I wrote this before Christmas, and had meant to post it then, but as usual life got busy and something else came up. The reason I wrote this is because there are a lot of people going off and deciding to drive a truck these days- both male and female. Trucking is not the easiest profession on a relationship-actually it can be damn hard or totally wreck relationships, and it really takes a lot of love and understanding on both spouses part to make it work.
Friday night I knew I should go. My mom called warning me of the coming weather, telling me that she and my dad thought I should leave a day early. Hubs even called that day and told me that if I thought I needed to, I should pack Rosie up and hit the highway early. I didn’t want to give up a night away from home and most importantly Hubs, but reluctantly I did pack up- I had everything by the door, and Rosie was plugged in warming her bones. All I needed to do was fire her up, throw in my clothes, camera, computer and go. I didn’t want to go though. I mean I was ready, but I still didn’t want to go. Not just then.
I paced our kitchen back and forth. I was leaving, I was staying. I was overly tired & crabby as I’ve been struggling to get things done in time for Christmas, and the snow storm and surprise birthday party that nobody told me about the weekend before didn’t help matters any. I am having hubs family as well as my own for both Christmas Eve Day and Christmas Day. And here I am on my way to Arizona, going the wrong direction with 20+ people coming to my house in 7 days… I’m hoping to get home with a day or two to spare, but it’s too early to know yet. Anyway, I was stressed and tired and I probably wouldn’t have made a very good road mate at that time, had someone pushed my buttons. I was in an ugly mood.
Reluctantly I stayed. It made Hubs happy, which made me happier. We had a drink together– actually he made me a drink, pushed it at me, telling me to take a sip so that I knew I couldn’t change my mind and go. He told me to relax– I baked us a homemade pizza which we shared over good conversation, then I crashed out on the couch, while he watched TV. At some point he finally woke me and made me go up to bed with him.
Weather or not.
It was on my mind. I woke at midnight, and snuck down our old creaky farmhouse stairs and out on to our front steps where the stars shimmered above in the sky. I guess I wasn’t in a trusting mood because I woke again at 3am and made the same trip, hoping to see the same stars, but instead, I felt rain hitting my cheeks. I swore. I knew I should have gone.
Rain in December is rarely (if ever) a good thing in Minnesota.
I kicked myself back up the stairs, swearing to myself that I should have left when I had the chance. Now at this point there was nothing I could do but wait, since I couldn’t pick up my trailer until 7am. I forced myself to go back up to bed, chilled from the damp cold.
At 6am I so wanted to sleep, but my feet were on the floor and moving before I really knew which direction I was headed. I was in a panic, but knew I needed to get going.
I smiled to myself in the mirror as I curled my hair, hearing Hubs belt buckle clinking as he pulled his jeans on and headed down our creaky stairs to check the weather for me. He didn’t have to get up. By rights, he could have, should have stayed in bed since it was his day off. He had been getting up at 3am every morning this week and he only gets 2 days off a week…
He didn’t though. He was dressed in his outdoor clothes with a smile on is face waiting for me when I walked into the kitchen. He told me what I already knew- that I’d drove in way worse weather over the years and this was going to be nothing. Then we headed outside, him hanging on to me as we made our way down our ice covered steps. We made our way across the drive, slipping and sliding, him splitting off from me to grab a tube of grease for my 5th wheel in our shop since I had forgot to grease it when I changed oil. I headed towards Rosie- I wanted to warm her up a bit while I checked lights and tires one last time.
As Hubs came back into the quonset I was swearing a blue streak on the other side of Rosie, having found a section of sleeper lights that were not lit up. Everything was working when I came home, but of course since I was in a hurry to get on the road, something else was now slowing me down.
Hubs methodically dabbed the tube of grease on my 5th wheel while I started pulling wires apart to find the bad connection, swearing now at the highway department for throwing so much salt and chemicals on the highways, which eats some part of my wiring up every single year.
Hubs came over, quietly pushed me out of the way and took over where I left off. Minus the swearing. He told me to go get my things as I handed him my torch and wire strippers and that he’d have me ready to go in just a second. I took the Tahoe back up to the house, threw in my belongings and drove back down to the truck, where I loaded everything into Rosie.
Right then is when I knew that I wanted to write this story. It was pitch black out, 28 degrees and pouring rain. My beautifully curled hair was flat, I was already dirty and yet that truck shed looked so cozy Terry Redlin couldn’t have painted the picture any better. It was my dream, my world, my life right there before me. And I fell in love with my husband over and over again in that split second.
We worked as a team. Like clockwork. Like usual.
Just like last week when I came home and had changed oil, but wasn’t strong enough to get the oil filter off Rosie. Hubs came home, jumped out of his truck, threw his coveralls on and without more than a quick hello & kiss (we hadn’t seen each other in 7 days), got under my truck and went to work.
One reason I’m writing this is because I hear and read a lot of complaining from wives who are stuck home and their husbands are gone on the road. I, of course don’t have that problem, because I am the one who leaves him, and yet he doesn’t complain, and he could at times. The other reason I’m writing this is for all of those people who think trucking is cool and want to get into this lifestyle.
It is cool. I love it and wouldn’t change my choice for anything. Trucking has been very good to me. Trucking has also given me a lot of grey hair, as well as the people who love me most.
That being said we all made this choice and we’re in it together. My Hubs wanted a wife who was home, not cranking out miles headed west every other week. It didn’t work out that way, but we make the most of what we do have. And that’s not to say we haven’t almost killed each other a few times over trucks, kids, household problems and everything else life throws at you. But we still make it work. Mostly because we want it to work. And every year it gets better and our system gets a little tighter.
We are a team. And we both think we are damn lucky to have each other, and have all that we do.
I do the paperwork & light work. He does the bull work. And we help each other in between when it needs to happen.
If you are married or in a committed relationship, and want trucking to work for you, make sure you want your relationship to work more. Be kind, be understanding, and keep going. It’s worked for us, hopefully it will work for you too!