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.

Saturday, October 24, 2015


We really liked our weekend in Olive Branch, but now it was time to get back to work.  We had a pickup in Memphis and it needed to be in Madison, WI by Tuesday morning. 
We looked ahead because we wanted to get our truck back to the shop to get our refrigeration working to the specifications that would pass the test. 
That pickup and delivery went about as smoothly as any we have ever done.
We arrived at the shop just as they were opening up. They knew we were coming so we were pulled straight into the garage. 
It was evident right from the start that our technician was grouchy, and I don't mean a little bit. He made it perfectly clear that doing this job, or maybe any job, was not on his list of things he wanted to do. So we were pronounced fixed and told to pull out.
Then our company had us sit and retest the truck. This meant, no loads, no work.
And the truck did not pass the test. Frustration was the main word now.

Our next load was Picking up in Huntsville, AL at the rocket center there. We have driven by this place so many times and I always would like to stop. They have old rockets and space shuttles and a big discovery center. I think that would be so interesting. It was fun just to get to drive right past some of those things and see them up close. We were headed to Ohio.

I got news this week that a friend had lost her fight against cancer. I have never met her face to face but I know that one day I will. Jody was an inspiration to me and to all who knew her. 

While in Ohio, we squeezed in a trip to the shop that does work for our company. THEY WERE NOT GROUCHY! And they knew just what to do to get our problems fixed. They were gracious enough to explain, in detail, the workings of all these gadgets to us as well.
But then, of course, the truck had to be tested again. So once more, no loads and hours of testing. But this time, the truck passed.
It was really pretty where we sat while the truck tested,soI didn't mind wasting some time there.except for the fact that we weren't making any money.

My phone rang at 3am. 3 AM phone calls only ever bring bad news. I did not get to phone in time. I saw from caller ID that it was my sister. I called her back. She answered by asking me what was wrong. I said, "What's wrong with YOU? You called me." "No, you just called me."
Oh my, it was just her, sleeping with her phone and calling me by accident. Thank goodness.

Our son, Drew, has been training and fighting. Mostly, he does this for fitness and sport, but he is fighting his first paid fight soon. 
Me, his mother, wishes he wouldn't do this. Can't he just run or go to the gym like everyone else? I want to proud of him, but .....

Bill and I help to support a godly work in Africa. It is a man that is a traveling evangelist, and his wife that took in 30 orphans and with the help of loving donations,make this their mission. Our donations recently bought a cow for the orphanage. This cow just gave birth. Now there is milk for the children. 
I just love this.

After passing our test, we got a highly secret load. It was to pick up at 5am and deliver the same day, Friday, by 5:30.
Well we didn't get the load onto our truck until 7:30 because the security supervisor was late showing up. We drove, only stopping once, to our destination only to be told, that now it wasn't going to deliver until Tuesday.
Bill and I are on a load that could not deliver Friday afternoon. It is now scheduled to deliver Monday morning. This was unexpected and we were unprepared.
And because of the nature of the content, we can't just sit anywhere. We are actually parked behind a fenced in area with a locked gate.
We were permitted to stop at a store so that I could run in and get a few things. It will be great. No noise, lots of movies, nice and quiet. And safety. We can deal with that.

Anyway, we got here and pulled up to the guard shack, we signed in and he told  us where to park and even told us HOW to park, nose in with back doors facing the lot. 
Ok, there were a couple of trailers parked beside where we were told to park, so I tried to pull in far enough so that our back doors were even with the trailers in the row. 
We were facing a bank of pine trees. 

We have good tv reception, plenty of food and water, lots of privacy and quiet. It was a good evening.

The next morning I woke up and started to make some coffee and breakfast. I also wanted to shake our rugs because we had tracked in some sandy dirt. When I picked up the first rug I saw ants. Hundreds of teeny, tiny ants. Where did they come from? How did they get in here? 
I carry a big can of bee spray (don't ask), that we kept very handy. So I grabbed it and sprayed the ants. Instantly they were dead.
I got out of the truck to see how they were getting in or where they were coming from. 
When I walked to the front of the church I noticed a huge ant hill that I hadn't seen in the dark when we parked. And the nose of the truck had disturbed the hill when I parked.
If you have ever kicked over an ant hill, you don't have to ask why they are called an army of ants. They instantly go into actions, some attack, some defend, some begin the rebuild. And it all happens with no bosses, no policies, no board meetings,and no power point. It is just every ant in action. 
So apparently when I messed up the ant hill by parking over it, they saw an enemy, a really really big one. Yet, they didn't cower. They did what ants do. 
Scripture teaches us to be "wise" like ants. 
Go to the ant, O sluggard, Observe her ways and be wise, (Proverbs 6:6 NASB)
The ants are not a strong people, But they prepare their food in the summer; (Proverbs 30:25 NASB)

What can I learn from the ants? 
*When troubles strikes, rush into action.
*Be prepared to attack your troubles
*Defend what's important
*Fix what's broken
*Do not consider the size of your enemy, face it with determination.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Fall and walking

Just some clouds rolling in.

It seems like Fall is in full force every where we have been traveling. But Autumn in upstate New York was fabulous this year. The colors are just gorgeous. 
Back home in Pennsylvania it has been a little dry lately and the leaves turned brown too early. 

We had a week that just didn't seem to want to get started. Monday we turned down load after load until we got one that we liked. Then we had a big deadhead (driving empty) to our pickup in upstate New York. 
We stopped in Erie, PA at one of our favorite places to walk, the Walmart there. We only stayed long enough to walk and then eat supper.
We picked it up Tuesday morning in the rain. 
Then we drove south. Our delivery was near Scranton, PA and we drove in rain most of the day.
We were wondering about all the training and testing from last week. We weren't being offered any of those specialized loads and just didn't understand why. Oh well, they must be having trouble covering the military and government loads because that was all we were being offered. We delivered our load late that afternoon and was now heading toward southern Virginia for our next pickup.
We were due to pickup on Wednesday morning, so we had some extra time. We stopped in Winchester Virgina to walk and eat our supper.
Pops and I are doing real well with our walking now.i am getting better than 2.5 miles each time and he is doing 3.5+. We are trying to get at least 2 miles in each of the 48 continuous states. We only have 13 more to go.

Miles per state- walking

Arizona- Pops 17.8, Noni 10 miles

Arkansas- Pops 9, Noni 5.8

California- Pops 9.5, Noni 8.3
Colorado- Pops 2.5, Noni 1.75
Florida - Pops 2.12, Noni 1.37 
Georgia- Pops 4.78, Noni 3.78
Idaho- Pops 2.1, Noni 2
Illinois- Pops 9.25 Noni 6
Indiana- Pops 16.3, Noni 9
Iowa- Pops 8.9, Noni 6
Kansas- Pops 2, Noni 1.2
Kentucky- Pops 2.1, Noni 1.5
Maryland- Pops 7.9,  Noni 5.6
Massachusetts- Pops 4, Noni 2.5
Michigan- Pops 7, Noni 4.3
Minnesota- Pops 6.25 Noni 2
Mississippi-Pops 7.8, Noni 5.8
Missouri- Pops 3.9, Noni 2
Montana Pops 2.4, Noni 2.3
Nebraska- Pops 6.5, miles, Noni 3.3
Nevada- Pops 4.7 Noni 3.6
New Mexico- Pops 8, Noni 5
New York- Pops 20.3,  Noni 20.3
North Carolina- Pops 5.2, Noni 3.8
North Dakota- Pops 2, Noni 2
Ohio- Pops 28.9,  Noni 23.3
Oklahoma- Pops 6.2,  Noni 3
Pennsylvania- Pops 161.5 Noni 85.3
South Carolina- Pops 11.3,   Noni 10
Tennessee- Pops 7.64, Noni 4.3
Texas- 13,  Noni 10.5
Utah- Pops 6,  Noni 2
Virginia- Pops 22.9, Noni 15.5
West Virginia- Pops 2.12, Noni 1.4
Wisconsin- Pops 22, Noni 17.8

South Dakota
New Jersey
Rhode Island
New Hampshire

On Wednesday we arrived early at our pickup. It was a radioactive load and it was a short distance delivery so logically it should only take 3-4 hours but because of all the inspections, red tape, and hoops to jump through with radioactive materials, this delivery took most of the day.
After we made that delivery we drove to a big shopping plaza in Frederick,MD to wait for a load. Of course we walked and ate supper. We did get a load picking up Thursday morning in Newark, NJ and going to Memphis, TN for Friday morning. 
So later that evening Pops drove us closer to New Jersey.
Newark is very close to New York City. 

We were in and out of there in no time. We beat the early morning traffic, got loaded, and got back out right away. Now we had about 21 hours to our delivery Friday morning.
We stopped in Marion, Virginia this time to walk and eat. It was dark already but we just made circles around the stores. After eating we got moving again. 
We still have heard any more of our training and no load offers of that kind. We couldn't figure out what was going on.
We arrived to our delivery location and there were 2 trucks in front of us. We were told it would be an hour until we got unloaded even though we had a delivery appointment. After an hour passed, we were told it was going to be another hour. Oh well.
We did get unloaded and then drove to a nearby truck stop to wait for another took all day to get a load that we were interested in. It doesn't pick up until Monday. So now we can plan our weekend.
We need our rooftop air conditioner hasn't worked for about a Pops made an appointment for tomorrow morning.
We walked at a nearby Shopping plaza in Southaven, MS and then spent the night there. In the morning we drove to the ac repair shop. It only took 10 minutes to find out that the unit was defective and needed is covered under warranty so we ordered a unit and will have to get back to Memphis area to get it replaced. Then we went to the Flying J in Olive Branch,MS. We walked there around some closed businesses and just had an enjoyable day. I got to play with a little white dog for a few minutes and I was happy then but a few minutes later I was so heartbroken and sad because I miss having a dog so much.

We watched movies the rest of the day.
On Sunday we went to church at Christview Christian Church in Southaven, MS. We have been here several times before and have made friends here. It was so good to see them especially Stacy. 
Jeremy Harper preached a good sermon called, A Good Coach, from 2 Timothy chapter 1. Oh, I just love getting back to friends in the Lord.
We came back to Walmart and shopped for our groceries. Pops watched football this afternoon. Then later this evening we walked again.
We got news about our training last week. Our truck has a bit of an issue. The temperature unit is off by 1 1/2 degrees! 1 and a half degrees! So tomorrow morning before we go to our pickup, we will head to a repair shop to get our temp unit adjusted. Then we should be in great shape, well as soon as we get back to here for our ac unit.
Have a great week. Tell someone about Jesus.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


Today I was driving on I71 in Ohio. Suddenly I saw smoke, a rolling wheel, a swerving car, and a barn in the middle of the road.
A pickup truck was in front of me. He was pulling a flatbed trailer. He was hauling 2 wooden mini barns. 
Apparently the blowout caused him to lose control and then he over steered when trying to regain control which whipped the trailer and spilled the barn and scared the car driver.
No one hurt, thank goodness. 
Bet there's a cheap barn somewhere for sale.

But the best part is, when I posted this on Facebook, one of my friends made a cute comment. She said, "Glad that you couldn't hit the broadside of a barn."
Haha, love it.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Training week

On Monday we still were not getting any load offers going in the direction that we needed to go so around lunch time we started to move again. Sometimes when you begin to move, the company will start sending load offers to try to coax you into certain directions. And sure enough that happened but going east wouldn't work for us.
We pulled into the Erie Walmart. This is one of our favorite places to park and walk. We got our walk in and then moved even more west. Load offers going east continued to come our way so we sent a message over the computer telling them we were going out of service.
We drove a little closer to Canton and then stopped for the night.
So, we just drove empty from Albany, Ny to Canton.
On Tuesday we got some preventative maintainence work done on our truck. That took the morning, then we drove to the truckstop nearest to the Fedex Headquarters. We walked once the temps cooled and got a good nights sleep.
We had class on Wednesday until lunch. We went through the cafeteria and got our lunch to go and went out to the truck. 
We talked with some of the others that were in our class and several new hires. We hung around until time to start the testing on our truck. 
Our truck would remain at Fedex while it would undergo testing for the next two days. We went to a hotel.
Our suite was pretty nice.

There was a pretty amazing fitness room. Pops went nuts in there each day. I walked on the treadmill in there the first evening.

We walked to FedEx on the second day to change some things on our truck. It was a 2.7 mile round trip to Fedex and back to the hotel.
On the way we saw this pretty pond.

On the Thursday evening there was a webinar that we watched from the hotel. It lasted about an hour. Afterward we were tested on all that we had been learning. We were required to pass with a 90% correct. 
Pops and I both scored 100% the first try!

On Friday morning, our son, Tom married a wonderful girl, Sophia. We are so glad to have her in the family.

This is a cake that I had made for them. They (Tom) sometimes steal each other's Twix candy bars, so the cake is surrounded with Twix bars.

Earlier that morning, Tom and Sophia got to hear their baby's heartbeat for the first time. It was quite an exciting day.

After lunch on Friday we were required to run a fake run with our truck to test both us and the truck with all the new stuff we will be doing. We had to run a 300 mile roundtrip. We finished up at 10pm that night.
It has been a long week but we were now free to go.
We drove south toward Columbus hoping to get a load right away. But that didn't happen.

The next day was a gorgeous Fall day in Ohio. Pops and I stopped at the Lodi Station. It is an outlet mall with a real working railroad around the stores. I have often wanted to stop there. We had a really nice relaxing time. And we got most of our Christmas shopping done. 

On Sunday we went to church in Ashland, OH. It was a very nice church with warm, friendly people. Sunday school was a good study on Saul's conversion. The sermon was a quick run through of the Book of Revelation.
After church I got our laundry done. We bought a groceries, made another quick trip back to the outlets.
We walked this evening and now we are ready to get back at it. 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Running Late

On Friday we got a load for Monday picking up in Morgantown, PA. Morgantown is only about 70 miles from our home and home was on the way from where we were sitting near Baltimore. So we headed straight home for an unexpected, unplanned visit. 
The weather was typical fall in western PA. 
It was so nice getting to take Starla's pooch, Boots, for a walk on the country road beside our home. 

Saturday morning Pops and went to buy his hunting license and ran some errands. When we got home it was nice to see Our son in law's son, Hunter, there. It was good to get to see him. He was getting ready for next weekend. It will be the opening of bow season. 
Bill P grilled us all steaks on the grill. 
Sunday we were excited to get to our home church, Wills a Mountain Church of Christ. Chad was the teacher of Sunday School this time. The lesson and the sermon were challenging.
Later in the day our son, Tom and fiancé, Sophia came to dinner. I made spaghetti, always a favorite.
We didn't get to see our son, Drew, this time. He was involved in a home run derby that he ended up winning. He keeps himself very busy and active.

We pulled out that evening and headed to Morgantown. 
We drove past the WVU campus, made our pickup and then headed to Charlotte, NC.
Next we had a military load from NC. When  we do highly secure loads we get  as little info as possible. And this time the problem was bad directions. We got through the truck inspection and tried to find our pickup with the directions that the gate guard gave us. Oh, well, that didn't happen. So we got our contact on the phone and found out that we even though we were on base, we were still 13 miles from pickup.
Eventually got there and got our load. Although load is kind of weird. It was one crate, 130 pounds. 
That load must have set the tone for the week because "late" turned out to be the theme of the week. 
We traveled all night and reached our destination, another military installation in Alabama. We were the sixth truck in line. We had another load following his one and we really needed to unload this one crate and get moving.
Fate had other ideas. As I said, we were the sixth truck, but 2 were picking up and went Elsewhere. We were now 4th truck in line. We waited, we waited, we watched the very first truck, waiting for it to pull out so we would inch closer to the dock. It didn't move. We began to see people, many people, come and go. Finally we were told that the first truck had a freight mishap. One of their freight crates had gotten smashed during transit and because of what the contents were, pictures had to be taken, inspections had e made, protocol had to be followed and we all had to wait some more.
And then fire trucks started to arrive at the other end of the long warehouse. Oh wow! 
They weren't there long though, apparently one of the trucks brakes were hanging up and caught fire.
It was all good though. We did get our turn to unload and then drove to Atlanta for our next pickup.
Atlanta traffic as usual was horrible and it was near 3 in the afternoon when we arrived. The shipping man was very grumpy. He had expected us much earlier and his frustration was very plain to us. Oh well.
We got our shipment which was highly secure, so much so that we had another vehicle traveling as an escort with us the whole way into Canada by the next morning.
We haven't done a Canada load in over a year. Canada requires a speed limiter on the truck and ours doesn't have one. Our company offered to pay to have ours set and then reset as part of our acceptance of the load. So even though we were a little rushed, we had to stop before crossing the border and have that done. 
We did make it to the shop by 8 am. It only took a few minutes to have the limiter set and off we went, closely followed by our escorts.
We made our delivery and was back at the shop to have speed limiter reset by 12:30. Our escorts had left us when we reached the US border. We were predispatched on another load picking up the next morning but we had to drive to Maine to pick it up. 
We were tired but needed to stop to walk for exercise. We hadn't had time yesterday so we wanted to be sure to do it today. We stopped in Chicopee, MA at a Walmart to do that.
After walking we decided to sleep a few hours before moving on. It was about 10 pm. We fell asleep but was awakened 2 hours laters by loud yelling and commotion. 
I peeked out the window and just outside in the almost empty parking lot was a huge gang of young men. As I watched I realized they were playing what looked like frisbee football. They were very loud.
A camper that was parked beside us pulled out and left and a short time later we left too.
Pops drove us to a rest area in New Hampshire where we slept a tiny little bit more.
Our pickup in Maine was on the harbor just inside the state line. It took us quite awhile to get the clearance to get on base. The computers needed for background checks were running very slowly. But finally we made our pickup and was backtracking back across Massachusetts and into New York. We arrived at delivery right at the start of rush hour.
Whew, what a week. It is finally Friday. We are beat. 
It took us about 40 minutes to reach a truckstop. We didn't get to settle long though. We needed Internet to get caught up with bill paying, paperwork and to register for a class we are taking next week. The Internet there was way to weak there to get anything done and I got very grouchy when I couldn't get things taken care of. So Pops slept a few hours then drove us a couple hours west to another, bigger truckstop with a better internet connection.
Today we cleaned the truck, did our laundry, paid bills, registered for class, booked our hotel,(we can't stay in our truck next week while at class), cleaned out some cabinets and watched many Hallmark movies.
Tomorrow we will be attending Lake Country Christian Church. We have been there twice before. After that we will head to the grocery store to restock our supplies.
We have class on Wednesday, but we are scheduled for some maintainence and repairs on Tuesday, all of that in Ohio. 
We are sitting near Rochester, NY now and we are hoping for a Monday load that will get us a little closer to Ohio without having to deadhead (drive empty) so far.
Keep us in prayer, we need it.