I always imagined myself a free spirit, a gypsy, a world traveler.Â This gypsy dream life took several forms.Â For awhile, I thought that this life would happen to me by boatâ€¦
â€œon a ship, she waits.Â Her hair long and tangled, her skin the color of copper.Â The night sky swallows them up and the sea rolls beneath them.
Stars!Â The stars become a light show in the black sky.
How long has it been?
Not long, although it feels like itâ€™s never been another way. Â Her eyes search the black horizon, for what, she cannot say.Â Hope maybe, a reason to go on, to keep moving forward.
Everyone is asleep.Â Only herself and the captain are awake.Â She can feel him studying her like he has been since they started.Â Not unkind, but quiet, questioning, as his capable hands steer them further out to sea away from the only life she has known.Â She thinks he wonders if she will change her mind.Â She does not.Â Still. She stands on the edge looking out for something that is not there.Â Not yet anyway.
At some point, she curled herself into a hammock and fell asleep.Â Waking now, she finds herself covered in warm blankets, the smell of coffee and quiet morning voices.Â It is still dark but light shifting.Â Soon it will be dawn and the sun will lift itself out of the ocean in a ball of fire. â€œ
After these words came to me in their entirety in my sleep one night, I thought it was a signâ€¦.of something.
Now, Iâ€™ve been the chef & owner of a restaurant for over 20 years so this inner gypsy has been, shall we say, very inner.
That coffee drinking man with capable hands is, in fact, not a boat captain.Â He is an over the road truck driver steering me away from the life I have always known.
Iâ€™m climbing up into his big black truck.Â Iâ€™ve been here before but only to visit, load, unload.Â Today weâ€™re going off together, me and my truck driver.Â A truck driver, a spirit free as it moves from landscape to landscape across the country.Â He mostly lives in this truck.Â We are headed out this morning on what promises to be a grand adventure of some kind.
He says, â€œwalk on out into the plains and let me take a windy picture of you from far away.â€ Wyoming.Â He also says, “as far as weather and trucking go, it always delivers the dramatic. ”
5:30am.Â He comes back from shoveling snow off the truck and loading our gear to get me.Â We head out walking to the bus stop.Â In the truck, itâ€™s snowy, icy and dark.Â Another trucker falls walking across the lot on his way to his truck.Â He cannot get up.Â My heart breaks as I see what sitting in a truck for years can do to your body.Â Adam gets out to help but the man refuses, crawling to climb into the protected world of his truck.
Loaded and heading north to Casper, I kick over the pee bucket as I clumsily get used to living in this small space.Â 90 miles north, the highway is closed due to wind, so we stop.
Iâ€™ve never experienced a truck stop like you do when you are in a big truck. Itâ€™s a city of trucks and noise and movement.Â Everyone jockeying for spots, moving in and out and around looking for places big enough to just slide a big truck into a narrow opening. Â Weâ€™ll be sleeping here tonight.
The truck driver:
I’m a truckdriver. Â I’ve been many other things. Â Truckdriver has been the path for just over two years.
One November day, three years ago, I’m doin some deep thinking in a deer blind in the woods in central Missouri.
I have a son about to graduate from high school, I’m Â wondering, what is to become of me as this non parent person. I have an epiphany. “Trucking”
“Become a truckdriver.” Â Kinda like, “If you build it, he will come.”
So much of the past few years has been an empty nest story, a say goodbye to one chapter of life and open to the next, story, a now falling in love story.
This morning I am so totally excited to be getting in the truck. Teri is with me!
I have loved sharing bits of my story through a Facebook account. Â I see this as a continuation of that.
We live in a beautiful country! Â I was told by a trucker friend of mine when I was in truck driver school, that I would love this job, Â if I could handle it. Â He told me how I would go into every corner , every valley, cross all the rivers and mountain ranges and so much more… he was completely right.
As we left Denver this morning our destination Casper, Wyoming.
We’re both eagerly looking out into to the open road.
90 miles north, about an around Cheyenne, we find out there isn’t just a high winds and blowing snow warning, the highway is closed.
We ain’t goin nowhere.
We will chill out today.