I took the dogs out and got us something to eat. Our main air conditioner wasn’t working so we only had the one up front. I watched the outside temperature climb up to 96 that day. We reached Laredo and made our delivery easily and was heading back up the highway toward San Antonio. We had called Tate and Shirley and we were going to get our air conditioner fixed and then go out to eat with them. I was so excited.
After driving about 80 miles we got a load offer. It was back in Laredo and delivered in Laredo. We would make about $80 to turn around and do that load. We decided it wasn’t worth it to us and declined the load. It was only a few minutes later when Pops’ phone rang and it was our company. They really needed that load covered is there any amount we would do it for?  Pops told them that we were already 80 up the highway and before he could say anything else, they offered an amount that would pay him and I $300. So I turned around and headed back to Laredo.
We made the pickup and drove 8 miles away and delivered and then once again headed back up the highway toward San Antonio. But now our plans with Tate and Shirley were put off until Saturday morning.
We got to the truckstop about 8pm and I went in and got our laundry done and we got showered. Just as we were about to go to bed we were offered a load. This one picked up in Brownsville, TX and was going to Ontario. But it picked up early Saturday morning. We declined the load because we wanted to visit with Tate and Shirley and get our A/C fixed.
Saturday morning our company called and raised the money on the Brownsville load and changed the times so that we could still have time to get work done and have a short visit with the owners. So we accepted the load.
While the men worked on the truck, Shirley and I went into town. She needed to go to the bank and I wanted some things from the store. Pops called me while we were in the store and said that Fedex wanted us to get moving as soon as possible because they didn’t want us near the Mexican border after dark.
Man, I was so disappointed. Our visit was cut short, just like that. When Shirley and I got back to their place the A/C was working and we had to leave. I hated that. I miss Shirley and enjoy spending time with her. Besides, Lucy was having a blast there. She always does. She gets to run around all she wants and scare up strange critters. Shirley has an armadillo that lives under her porch and there were several wild turkeys there when we pulled in. Chuck always wears himself out within a half hour but Lucy was still having fun 2 hours into the visit. But we had to go.
I began that drive. It was 277 miles south to Brownsville from San Antonio. But I like the drive. We have been down this way a couple of times already so it is familiar and I like the scenery. Pops tried to sleep but we hadn’t even gone 5 miles before the A/C quit working again. Well, so much for that. Now it was getting really hot too.
We got to Brownsville around 6pm and had to wait for someone to come in to load our truck. This was a hazardous materials load going into Canada so there was 3 times the paperwork.  We did get loaded and get away from there before dark so that was good.
We found out earlier that yesterday, (while we were all around Laredo) that there had been 14 killed in Laredo. And even more just across the border in Mexico. Some of those were shot, some were hung from bridges and the ones in Mexico were be-headed. And we were only 2 ½ miles from where this was happening!!! No wonder they increased the money so easily to get us to take the load.
Anyway, we reached to Border Patrol checkpoint and were questioned but allowed through with no problems. We did see one truck get stopped and searched and the occupants were taken away. One flatbed truck that appeared to be hauling bags of cement mix was being searched and they were cutting open all of the bags. Inside the building looked to be about 15 to 20 people that looked to be Mexican.
Pops started to drive once we got back to San Antonio area. Just that down and back trip chewed up my whole driving day. Texas is big.
I stayed awake for a while but was sleeping before we reached Austin. I did wake up briefly when we drove through Waco, but then slept until we were all the way through Dallas and it’s outlying areas. Then I started to drive.
We were going to Ontario and I wasn’t sure how we would go at first but Gypsy was sending us back through Little Rock, over to Memphis then north. So I drove and drove and had a lot of thinking of time.
I sometimes have problems with anxiety and it was trying to get the best of me during this trip. I guess with Starla not being well and then several very good friends of ours of going through some really bad times right now. One dear young man that we both love very much is going through a lot. He opened up his home to a family of 5 that had no other options. Their young boy has heart problems and that depleted them financially so they are now living under his roof . And he is having an awful time at work with his boss increasing his work load on Wednesdays to the point where he is at work 14 hours that day and that is the day that he works with the youth at his church. He is really struggling emotionally.
Another very good friend of ours called Pops and told him that because of his dad being so sick that the doctor wanted to put him on morphine to make him comfortable, that that was really all they could do for him now. So he and his family were with him while he spent his last few days on earth. He passed away on Sunday. So we mourned and prayed with that family.
Another good friend from back home is going through a horrible ordeal right now and is not allowed to talk about it, but shared a little with Pops and asked for prayer. All I can say is that as a parent I would think this would be any parents’ nightmare to have to endure.  My heart breaks for her and she is in our prayers and thoughts.
There just seems to be so much sadness and sorrow everywhere and like I said with Starla being ill, it just broke me. I cried while I drove and I prayed. And I kept on because what else can you do? You know, sometimes you feel like your world is falling apart and then hear about others. I am honored and blessed to be able to at least be able to pray for these people and I am honored and blessed that they call us and share their lives with us.
Sometimes this job gets so lonely. I mean, I have Pops and the dogs, but sometimes you just want to be connected to others. We have a lot of good people in our lives and I am very grateful for all of those that continue to call us and love us through prayer and support too.
So I did manage to get us all the way into Illinois somewhere. Honestly I don’t recall where but we stopped for fuel and then decide to take the time to go inside for a restaurant meal. That was nice for a change. But by the time we ate our salad and soup we had to get a box for our meal.
While we were in there it started to rain and I mean really rain! It was thundering and there was lightening and once began driving we even had some really big hail. I was talking with Bill and Starla on the phone and they could hear the rain and hail beating off our truck. It was so loud that I was afraid it was going to crack our windshield. But it didn’t.
Pops was driving now so after a short time I went to bed. When I woke up we were in Michigan. We weren’t too far from the border so I got up and made coffee. I was worried about getting this load into Canada because it came from Mexico and it was a hazmat load. But we got through pretty easily. Now we had about two hours at least until we reached our delivery.
Somewhere inside the Canadian border we switched over and I began to drive. We reached our destination before lunch time and before we even opened our doors to unload we were offered another load. This one picked up in Canada as fast as we could get there from here and was going to Decatur, IL for the next day. We accepted and got the load.
So we got the hazmat off and drove 23 miles to our next pickup. We got 2 very large machine parts going to the Caterpillar plant in Decatur.
Pops’ sleep had been all messed today because of the border and all the stops and fueling. I felt bad for him. He only got about 4 or 5 hours if that and it was all broken up. I was still driving when we again reached the border right at Detroit. The line was long, it took us over an hour to get through just because of all the trucks in line. But we got through with no problems. I drove for another 2 hours so that he could get a little more sleep and somewhere near the Indiana line (still in Michigan) we switched off.
We have been running so hard that legally I have to have tomorrow off.  I need a 34 hour restart to be legal. It was now almost 1am on Tuesday morning so I cannot drive again until Wednesday around 9am.
Pops made the delivery and then drove us to a Walmart parking lot. We park here sometimes when we come to Decatur. I like it here. It is a small plaza and is very roomy for trucks and the area and stores are nice.
Once he parked I fell back to sleep and he laid down too. We slept until 10am. We are exhausted.
So I used this day off to get some groceries finally. We were out of EVERYTHING! We didn’t even have water to make coffee and I do believe that has to be some kind of a sin. Anyway, we now have groceries and water. We got fuel in the truck and refilled our truck water tanks for washing and doing dishes. And except for our A/C we are good to go again, once tomorrow at 9am arrives.