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, October 28, 2012


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

Slow Start

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

Riverside Christian Church

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

Sunday, October 21, 2012


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

Two loads

Sunday as we were leaving the restaurant I found a penny. Now I know that when I find a penny, it is God's way of letting us know that we will get loads and be provided for. Anyway, we did get a load almost right away it was picking up in Mason, MI and was going to Chattanooga, TN. So we got a good night's rest and then drove up there early the next morning.
We were picking up auto parts. It was going to the Volkswagen plant. We had to wait our turn to get loaded so it took a little while. But once they started it only took a few minutes. Then we were on our way to Chattanooga.
It took us all day to drive there and we got there around 10 at night. The plant is huge. We were told by the guard to go to a certain place but once inside the gate someone else told us to go to another area. But once we backed in they told us to go somewhere else. Well, the next place happened to be the place where the new cars were being test driven. That was fun to watch. They took them two at a time and ripped them around all over the place, swerving and driving fast. Haha.
We eventually was directed to the right place and got unloaded. Then we found a truckstop near Chattanooga to spend the night.
The next morning I got up and got all of our laundry done right away. We were just about out of clean clothes. So it was good to have a place to get it done. The last two Pilots that we were at didn't offer laundry services.
We got a military load that was picking up in Alabama and going to Arkansas. We accepted it and headed in that direction.
We have been here several times before and we know there is no hurrying at this place. They take their good sweet time getting you loaded and then getting all the paperwork done. But we remembered that so it didn't grate on our nerves too bad. They are just being very diligent about their jobs, I guess. And there is always a military policeman that stands there and watches until you are loaded and the truck is sealed shut.
We got back through the gate and was on our way. It really wasn't a long trip, and we knew we would get there around midnight. But we were scheduled to unload until 7 the next day. But because of the type of load we had to get there and get into a safe haven. That is a secure hold on the military base.
When we got there it was late and all the people at the gate seemed very very young and they hadn't been told that we would be arriving, so they weren't quite sure what to do with us or where to tell us to go. They could see by our paperwork that we absolutely needed to be left onto the base, so after awhile we were left inside and directed to a narrow roadway between trees and told to park there until in the morning. Pops said, "park where?" They said, "right here." Pops questioned, "just here in the middle of the road?" "Yep. But you'll have to move before 6:30 in the morning when the traffic starts to use the road." Well, ok. so we "parked" and slept in the middle of the road.
The next morning we moved to a building that our GPS took us to and sure enough it was the right one. Way to go, Gypsy. So they unloaded to the 2 big crates and that was that.
Now we found a truckstop near Little Rock and parked while we waited for another load.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Hudson Lake Church of Christ

We woke up a little before 6am this morning and I could hear some activity outside. Pops got up and got dressed. I did too. I also made some coffee and took the dogs out. We saw a woman on a forklift making trips back and forth to the dumpster with cardboard garbage. She told us that we would be unloaded at 7. But it was ok to back into the dock.
So we drank our coffee and finished getting dressed.
At 7 o'clock we got unloaded which only took a few minutes because we only had one big piece on the truck.
Our GPS told us that it was 135 miles to South Bend. So we started out right away. I was driving. When we got near, we put the address to the church into our GPS and stopped once more for a restroom and to take the dogs out again.
We got to the church about 10 minutes before 10 eastern time. We were told by Terry that Sunday School began at 10:00.
Terry came out to meet us and told us where to park. Once we were parked we went inside and was greeted warmly by a woman that I realized at once was Terry's wife, Judy. It was so good to finally get to meet them. As I said we have known them as friends for a long time and talk to them often through facebook, but have never met them face to face. Oh this was such a good day.
Sunday school was about to start so we took a seat at the table. They began by taking prayer requests and then having prayer.
After that a man named, Hollis led the class in discussion. The scripture came from the book of Acts and it was about the stoning of Stephen. We talked about Stephen calling the Pharisees "a stiff-necked bunch" and how his words enraged them to the point that they stoned Stephen to death.
Our discussion centered around ways in which our words, which are meant to bring others to salvation could sometimes miss the mark and actually upset people and turn them away.
It was a really good discussion. I enjoyed the class alot.
After Sunday School we found a pew that was in the general area of where we sit at our home church, Judy sat with us.
The service started with singing of songs and prayer and then a young man named , David, came up to do the communion meditation. David is a brand new father. His baby, Ali, was born prematurely and it was a rough time for them although the whole family was in church today including Ali.
Anyway he spoke about how never realized until he held his daughter for the first time how much a parent could love and also how quickly that love could happen and grow. He related this to how much God loved His Son using John 3:16 & 17. He talked about how God gave up His best loved Child to save all of His children. As he spoke he got choked up and teary eyed. It was a really touching and loving meditation.
After communtion Terry preached a sermon using scripture from Revelation concerning a letter written to the church of Sardis. God told this church that even though it appeared that by their deeds they were alive they really were a dead church. Wow, can you imagine God telling your church that? God continued to tell the church at Sardis that they better cultivate the little bit that is not yet dead and do something to prevent their certain death. It really made me wonder about all the things we do in our church that we consider important. Is it important to God? Who is really benefitting from the things we do as a church or a church member? What a really thought provoking sermon. I know I will be thinking about it this week.
I want God to pronounce me worthy when I get to Heaven. I don't want to be busy about "stuff" that is not leading others to God or bringing myself closer to Him.
I do not ever want to be so busy about church stuff that I forget about God's stuff. I never want God to tell me that I appear alive, but I am really dead. Oh my!
That was a good sermon. Good stuff for sure!
After services we got to talk to some of the members and get to know them a little better. We a great group.
Then Terry and Judy invited Pops and I to eat lunch with them. We drove into town and ate at a small diner. It was such a good time of fellowship.
I just absolutely loved meeting Judy. And Terry is just as upbeat and encouraging in person as he is on Facebook.
After we ate, we left immediately. Terry and Judy were beginning their vacation right now and they were anxious to get on the road. They were traveling to Kentucky. I wish them safe travels.
And Lord willing, we will get to worship with them again sometime at Hudson Lake Church of Christ and if not, we will worship with them again in Heaven. I look forward to that day.


So as soon as we were repaired we got a trip that was picking up in Illinois and was going to San Antonio, TX. I just love any trip going to Texas, but I guess you already know that. I'm sure that it wouldn't feel like Fall weather down there.
So we traveled for a few hours to our pickup and got loaded. Then I drove while Pops slept. I drove us down through Illinois, past the Arch at St. Louis, all through Missouri and then stopped just a little before entering Oklahoma at a rest area. We have stopped at this rest area before. It is one of my favorites. It is on Route 44 near Springfield. The sidewalks are painted to look like highways and all the pavillions are painted to look like little shops you might see along the famous Route 66. The inside of the rest area is a tribute to Route 66 also.
It was just before dark so we spent a little time here. I took the dogs out and they got some exercise. Then we, (this is a she,we; or actually a me,we) made something for us to eat and fresh coffee for us and for the thermos. Then Pops started to drive. I went to sleep.
I woke up when we were stopping and starting in backed up traffic in Austin, Tx. Pops was down to just a few minutes left to legally drive. So we switched off while in traffic on the computer and then pulled off as soon as we could so that I could drive.
After we got through all the Austin traffic things went smoothly. Our delivery was on the north side of San Antonio so when I reached the exit ramp I pulled over to take the dogs out. They had to go real bad. While we were waiting for Lucy to pee a cop pulled up behind us to see why we were sitting there. Once he saw that I was waiting for Lucy, he just waved and drove away.
We found our delivery address and got unloaded. Next we drove to the opposite side of San Antonio. We had an appointment to get some other stuff done to our truck at a place that Tate goes to a lot. They are a tire business. And they all are mexican looking and spanish speaking. Pops told me that now I could practice my spanish. No Way! Can you imagine the goofy white woman saying elementary spanish words trying to talk to them. Hah. They would think I was the biggest joke.
But I am very happy with my own progress. There are 50 levels on this game and I am only on level 7 so far, but I already know all the numbers up to 101, the colors, the months, the days, , some greetings, some family names, body parts, not too shabby. But still I couldn't imagine the guys at that shop wanting to talk to me about colors or numbers.
So we were there for a couple of hours. They even removed the non-working reefer from our truck. This will take away some weight from our truck and also allow us to now haul explosives too. We have had training to do that but never did because they won't load them onto a truck with a reefer. And don't you know that before the workers even had the last bolt loosened from the reefer we got a load offer for  an explosive load.
So we accepted the load which picked up early the next morning near Ft. Worth and was going to PA.
Picking up the explosive load wasn't so bad at all. Of course there are a lot of restrictions inside the place and extra caution has to be used when handling. But we got it loaded and then placarded our truck and  was on our way.
I was driving first and drove us through Ft. Worth, Dallas, Texarkana and into Arkansas. I drove almost through Arkansas and just before Memphis Pops started to drive. So while I slept, he drove us through Nashville, Louisville, KY and past Cinncinati, OH, Columbus, OH and into West Virginia. When I woke up I started to drive again. We delivered in the southwest corner of the state of PA and then went to Pittsburgh area for layover. It was Friday morning and we said that if we didn't get a load by 6:30pm we would go home. But we got a load shortly after fueling our truck. I didn't even have to time to write a couple of checks and pay some bills.
We were picking up that evening in Olean, NY and taking the load to western Michigan.
It was starting to rain and get drizzly. But the leaves were still so pretty and Lake Erie was clear and beautiful looking.
The place in Olean is a place that we have been to several times and we know the drill there. We got loaded and that was that. It was Friday evening and we don't have to be in Michigan until 7am on Sunday. It is only a 500 mile trip so we had plenty of time now.
We drove to a rest area only about 20 miles from where we picked up and stayed for the night. It is always nice to sleep in a still truck. But the weather is chilly so we had to turn the heater on.
The next morning Pops drove us to Michigan which gave me the day off. Yippee.
We got to our destination by 9pm even after stopping for some groceries at Walmart and wasting some time along the way. We slept in the parking lot.
We werehoping to get unloaded right away and then go to South Bend, Indiana for our layover. There is a church near there that we wanted to attend. A very good friend of ours is the evangelist there. His name is Terry Strickler. We are friends with him on Facebook and have been for a couple of years although we haven't ever met him face to face.  So if everything worked out that is where we will be worshipping.

Playing Catchup

I sure do hate it when I get so far behind on the blog that I don't really know how to catch up. But that is where I am right now.
My Mifi isn't working the way it used to and we are having trouble getting connected to the internet sometimes. So then I can't blog when I have time. We went into an A T & T store to see about getting a new one but the contract on mine is not up until May at which time I will be able to get a new one for around $50. I could get one now without waiting but the cost is $269. I think thaat we will make do for now. As long as phone service in the area is good and strong and we are sitting still, not moving we can get on the internet, but not while moving.
Oh well, wah, wah, wah.
We ended up getting a transfer load that was picking up in Harrisburg and going into Canada. Now normally I don't mind Canadian loads but we did a transfer load once where the other drivers had the paperwork so boggled that we ended up spending some unnecessary extra time at the border crossing. But this time it all seemed in order. We did have another problem however.
When the other truck opened their doors to do the transfer we all noticed that 2 of the drums had slid off the pallet. The shipping company had 4 drums of liquid on each pallet and all of those had shrink wrap around them. but they weren't secured to the pallet. So somehow during transport the load shifted and two of the drums slid off. So they had a horrible time trying to get them back on the pallet. But eventually they did.
Once the load was onto our truck, Pops worked hard making sure that it was not going to move in any direction. That is one thing I can brag about. He does a great job of always securing our load. I think we could roll this truck and our load would still be ok. But we won't test that theory.
So we were heading to Quebec where everyone speaks french and all the roadsigns and store signs and everything is in french. It is always an adventure.
We were crossing the border at 1000 Islands.This is honestly one of the prettiest places I know of. I sure would like to come here for a visit sometime. We did pick up a brochure for an Island cruise. We didn't have any trouble at the crossing but it sure seemed really busy.
We were going to the L'oreal Plant where make-up is manufactured. We were early so we had to wait.
It is really hard to pass time when you can't talk on the phone or check facebook or be on the internet. Oh well, I have a new game downloaded that teaches me Spanish. I don't need to be on the internet for that so I practiced my spanish all the while wondering why I wans't learning french instead.
Then it was our turn and we did get unloaded and now we had a 2 1/2 hour drive back toward Syracuse, NY where we agreed to go for our layover. So while Pops tried to catch a nap I drove. We were only about 46 miles from the border when Fedex sent us a load offer to our computer. It was picking up in Vermont and going to Iowa. We would need to stop, change direction and backtrack some if we got the load. So I accepted it and before long the dispatch came through. So now I looked for an exit to get turned around in the opposite direction. We also wouldn't be crossing in at the same place either.
But we got it all sorted out and found a nice place to sleep. We weren't due to pick up until in the morning.
The trip across Ontario, Quebec, upstate New York and down through Vermont was just an amazing ride. The Fall Foliage is at it's peak and I was loving this. Fall is my absolute, beyond a shadow of a doubt, my favorite time of year. I love the fall colors. I love the smells. I love the weather even the sometimes drizzle doesn't upset me. I don't mind a little nip in the air.
Anyway the next morning we got to our destination and while loading our truck, our dock plate broke loose. This is a wide piece of metal that goes the whole way across the very back of our truck. We were hauling 2 pieces of equipment and only one had been loaded. The other piece was the heaviest of the two at over 4000 pounds. Well Pops ended up moving this piece into place with just a pallet jack. But we (that's a he,we) did get it loaded and we were able to take off for Iowa.
I was listening to a comedian on the radio and he told a story of he,we; she,we; and we,we. He said that his wife said, "We need to go get some new clothes for Fall." He knew that was a she,we because he didn't need any new clothes. Later she said, "We need to mow the grass." He knew thaat was a he,we because she never mowed the grass. And once again, later she said, "We need to go to the store before supper." He knew that was a we,we because she would make him go with her. Well Pops and I have those kinds of wes too. haha
It was a nice drive to Iowa, like I said a lot of the first part was coming the whole way south through Vermont and then from east to west through upper New York. I was driving this part and I just got lost in the beauty of the scenery. I drove to somewhere around Erie/Cleveland and then Pops took over.
We got to our delivery the next day and the place where we delivered had a dock plate that came out and covered our broken one so getting the product off wasn't too difficult. Then we went from there to a truckstop. I had gotten us messed up in choosing a church. I made an honest mistake and found a church but it was in Kansas not Iowa. So it was too late to find another one. So we had to have our own worship. I was so mad at myself, but Pops wasn't mad at me because he knew it was an honest mistake.
We had an appointment the next day to get our truck repaired. It took all day to get that done. But it was fixed really good and will not give us anymore problems. We did however, miss out on 3 really good loads. Oh well. Another one will come.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Military loads

We got to our pickup at the military base at Chambersburg, PA. Like I mentioned before we knew what we were picking up here but we are not allowed to talk it. But I can tell you that it was very emotionally troubling. I just wasn't sure how I was supposed to go about this load.
Pops and I went to the main gate and then through the registration process. Then we were directed to the docks where we were picking up.
I went inside with Pops after we backed up to the docks. I went inside totally out of curiosity, but on the pretense of doing the paperwork. We had 8 pieces. They were fairly large wooden crates. Two men were helping to load the truck. They were surprised that we were aware of what we were hauling. Anyway, we got loaded and made our departure call to our company. The lady of the other end of the call was also surprised at seeing what we were hauling. I am sorry to be so mysterious, but I really am not supposed to discuss this.
So now we were going to a location in New England. I noticed that it was not a military base and that seemed odd to me. So I googled the name of the company. It turns out that it is very strongly related to the defense department of the military. Okay, now pieces of the puzzle were coming together.
Sure enough all of our thoughts and wonderings were verified when we reached the destination. I could not make myself go inside here. But Pops did and he was given very detailed descriptions of what they do here. All I can say is that I am so glad that there are people who do this type of thing. Really there is a job for just about anyone. It sure sounded like a job that would not be tedious or boring. And it is a service that definitely has to be done by someone.
Then we had another pickup at a nearby place and going right back down to the base at Chambersburg. This seemed like a "normal" military load. The man loading our truck was from the Bronx, NY and he had a very strong New York accent. He was giving us all of his opinions on everything from politics to terrorism to geography. He was very opinionated and didn't mind sharing them loudly with anyone who would listen. But because of his animation and his strong accent, it was quite comical. He was really nice.
We got moving as soon as the dogs touched ground and squatted to pee. We had to be back to Chambersburg by 6am. We had no time to waste.
We got to the base in time to check in and get through registration. This time we were going to a different place to unload. We had to drive through the base to other side and passed by a lot of wooded areas and we saw a lot of deer which excited Pops. Then we passed by a barn with a lot of cages. It was still a little dark so we couldn't see what it was for sure. When we reached our destination the man that helped Pops unload the truck told us that it was a big pheasant farm.
They got us unloaded and as we passed the barn this time it was daylight and we could see all the pheasants. This base gives out so many hunting permits each year and lets people hunt the deer and pheasants.
We drove to a nearby truckstop for fuel and immediately was hit with another load. It was a Secure 1 load, which is also a military but you are not allowed to stop in route or talk a single word about the load. This was a roundtrip so we made our pickup drove hard and fast without stopping unloaded, reloaded and drove back. Okay, so much for that. Hmmmm.
Well, it is only Tuesday and we have made 2 fairly long roundtrips one of which was an emotional struggle and the other left us feeling disconnected from everything and exhausted.
I was tired. Pops was tired. I was really hoping that we would not get hit up with a load right away. I needed to get out of the truck and move around. The dogs surely needed to get out and move around. I felt bad for them. We have a toilet in the truck but the dogs had to hold it for a long time yesterday and the day before we were so hurried that they just had to drop and squat and get right back in the truck.
Well, God is gracious. We had a long relaxing day off near Alexandria, VA. We are at a rest area and when we got here it was early so we got choice parking. I took the dogs out and walked several times. I got the dishes done and the truck cleaned. I did not cook and I wish that I would have, but oh well. Pops got some good sleep and I got caught up on our blogs.
I did find a penny here awhile ago. To me, that is a message from God that He is looking out for us and will provide just the right load for us. But in the meantime we are going to take off before sunrise and head to the closest truckstop with a shop. We need a couple of minor things done.
Please, pray for my friend, Jeff. I just got word that he was taken to the hospital. I have no other details.

Going Home

The next morning we did go inside and get a shower, but they did not have laundry services available there. Oh well, I guess we'll have to go buy something to wear real soon.
Around noon we got a load offer and accepted it. It was picking up in Olean, NY and was going to Baltimore, MD.
Since it was Friday and the load delivered on Saturday we asked if we could be relocated afterward to the Pittsburgh area and our company agreed to do that for us. We figured that if we were going to Pittsburgh we could stop off at home, visit for the evening, go to church in the morning and then head to Pittsburgh.
Our pickup place was another place that we had been to before. So once again it was a familiar deal with getting inside the gate and to the docks.
It was late in the evening and we got loaded really quickly mostly because it was only one piece that we were hauling.
Pops drove through the night although he did get a wee little bit of sleep.
He drove us to our delivery site in Baltimore. It was right on the loading docks of the harbor. There didn't seem to be anyone there and then we saw a man. He was looking and waiting for us. So he and Pops got the load off and we headed toward home.
We were about 2 1/2 hours away but it always seems so long.
It was so good to see the familiar mountains, especially now that the leaves are beginning to turn colors.
When we backed into our parking spot at the house we were greeted by a welcome sight. Hunter was here for the weekend and he and Boots, the dog, came out to greet us. We carried in all of our laundry, which I got started as soon as I hugged Starla and Bill. Then I began the process of sorting through all our mail.
Starla had a roast going in the crockpot with carrots and some other vegetables and it sure did smell good.
We spent the evening visiting and relaxing. Pops took a real short nap and Bill and Hunter went bowhunting for a little while.
It was so good to be home.
I miss my kids a lot while on the road. I give myself comfort by telling myself that they are busy with  their own lives, but I know that Starla has so many struggles, I wish I could take more of a part with her other than listening and supporting by long distance. I am glad that Bill is such a good husband to her. He is such a blessing. I am so thankful for him.
We had a good evening. We later got and accepted a load offer for Monday. It was a military load and very high security.
The next morning Pops and I got up early and went to the First Place Meeting for the ladies at Wills Mt. Church of Christ. It was wonderful getting to be part of the group. I really miss these women. Our lesson was about God being our King. Ginny Logsdon taught the lesson and she does a really good job.
After that was our Sunday school taught by Melvin Logsdon, Ginny's husband. He gave a good lesson entitled, "Is your heart as clean as your clothes?" I have heard Melvin teach many, many times and I think this was perhaps the best lesson that I've ever heard him teach.
After that we were truly blessed by a sermon by Charlie Gibbons. I love hearing Charlie preach. I really think that he might have missed a calling. He gave a good sermon entitled, "In the service of the King."
Wow, what a great fellowship with Wills Mt.
Of course we had a weekly fellowship dinner after services.
I did not get to see 2 very close friends this time though. My friend, Jeff has health issues that prevented him from being here today. And my friend, Lettie, is still in recovery from a recent surgery. I sure missed seeing both of them.
Since Pops and I accepted the military load we were afforded the opportunity to attend a revival service with our sister congregation at Meyersdale. The speaker was Denny Coburn. I love hearing Denny speak. He knows how to get a point across as simply as possible and with a good dose of humor too.
There were several neighboring congregations there too. So it was nice to see so many good friends and loved ones.
When we got home from church I pulled my car into the garage and  Pops and I got ready to go. We wanted to get close to Chambersburg and get some rest before the trip in the morning.
So we hugged Starla and Bill and said our goodbyes and away we went.

God is Good

Our week got a good start with that previous trip from Lufkin, TX to Arkansas. Then we were offered a load that picked up in Anniston, AL. It was another government load. It seemed like a very long way to go to get to our pickup, but we agreed to go.
So we drove all night, well, Pops did and we got there the next morning. It took a little while to be left into the base. We have been here many times so we know the drill but there is no haste here. They all take their good ole time.
Then we got to our building for our load there was another truck there. It was a competitor of our company and apparently there was a problem. The military police were there and they were talking and gesturing with the driver of that truck and before long he was escorted away.
So we thought we would get loaded now but they left us sit in our truck for almost an hour. Then we saw the other truck come back. This time they allowed him to back in to he dock and then they loaded both our trucks at the same time.
One of the men loading us told us that someone in that truck did not have proper clearances to be on the base.
After we were loaded we had to wait for our escort vehicle to come back and escort us to another building for our paperwork.
It wasn't hassle enough that this was a government load it was also going into Canada so that meant even more complicated paperwork but it all got done, I hope correctly, and then we left there.
Yeah, we are taking this load to Montreal. We were kind of used to Texas, Arkansas and now Alabama. I wonder how cold we will be when we get to Canada?
It took us all that day and most of the night to get to the border. I was driving when we reached the border. There was a young man working in the customs booth. He asked all the normal questions that we are always asked at the border, mostly just about where we are from and where we are going to and how long will we be in Canada. But he began to ask us questions about our load. He wanted to know what it meant that we had a panic button, so I explained that if we ever encountered any problems we were to push the button. Then he asked if we had ever pushed it. I told him that I pushed it by accident just yesterday. He wanted to know what happened. I told him that our company called our phones immediately and wanted to know what was happening. I explained that it had been an accident when I picked up the remote panic button. It is like a keychain and when I picked it up I bumped the button. He then wanted to know what would happen if it wasn't an accident. I told him that we were told that "help" would be to us within 15 minutes.
I thought that would be the end of his questioning but then he started asking my all about the inside of our truck. He was thoroughly impressed with our truck and our job.
Finally he handed us our passports and paperwork back and cleared us to cross. Wow, that was interesting.
We were crossing in at a place in upstate New York called 1000 Islands. This place is absolutely beautiful. I would love to spend some time here. If you get a chance, look this up for yourself on the internet. Someday when we cross here, maybe Pops will be driving and I will be able to get some pictures.
We had about a 3 hour drive yet before we reached our destination in Montreal. I sure hope everything goes smoothly. It is always iffy when you come to Montreal. Sometimes Gypsy, our GPS, doesn't like to work correctly when we are here and besides that Quebec is french speaking so that means that all road signs and all signs and billboards, store signs and EVERYTHING is in french. So if you do get twisted around and have to ask directions, well, all I can say is you hope that God will send an english speaker to you. And even then their accent makes it very difficult.
But we didn't have any trouble finding the military base. But we did have a little trouble understanding the guards. We had to wait for over an hour before being cleared to go into the gate and onto the base.
As always when the soldiers realize what we are hauling they get all excited and act like little kids on Christmas morning. We haul a lot of interesting military items. I have to admit I, myself, am very fascinated by some of it. And Pops, oh my, he is like a little kid too.
By the time we got unloaded and drove back into the states and reached the closest rest area it was dark and late in the evening.
It was nice to be able to use our phones and internet again. We always feel so communication deprived while in Canada.
After taking a quick break at the rest area, We drove on south to Syracuse to a truckstop. We wanted to shower and possibly do some laundry. But we were very tired so we slept first and thought we would do all that in in morning

Our Church Service

In my last post I forgot to mention that Pops and I did indeed have a worship service on the Lord's Day. It was later in the evening but we did have our own service.
We took a few moments and quietly prepared our hearts and minds for worship. Then we had our communion and tried to decide on which sermon we would listen to. We decided to leave it up to God and randomly reached into our pile of sermon CDs and pulled one out.
It was the Watchdog sermons from Delmarva from this past year. There are 8 or so men who each speak what is on their heart for a 3 minute sermon. At first I thought that this was not what we needed to listen to as our sermon but it turned out well.
Each of these men done a good job bringing their message and although the subjects were unrelated and varied, we did get lifted up and blessed by listening. We did not personally know all of the men who spoke, but we knew most and some of them are very good friends. It was quite interesting and I am thankful that God can bless us in this way when church service is not available to us. I am very grateful for the sermon CDs.

Almost South of the Border

We landed a load going to Texas. It was a hazmat load. So when we made our pickup it took us quite a while to get our paperwork in order and then placard the vehicle correctly and then finally call in the load to our company. But all was in order and so away we went.
We are still trying to adjust to this "new" truck. So we were working on little things each time we stopped just tightening loose screws, padding items that rattled, and re arranging things to make more sense. It takes a little while but we were adapting okay.
Until...our A/C stopped working. We could not figure it out and thought maybe we were doing something wrong or just not right. It was hot. We started to really bake around Arkansas and it got worse as we traveled through Texas. At one point I stopped at a rest area, blocked all light from coming in the windows and just rested in the slight air that we had for a few minutes.
Then I got moving again. I drove until we reached Dallas area and then Pops took over. He drove us south through Waco, Austin, San Antonio and Hondo. We were going to Del Rio. We knew it was really close to the Mexican border, but we didn't realize how close until the Border Patrol trucks began to Yell at us through loud speakers from their trucks. We were 20 feet from the big, heavy border fence. We were at a T in the road and the fence was just in front of us. There were tall, very bright lights all along the fence and we could see many, many deer eating the grass on both sides of the fence. We even saw a cow!
We turned right and followed the instructions from Gypsy as the border patrol rode along side of us until we turned right at the next intersection which took us away from the fence and into our delivery address.
It was between 11-11:30pm. The man we were meeting to unload us was there waiting in his car. He asked Pops if we were sure we wanted to do this now. He was a little concerned about the mexican crime all along the border. He said that at the fence is where most bad things happen. We chose to unload rather than try to find a place to sleep in this small town. So Pops and the man unloaded quickly and we were driving away within 20 minutes. But we had to go back past the fence. This time we didn't see the patrol.But we still saw the cow and a lot of the deer.
We drove north again back about 100 miles and pulled into a rest area to sleep for the night. It was Saturday night or rather Sunday morning and knew that we wouldn't be able to get to church in the morning.
When we woke up we drove to San Antonio and got showered. Then we met Tate and Shirley who told us they had made plans for us. It turns out that they were picking up a team of drivers that used to drive for them, Bob and Ellie.
Pops and I had met Ellie once really briefly, but never had met Bob. So it was good to meet them. Tate had arranged for all of us to spend the afternoon at a place called Buckhorn Museum and Saloon. It was an old West saloon that has been turned into a museum. There is a large section devoted solely to the Texas Rangers. Well, Tate knows how much I loved the Lonesome Dove Novels so this part of the museum was fantastic. But of course, I enjoyed the whole place. We were there for several hours.
Then after we left there, he took us all to eat at my favorite place, Schobels on the River in New Bruanfels. I have described this place before but it is worth repeating. It is very big, almost barn-like with stone and boards on the walls. It has a huge stone fireplace and a couple of wagons set up as decorations. The right side of the place is a bar, but to the left is a big restaurant with buffet. Outside of the restaurant is a large stone patio with tables along the river so that you can eat outside and enjoy the view.
The buffet had fried chicken, roast beef, ham, pork, and any side dish that you can imagine. The were great big wheels of cheese. The salad bar is huge and is so very fresh. There was tomato bisque soup and vegetable barley. And the desserts, oh my, so many cakes and pies and cookies to choose from and it was all homemade now thawed and served.
Oh, yeah, Schobels, it is good!
After we finished eating indoors, we walked outside and sat on the patio and just chatted away into the evening. It was such a good time. Thanks, Tate and Shirley.
After that Tate took us back to our truck and then took Bob and Ellie back to theirs which was at another truckstop.
It wasn't long before Pops and I were in bed. After taking the "poor neglected" dogs out of course.
The next morning we had an appointment to get our air conditioner fixed but they couldn't really find a problem so we were a little disappointed but still had to see another mechanic about the in dash air conditioner. We also went and got a new tire put on the front.
Then we drove out to Tate and Shirley's place. I love it here. It is so quiet and peaceful. It is big and the dogs get to run. It was hot, but breezy so I didn't mind it.
Shirley and I sat on lawn chairs and enjoyed a good visit while Tate and Pops fixed our water leak and a few other little things.
After spending most of the day there, Pops and I got a load and accepted it. It picked up tomorrow in Lufkin and was going to Arkansas. So we left Tate and Shirley's and went to see the other mechanic. He installed a new compressor for our air conditioner and then we had cold air. Oh yeah, it was wonderful.
After that was fixed, we drove up close to Lufkin and slept for awhile until time to pick up our load.
We have been here before so we kind of was familiar with how it would work. It is always nice to return to places because you already know what to expect. And we expected that here our load would not be ready when we got there. And sure enough, we were told to sit in the truck it would be at least an hour.
So while we waited I fixed us some french toast for breakfast and then got everything all cleaned up, by then it was time to go inside. Now our load was ready and so while Pops helped to load the truck, I worked on getting all the paperwork in order and taken care of. Now it was off to Arkansas. This is also a place we've been to several times, but it is hidden in the boondocks and it isn't easy to locate.
We ended up getting off track for a little bit but then we rerouted and it all worked out.
It had taken us the whole day to drive here so it was a little after 4 o'clock when we got here. But we got unloaded quickly and then headed to a place of layover.