I wanted to post yesterday, or even the day before that, but we've had a power outage up here in the northwoods and I finally had to bring my laptop down to my in-laws to get power. It's cold and dark in our cottage although sleeping is no problem. But I had so much that I wanted to get done this weekend, and I can't work in the dark.
Earlier this week, Mr. Trucker and I completed orientation with his new company. It was very informative and I was glad I accompanied him, because I learned a lot that I'm sure will be helpful for me to know as I co-pilot him around the country. We were both very impressed with this new company as compared to his old company. I was the only wife or "rider" there, although the orientater, Kathryn, told us it's not unheard of for wives to come to orientation. However she said sometimes drivers bring their girlfriends with them, then sit in the front row of the classroom and suck face and feel each other up during class. Can you even imagine?
The "class" consisted of one man from Oregon, us, and 5 drivers from Florida. The company is headquartered in Wisconsin, so we were right at home. Two of the Florida drivers, Art & A.J., were brothers and they were kinda funny. Kathryn kept having to tell them to sit down and also to speak English. They seemed to communicate in their own dialect that only big black brothers from Florida understand. They accused US of having an accent! We did teach them a couple phrases of northeastern Wisconsinese, such as "Da botayuhs (The both of you)", and "Do-uhnt ya know". The words "don't" and "boat" each have two syllables, of course.
Each morning and afternoon we were shuttled about 20 minutes from the hotel in Eau Claire, to the trucking company in Mondovi. Eau Claire is a pretty community situated at the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa rivers, so we would pass over a few bridges each day. One day we looked down and saw a large number of college students tubing down the river and the following exchange took place:
Art/A.J.: Look at that, what are they doing floating down the river?
Us: Oh that, they're tubing. It's a blast. You just sit in an inner tube and let the current carry you.
Art/A.J.: But why are they doing that?
Us: It's very refreshing on a hot summer day. Real big with the college kids.
Art/A.J.: (Demonstrating high degree of flabbergastedness).
Us: Don't you do that back home?
Art/A.J.: Hell to the no! In Florida? You'd get ate by Alligators!
Us: Oh yeah, there IS that. The worst thing you have to worry about here is that one of your cans of beer might break loose from your six pack & float away.
On Thursday afternoon, we met Mr. Trucker's new dispatcher/fleet manager, a 15 year old kid named Chad. OK, I might be exaggerating just slightly about his youth. Then we got the truck, and that's when I went off on a crying jag! The entire reason we switched companies was to get a better truck and this one didn't look like much. It certainly wasn't clean. At least not by MY standards. This is going to be our home for the next year! The mattress was new, but it's about 1/4 of an inch thick (maybe an exaggeration) and not wide enough to fill the bunk space. I calmed down a bit after we wiped everything down with disinfecting cleaner and we did spend that first night together in the truck. The following morning (yesterday), I couldn't wait to get in our CAR and leave. I drove back to Wabeno for two weeks to finish unpacking and Mr. Trucker will come to fetch me when they get him a load this way.
Today he called me to tell me that he LOVES the way this new truck handles. He said "Remember how you always used to accuse me of jerking the truck on purpose when you were trying to write, or sleep? Well, that WAS the truck. This one handles so much better." He is on his way to Maryland now with a load of something from Wisconsin. I don't know what it is, but I'm guessing it's dairy-ish. I got an email from my cousin in Michigan asking us what our "20" was, and signing himself "Good Buddy", stating that he had a CB in the 70's. I also remember the C.B. McCall days and the song "Convoy", as well as the Smokey and the Bandit films, and I'm here to tell you that the CB is a very different animal these days. You have to be able to fling the "F" word around pretty frequently if you're gonna use the CB nowadays.