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Mom and Daughter Team.....

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posted by Jason Harry alias J. Samuel Studios on Saturday 2nd of June 2012 04:08:10 PM

I am home from a four-day workweek. I’d like to tell you it was an easy time because I was blessed with Memorial Day off. For the most part, it was a breeze, but my dispatcher threw in a Philly run for Friday. That trip alone made it feel like a six-day workweek. Besides the Philadelphia trip that chipped away at my soul, another thing has thrown me off balance since Monday. I didn’t feel quite right, and was certain the disease I have been cursed with, diverticulosis, was about to become diverticulitis. I did not want to let that happen. I would be forced to take awful antibiotics and miss work. Missing work equal missing money, so I had to soldier on. Instead of letting my disease get the better of me; I took a more holistic approach: I kept up my regiment of eating healthy high-fiber foods supplemented with fiber supplements. I tried to get extra sleep. I would think happy thoughts like I usually do, especially when I thought of whatever was transpiring among my insides. I would sometimes place my left hand on the lower left quadrant of my abdomen and imagine that healing light was penetrating to aid in the process. I will always fight to stay healthy, strong and positive, even when it is much easier to let myself fall victim to becoming sick. I’m happy to report my therapy seems to be working; I write you this Saturday morning feeling considerably better. It was nice; however, to have what amounted to almost a four-day weekend last week. When you are away from home for so many days, it feels very good to be home. Any truck driver would tell you that they appreciate being at the house more than your average citizen who is home every single night (or day.) When Tuesday arrived, it was time to enact my standard procedure of asking my wife if I really had to go off to work. The usual words flew out of my mouth like, “Do I have to?” “I’d much rather stay home and write, please let me stay.” The meanie that she is, I was given direct orders to leave; something about money needed to live flying out of her lips. Wouldn’t it be great, to stay at home and do the things we want to? I have not given up hope that one day that will be possible; however, this week, as next, I drive to work and pick up a big truck and go off in search of new adventures (and money.) It’s neither a bad life to live nor a terrible goal to walk towards. Tuesday was a pleasant day buzzing around Baltimore and the DC beltway. The weather was good even though I felt like I was in a fog. Wednesday brought two easy stops in Williamsport, Pa. It was a long day because I came back and made trails to Connecticut for Thursday’s deliveries. My first stop Thursday morning had a six to eight am delivery window. I was in town by eight Wednesday night but still, who likes to wake up that early? There was a silver lining; my second stop a mile away opened at ten in the morning. You might be saying, “Jason, that’s not a silver lining. If you get done with your first stop at seven-thirty, there are two and one-half hours until your next stop opens their doors!” You would have a valid argument, but you cannot forget that I am a very skilled time filler-upper. Here was the plan: I would arrive at the first stop, unload 87 pieces of the world’s best furniture, then drive to a nearby truck stop. That facility happens to contain a Dunkin' Donuts store where I could score the finest coffee on the planet as well as a sausage egg and cheese breakfast sandwich. (I told you I was eating healthy.) There would also be time to clean the bugs off my windshield, in case I wanted to take a picture through it. (While sitting still I might add.) So, that’s what I did. I parked my beautiful rig in the lot. I then walked inside the building to wash my hands before ordering my healthy and delicious breakfast. On the way, I noticed a big red Volvo truck sitting on the scale, in the process of being weighed. It is because I am a man with a good eye that I noticed something else: It was piloted by a girl (a pretty one I might add.) It is not unusual to see women truckers on the road. I seem to remember the pretty ones more for some reason. (Okay, I’ll stop with the pretty girl talk. If my wife sees that I said that, she wouldn’t let me leave for work, and she’ll break my fingers, so I can’t write. That would be terrible.) When I was coming out of the building, I held the door open for a girl walking in. I was certain she was the one I saw in the truck, and I noticed she had a young girl with her. She thanked me, I told her that she was welcome, and then I set sail for my coffee and nourishment fix. I took my food back to my truck and sat at the table to enjoy it in quiet solitude. Looking through the windshield as I ate, I could see the big red Volvo. The mother/daughter team had returned to their truck, and mom was standing at the back of the trailer looking at the wheels, her scale report in her hands. She then got out her phone and made a call, tipping me off that everything was not all roses on their trip across the scale, and she needed advice. Whatever was in that trailer was likely heavy. The Department of Transportation has regulations that we have to abide by. There can only be so much weight on the front axle of the cab, the drive tires of the cab, and on the trailer axles. If there is too much weight on any one part of all three, things can be adjusted to make it legal. It often starts with sliding the wheels of the trailer front or back. Watching them set my mind into the wonder mode. What a good lesson for her daughter in the mathematical conundrums of weight and balance. I wondered if her kid hopped on Facebook and made a status update that said something like, “We just picked up a load in Connecticut, and it’s too heavy. Mom can’t get the thing balanced right and it’s taking forever. Ugh.” She would be unlike most girls her age in saying something like that, that’s for darn sure. I might also add that I do not know if I am correct to assume that mother/daughter was the relationship between these girls. They could have been sisters, friends, maybe even aunt/niece. Perhaps I should have asked them, but I was too scared. I’m a better writer than I am a smooth talker with the opposite sex. In addition to that, what if they had asked me for help with their truck-weight issues? I would have come off looking like an idiot. I hate when that happens. It’s been a very long time since I put my truck on a scale. It’s very rare that it’s a necessity in the business of furniture. Fabric and wood are fairly light, and even if I completely removed the wheels of the trailer, it would still be legal. (Wait, maybe not. It might not roll so good and would probably throw off a lot of sparks.) Every once in a long while, I do pick up something heavy on the way home and have to make sure everything weighs well. The last time I did scale a load, I had a student with me, and I was not sure how to correct the problem. (Yes, you heard it all here: I am a healthy eater and a skilled teacher.) I did what Mom did; I picked up my phone and called my friend and mentor Gary for advice. We moved the wheels on the trailer in the correct direction; we re-weighed it, got it right, and drove on home. In the end, it was my imagination that kept me from talking to them. I was even predicting the daughters Facebook status if I did talk to them and came off looking like a fool. “Mom still can’t get our weight issues fixed. A really handsome boy came to talk to us. We were hoping for help, but he was a complete moron. I’ve never seen a boy stammer and sweat so much.” That would have been horrific. During my stay, I watched them go over the scale three times, including the first trip. To my relief, another trucker went to help them and advised them to change the length between truck and trailer. The nose of the trailer rests upon a pin, and that mechanism can be adjusted front or back. It seemed to be the magic factor for them, as they went and parked in a normal spot and seemed to be settled down for a bit. Watching the adventures of those ladies made me wonder about a lot of things. I’ve witnessed lots of things on the road in my long and storied career. (Okay, it’s only been about eight years, but it’s always storied because I make it that way.) I think it was a neat thing to see. I wonder if the young lady enjoys riding around in the shotgun seat of a big rig. It has taught me you can learn a lot about our world and the people in it, more so than from the walls of a classroom. I also wondered why she wasn’t in school; perhaps she was home-schooled or in the midst of enjoying a “take your daughter to work” day. Most of all, I wondered if she was like me, and would really appreciate being home once she got there.



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