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Monthly Archives: January 2014

A Trucker’s Wife

thelissachronicles

proud to be a trucker's wife

My husband left today… I dropped him off at his truck and he’s headed towards Charleston (SC) and then Alabama. Right in the middle of all of this bad weather we’re getting down South, after having left all that snow from last week. With less than 48 hours off he is back on the road. Makes me sad and frustrated, to say the least.

My dad, who used to a truck driver back in the late 60’s and early 70’s, got my husband a coffee mug that plugs into the cigarette lighter so his coffee will stay warm. I made a fresh pot of coffee so he could take a mug on the road with him, figured that was the least I could do. But it’s not enough. Not sure that as much as I try to do for him it will ever be enough for all that he does…

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Posted by on January 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

What it’s like going over the road with a trucker

When I went out on the road with my husband this past week I knew I was in for a week of confined space, food on the go, lots of time between bathroom breaks, not being able to shower with lots of hot water (much less privacy and the comforts of home), and having to tie up my hair or just putting it in a hat, which meant a hot mess because my hair is really curly and gets nappy when I sleep, especially after having it in a hat for a long while, BUT what I didn’t realize was how stressful, exciting, tiring, beautiful, and fun it was going to be.

I had a blast. I took a ton of pictures. (By the way, it is really hard to take pictures when you’re going down the road at 55+ mph.) We thoroughly enjoyed our time together. My husband works hard as hell at a job that is underpaid and unappreciated. (I saw cars yank out in front of the truck, and by the way, when an 18 wheeler is hauling a load it takes him at least the length of a football field to stop, especially when you’re going at speeds of 55mph or more. The faster you’re going the longer it takes you to stop. And if they put their turn signal on to get over, don’t ignore them…Let them over–They are required to drive in certain lanes, get over if there is a vehicle stopped by the side of the road, etc…I’ll stop preaching for a minute and go back to how my trip was…Sorry for rambling.)

The laws have changed for truck drivers. Many of them now have electronic logs. They get 14 hours to work each day. During that 14 hours, only 11 of it can be spent driving, and during that 11 hours they have to take a 30 minute meal break. If they are picking up a load and it takes 3-6 hours to load it, that time is considered part of their 14 hour work day. And since they only have 11 hours they can actually drive part of that load time eats up their driving hours, which means they have even less time to get to their destination. It can get complicated, stressful, and rough if you’ve only got 1 hour left to drive and there are no rest areas designated for truckers to use or truck stops. And sometimes even if you find one, it doesn’t mean there will be enough room. And parking in a truck stop is such a joy when the parking lot is filled with snow,slush, ice, etc and crowded…The things you hear on a CB are both fun and entertaining, as well as frustrating. Back in the day, my dad was a truck driver in the late 60’s and early 70’s and things were different. Truckers were friendlier with each other, the CB was used a lot more to relay dangers that lay ahead whether it was weather, road hazards, the police, etc…When my dad taught me how to drive he told me to respect big trucks/big rigs. A lot of drivers dismiss big trucks as just another vehicle on the road, but they’re so much more than that. And I was appalled at the way other drivers treat truckers and big trucks.

Riding down the road in a big truck/18 wheeler really gave me a bird’s eye view of things. An appreciation for the beauty of other cities, towns, states, as well as my husband’s job and what he goes through. He couldn’t take in all of the beauty of the scenery the way I could because he was busy driving, watching out for other motorists, making sure to read road signs (trucks can’t be in certain lanes, certain roads don’t have enough overhead clearance in regard to bridges or overpasses, sometimes there are detours big trucks have to take, etc…), and when I showed him the pictures he got to see what I saw…And I’m hoping that some of the pics will show at least a little of what going over the road is like. We went 2600 miles in one week…Through a number of states…and ended up where we started from, and during that time I realized how grateful I am for a hot shower, a hot meal, my husband’s dedication, as well as how great a driver he is. He shows other drivers courtesy, even if it isn’t reciprocated. He’s a safe driver who looks out for motorists. He works hard and yet his job is undervalued, unappreciated, and underpaid. Several people asked me if I wanted to get my CDL and go out on the road with him. As a team, we’d make a lot more money. My reply: “I’m happy riding.” I will definitely go back out on the road with him, but I don’t want to drive. I’m happy as a passenger but I have the utmost respect for truck drivers now.

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2014 in Life, Traveling

 

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On the Road Part II

On Sunday, January 19th, I went out on the road with my husband for a week. He’s a truck driver and he does this every week. Different places most of the time since he’s an Over the Road truck driver (OTR), but sometimes he goes to the same places. This week we went from Columbia, SC to Florence, SC, and then back to Columbia, SC then stopped at Kenly, NC on our way to Greensboro, NC. THen thru the Gorge in Saluda, NC and then on into to TN headed towards Kentucky. From Kentucky we went to West Virginia (through the mountains) and then Maryland. From there we went to Pennsylvania then back through Maryland to get to Richmond, VA. Then back towards NC. Again we stopped at Kenly, NC on our way home to SC. The only state that wasn’t covered in white was SC. North Carolina had snow, how much was dependent on where in NC.

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2014 in Pictures, Traveling

 

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On the road

On the road.

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Taking a break from writing for family time

This weekend I haven’t written much at all, instead I’ve been busy working on my step daughter’s room with my husband. It’s still a work in progress but it went from this:

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To this:

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Posted by on January 18, 2014 in Color, Family, Home, Life

 

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Avoiding the “Suck Dragon” while writing

start writing no matter what

I’d thought a great deal about what works for me as a writer while I was planning out my writing room. I wanted a place where my creativity could soar, where I could focus on my writing without being distracted, and that was organized in such a way that everything I needed was right at my fingertips.

I’ve written in diner’s, coffee shops, work, the living room, the dining room, in a cubby in the corner of my bedroom, in a vehicle while traveling, in my very own room meant for writing/studying/etc (for the brief period of time I lived alone and my second bedroom was my study–then my daughter moved back in with me, then she moved out again, and then I moved in with my now husband and I once again had my own space but then my son moved in with us…)…And I’ve even written while in the bathroom, or in line at the grocery store on a notepad, or on napkins at a restaurant. It’s not that I can’t write in my own space. It’s that I feel much more focused and creative when I have my own space, and that space is organized.

When I first began planning what I’d do with the room after my son moved out I thought I’d paint the walls a pretty shade of purple and paint my bookcases white, maybe paint my desk a darker shade of purple, but my (step) daughter’s favorite color is also purple and I didn’t want both bedrooms painted purple, especially since our comforter and drapes are lavender and we plan on painting the walls of our bedroom a silvery grey with a touch of lavender in it–that would have meant all three bedrooms of our home would be a purple hue. Way too much purple for my husband who prefers dark blue, taupe, eggshell, or GOD FORBID white walls.

When I asked him about painting the walls, after we first moved in, he wasn’t that enthusiastic. He dislikes painting. I love painting. I love color. My first step was the next to the smallest room in the house–the main bathroom. I have a shower curtain with ducks on it. I bought it when I left the ex of ten years and got my own place. I wanted something fun. Something playful. I added a few rubber duckies, two pictures with ducks, painted the walls yellow, added yellow rugs, (our floor in the bathroom is red), and Wa La, a fun cheerful bathroom. I even painted the brown cabinets white. He was amazed by how much better it looked, and agreed that we could redo each room, but we’d go one room at a time. Things happened, and we weren’t able to afford to start another room. Then my son moved out 2 weeks ago when he left to go to boot-camp for the Army.

Now that my writing space is almost finished, I need to seal the top of my desk with a clear coat so that it won’t get scratched, paint the top of my husband’s desk dark grey, and move my desk in here and arrange the closet so that my son’s large FS TV will fit in there and be out of the way (and safe from my 18 mth old grandson’s curious little hands), I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to avoid some of the suck dragon’s that have been plaguing my writing.

Having your creativity sucked right out of you, writer’s block, lack of focus, ADD or ADHD aside—well, it leaves you feeling like crap. Like maybe you’re not really a writer, or at least not a good one. Or maybe you don’t really have what it takes. Or maybe you just need to do this, or get this, or maybe what you need is your own writing space… LOL! Excuses. Excuses. Excuses. That little voice in your head says, it’s not where you write that matters…It’s not what you write on…It’s not what you write with…But for some of us, we need that space of our own. I squelched that little voice in my head the moment I set my computer up on my husband’s desk (to use until I could get mine in here) and began writing. I felt the creative juices overflowing. Ideas where running rampant in my head.

I am one of those people who needs inspiration, motivation, focus, calm, organization, and freedom to write. Stuck in the corner of my bedroom in that little cubby my husband had so thoughtfully arranged was great for NaNo, but it wasn’t working long-term, nor was having my writing space in the dining room where there were so many distractions. Now the little voice in my head often says, “Stop hunching over your keyboard and sit back and relax a little. Oh, and take those cups to the sing too!” I’m working on a whole new novel. I put NaNo’s novel away for now. Maybe I’ll go back to it later. I’m on chapter 3 of my new novel and it’s headed in the direction I want, at least so far. I’m working on some of the minor characters, and working on my dialogue (I have to remind myself to show and not tell). It’s all a work in progress though. I don’t expect any of my novels to be best sellers, I’ll just be happy when it’s finished, completely, and in print and publishable. Maybe I’ll self publish and no one but my husband, my family, and friends will ever read it, or maybe I’ll find an agent and a publisher. That doesn’t really matter to me. I’ve found my way and I’m happy just writing.

 

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A Story to Tell

The motto for my writing room...

The motto for my writing room…

I found this while out and had to get it for my writing room. That simple phrase, “We all have a story to tell,” is the basis for many a writer. If you’re a writer at heart then that story that is brewing inside you has to come out or you walk around with that feeling that you’ve misplaced something, or haven’t finished something, or need to do something. At least for me it does. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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