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, March 21, 2012

Me, Amy(my sister), Jim(my brother), and Dad


Ft. Dix

We arrived with our load at Fort Dix, New Jersey. We entered the first gate and we had to get out of the truck so that it could be X-rayed. We were told that our load had shifted and it was leaning against the door. Really? We had never had a load shift like that before. I wondered how that might have happened.
We got to the next gate where we had to get out of the truck again so that it could be searched. Then we had to park our truck before the next gate and go inside for them to check our credentials. From the time we arrived until we were actually inside the base was over 45 minutes.
We got directions and drove to the building where we were to unload and had to wait for someone to come and sign our paperwork.
While we waited I talked with my stepson, Frankie. They were coming to Philidelphia to pick up our grandson, Derrick. Derrick is being shipped out with the army to Afganistan on May 6th, so he is coming home for a visit before going.
They are staying in a hotel and going to sightsee tomorrow before going home to Confluence.
We thought that maybe if we didn't get a load right away that we would be able to meet up with them.
After we offloaded we drove just a short distance to our place of layover. We were at a truckstop and I was relaxing and reading while Pops took a nap.
We got a few load offers. And accepted one picking up in Newark, NJ going to Indiana.
We drove up to Newark. We were very near the water and really close to the Newark airport. It was a chemical place, we were hauling a hazmat load.
While we were there we kept hearing what sounded like gun shots. We must have heard it at least 20 times. While I was on the phone with our dispatcher, she heard it too and questioned who was shooting and what were they shooting at? I didn't know, but I just wanted to get loaded and get out of there.
We did finally get moving and before long we were moving in the direction of Indiana. We were hauling glue to the place where a famous transparent tape is made.
We got there by noon the next day. It was Friday and we wondered if we were done for the week. We were near Indianapolis at a truckstop and were already thinking about where we would attend church. But we were offered several loads.
Our company was really trying to persuade us to take a load to Canada and we were almost to a agreement on that load when we got an offer picking up nearby and going to Norfolk, VA. We accepted that load and got the load.
We drove to our pickup and were delayed there for about 6 hours before our load was ready. This allowed some time for Pops to catch up on a nap.
Then we were moving again. This load had 3 delivery stops too. All of them were to deliver Monday by 1:30 in the afternoon.
We knew that we had plenty of time and didn't have to rush. But we needed to re-think where we would go to church now.
I had to drive through a sobriety checkpoint on Saturday evening. That was interesting. They had bright lights and policemen all along a stretch of the roadway and they would stop your vehicle every 50 yards or so and ask you questions. I spoke with 3 different policemen and waved through the last two.
We decided that we were going to attend church where a facebook friend of ours goes. We have not yet met Michael face to face but we feel like we know him from our friendships on facebook.
We stopped and showered and then found a rest area to sleep for awhile before church.
The next morning I got up and got the coffee going. Pops was on a conference call with the evangelists and elders from our home church. I took the dogs out and was about to get dressed for church when my phone rang. It was the ringtone that I had assigned to my sister.
As soon as I answered the phone I knew it was bad news. She was sobbing. She told me that she got a call from the administrator of the personal care home where my dad is and that they found him dead in his bed this morning.
I think my heart stopped for a moment right then. And my ears started making a whooshing sound. My sister said that she would call me right back.
I tapped Pops on the arm to get his attention, he was still involved with the conference call. I told him that my dad had died and he told the men. They stopped their meeting and had prayer and then Pops got off the call.
I tried to call my brother but he wasn't answering. So I called his wife's cell phone and told her about dad. I left it up to her to tell Jim.
Then I contacted my sons, Tom and Drew and left them know what had happened.
Pops and I talked about how to get home and when. We did still have a load that had to be delivered.
Starla called next from church. The elders had told her to call me. I told her about her Pap and she was sobbing. She wanted to know when we were coming home. I didn't know yet.
I talked again to my sister and in the meantime she had talked with the coroner. Nothing at all, as far as meeting with him to make arrangements or anything could be started until Monday morning. After talking to her and knowing that she had her family around her and talking with my brother, Pops and I decided to stay with our load, deliver then drive straight home.
Sunday was a long long day, spent quietly with my husband's tender loving care. I received many calls and messages from people. I talked several times with my family and my sister. It was hard not being home but at the same time it gave me time to grieve in private. I think it was good for me.
Please pray for me and my family. We appreciate it.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Cousin Sandy

After leaving Minnesota we traveled through Wisconsin. I really like Wisconsin. It is a beautiful state and it is the state that most reminds me of Pennsylvania. The landscapes and the weather is very similar to PA.
We had chatted with Pops' cousin, Sandy on Facebook and knew that she and her truck driver husband, Ernie, were going to be coming through Wisconsin today also.
Pops texted her on the phone to see where they were.
After several texts we realized that we could meet up with them at Mauston, WI. So we planned to do that.
They got there about 25 minutes before we did and went inside for something to eat. We had explained that we were on a "secure load" and could not leave our truck.
When we got there we waited for a few minutes for them to come back out. Then we visited with them for a little over an hour.
I was so glad to see them. It was salve for my soul.
Sandy is a friend of mine from high school. She is first cousin to Pops. She introduced me to him 34 years ago this month.
Her mother, Louise, is one of my all time favorite people that ever lived on this earth. She was so good and kind to me and I considered her my second mother. She and Pops' mother, Jane were sisters.
I loved visiting with Sandy and Ernie, but the hour went by way too quickly.

Random snapshots

Deer at the rest area

Another deer, there were 4 in all.

Venus and Jupiter

Kacey and I with a statue near New Centerville, PA. Doesn't he look like Paul Chaney Sr.?

Trucker witness, way to let your light shine.

Grandson, Zach, with his scorpion sucker.

Cannot get with it.

We left home on Wednesday afternoon. We had a pickup in Pittsburgh that was going to St. Joseph, MO. Emotionally and mentally I wasn't ready to go.
I was first to drive and drove the 2 hours to our pickup. We picked up at a chemical place although it was not a hazmat load. It took only a few minutes to get loaded and then we were on our way to Missouri.
Pops took a nap while I got us underway. I just didn't want to go yet. I didn't feel like I had enough unwind at home time.
Somewhere in Ohio Pops and I switched off and he drove while I slept. I knew that I was being quiet and not talking, but it was because my mind was in a funk. I hoped that it wouldn't last too long.
We made our delivery and was quickly dispatched on another load.
This time we were picking up girl scout cookies to deliver. We picked them up in Sioux City, Iowa and they were going to Grand Forks, ND. We were suppossed to get there around 10:30pm that evening but when we talked to the delivery person he was hoping we would wait until the next morning. But we couldn't we were predispatched on another Girl Scout cookie load.
So we fueled our truck and then stopped at Walmart for some groceries and then went to delivery. The man did show up a little after midnight. He got us unloaded and gave us some product that had been damaged by an earlier delivery. Yum Yum.
Then we drove back to Sioux City to wait for our next load.
It was a Saturday and there was no one at the shipper when we got there. We waited and waited and finally about 5 hours later we got a call saying a man was on his way.
This time they wanted us to take 14 pallets. But only 11 would fit onto our truck. So they put the 11 pallets on and then added a few additional cases of cookies on top of the pallets. We had over 1500 cases of cookies.
So off we went, clear up north to Minot, North Dakota. This time a lady called me and wanted to know what time we would be there. I told her that we would be there around midnight but that our appointment time was 8am on Sunday. She told me that she would get help and meet us there at 8am central time, "but because of the time change, it would be 8am our time." No, it wouldn't I thought to myself, but you don't argue with customers. Whatever.
Anyway we got there and parked and slept until the next morning.
She came alone, so much for help. Anyway, Pops worked hard to unload all those cookies and I helped while the woman watched and counted the boxes.
It took us about 2 hours to unload and get out of there and now we were driving the whole way to Minneapolis to our place of layover.
We took our time driving to Minneapolis. We stopped in Jamestown, ND because there is a huge buffalo statue there that we had seen from the highway and wanted to see up close. But as we got to where it was, it was blocked from view and you had to pay to get into to see it and it was closed for the season. Big deal, I'll just look at it from the road.
We reached Minneapolis and parked at a favorite truckstop. It wasn't long before we were sleeping.
The next morning we went in to shower and then waited for a load. The whole day passed and we hadn't gotten a load, we barely saw any load offers. So we slept again.
The next day we were offered a load picking up in Manitoba and going to Florida. We accepted and was put on the load. But before we even got our paperwork completed the load cancelled. Oh well, that happens; but it did make us the number one truck for load offers. Then we noticed on the computer that at least two trucks had been dispatched and we hadn't even seen any load offers, so we called our truck owner to have them try to figure out why.
The next day we got another load picking up in Manitoba and going to Scranton, PA. We accepted and got the load. We did our paperwork and started to drive north. We drove about 120 miles when we got a notification that our load had cancelled. What in the world was going on? So back to Minneapolis we went to wait somemore.
This time we went to a rest area and it was a good choice. The weather is sunny and in the 70's and the rest area had a lake next to it with a river behind it and a paved walking path the whole way around. The dogs and I took several walks to enjoy the weather.
We were still there the next day, so we walked again. You have to make the best of it even when you don't feel like, no, especially when you don't feel like it.
Thursday we picked up a load going to Ft. Dix, NJ. It delivers on Friday so that might be it for the week. Wow, I hate weeks like this.
We picked up our load and I started to drive. The day was beautiful and for once since leaving home, I felt okay. I felt like my old self was back. Things were going to be ok.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Beautiful Idea

Isn't this a beautiful idea for your table instead of bunnies and eggs this Resurrection Day? I loved this when I saw it and would love to make one for my table.
This would also be a good Bible School or Youth Group project.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

At Home

We arrived home late in the afternoon on Saturday. There was no one home. The kids had ball games and Bill and Starla had gone to pick them up.
We carried our dirty laundry inside and got busy going through our huge pile of mail.
Bill, Starla, Kailey and Hunter came home then and it was happy chaos greeting each other. Then everyone settled into something to do for a little while. I finished sorting mail.
I needed to go to the store to get something for our fellowship meal after church. I thought I might make ham pot pie.
So after we ate supper we all piled into my car and went to Walmart. We also had to stop at Lowe's and pick up a new thermostat for the house the other one wasn't working right.
Then we drove back home. I made ham pot pie while everyone did their own thing. It was great having them come in and out of the kitchen, chatting about this and that and catching up on all that had gone on with the kids in the last 10 weeks.
One by one everyone got showered and settled in for the night. Ahh, my own bed, but why couldn't I sleep? Sometimes this happens on the first night back at home. But I was ok, I didn't get upset or grouchy. I was just happy to be home.
We got up for church the next morning and Pops and I left the house earlier than the rest. He had an elder's meeting and I was attending First Place with the ladies. I was excited. I love these women so very much. I miss them more than they can imagine too.
We had a good lesson led by Ginny Logsdon.
After that was Sunday school and I was surprized to see how many people came. Attendance has really picked up. I was just soaking up the fellowship with the members from my home church. It felt wonderful to be here.
After Sunday school we went to the auditorium for Worship service. Again, I was surprized by the attendance and I tried to get around and say hi to everyone but that was impossible. I made it about half way before the service started.
After communion I noticed that something new has been started since we were here last and guess who's turn it was to do it? Bill Perdew's. I was so proud to see him get up and take part in the service. He is such a good man and is getting more and more into serving all the time. Good job, Bill. You will receive a blessing from God.
Pop's cousin, Peggy and her son, Justin, were visiting our church today. So we talked with them until they had to leave. Then we stayed for the fellowship meal and were some of the last to leave as usual.
My ham pot pie was all gone and we hadn't even gotten any. Oh well, I still had some ingredients at the house, I will make some more when we get home.
We spent a few short hours at the house before returning to the church for Sunday evening service. After the service a group of members were practicing for a special that they are doing for the upcoming hymn sing so I watched. It is very touching and a good presentation. I wish I could be here for the hymn sing, but they are going to videotape it and put it on Youtube. Make sure to check it out if you can't come to the hymn sing.
I said goodbye to all of my wonderful church friends because I knew that I probably wouldn't see them again until Easter weekend. I always hate the goodbye part. It is so hard to leave those you love so dearly.
Monday morning was busy. Pops went to Hyndman to spend the day with our preacher, Chad Fatula. Bill P. went to work. Starla and I were meeting my sister, Amy and her daughter, Kacey for breakfast in Somerset. Then I had an appointment with the eye dr.
I enjoyed seeing Amy and wish that we could've had more time together. But that's the way it goes. I have learned to make the most of time spent together with someone.
My eye appointment went as expected. I had to get new glasses because my bi-focal wasn't strong enough anymore. I think the Dr. found every way possible to tell me that I am getting old. He did a complete exam including dilating my pupils and after all of that told me to go pick a pair of glasses. Well, that is hard to do when you can barely see at all. Why don't they tell you to pick glasses before dilating your eyes?
After the eye Dr. we drove to Confluence to visit with my Dad. He was in a good mood and we helped him put all of the post cards that I had sent into his photo album. It was a nice visit and we didn't stay real long because you could tell he was tired and so after an hour or so we left.
We dropped Kacey off at the cafe where my sister works and then Starla and I had one more stop. We had to take my taxes down to the CPA to get them done. She said she would get them done as quickly as possible since she knew we weren't here for long.
Then we went home. I worked somemore on laundry and then we got ready for supper. We were invited to Chad and Diane Fatula's for supper. They were making steak. Pops came home and then shortly thereafter we left to go to Hyndman. Bill P. was coming there right after work.
Diane made steaks on the grill and baked potatoes and a big tossed salad. She also had a loaf of crusty bread to go along with that. I had made an apple pie. So we had a good meal and enjoyed the good times with them. Their sons, Chaz and Drew are such good fun. What a sense of humor runs in that family. It was a nice time and I hope to do it again when we go home next. I thought maybe we would have them to our house this time and make pork chops or chicken on the grill.
The next morning Bill P. went to work and Starla and Pops went to Hyndman to do some stuff at the church. I stayed home to get our truck repacked and to prepare for our sons coming up for supper today. But our tax lady called and said that our taxes were done already. Wow, that was less than 24 hours. So I drove over and picked those up too.
Then I came back to the house and started cooking. We were having spaghetti and salad.
We saw Drew in church on Sunday but I hadn't seen Tom in 10 weeks. I miss my kids while on the road. I do get to text them and occassionally talk to them on the phone but it is hard to have children, even if they are grown and not get to see them very often.
So our visit with them was a lot of catching up and just enjoying time spent together. Drew brought his "puppy" Bullet; although he is full size now. I can't believe how large he is and his voice has gotten deeper, so that when he barks, it is deep and loud. It was quite a lot of chaos with him and our dogs. But it was good chaos.
Tueday evening was spent just relaxing around the house. We were going back into service at 11:30pm and didn't know when the load opportunities would start coming.
We got to sleep a good night's sleep in our bed undisturbed and the load opportunities started coming around 10:00 the next morning. We declined about 15 or 20 before we found one that interested us, but we didn't get that one. We ended up getting one picking up in Pittsburgh, PA and going to St. Joseph, MO.
So just like that, it such a short time, we were back on the road.
It was good to be home.

Friday, March 9, 2012

More and more East

It didn't take us long to pick up and head to Minneapolis. We were hauling "seals." But I don't know what kind of seals. It could've been anything I guess. We were just hoping that the company would be open since we thought we would get there late in the evening. But there was no reason to worry, they were open and they took the load right away.
It was beginning to snow.
We were offered a load while getting unloaded so we accepted and we were on our way to another dispatch as soon as we were unloaded. This load picked up in Wisconsin the next morning and was going to Michigan, near Detroit.
Pops was driving now. The snow didn't last too long. He drove for several hours through the night.
The next morning we picked up and then began our drive to Michigan.
Wisconsin is a beautiful state and so we enjoyed the scenery. We were trying to reach and get through the Chicago area before "rush hour." We did.
It seemed to me that the states and the hours were all blending together. Pops was driving again. He was being kind to me. We had had a long week of driving and he was giving me a break by doing this driving. We figure and were betting on our week being done once we delivered this load to Michigan.
Our delivery was really close the Detroit airport and I loved watching and hearing the planes fly right over us.
We were hauling a load that was being transferred to another truck so we had to wait until he showed up to transfer, while waiting we were offered another load.
We were wanting desperately to get home so we weren't sure what to do. Michigan is no too far from home but would we get the load offers going east? This load was to North Carolina.We usually do well from there and may get home sooner if we take that load. We thought it may be the best choice so we accepted the load.
I looked on the map to see where we would be when we delivered and saw that we would be within 60 miles of our friends, Wayne and Nadine. I called Nadine and told her that we were coming close and planned on being with them to worship on Sunday. She was excited and so was I. I hadn't seen her in a long time and was looking forward to seeing her again.
Pops and I drove to the pickup and pulled through the gate. Pops went inside to find out which dock to back up to and came out shaking his head. He told me that our load was going to cancel because they needed a tractor trailer no a truck our size. We waited to get official word from our company and sure enough we got word.
We were now in Todedo, OH. So we found a truckstop and prepared to spend the night. It was very windy and I thought we blow over.
The next morning I called Nadine to tell her that our load had cancelled. Of course she was disappointed just as I was.
And then Pops called our truck owner, Tate and we were told to go home. It was 5 hours away, but we were going home.