Monday, November 28, 2011

Springfield

Tonight I write from the Springfield, Minnesota, public library. This is the first day of a two week tour. I'm very tired starting this trip because I hardly slept last night and started driving at 2 a.m.

When I got to Interstate 39 in Rochelle, IL, and weighed my load on the scale, I noticed one of the trailer tires was flat. This is not a good start to a trip. I guess I was due, enduring no mishaps on the 23-day tour I completed before Thanksgiving.

It was a good holiday spent with family. I wasn't scheduled to have home time over Thanksgiving. I'd asked for the days off, but was turned down, instead opting to take off November 20th and 21st. But a scheduling mix-up kept me on the road until the day before Thanksgiving, which worked out wonderfully for me. It takes patience to be a trucker. This time being patient paid off with a holiday meal and a couple extra days off.

Since I am only home about 4-5 days a month, time spent with family is of primary importance. It doesn't leave me much room for socializing with non-relative friends, most of whom I haven't seen since I started trucking. But I relish my duties as father and partner, and am so thankful to have support and daily encouragement from the people who matter to me most. Time spent with them is precious and golden. The toughest part of my job is being away. Knowing that loved ones are waiting, and the daily phone calls, texts, and photos, mitigates the loneliness.

Thanksgiving was spent at my cousin's house in Janesville. Although the gathering was small, the feast was large. I feel guilty for not socializing more, but the rich food and it being my first day off meant I spent most of the day in a recliner watching football. It was great to catch up with relatives and hear mostly good news about their lives.

Friday morning and early afternoon we were at my parent's house in Loves Park. I got to visit with my brother and helped prepare, with my son's assistance, a soup and sandwich lunch for the family. After that, we left and went on a hike at Rock Cut State Park, ending the day back home in Sycamore with homemade pizza and a truly awful kids movie involving a fugitive seal.

Saturday I had a dentist appointment - my first scheduled in over two years. I was not surprised to learn I need a lot of work done, including replacing a crown and a root canal. I spent over four hours at the dentist and left nauseated and in a great deal of pain from the root canal work. I had a hard time following the plot of HAPPY FEET TWO, a movie Jonny picked out to see at the theater. He earned the trip as a reward for continued good behavior marks at school. I enjoyed the 3-D effects.

Yesterday, we went to church and went out for brunch afterwards. Later, in the afternoon, I said goodbye to my family and was dropped off at my studio in DeKalb, where I tried to sleep, but couldn't. Hence, the uninspired chronology of events set forth here. I'm going to sleep well tonight and have the luxury of an easy deadline for tomorrow's load.

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