One year ago today, I was living in an apartment (a very nice apartment, mind you) on the river in Green Bay. Mr. Trucker was out over the road and came home every couple of weeks or so for a few days. Sassy had come home to live, temporarily, and I was working at an Insurance agency. One year ago TODAY, Sassy & I brought Jasper the cat home from the Humane Society, and Mr. Trucker was not pleased. It was pretty funny, actually. Sassy & I had spent New Year's Eve at Mr. Trucker's parents up north and had a pleasant night of playing cards and watching the ball drop. On the drive back to Green Bay the next morning, we stopped to pick Jasper up (I had it all arranged ahead of time and surprised Sassy). Unfortunately, Mr. Trucker (who had not thought he would be home for New Year's) had made an unscheduled stop in Green Bay and was waiting for us at the apartment. I had inadvertently neglected to tell Mr. Trucker that I was getting a cat, as he was dead set against it, and I figured on having the cat all installed nicely so that the next time Mr. T came home, the cat would have taken possession and be impossible to
When we pulled into the parking lot, I told Sassy I would create a diversion while she carried Jasper into her bedroom and shut the door. Mr. Trucker was in OUR bedroom or bathroom, so he didn't notice a thing...UNTIL Sassy left for her job as a lifeguard at the YMCA, and the cat became lonely. He started meowing piteously in Sassy's bedroom, but Mr. Trucker, who has a teeny weeny little hearing problem, somehow couldn't hear the cat crying, even as he sat in a chair right next to the door to the room where the cat was (I thought I would laugh my hinder off). He couldn't hear it, that is, until Jasper launched himself at the bedroom door with a loud "thwack". I can still see the look on Mr. Trucker's face as he jumped up and said "What the heck was that?" "Do you have a dog in there?". To which I could truthfully answer "No."....... "But I MIGHT have a cat..."
Well, Mr. T was fit to be tied and was, as I said, very unhappy with me, but eventually he calmed down and learned to
Fast forward to today. We gave up our apartment, moved everything we own up north to our "place" in Wabeno, up/down the trail from Mr. Trucker's parents. Sassy moved back to Minneapolis and now lives with FIVE cats (she found homes for two of the kittens) in an apartment there and works two jobs. Meanwhile, we live in the truck, as we travel the U.S. making life better for anyone who ever consumes any food that is, or was, frozen.
It's an okay life. It's certainly not something I ever expected! My world has shrunk to the size of a postage stamp. I sit in that seat all day, most days, watching the country go by outside my window, then at night, I move three feet to the bunk where we sleep. Sometimes I knit or crochet, sometimes I mess around on the laptop. I don't have books, because they would take up too much room, but I read ebooks on my iPod and, in fact, have read a good many of the classics that I probably ordinarily wouldn't have.
Sometimes we get an unexpected and totally spontaneous opportunity to have an outing or excursion and see something new, like Niagara Falls, or Baltimore Harbor. We have plenty of time to spend in one another's company and to converse, and plenty of time to dream about and plan the next "stage" of our adventurous life together. I know that some of what we do causes some people a tinge of envy, and many times people tell us of their own or their parents' thwarted plans to do just what we're doing, but their spouse (or their parents spouse) died before they got a chance. So from THAT standpoint, I know that we are VERY lucky, to have this opportunity while we are still young and in excellent health.
And yet, I do often chafe at the restrictions of my current life, and long for what I DON'T have, like a home to nest in and my own private bathroom. I AM, however, becoming more accustomed to living like this the longer I do it. When I FIRST came out with Mr. Trucker, I begged him to put me on the Greyhound bus home just about every other day. I think the only thing that actually STOPPED me from taking that bus is the fact that we really don't have a home. Our trailer has been shut up for the winter, and would take some work to make it habitable in the wintertime. Also, our goal of socking away a lot of money while we had practically zero living expenses hasn't really become a reality. I would guess the trucking industry as a whole must be down with the economy, because our runs have gotten fewer, and Mr. T's paychecks have gotten smaller, than when he first started with this company and we went out together. So in order for me to mentally deal with the thought of staying put, we decided that as soon as the trailer is able to be opened up, say sometime in April, I will more than likely go home to live in it while Mr. Trucker continues to drive for awhile longer without me. I will more than likely have to get a job at that time, unless things pick up drastically in Mr. T's work. I may even investigate some online courses to get certified in a new career.
With these new arrangements starting to take shape, and with the holidays behind us, I'm starting to be less anxious about living in a box and not having a home. We have already planned our February home time in Wabeno, where there will be a grand family reunion and ice fisheree, and we're talking about asking for some home time in Portland, Oregon sometime in March, to see the area and visit Mr. Trucker's Aunt and Uncle. With these things looming in the near future to look forward to, April will be here before I know it. I have asked myself whether I'll be sad to leave my little truck home behind when the time comes to move into the trailer, but any nostalgia I may feel for this life is always overshadowed by the benefits of being able to poop in my own private bathroom!
So it would appear that 2011 may be just as full of changes and new beginnings as 2010 was. And actually, if we had time for me to tell, and for you to read, of other events in our existence since about 2009, you would see that we are hell bent for leather on causing uproar and uprooting in our life. What is up with that, do you suppose? I ask myself that alot! Sometimes I think we have "ruined" our lives, and other times I think we have "enhanced" them. I suppose only time will tell and God, who reveals all things, will let us know if we have followed His leading, or only our own disjointed wanderlust...
Thanks for listening to me as I philosophize about life in general, and our strange life in particular. Later on, I'll post some pictures of our New Year's weekend in Fredricksburg, Virginia.