A Year of Long Haul Adventures
This time a year ago, he left out of our home with a sleeping bag, pillow and a suitcase, expecting to be on the road within a couple of weeks. He had begun his adventure with a truck driving school here in the Tampa area about six weeks earlier. In the beginning, long days of classroom instruction and then driving locally continued to put a bigger smile on his face than I had ever seen before. Except for the day of his preliminary DOT physical, where he found out that he had an issue with high blood pressure. The first reading was quite alarming. He spent a week in all-out holistic efforts to put his blood pressure readings in acceptable ranges, not only for DOT but for the company he really wanted to work with, whose health standards are higher. Quarts of beet juice and a bit of self-talk (aka meditation) and his body responded with a passing reading. Off he went to Dallas as soon as the holidays were over and he continued his training. About the time he was set to leave with a trainer, another DOT physical revealed the blood pressure needed medical intervention. The good news is that it worked. And a week later her was in a truck with a trainer driving out west. He was a very happy guy. And six weeks later he came home for a week 20 pounds lighter than when he left home. A year later the 20 pounds have returned and he waits for his next DOT physical, scheduled for tomorrow.
So much of what happened during the past year is going to be written in the year to come as we found that we discovered a few things that will be beneficial for future truck drivers and their partners to consider. We are keenly aware that we are not the ‘normal’ husband and wife team that functions in this lifestyle. When he was in truck driving school, he heard and saw with his own eyes what other future truck drivers and their spouses were encountering as they transitioned to truck driving life. One man’s wife came and took him home. We cannot possible understand what it is for couples with children, as it must be a unique burden all of its own. He saw drivers with their children with them over the summer. We talked about how that must be such a bonding experience to go out on the road with Dad! Some drivers bring their pets and their partners. Wheel-house life is not for everyone, as you can imagine. It is a very small space for one person to occupy, let alone one plus.
We manage home time by strategic planning and organization, often months ahead of time. We just got home from a cruise that helped us both relax and restore our sanity together. For 5 days, we didn’t concern ourselves with anyone but ourselves, our health and wellness, and our relationship. We booked the next cruise before we returned from this one. Like all things in life, we just figure this thing out.
Along the way, however, we have found things that I feel should be known, appreciated and acknowledged. I hope you will return for my renditions of the weekly adventures for him and I.