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.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Isn't this house great?

I took this picture while sitting at a red light in St. Peter, MN. I think this house is so cute and I love the message across the front.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The frozen Mississippi River

Our drive to Mankato, MN

Pops had done all of the driving since we stopped at the Indiana welcome center. We got to Mankato, MN the next morning just before lunch time.
He did drive through a little bit of snow here and there but this winter has been just absolutely great all over the north.
We listened to the news and heard about the big boat that ran into the bridge in Louisville, Ky, so now we know why that highway had been closed when we came near there on our way from Texas. One of the people that was on the bridge when the boat hit said he saw the opening in the bridge and got stopped just 5 feet from the edge. Imagine! Oh My! I would've peed my pants if not worse. You all know how I feel about bridges anyway.
Internet Picture. Wow, look how the boat just pushed out a section of that bridge.

I remembered about the rock formation in Wisconsin just as we were getting there. I grabbed my phone to get some pictures but our windshield was so dirty that only two of the pictures were half way decent to print. Wisconsin is a nice scenic state for the most part, but it always seems cold here.
The Mississippi runs between Wisconsin and Minnesota and we drove through on Rt. 94 at the city of La Crosse. We had been to this area before. It is so pretty here. It is a huge valley between two mountains and the river runs down through it.
Most of the rivers and lakes were frozen and we saw many ice fishermen.
We drove in Mankato and parked at Walmart. I stocked up on groceries and then we put the satellite up for our tv and watched some tv before bed.
I did cook up a big crockpot of Beef barley soup. It was good on such a cold day.
I also bought some Paczki's. We had been seeing ads for these things all along our route and apparently they are so popular that you must order them ahead of time. I bought some at Walmart after I googled what they were.
It is a polish thing, very similar to jelly donuts. They got popular in the season of lent. Most catholics give up sugar and fat for lent so the polish women invented these "donuts" to use up all the sugar, flour, lard and fruits in their homes before lent. Many polish donuts are eaten by catholics on "fat Tuesday, " the day before Ash Wednesday.
I wasn't too impressed with the Walmart version. But a donut is a donut, I guess.
We found a small congregation to attend on Sunday morning but at the last minute changed our minds and decided to attend a church that we had noticed while driving into town.  It was the Eagle Lake Church of Christ and they had plenty of parking too.
We called the number from the directory and drove over about 45 minutes early. We were greeted and made to feel welcome right away.
I went to the ladies class while Pops went to the men's. The ladies are going through the book of Romans and it was a very good lesson with much participation. Pops said that they did some studies from Acts.
The worship service was good. It started with a praise band consisting of guitar, violin, ukulele, and bass guitar along with a couple of singers, singing praise songs. Then we went directly into communtion and then the message.
The minister, Jeff Peterson, is doing a series of sermons to help their church better live out their mission statement. This week's sermon was entitled, The mission of Peace. He used the 10th chapter of Luke vs. 1-7 as his text. He told how Jesus commanded his disciples to go out as sheep and speak Peace to everyone and prepare them for the coming of the Lord.
We are the sheep and we need to have peace in our lives before we can offer it to others, but we need to constantly pray for peace in our lives.
It was a very good message and we know that if we are ever in this area we will come back to Eagle Lake Church of Christ. All of the people were so nice too.
They have a web address. It is
Two exceptionally nice people, Mr. Jim Anderson and his wife, Beverly are leaving today for a one month vacation in Alabama. I wish them safe travels and good weather.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Back on the road

We got a late start working this week. We didn't leave Tate and Shirley's until almost noon on Tuesday. We drove to the truckstop and waited for a dispatch. We had tried earlier in the day for a really good load going to Wisconsin but lost the load to another truck because Gypsy wasn't working very well.
We knew that we needed to get into a Qualcomm shop and get her fixed. But we had lost so much work time lately that we hated to miss more work.
We were quickly offered another load. It was a very short run that didn't pay much. We declined the load. Fedex called us on the phone and offered us another load to back it up with and I told them that if they would agree to increase the pay for the second load we would do both. They agreed.
So we set out to do the short, little load. As soon as I pulled out of the lot at the truckstop our second load cancelled. We felt that we had been duped into taking the short load, so we called our company and told them to take us off the short load because we only agreed to it with the agreement that we would have the second load also.
They worked out a deal with us to stay on the short load with the agreement of being paid to relocate to Dallas afterwards. So we took the short load. We picked up and delivered and then headed to Dallas.
We spent the night in a Walmart parking lot listening to the rain pound down on our roof.
The next morning we got a load that picked up the next day and was going to Michigan. Now we had the whole day so we decided to go to the shop and get Gypsy fixed. There was a Qualcomm shop just two blocks from the truckstop so we went there and she was fixed in less than an hour. Then we drove to the truckstop to spend the night.
Once again we listened to the rain pound down.
The next morning we got up and drove into the city for our pickup. We had to go right to the middle of the city to a surgical center to pickup 11 pieces of surgical equipment. We had to go inside the back door of the surgery center and bring these machines out one by one and load with our liftgate onto the truck. Then Pops secured all the pieces and we started our drive to Michigan.
Pops slept while I drove and since I had purchased an audiobook at Walmart I thought I might listen to that. It was on 6 CDs and I listened to 3 of them by the time I reached Memphis. Once we got to Memphis Pops took over driving.
In a little while I fell asleep and didn't wake up until we stopped for fuel. I woke up then and took the dogs out to pee and then went inside to go to the restroom myself.
I went back to sleep after awhile and the next thing I noticed was the bump, bump, bump of the roads and I knew that we were already in Michigan.
Pops pulled into a parking lot a short distance away from our delivery. He had used up all his driving time so he switched it over while I made some coffee and took the dogs out.
We made our delivery and then I drove us 150 miles to our place of layover in Toledo, OH. We were only there for a short time before we got a load picking up near Detroit and going to Mankato, MN for Monday morning.
I sure hope the weather stays like it is. We have been really fortunate with the weather this year. I don't think there has been much wintery weather anywhere so far. That suits me just fine.
So we have the whole weekend to drive 700 miles. I like it when we don't have to push ourselves. I hope that we can find a good church somewhere along the way.

The Flying Machine

We were driving on Interstate 94 in Michigan and we passed a car pulling this thing. I asked Pops what it was. It looked strange to me. Pops said that he thought it was a flying machine.
I thought it looked like a go cart with a big fan on the back.
We pulled into a rest area and I was walking the dogs when I saw the car come into the rest area. A man got out of the car and went inside the rest area. So I walked down near the contraption and waited for him to come back out.
I asked him what the thing was and he told me that it was in fact a flying machine. You sit in the seat, turn on the engine and the fan and it blows air into the parachute which is attached and laying behind the machine. The more throttle you give the faster it goes until it is airborne. It will go up to speeds of 27mph.
I asked him how to land the thing. He said you just give it less throttle and it will glide downward. He said that it lands pretty smoothly.
He showed me some pictures of other ones that he helped to build and fly. He had never flown this one. He was delivering it to someone who bought it.
He and a friend build and sell them. They cost $6500 which includes lessons.

The flying machine
This is Dallas on Wednesday. It was very rainy and foggy. We had a pickup right downtown at a surgical center.

This is a snake that is on display at the Ranch House Restuarant in St. Hedwig, near Tate and Shirley's

A few days in San Antonio

We got to San Antonio around 12:30 in the afternoon on Thursday. Now we can get our deer damage fixed along with some other stuff that needs done.
Tate and Shirley came to the truckstop and picked us up and we went and ordered some of the parts that we would need to do some of the work.
Then we drove around the city until we decided where we wanted to eat supper. We went to Shobels on the River in New Braunfels. We went there once before and it is such a nice place. We got there at 4:30pm and the buffet wasn't coming out until 5, so we got some salad and soup and waited for the buffet. It was worth the wait. They had catfish, roasted pork loin, and chicken breast, mashed potatoes and several steamed vegetables. And many homemade desserts. The food was good but the company and conversation was great. Tate told us many stories from his childhood and kept our attention until about 7:30 and then we thought we had better leave before we they asked us to. Pops thinks that Tate needs to write down his childhood stories. He was raised in Louisiana just outside of Shrevesport. I think it would make a good blog.
After that we went back to the truckstop and I did some laundry and we got showered and then went to sleep.
The next morning we took the truck up to the garage to begin the work. We went and had breakfast. Pops ordered biscuits and gravy and it sounded so good that all four of us ordered it.
After breakfast we ran around picking up parts and ordering others and then drove the truck back to Tate and Shirley's property.
I love it here and so does Pops and the dogs. It is so much greener now since they have gotten some rain since we have been here last. The dogs and I went for a quick walk just around the yard. We saw that the pond didn't really have any more water than the last time and we saw where Tate had placed his pig trap in the hopes of catching some of the pigs that are rooting up the entire property.
Tate and Pops changed the bumper while Shirley and I supervised. It's a good thing that we did too or they would have put the same bent bumper back on. haha
After that all four of us worked hard to take the hood off our old truck and then take that hood and try to get it into the box of this truck. It took us all evening to accomplish that even though we used the tractor too.
Ok, that's enough for today.
We had burgers and fries from the Ranch house for supper. They have good food and the place is so cool inside. It is all old wood planks and antler chandeliers and many taxidermied animals and reptiles. Pops would like it there.
The next morning when we got up I realized that there was an animal in Tate's pig trap. We had an appointment to have our truck to the garage in just a few minutes too. It wasn't a pig, it was a deer and she had fractured her skull and broke her jaw trying to escape from the trap. She had to be destroyed. That was too bad but nothing else could be done about that. The neighbors, Leroy and MaryAnn came over and got the deer to butcher. At least it wouldn't be wasted. It was good to see Leroy and MaryAnn again. I enjoy getting to visit with them.
Pops and Tate took the truck to the garage while Shirley and I hung out at the house for awhile. Around noon they came back to the house with the truck. Now we had some lights to work on and then we were going to get our tv fixed.
Pops filled up our water tank with water from their hose. Shirley and I was walking through the yard when she moved a piece of canvas and I spotted a scorpion. She had sandels on so she told me to step on it. I asked if it would jump on me and she told me that it wouldn't so I stepped on it and kind of twisted my foot back and forth before lefting it back up. When I did it started to run and Shirley informed me that they are sometimes hard to kill, so I tried one more time. This time I twisted my foot around real good. It was dead for sure now. I'm glad I took some pictures first.
Then we gathered ourselves and drove to Panera Bread for lunch. Pops and I never go there except when we are with Tate and Shirley and I don't know why because we both like it there alot. It was pretty crowded this day too with many air force young men and women. San Antonio has many military bases and the air force base is huge.
Because the lights turned out to be such a horrible mess of shorts and broken wires that was job for the remainder of the day. Tate's friend Rowe came over to help. He works at an RV place and he is familiar with fixing wiring and so forth so he worked until way past dark. He did get our tv going and most of the lights but some of the lights were not getting fixed and everyone scratched their heads because no one knew where to look from here.
It was nice to get to watch the Ravens play on tv even though they lost their playoff game to the Patriots.
The next morning was Sunday and Rowe was coming back over to work on our truck. Pops and I had our "church service" by ourselves early before anyone got started working on our truck.
Once again the entire day was used up trying to get lights fixed. 
Toward evening Pops took a walk to look for pigs and Tate took a nap. Pops happened upon the pigs while out for his walk and the pigs squealed and he thought he better return to the house since he had no gun.  I decided to cook up a pot of potato soup and little did I know Shirley had decided to cook too. She made red beans and rice with beef sausage. We had a good supper sharing all our food.
The next morning we had another appointment to get our door hinges fixed so while that was being done we all went to Subway for breakfast. Then Shirley and I went to town to run some errands. Her and Tate are under alot of stress right now with so many things happening with all of their trucks and they may have to go on the road theirselves next week so they had many things that needed taken care of and I was beginning to feel like we were now a nuisance. They assured us that that wasn't the case and I tried to help with any little thing that I could do to help her get ready but there wasn't really much I could do.
Later that day we ordered Catfish dinners from the Ranch House. Oh my, it was good, but I wish they would fry the french fries a little longer. I like mine a little crispy.
The wiring issue was driving everyone crazy by now so it was decided to take the truck to Freightliner early Tuesday morning and hope that they could easily fix the problem.
During the night Pops and I heard the coyotes yipping very close to our truck. The dogs heard them too and began to bark. That made the coyotes yip all the more. So I got up and put the dogs on their leashes and took them outside to pee. I guess all the commotion scared the coyotes away.
We woke up really early while it was still dark. We wanted to drink some coffee and get awake before we had to take the truck to the garage. I took the dogs out and the pigs were here. We couldn't see them because it was dark but we could hear them grunting and rooting.
Tate and Pops took the truck and Shirley and I hung out at the house. It was a rainy day. It wasn't long before Tate called and said they were done and that Shirley should bring me and the dogs to the end of the road so we could now go back to work.
I was glad that all our work was done and that we could go back to work but I was sad to be leaving San Antonio. I have come to really liking it here and I really love spending time with Tate and Shirley. I will miss them and her in particular. And for sure I will miss the warm temperatures. It is pretty awesome to walk around outside in the sunshine with short shirt sleeves in the third week of January.
I hope we get back here soon. Tate and Shirley do have to go on the road so who knows, maybe we will run into them on the road. I hope so.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Some pix

I can't believe we saw a convertible on January 20th.

This is one of my favorite places to eat. It is so pretty here too, notice the roses.

I killed this scorpion, after taking it's picture.

I had never seen a real one before.

The beautiful Texas sunrise, right in Tate and Shirley's driveway.

Two extremes

I cannot believe that this week has gone by so quickly.
Last Sunday we were near Rochester, NY and it was snowing heavy and the temperatures were so so cold. This Sunday we are in San Antonio, TX and it is sunny and warm, and I mean short sleeve shirt weather.
Last week we looked in the directory for a church to attend and found one near us called, Lake Country Christian Church.
The evangelists' name is Don Kennedy and his wife is Marge. The church was only 4 miles from the truckstop and just across the road from Mott's Real Lemon Factory.
We drove over and parked in their lot and then we went into the building. You can tell a lot about a church within the first 2-3 minutes after you enter.
We were greeted right away and shown into the auditorium. We chose some seats and people came over to us right away, several people. We were made welcome and felt right at home.
Once again the service was very similar to ours back home, with the exception of there were no old hymns sung. It was all praise type music with a praise band. I don't mind that.
Then the communtion was given and then the offering and then the sermon.
He preached an excellent sermon on the different kinds of soil that the seed (word) was sown into. It was scripture that I've heard preached before but it was preached with a different slant and I picked up new thoughts and insights than what I heard before.
I really liked his preaching and was glad to hear him give the plan of salvation at the end. Too many times that seems to be forgotten and I wonder how people ever come to the Lord.
On Monday we got a load that picked up in Jamestown, NY and was going to Little Rock, AR. I was happy about that for two reasons. One, because it was going to be warmer and two, because it may take us to Texas and then we can get our deer damage fixed.
When we went to pick up in Jamestown, the dock area was all icy and snow covered and when I tried to back around the corner and into the dock I ended up sliding really close to another truck that was in the next dock. Pops decided that he better see if he could straighten it up and do a better job. He wiggled that truck back and forth and back and forth and then with a little help from the dock worker with a salt bucket, he got it into place.
We got loaded and started out for Arkansas.
We drove all the rest of the evening and all night and reached our delivery late in the afternoon. We got unloaded and then headed toward Memphis for a layover. On the way there just as our fuel gauge was showing about an eighth of a tank the truck shut off. The engine died. I got it off the road and put the flashers on. Pops got out and checked our fuel. We had 6 inches of fuel in one tank and 4 inches in the other but it was acting like it was out of fuel.
We had to call road service and they brought us some fuel and replaced the filters and the truck started. It turns out that one of the fuel lines somehow pulled up part way out of the tank. Great one more thing to get fixed.
We slept at a rest area that night and waited for another load. I wanted to go to Texas so badly.
We did get a load the next day, it was a DOD load that picked up in Little Rock and was going to Grand Prairie, TX. Grand Prairie is an area in between Dallas and Fort Worth.
So we drove to our pickup. It was a "can't talk about load." We had to be monitored by satellite the entire time and one of us had to be awake and in the truck at ALL times.
I can't really tell you anymore about that load but it was interesting. We picked up and they had just finished installing what they called a "spike system." Anyone trying to their security gates would cause these huges metal spikes (looks more like posts) to come out of the ground and raise your vehicle right off the ground. It was pretty amazing. The guards had to wear kevlar jackets too!
We knew that we would get to our destination by evening and weren't to deliver until the next morning so we needed a safe haven. We were told that our destination was a safe haven and that we could park there until morning.
So when we got there Pops talked over the intercom to the guard and we were told to park along the street where we were until morning. What kind of safe haven is that? And it made me about crazy knowing what we were hauling and not to be behind some kind of security. Oh well.
Morning finally did come and then we got unloaded and headed to San Antonio. Now we can get all fixed up and spend a few days in the warm weather.

(to be continued)

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Well, we didn't go home. I had been negotiating a load with our company and they finally came back with the amount that I had asked for so we were going to Baltimore to pick up a load and then going to Quebec.
I was sick in my stomach realizing that I was less than 2 hours from being with dad and now was leaving the country.
By then I was being told by Starla and Amy that Dad was going to be ok. That they were still running tests on him and he did have cellulitis in his legs and he did have fluid in his lungs but he was going to live and the hospital had the rest under control.
But it still didn't make me feel secure.
I was very happy that so many from the church went to the hospital and Starla was there all day. She was very good at communicating to me what was going on all day too.
So we started our trip to Baltimore and Pops had gotten very little sleep. We drove through heavy Baltimore rush hour traffic and tried really hard not to be late. Our pickup time was 7:02pm or so we thought but once we got there we were told that our time was changed to 10:30. So between the stress of the traffic and the worry with my dad and the anticipation of driving through a predicted snowstorm, our nerves were shot.
Pops laid down while we waited for the truck that we were transferring with to show up, but he couldn't sleep.
At one point around 8:20 we were told that our transfer would take place in 15 minutes, so we were glad that we could get moving sooner. But it didn't happen.
We did finally get transferred and moving around 10:30. So I was driving and Pops tried to lay down and sleep again.
I drove us through Baltimore, Deleware, and New Jersey. We just entered into the state of New York when Pops decided to drive. He hadn't slept more than an hour.
I was exhausted and stressed to the limit. I laid down and did sleep for about 5 hours. When I woke up we were in Upstate New York and there was snow. A lot of it.
Pops told me that earlier he had to drive through some ice.
He continued driving and we crossed the border without delay.
The further we drove the harder it snowed. After 2 1/2 hours we reached the city of Montreal. It was snowing very hard. We were about to get off our exit and there was contruction and Gypsy suddenly couldn't pick up the route. She announced that we were out of route and then she went dead. Great now what? We drove in circles for a long time and couldn't figure anything out. Remember: Quebec is french speaking so all road and street signs are french.
I called our company (at $2.00 a minute) and got them to send us some directions and so they did, but they were the same exact WRONG directions that they gave us the first time. We were pretty messed up and getting really fed up.
But, Thank God, Gypsy suddenly came to life and decided to give us guidance. And she got us right to the location.
We were carrying 5 semi truck engines and they were heavy so once we got them unloaded we didn't have the added weight that had helped us drive the snowy, slippery roads. We had trouble just leaving the parking lot where we delivered.
Now Pops' driving time was winding down. He had only 2 more hours to drive and we had 7 hours to get back to Rochester, NY our place of layover. And it was still snowing. It was snowing so hard that our wipers kept getting clogged up with ice and we couldn't see.
By this time all of the stress of the last 2 days was wearing me down. I started to cry. And the more I cried, the more I wanted to cry. It wasn't making me feel better, but I couldn't stop.
Pops didn't say anything and I sure don't know what he was thinking but when his driving time ran out and we stopped AGAIN to clean the wipers, I switched us over on the computer so that I could drive, but he continued to drive on my time.
I know that he had to be as stressed as I was, probably even moreso because he was the one driving and there I sat bawling. But he kept on driving until we crossed the border and even further.
It was still snowing.
Finally after many long hours we pulled into the truckstop at Rochester. I had stopped crying by now, but I still felt horrible. Pops was so tired that we barely got parked before he was in the bunk sleeping. I sat up for awhile and finished up our paperwork and took care of our online banking. Then I went to bed.
Less than 15 minutes later our truck engine just died. It chugged a couple of times and I jumped up to rev it up, but it died.
We left the generator run so we had good heat and we left the engine issue until morning. Pops needed his sleep.
Our company kept trying to give us loads going right back up to Canada. They tried over and over again until I finally told them that I didn't even want to think about going there right now.
We didn't get anymore load offers.
I don't care, we need rest.
I am so very grateful that God brought us safely through the snowstorm. I am so very grateful to my husband for driving for me when he sensed that it was beyond my capacity yesterday. I am thankful for good people that visited my dad. I am thankful for heat while outside it is only 13 degrees and windy. I am thankful for homemade bread and apple pie. I am thankful that not everyday has stress. I am thankful that we found a church to attend tomorrow that is only 5 miles away.
This morning we got our truck problem fixed. It was an easy fix. Somehow we lost our fuel prime, so a new fuel filter was put on and fuel was put in from the filter back to the tanks and it started right up. We kept warm and ate well and got rest. We got hot showers and watched a good movie and now (maybe) we will consider going on another Canada load. We'll see.
Quebec, city streets after the storm

This was our visibilty for most of this trip

Thursday, January 12, 2012


We are busy this year, so far

So, it is snowing in Indianapolis and windy cold. And that makes the thoughts of going into Canada frightening. We stayed the whole day and night at the Walmart and in the morning we drove the few miles to our place of pickup.
Like I said it was snowing and cold and since it was January 2nd very few people were working so we had to wait for our load. We waited 2 hours until it was ready and it was only 1 pallet of food packaging.
We drove up through Michigan and into Detroit. We were crossing the ambassador bridge into Canada. We got through the crossing without any delays.
We drove for many miles and the roads weren’t too bad but then a storm came up and it snowed like crazy. But people still drove like the roads were dry. I’m glad that Pops was driving. We reached Toronto around 10pm. It is absolutely the largest city that I have ever seen anywhere. It boasts a population of 2 million people. The skyscrapers were miles in every direction and the architecture of the buildings was amazing. Of course we had to drive through the center of all of that.
We found Kraft Foods easily enough but didn’t think we could enter this time of night so we looked for somewhere to park for the night. We weren’t in a very good area so we weren’t sure what to do. We found a driveway and was going to park there, but behind the fence there were 3 large dogs so we decided to drive on.
We eventually found a parking lot to stay the night.
After unloading in the am we drove around the lake and was ready to cross the border back into the US and we got a load offer to go back to Canada, but it was taken by another truck. So we drove on to Buffalo, NY.
Later that day we got a load picking up in Grand Island, NY and going to Milwaukee. It was a hazmat load. Once again there were few workers there because of the holiday week.
Milwaukee is an old, old city, but it is so pretty and right along the lake. We got another load leaving from Milwaukee and going to Atlanta for the next morning.
This place where we were picking up was a mess. It looked like a junk yard. There was so much broken up wood and scrap metal pieces and old barrels and crates. The building didn’t look much better. It had broken windows and graffiti all over. I really wondered what kind of business would do business like that.
We waited for over an hour before we were told to back into the dock and then once we did, they decided our part wasn’t ready. It needed to be repainted! We were told that we would have to wait 4-6 more hours. Well now for sure I wasn’t thinking too highly of that business.
But long after dark our part was ready and we got moving toward Atlanta and toward the warm temperatures.
On the way to Atlanta, we stopped a few times at several rest areas and I was starting to feel warmer and warmer. At one place I even found dandelions growing and honey bees flying around. This was making me happy.
We made it to Atlanta the next afternoon and got unloaded and then headed to the truck stop.  We went and got showers and then settled in for the evening. I was talking on the phone to Bill and Starla. We were talking about movies and it was funny because as soon as I got off the phone with them some guy came around to the trucks selling movies. He had homemade copies of all the latest movies including movies that weren’t even out on DVD yet. So I did buy some.
The next morning we cleaned the truck, I worked on the inside and Pops swept and cleaned up the box. We were pretty dirty on the outside from all of the ice and salt that we had been running through lately too.
We went inside at lunch time to get something to eat and when we were coming back out there was a young man waiting near our truck. He asked us if we had any food that we could share with him. He explained that he is out of work and lived nearby and wanted to wash our truck for food. I asked him how he planned to wash it. He said that he would carry buckets of water from across the street to wash it.
Pops took him inside and bought the man and his girlfriend some food. And no, we didn’t let him wash our truck. He was telling us that he is not a bum and that his dad brought him to Atlanta hoping to find work and that he hadn’t had any luck finding anything yet. You could tell that he was sincere. I felt really bad for him. And he was so grateful for the food that Pops bought for him.
We got a load offer shortly after that and it was going back up north to Aurora, IL. It was a Caterpillar load which we like to do.
I was driving 65 miles per hour up the interstate at Atlanta and we heard a strange buzzing noise. It was a motorcycle or rather many motorcycles racing past us and swerving in and out of the traffic. There were at least 20 of them and they were out of sight in seconds. As I said, I was going 65 mph, we figure they were doubling our speed. Wow, that is fast! And it leaves no room for error. It kind of made me sick in my stomach when I think of how foolish that was for them.
We drove to our place of pickup and got loaded immediately. But then our truck made a horrible sound and wouldn’t start. For some reason all of our air had leaked off and we had to keep turning on the key over and over again to get it to build up enough for the truck to even start. And then once the air pressure built up it ran ok, but we noticed that the air bag for our tag axle (which is an axle that can be dropped down if carrying heavy weight) was twisted really badly. The tag axle was still coming down and going up but we weren’t sure if it was supporting the weight evenly. So we ran the trip and made the delivery and then went straight to the garage at the TA truckstop.
They pulled us into the garage and worked on the airbag for about an hour. They got it untwisted and working without needing any new parts. So it was a pretty low cost fix. And didn’t take too long either.
Wow, I couldn’t believe it was Saturday evening already. This past week had kept us busy and time went by quickly.
So now we needed to find a church in the area for our worship tomorrow morning. It didn’t take us too long to find one in Kenosha, WI. And it turned out that one of Pops’ facebook friends was a member there. So that was easily settled. We would go there.
The next morning we got up and drank coffee while Pops had a conference call meeting with Ralph, Chad, Jeff and Melvin. That idea is working out really well for them. It keeps everyone on the same page all the time.
After their meeting Pops and I showered and got ready for church. We were going to be attending the second service.
When we pulled into the parking lot we noticed how big it was. It looked like a school. And the parking lot was full of cars. The first service must get most of the attendance, we thought.
A woman came over to our truck and introduced herself as Annette. She had attended the first service and welcomed us to First Christian and chatted for a few minutes. She was very nice and made us feel welcome.
We entered the building and couldn’t get over how big it was. When we went into the auditorium we saw that most of the chairs were full. There had to have been about 300-400 people there.
The service started off with a skit and singing by the praise band and it was very good. And then it went into Communion time and then the preacher gave his message. His name was Brian Gorman. He was a young man and told all about the series of sermons that he had planned for the coming weeks but wanted us all to feel like a family. He talked a lot about the family dynamics and then about Adam and Eve and how they were a family  and really gave a lot of background to the upcoming series.
It sounds like First Christian Church in Kenosha, WI is really trying hard to have everyone feel connected and like they belong.
I really wish that we would have gotten to talk to Jeff Bush, but time and circumstances just didn’t permit it, I hope to next time though.
Later that evening we were on a load that was being transferred to our truck from another truck and then we were taking the load way up north in Ontario, Canada to Sudbury.
We met up with the transfer truck around six in the evening and the freight was so small that Pops just picked it up and moved it over to our truck. It was one crate weighing only 88 pounds. They had brought that the whole way from California and now we were going up into Canada with it. It seems nuts sometimes.
I wish that we were making this trip in the daylight because we were going across the Michigan Peninsula and around the edge of Lake Huron and then through some pretty rural areas of Canada. Even in the dark I could see that this was a beautiful place although there were very few houses and towns and I mean very few.
It was cold! It was only 6 degrees and really windy. The icy air seemed to be finding it’s way into our truck any way it could. All of a sudden I felt the brakes come on and then Bang! Oh boy, we hit something and I think I knew that it was a deer before I even asked. Sure enough, three deer had run out and we nailed that last one.
Pops got out and looked at the damage. It broke up our headlight and cracked our hood in a couple of places and bent the corner of the bumper all the way back to the tire.
Pops pulled the bumper out the best he could and then he and I worked for 2 hours in that frigid weather on the headlight. We got it to work but it isn’t pointed where it needed to be. Oh well, at least it works.
That incident made it hard to enjoy the rest of the trip. The beauty of the ride just didn’t get noticed in the way that it deserved to be.
So we reached Sudbury early in the morning and delivered our little crate. It turns out that it is gas used in deep mines to determine the presence of harmful, fatal gases. I guess it is pretty important stuff.
I was driving us back to Kitchener, ON for our layover and we were driving down highway 69. I began to notice these small stacks of rocks all along the way. The further I drove the more I noticed them. They almost looked like little rock people. What in the world? I saw hundreds of them. What could be the significance of them I wondered. I couldn’t wait to get out of Canada so I could google that and find out.
We drove past Kitchener to a truckstop in Woodstock, Ontario and spent the night. We listened to the playoff game between Alabama and LSU. We really hoped that LSU would win but someone forgot to tell them that they needed to try to. It was a slaughter of them.
We got up the next morning and headed back toward the states. We crossed over at Port Huron and then drove down through Michigan toward Dearborn.
I googled the little rock stacks right away and found out that they are called “inukshuks.” You will have to look them up yourself for the info but I will tell you it is pretty interesting. Although I still don’t understand why they are along that highway and why there are so many. I guess one person started something and now everyone builds one.
We stopped at a rest area for a while and got something to eat then we got a load offer for a DOD load. This is a “Department of Defense” load and it requires a special clearances that each of us had just obtained. This would be our first official DOD load. It was also requiring that we be tracked by the gov’t by satellite and that one driver had to be with the truck and awake at all times.
We were picking up at Ft. Knox and going to PA. It was quite an experience. We didn’t have too much trouble getting into the gate at either place but we did have to go to a military safe haven to sleep for 3 hours. We were running early and couldn’t deliver until our appointment time so we had to stay at a military base near our delivery until our appointment time.
But we got to our delivery site which was a large military base and they climbed into our truck to inspect it. Pops told them we had two terriers and they said, “terrorists?” and then they laughed. The dogs handled all of those inspections really well and we never did have to crate them.
We are sitting at a truckstop near Harrisburg, PA now. I received bad news this morning that my dad was taken by ambulance to the hospital. He is having chest pain and his heart rate is really low. My brother and my sister are there with him. Melvin and Ginny from the church are there too and Chad is on his way to pick up Starla and take her. I am so very thankful for my church family. They mean the world to me.
I am glad that we are in Harrisburg. If dad’s test results aren’t good, then we can shoot home and be there in 2 hours. Please pray for my dad and our family.

dandalion with bee near Atlanta

Chucky with only his back shoes, he won't leave the front ones on.

Lucy's shoes. She is trying to shake them off

Deer damage

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Our morning worship

It's a New Year, new week, new day. What a clean slate! We were so blessed this morning to be in the Indianapolis area. Pops and I are both friends with Kendall Faull on Facebook although neither of us have ever met him in person.
Our daughter, Starla, met him at Hillsboro Camp and thinks a lot of him. She is friends with him on Facebook and over time while seeing some of the things that he has posted we, too, have become fb friends.
When we realized that we were close to him I sent him a message asking if he was aware of any churches near our pickup site. He messaged me right back telling me that he preached less than 15 minutes from there. Well that was good. It was settled.
We drove to Franklin, Indiana and parked for the night at the Walmart.
We were less than 2 miles now from where the church meets together.
They meet at the Franklin High School.
We got up and got ready and then drove over. It is a pretty big school with big parking lots!!! How good for us.
We went inside and many people came over to introduce themselves to us. Kendall came over too and chatted for a minute and before long the service got started.
They had 6 young people and Kendall in a praise band. It is always good to praise the Lord while watching young people take part.
There was a communion message too. The man talked about the yearend evaluation that he just went through at his place of work and how they use that evaluation to see where they work and improve upon in the coming year. He talked about how during communion we need to be evaluating ourselves to see we need to improve. It was interesting.
After communion Kendall brought a message entitled, Rooted in Christ. He used many scriptures but most of them came from John the 15th chapter. He spoke about how we need to be rooted in Christ and remain in Christ if we want to be productive as Christians. It was a very good message but one point really stuck out in my mind.
He used the scripture Colossians 2:6 & 7: So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
Kendall used the word picture of redwood trees and how their root systems all intertwine under the ground and because they do each of those big, old trees have strength from each other.
This made me think: Each of us NEED each other to be strong. Our roots will hold each other up, but where do our roots come from?
If you are a Christian, you are rooted in Christ just as the above verse says. The more we abide in Christ the more our roots spread and gain strength.
But look at the verse again, we gain our strength from being taught. Sunday school, Bible studies, self studies, will strengthen us. It will give us roots.
If we are lacking in being taught wherever will we get our strength when trials come our way. Why do so many people think that Sunday school and/ or Bible study is just another hour out of their busy week? Why do they not realize that we so desperately need to be taught?
Read Chapter 15 of the Book of John. You will see how to be rooted. John 15:5-8 tells us to be rooted in the Word.
Come on, Christians, be a mighty oak for the Lord.

Franklin High School, this is where Christ's Church meets

Some pix

My Daddy with his Steelers jersey

Zach and Katie

An amish buggy that was in Meyersdale the day we met Margo, Carol, and Ruth

Bullet, my grandpuppy. Isn't he getting huge?

The oil/sticks air freshener.

It is Christmas Week!

After we got all of the belongings of the Fatula's unloaded and carried to the correct places it was time to catch up with our family and loved ones. We had 4 1/2 days until Christmas and I still had some food shopping to do and most of my gifts still needed wrapping.
Starla and I did most of the grocery shopping on Wednesday and then Wednesday evening was Bible Study at the Church. I got to see some more of our friends there.
Thursday morning Starla and I had plans to meet up with our friends from our old job at the personal care home. We were meeting for an early breakfast. We were the last ones to show up at the restaurant and everyone passed around gifts for each other. We had a wonderful visit and plan to do it again next time I'm home. Carol got each of us a blanket that snaps closed around you and an ornament with our names on and she gave me some Necco wafers that she manages to find somewhere. She remembered that I like them and wrote about them once in a blog when we passed the company that makes them in New England.
Ruth gave each of us a gift card for Whispering Pines. It is a beautiful place with so many to look at and enjoy that you can spend hours in there.
It was so nice visiting with Margo, Carol and Ruth. They are great friends. I am so glad that God led me to them.
After we left there, I had to go to Grantsville for one more gift. I wanted to get Pops a bluetooth for his cell phone. We saw one previously at a Pilot that he liked and I was hoping that the Grantsville Pilot had the same model. And it did.
We also decided to stop at Whispering Pines to use our gift cards and it was fun shopping with Starla and watching her decide what to buy for herself. We both ended up with oil/stick air fresheners although hers is a little different from mine.
And then we went to the Hilltop market for some dehydrated vegetables that Pops and I like to snack on.
It had been a good day so far.
Allison, Kailey and Hunter came to the house on Friday evening. I love getting to spend time with them. They are good kids. I had some little gifts for them. I had made Allison and Kailey each a bracelet. I was making bracelets for the First Place ladies and thought I would make for the girls too. And we gave Hunter a card with some money in it. It was because he had made the A/B honor roll and we were so proud of him.
We gave them their Christmas gifts on Saturday afternoon, except for Hunter who got his a month ago. It was a scope for his muzzleloader and he needed it early because of hunting season.
On Saturday morning, Christmas eve, Pops and I went into Somerset to my brother's house to visit. He had picked Dad up and was keeping him for the week. I took fudge as gifts and I found a book for my brother. I bought my dad a Steelers jersey and a gel pad for the seat of his wheelchair. It was a good visit.
Then we drove out around my sister's house and found her in bed. She is getting used to varied shifts at work and is having a hard time adjusting. Kacey was there too so that turned into a good visit, although short. I gave them fudge too and a book for my sister.
Later in the day Frankie, Melynie and the kids came down to the house to visit. I love getting to see them and I think this is the first year that we actually had Christmas with them at Christmas time. haha
The next day was Christmas day and we all went to church. It was the day for the program and everyone did a good job. I was very proud of the kids and their play. And Ginny and Donna sang, The ladies Choral sang, Kaylee and Donna played flutes, The kids sang, Chad spoke and it was a wonderful service.
Mary K. Shaffer, Bill P.'s mom came to the service and Crystal, the kids' mom came too. It was nice of them to come and I am sure the kids appreciated it.
After Church we went down to Tom and Drew's to eat and open gifts. I love and miss my boys so much. It always makes me so happy to be with them. I think that everyone liked their gifts, I know I liked mine.
Pops and I got each of them a tablet computer and we gave Tom a crockpot and a cookbook and Drew and Bill and Starla got Quesadilla makers. I got Bill a Barbie movie, haha, and Starla got a teapot with a scripture on it and Drew got a cover for his tablet. Plus we gave each of them a money gift.
All of them gave Pops money to save for his Ohio hunting trips. And Bill and Starla gave me money which I used to purchase a calphalon pan that I wanted for our truck. Tom got me ALL of the Lonesome Dove movies on DVD. (Oh, I can't wait to watch them) and Drew got me a lined jean jacket that I had wanted.
Pops and I was hoping for a load on Monday but that didn't happen.
We did get a load on Tuesday though, so our time at home is over and time to get back to work. But what an enjoyable time at home.