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.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Well that layover didn't last long. We got a load that was picking up in Collegeville, PA and going to Cambridge, ON. Well, first of all, where is collegeville?
We looked it up and found out that it is near Allentown. So we set out through the rush hour traffic to get to our pick up on time. I was driving and made it there on time. I had to go inside with Pops too because of the Canadian paperwork involved. I drove into the evening and then Pops took over.
Our delivery was scheduled for 3am and really we thought that we would have to wait until 7 or 8 but sure enough they took it off at 3am and we were on our way right back out of Canada.
We had only traveled a few miles toward Buffalo when we got a load offer. It was picking up near Detroit and we would have to change our direction immediately but we didn't get that load. Within another few minutes we got another load offer. This time it was picking up in the state of New York and going to Tar Heel, NC. So we took that load and got it.
We were hauling foam meat trays to a big name meat packaging company. But what I didn't realize was that this company handled meat from start to finish. What I mean by that is that while we were at the guard shack waiting to be allowed in, a truckload of LIVE pigs came in right beside us.
Oh now I was disgusted. I was thinking MEAT, not animals. Now don't get goofy on me, I understand what meat is, it's what you buy in the stores, right? It comes on foam trays and wrapped in cellophane. I do not ever want to think about animals and meat at the same time. NEVER! Meat is meat, animals are cute and nice.
I could not stand being in this place now. All I could think about was those pigs. I asked Pops after about 1/2 hour if he thought they were all dead yet. Ugh! I so badly wanted to go rescue those pigs. But I just sat there until we were unloaded.
Oh well, it is what it is.
The next morning I ate my bacon like a good little girl, never even giving it another thought.
We had a nice layover in North Carolina. It gave us a good chance to get rested up and get laundry done. I also got some of my bill paying, organizing, and some other chores caught up on.
We are in Virginia now. We are picking up a load here tomorrow. It is gum packaging and it is going to Ontario.
We found a church to attend this morning. We called to find out times and about parking. Of course, as usual, no one answered the phone and so Pops left a message.
We didn't hear anything until this morning, we got a phone call telling us they were sorry but no parking was available to us. So we did a good study on Satan's tricks to cause us doubt, fear and worry and how to battle that. We also listened to one of our sermon CDs that we have with us. We were given over 100 sermons by a good friend and when I was getting one out we realized that we had only used about 11 of those. I am so very, very thankful for them. Sometimes, like today we need them, but I am happy that in 18 months or so, we have only had to use 11 of them.
We are always glad when we find a good church to attend and God has been so faithful to provide one for us. But like today, we seem to always hear a good sermon meant just for us. Thank you, Lord.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Rock Island Arsenal

It was so cold and chilly when we woke up. It was raining really hard too. We got a load that was picking up in Ithaca, NY and going to Michigan. But for some reason Gypsy didn’t want to give us directions. No matter how we typed in the address or even just the city name she said she couldn’t generate a route.
It was frustrating but thank goodness Pops is good at reading and following a map. We stopped on the way to our pickup so that I could get some paper plates and bowls that we needed but then we drove in the rain across miles and miles of back country roads until finally we reached the town of Ithaca.
It is a nice place. There is a lake and a lot of neat little shops that I would’ve liked to stop at but time and Pops wouldn’t allow it. Haha
We made our pickup and realized that we had a lot of extra time built into our trip. So we didn’t hurry we drove at a relaxed pace and looked in the directory for a church along the way to attend in the morning. Pops located three churches and tried to reach all three but no one answered or returned our calls.
We stopped at a rest area and slept for several hours and then Pops drove us into Sandusky, OH. There was a church there so we drove to it and found plenty of parking.
As we parked the truck someone greeted us and invited us in for donuts and coffee, but we weren’t ready yet so we declined.
We got ready and left the dogs out for a little while and then went into the building. A man, I think his name was Scott, showed us to where the adults have their Sunday School class. It was a good class with about 20 in attendance. The lesson was about our future glory with Christ. It was a good discussion but of course, as some of the best discussions tend to do, we got a little sidetracked. I enjoyed that class a lot.
After Sunday School we went to the auditorium for worship. It looked like about 85-95 in attendance there. They sang a lot of songs. They had a praise team and a powerpoint screen. I like all the singing and the team was very enthusiastic.
The evangelist is Don Spurlock and his wife is Cherie and it just happened to be Cherie’s birthday. They were very nice people and Don gave a great sermon. He was very interesting and easy to listen to.
We met a really nice man, Jim,  who is originally from Indiana, PA. He still has a farm there that he come to and hunts. Oh boy, the magic words to catch Pops’ interest. They talked and talked.
After services, Jim wanted us to go eat with him, but we couldn’t because of our afternoon delivery and we still had some miles to travel.
It was so good to once again meet such wonderful people. We liked this church and the people. We will remember this one and mark it in our book for the next time we travel through here on a Sunday. That could be next week or not for 3 years, who knows? But it is good to have a good place to worship on our routes.
So we made our afternoon delivery and then drove to Ft. Wayne, Indiana for our layover.  We spent the night at a Walmart.
The next day we got a visit by a young man of a certain religious affiliation. He wanted to share with us. But the weird thing was, he knew my name. He called me Ms. Ryan. I asked him how he knew my name and all he said was that it was his ministry to visit truck drivers and share. But it bothered me that he knew my name and he could tell. He didn’t stick around long. We do not have a number on our truck or our names so I can’t figure it out.
We got a load picking up in Rock Island Arsenal, IL which was over 300 miles away and delivering to Dover AFB. They wanted us there by 3pm but we couldn’t make it on time so they rescheduled for the next morning which gave us the day off. So we used the time to get 2 new tires put on the truck and drove closer to our destination.
We had to drive the outskirts of Chicago and believe it or not we saw a live coyote right along the interstate highway. I couldn’t believe there would be one that close to the city. Wow.
The next morning we drove to Rock Island Arsenal. It is a huge military base and the story of the place is very interesting. Look it up on google and go to Wikipedia. You will not be sorry.
After getting through the gates the first thing I saw was the cemetery. There were so many tombstones, all of them in rows and all of them white. It was something to see for sure.
Everyone there was so nice. It didn’t take us long to get our load on and get moving. Once again this was a high security load with satellite surveillance. We were hauling military weapons.
I began to drive now and it was 9am. I drove all day through Illinois, Indiana and into Ohio. I saw so many policeman stopping vehicles. There must have been some kind of sting going on or something. I have never seen so many stopped vehicles. I’m just glad I wasn’t one of them.
We made our delivery to Dover which was a piece of cake now that we had been here before. We still have to take the dogs out of the truck while they searched it though. But in no time we were unloaded and now we are in Trenton, NJ on layover waiting on a load.
Pops is sleeping because he drove most of the night. I am trying to get caught up on some of my stuff that I need to, like paying bills, catching up the blog and of course Drawsomething, the game I am addicted to on my ipod. Lol
Our daughter, Starla had a medical procedure done yesterday which is preliminary for another upcoming surgery that she is having done on May 16th so please keep her in your prayers.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Being Sick

We woke up the next morning and all of the storms had passed. It was damp and chilly though. We drove the few miles to the hospital and unloaded the heart machine and then drove to our place of layover. We were headed to Minneapolis but stopped a little short of there so that I could get some groceries at Walmart and then we stayed in the lot to prepare our lunch and take a quick nap.
We got a load picking up really close to where we were that was going to Big Spring, TX. Yay, finally Texas. We haven’t been there in a while. But when we spoke with Tate and Shirley we found out that they weren’t going to be there, they were traveling to Ohio to deliver a truck to a new team of drivers.
So we made the trip without any excitement or trouble. We were tired from hustling to get there. We found a rest area close to our delivery. So we parked and prepared to spend the night. I have been so tired lately, more so than usual. I fell asleep within minutes.
When Pops woke me up the next morning I knew instantly that I had a big problem. My vision was “rolling.” It was like the old television sets when the picture “rolled.” I could not stop my vision from doing that. Then it made me dizzy and nauseous. I began to throw up and was sick in stomach. Pops walked me into the bathroom and then on the way out, (it was still dark) we heard a coyote howl right behind the dumpster there at the rest area. We didn’t see it but it was right there and we heard it howl 2 more times.
If I hadn’t been so sick, I would’ve been so excited but frankly I didn’t care at all. I just wanted to lay down. As long as my eyes were shut, I didn’t feel so bad. So Pops agreed to start driving today. I agreed to go to a clinic, but was afraid they would pull my drivers license. So we went to our delivery then to Dallas for a layover.
Pops was going to accept short loads and drive as a single driver until I felt better. By doing this, we wouldn’t be totally without a paycheck. I appreciated him doing this for me, but I just slept the day away and when I woke up late in the afternoon everything was back to normal except I still felt really weak and tired, even though I just slept for about 14 hours.
We were at a truckstop in Dallas and I got my blanket and sat outside in the sun with the dogs. After about an hour we got a load going to Alabama. I was feeling better now so I drove to our pickup right in the heart of Dallas and then headed toward Alabama.
We got to Shreveport, LA and the highway was shut down in both directions and traffic was being put off and onto another road. I found out that a truck hauling explosives had been rear ended by another truck and although it didn’t explode, it had to be left untouched until experts could come and make sure that separating the trucks wouldn’t cause an explosion. The whole process of traffic jam and detour took about 2 hours.
Finally it was Pops’ turn to drive and I went right to sleep.
I woke up at our destination the next morning. Then we were headed toward Atlanta for a layover but got another load immediately.
We had to go to Columbus, GA for pickup and then it was going to Ontario. When we got to our pickup they asked us if we could haul more freight. Pops called Fedex and they said it would be ok.
So while we waited for the workers to return from their lunchbreak we ate our lunch. Then we got loaded and was on our way.
I drove us through GA, TN and to Florence, KY and then Pops began to drive. Once he started to drive I went to sleep. But I got awakened when I heard Pops talking to someone. We were in a weigh station and had gotten pulled behind. We were overweight. So we got a big fine that we are responsible for. I was so upset, but what are you going to do about it now? We should have scaled the load, but we didn’t so there goes $325 right out of our pockets.
We then had to find another Walmart so that I could get some cash. We needed cash to pay the tolls to go into Canada.
So after about an hour of sleep Pops found a Walmart and I had to wake up and go in for cash. Then I stayed awake because we were only about 30 minutes from the Canadian border and I needed to be awake and in the front seat when we crossed in.
We crossed the border with no problems and I went to lay down again. I did wake up once we reached our destination, but not for long, I tried to go right back to sleep as Pops drove us back to Buffalo for our layover. But sleep was sporadic and I had a headache and was grumpy.
I need to rest. Pops needs to rest.
We are in Buffalo now. We have a load that picks up tomorrow and delivers on Sunday in Michigan. So we have time tonight to shower and get good sleep and try to catch up on some of the things that get put aside during the week while we are rushing from here to there.
Keep us in your prayers. We need them.

Some random pictures

My sister, Amy's family. Kacey Amy, Levi and Scott

Buffalo, NY from the Peace Bridge

Cheasapeake Bay from the Bay Bridge

Peak of Castle Rock in Wisconsin

Castle Rock

Part of the Bay Bridge while on the Bay Bridge

La Crosse, Wisconsin

Lake Erie from Peace Bridge

Part of the Mississippi River near La Crosse, WI

Marion Church of Christ near Rochester, MN

The Mississippi River

Near Fort Worth, Texas

Doug and Sheree

We were very tired when we got home on Friday. We both carried in all of our belongings and put a load of clothes into the washing machine. Starla told us that she has been having some trouble with the machine not draining properly.
I went and showered right away and when I was done Pops showered. By then I checked the washer and sure enough it had not drained any of the water. Oh boy and I have about 4 loads with all our bed clothes and rugs.
Oh well, we’ll worry about that tomorrow. Starla had invited Doug and Sheree Conley over for supper. Doug is the new evangelist at Meyersdale church. Sheree is his wife. We have never met them in person but are friends with them on facebook. Pops is the one that suggested Doug contact Meyersdale for a job.
Starla made spaghetti and salad for supper and Sheree brought garlic bread. It was good, and the company was great. It was so good to meet them and spend time with them. They said that they are very happy with the Meyersdale congregation and we feel that it was a perfect match. We wish them well there.
Saturday morning we attended a meeting at the church for upcoming Camp Meeting. There was a continental style breakfast served and the meeting seemed very productive. Wills Mt. hosts this Preaching in the Mountains family camp every year and every year is getting better and better. More of our local congregations are getting involved and that makes it so good. I am so excited for Camp Meeting this year. We have, as usual, a good lineup of speakers.
Sunday was Resurrection Day. And so our church was full. We had 105 in attendance. It was a good service. We watched a presentation from Buck Ryan about a program he started in Manchester, KY called Reaching Children for Christ aka RC4C.
Buck also was our guest speaker that day and since he used to be our evangelist at Wills Mt. in was so good to hear him again.
After our regular service Buck and our elders, Pops, Ralph and Melvin ordained Chad Fatula into the Ministry. It was a nice but short ceremony and I’m sure it meant so much for Chad. I am honored that Wills Mt. got to have a part in ordaining such a wonderful man into the ministry. Chad is so dedicated already to serving the Lord. I can see that good things will happen with him being here.
On Sunday evening before Chad’s message the youth group gave a presentation of the crucifixion. It was so moving that many in the congregation had tears. I am so proud of the youth at Wills Mt. They are really coming along and have a good desire to take part in serving God.
On Monday morning Starla and I met up with our good friends, Ruth and Carol. I just love these ladies so very much. I am ever thankful for God for bringing their friendship into my life. We had a great visit but time always goes by so quickly when we are together, but a very good thing came of our visit. They both recommended an appliance repairman that just happened to work right across the street from where we had breakfast. So after our visit Starla and I walked over there and made an appointment with Vernon to come on Wednesday morning.
Tuesday morning Pops, Starla and I got up early so that we could go to the hospital in Somerset and visit and pray for a dear friend before she had shoulder surgery. Mary Meekins has already had one shoulder done recently and was now having the other one done. We did get to spend a little time with her and her husband, Bill and have prayer for her before she was taken back for surgery.
After that we took ALL of our dirty laundry to the Laundromat. It didn’t take long to get everything washed and then we took it home to dry it.
We got to go to Wednesday evening services at Wills Mt. We hadn’t gotten to go into service because we couldn’t pick up our truck from the garage until Thursday morning.
By Thursday afternoon we had a load picking up in Cleveland on Friday morning and going to Rochester, MN for Monday.
It was an easy trip for us. We picked up an artificial heart machine from the Cleveland Clinic. It was a very sensitive piece of equipment.
We had plenty of time to get to our destination so we didn’t hurry. We stopped several times along the route and enjoyed some areas that we had been to before but couldn’t stay long. We like La Crosse, WI and we got to spend all of Saturday afternoon in that area.
On Saturday evening we were at a truck stop less than 8 miles from our destination. We had located a church that was only 3 miles from us. We drove over and checked out whether or not we would have parking and saw that we would.
We drove over a little early on Sunday morning so that we could get parked before too many people came. We were greeted by several people and made to feel very welcome. We made fast friends with one of the elders, Mike Clement and his wife, Joan.
The evangelist is Rick Walston. He has been with this congregation for about 2 years and he preached a good sermon. Of all of the places that we have visited this church and this congregation was most like ours back home.
After service Mike and Joan offered to take us out to eat and so we all loaded into their car and drove to Culvers Restaurant. I had never eaten there and it was good. It was so nice to be with them and get to know them better. After lunch they were taking communion to some shut ins. So they delivered us back to our truck and we drove back to the rest area.
Later that evening we drove closer to our destination and slept. It was very stormy all night. There was thunder, lightening, and very heavy rainstorms. Our truck rocked back and forth all night long.  

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Wow Time Flies

I cannot believe how quickly this month is flying by.
Pops and I made a delivery and then drove to a nearby rest area for layover. For previous (one-time) experience and from what we've been told we were prepared to be in Florida for a few days waiting on a load out or else having to deadhead far. But within a few short hours we had a load picking up that same evening in Ft. Myers and going to Decatur, IL.
So we started our drive and we drove many miles through rurals roads of Florida. We passed truckload after truckload of oranges. Then we saw a facility where they were being taken. In that parking lot we saw at least 100 truckloads of oranges waiting to be unloaded. My goodness, I never would've imagined so many oranges.
Then we drove through a small town and Pops saw a large snake. He said it was dark in color and about the size of my wrist and probably at least 8 feet long. Oh my, I'm glad I didn't see it. I wouldn't have wanted to step foot outside our truck and that would have been bad for our dogs.
We made our pick up at Ft. Myers. We were carrying some kinds of big machine parts going to Caterpillar. Pops had to move the load all around and secure it. During that time he broke the skin on his shin and it was bleeding everywhere. This is bad news for him because it many times will trigger cellulitis for him and that is exactly what happened. His leg became infected and swollen and very sore and also caused him to run a fever. But none of that showed up until about the time we got the load to Decatur.
He refused to go to a doctor saying that he would see one at home when we get there in a few days. Ok, I know better than to argue with his "determination" aka bull-headedness.
It was nighttime when we delivered in Decatur so we drove back to a Walmart Plaza that we had spotted. We slept soundly that night and the next morning I stocked our groceries and supplies since we were at Walmart. It was a cold and dreary day and I just couldn't seem to get warm.
While parked in the plaza I noticed a tanning salon in the plaza and said how nice it would be to lay in there and be warm so without too much persuading Pops told me to go. So I did and boy, did it feel good. I felt good all the rest of the day.
Sometime in the afternoon we got a good load going to Dover AFB for Friday. That was good because after we delivered we could just deadhead home from there and be home for the Holiday weekend, but it didn't pick up until the next day in Indiana. So we drove toward our pickup and found a truckstop to spend the night. We showered and then settled in for the evening.
Our pickup was at a military base and it was so far back in the boondocks. I could not believe some of the roads that we were taking. We drove and drove on roads that were so narrow I hated the thoughts of maybe passing a bicycle. But finally we reached the base and got loaded. We were carrying a high security load and was being monitored by satelite.
I drove for a few more hours and then Pops began to drive. By the time I woke up we were at Dover.
It was a pretty big ordeal getting into the base. But once in, we got unloaded and were done within a very short period of time.
Now our vacation begins.
We are on our way home. Traffic wasn't too bad and we got home by 3pm. We carried all our stuff (dirty clothes, clean clothes, computer, phones, food from our refrigerator) inside.
We had our daughter, Starla meet us in Grantsville so that we could leave our truck at our mechanics for some small repairs and regular servicing.
It was so nice to be home.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


We was hoping to make it to Golden Isle Christian Church to worship and fellowship with Joe Guthrie and his wife, Eleanora. But because we had to wait on our load in Massachusetts we didn't make it until four in the afternoon. They did have an evening service that started at five so we made it for that.
It was so good to see Joe and his lovely wife. I haven't seen them since last June.
Everyone there was so incredibly friendly to us. A Miss LuAnn even gave me some dog treats for our dogs.
We got to have communion, we sang some songs and heard a man sing two special numbers that I enjoyed. Then Grant taught us a lesson from the book of Jeremiah. It was very interesting and very easy to follow even though we came in on Chapter 25.
I enjoyed being there so much. It was a shame we couldn't spend more time with them, but I praise God for once again bringing us to a good place of worship.
Golden Isle Christian Church

Can you see the lizard?

It hasn't been easy

We had a small but nice memorial service for my Dad. It was good to see my Aunts and cousins again, it is just a shame to see them this way. I saw a lot of my Dad's friends that I haven't seen in a long time. He would've liked this service. I thank all of the people involved in making it happen.
Pops and I got moving again on Thursday. As they say, life goes on and no one was going to pay our bils so we had to work. I was glad for the distraction though.
We took a load that picked up near Pittsburgh and was going into Quebec.
To be honest, I don't really remember much about that load so I guess that it went okay. I do know that we came out in Vermont. We stayed for a little while at at rest area in the mountains but then traveled to another one closer to Albany.
We spent the weekend there. It was a real nice place and it was quiet. I did cry alot and couldn't seem to shake the feeling of heaviness that I was carrying around. I miss my Dad. The memories just keep coming. I talked with my sister and that helps because she is feeling like I do. It was a very emotional time for me.
On Monday we got a load picking up in Massachusetts and going to Ontario. So we drove to our place of pickup and then started toward Ontario. We were less than 2 hours away and realized that we hadn't heard from our company if we were cleared to cross the border so Pops called and sure enough we weren't cleared yet. So we pulled off and waited and by the time it was done it had been 12 hours since we first asked to be cleared. This is why a lot of drivers won't do Canada trips. It can be a lot of hassle sometimes.
But after that we went in and back out with no problems. We came back out of Ontario at Buffalo, NY and were sent to Rochester for our place of layover. We backed into the parking lot of the truck stop and I played outside with the dogs in the sunshine while Pops took a nap.
Late in the afternoon we were offered a load picking up in SnowShoe, PA and going to New Brunswick, Canada. We haven't been to that Province yet. It is above the state of Maine. We accepted the load and got it.
We drove on all little rural roads to Snow Shoe. It seemed to take a long time. But we finally got there and had to wait for the other truck to come. This was a transfer load, meaning that for some reason the first truck isn't taking the load into Canada.
There were no docks available to transfer the load so we backed up to the back of the other truck and put our liftgate inside their door and using the pallet jack, transferred the load in no time. It was cases of bottles and cleaning products going to a Canadian military base.
Sometime during the transfer we noticed that hydraulic fluid had leaked from our liftgate and now was in a big puddle on the parking lot. Pops checked it out and saw that our line was broken. We were lucky to get the liftgate back down and now we wouldn't be using it until we got it fixed.
We were also now having some problem with the tag axle and we needed to use it because of the weight of this load so we stopped at a truckstop to see if they could fix us. We found out that the tag axle problem was because we blow out a tire on the back, inside. When it blew, it broke the brake cams on both sides and so there was no brakes to our tag axle. So they fixed the brake cams and replaced the tire. We decided to wait on fixing the hydraulic line because we needed to get moving or risk losing our load.
We drove up through Maine and the further we went the harder it snowed. People were sliding off the roads. Pops drove really slowly. Finally we made it to the border.
But we got pulled in to inspection. Oh no, this is never good.
The people that we transferred with had done the original paperwork and Canada was expecting them and not us, so that threw up a red flag to them. I understand that. So we explained that we were on a transfer load. But they still decided to cut our seal and inspect our load.
Our paperwork stated that we were hauling bottles and cleaning kits.
The cases contained bottles, hoses, sprayers, and plungers. The customs officers wanted to know why these things weren't itemized. He wasn't happy about them being described as kits.
So we had to wait until our broker and then the shipper could be reached and questioned. Well since it was 11pm we had to wait until 9am the next day and by the time everything was okayed it was noon. We sat at customs all that time!!!
So now we were finally driving through New Brunswick and what beautiful scenery. There were mountains, wide rivers, big tall trees and so much natural beauty. I enjoyed that ride.
We got to the military base and found our delivery site and of course they needed our liftgate. We explained what happened and why it couldn't be used. They found a forklift and got us unloaded. They were so very nice and friendly.
So now we were turned around and headed back to New Hampshire for our layover. But this was going to take hours until we got there.
We did get there and went to a favorite Rest area that we like to wait.
The next day we got a load picking up here and going to Tampa, Florida. I was so excited to be going to warm weather. Yay!
Each day I am beginning to feel better and the grief is slowing leaving me. I know that life goes on and that it must.