A bit of time has past since my last, somewhat dramatic blog post, so I thought it was time to share an update. First and foremost, Adam and I are doing just fine, which is by far the most important thing to know. But underneath that blanket of “fine,” we are busy working our way through life, just like everybody has to do. It’s just that some moments are way easier than others.
So I really did start driving solo. Adam came with me on my first run, which we both quickly realized was probably a mistake. I think we were both a little afraid to be away from each other after literally being a few feet away from each other for nearly three years in this truck. Being apart would feel like some sort of life line had been severed. Right? Well, we had to cut that line. That first week was hard. Adam was triggered into rage by the slightest issue, and eventually resorted to crawling into the bunk and sleeping to distance himself as much as he could – – for most of the week. It was even a consideration at one point that he take a bus home! It was a wee bit stressful for the both of us. But as always, we just trudged through and made it out okay.
It wasn’t a super-easy week as far as trucking goes, either. I had a rough start, hooking up to a trailer that was actually backed into a shop to have the back doors fixed on it, making me a little late for my first pick-up. Then I had some tricky deliveries that I would normally wake Adam up for so I had someone to spot me in – blindside angle backs and super-tight docks in the back of malls with tons of parked cars and pedestrians wandering about. But as he slept, I backed in all on my own and didn’t hit anything. I may have had to get out and look about 15 times on two of those deliveries, but I don’t care about that – I didn’t hit anything, and that means I was safe and successful. So I really did end up getting some good experience that first week, and it was, honestly, a little comforting to know that he was back there JUST in case I really got myself into a pickle. But I didn’t, and I felt way better about really, truly being out there on my own – it really boosted my confidence, which I needed.
A little more on my solo driving in a bit, because after that first trip, on my home time, something crazy happened. We signed a lease to an apartment. We haven’t lived in a “place” for five years. Five! Here’s how that went down:
I took one extra day off to breathe after we got home from that first run, and Adam and I holed up in a hotel room. We needed to just take some time for ourselves and get some things organized before I truly hit the road alone. On my last day off, on a total whim, we drove out to a farmhouse in the middle of the country to look at a furnished apartment for rent. This farmhouse is converted into two rental units, side-by-side, and basically shares the yard with the landlord’s brother’s house. And a barn. And a dog. And 12 cats. And cows, tractors, fields. And a place we can plant a garden, make a compost pile and build a fire pit. Fire pit? Where do we sign? Oh, and there’s a washer and dryer in our unit!
So we did sign – an actual, real lease. The only con to this situation is that, well, besides the fact that we’re now paying rent, is a 45-minute drive from where I’ll be parking the truck. But otherwise, the pros are all the things listed above, and it’s furnished. So we don’t have to go out and buy all the furniture (it’s been five years!). Also, it’s imperfect – which makes it perfect for us. It’s old, it’s got character, it’s got crooked porches, the dryer door is on backwards (but works just fine) and the heater is weird (but keeps the place warm). It’s also super-dark at night, and super-quiet. It’s just right. For us. For now.
After that exciting day, we split ways for a while. Adam stayed back to sign the lease and move all of our belongings in that we had in a corner of a friend’s storage unit, the basement of another friend’s house, our car, and some from the truck. And then he locked it up and head to Phillips to spend about a week with family. He played with nieces and nephews, visited his parents, his sisters, my parents… And each time I talked to him, he sounded relaxed. I tried not to talk too much about work with him, but had a little trouble with that since that’s all I’m immersed in right now.
My second run was a fun one, because I got to drive to California! I knew how to drive to California! I took all kinds of time to trip plan, check weather, figure about where I wanted to stop each night and about when – basically I way over-planned it. And then the obvious happened. Everything changed. I got to the place where I was going to pick up my loaded trailer, and it wasn’t ready – and ended not being ready for 12 hours after it was due to be ready. So I took an impromptu 10-hour break there and started fresh at about 10:00 at night. I was going to be driving all the way out to Cali on a 3rd shift schedule. I ended up kind of digging it. Traffic was low and it was easy to find parking in the mornings when I was done driving.
On this run I got to take my first 34-hour reset on the road (I really should do a blog about trucker’s hours). This basically means I needed to stop for 34 hours so I can reset my 70-hours I’m allowed to work in an 8-day period, which I was very low on after driving out to Cali. It’s seriously so complicated. But anyway, I was able to make it to Sparks, NV where I went for a run, had dinner at Black Bear Diner, found a little coffee shop for a delicious decaf cortado, and even watched a movie in the theater! It was actually pretty cool. I did the same run to California the next week (which I’m in the middle of as I write this), except that I had to stop in Denver for two deliveries, and then to Cali. And my reset was during Thanksgiving day, so my holiday consisted of a 5-mile hike through the desert (I was in Barstow, California), a salmon dinner next to another trucker named Larry who started our conversation by telling me he bought his girlfriend a real zebra for Christmas, a delicious dessert at Starbucks – my fave – a quad-shot decaf cappuccino made with heavy cream, and then a nap. That’s where I am now – post-nap, feeling great. (Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!).
Adam is back at home with family, and I even got a chance to do a short video call with him while he was at my parent’s house for our traditional Thanksgiving dinner. I guess he was playing bartender and barista getting everyone tipsy and caffeinated. It sounded like he was having a really good time. It gives me so much comfort out here when he’s with family and so relaxed.
So, we’re still working through some rough patches (not relationship stuff – mostly just life stuff), obviously… I mean this isn’t a super-easy fix, and patience isn’t either of our strong suits, but we’re trying. Having the apartment to “go home” to is actually pretty comforting right now, but also, feeling “settled” is a little unsettling for me. But I think I’ll get used to it a little more each time I go “home.” As far as Adam’s plans? We don’t know yet. We kind of promised ourselves we wouldn’t have him start anything until at least the new year so he’d be forced by time into trying to unwind his tangled head a little bit. He’s leaning towards a few things, but we’ll make a move on that later.
So in the end, I really do feel like we’re on the upswing here. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes that we still need to work through on the regular, but that’s all we really can do right now – deal with one thing at a time.
Thank you again, to all of our family and friends that have really stepped up and showed your support through all of this. I can’t tell you how much it means to us! Whether it was leaving a small message or clearing out a spot in your basement for us to stay or offering a private sanctuary if needed – you all have been amazing people and I feel so lucky to have all of you in my life. You make rough roads like this just a little smoother. So thanks.
Next on my bloggin’ agenda, I’d like to give you all a tour of our new digs! Once we’re fully settled in and used to the place, I’ll get some photos and tell you all more about it!
***A quick update to this update. This seems outdated because it is. After I wrote this, our beloved Subaru was hit in a parking lot by some jackass that took off, no note, nothing except a dented bumper and broken reflector. This spiraled into a per-itty rough few days. Adam sort of melted down, as some of you already know, and that was not an easy thing to navigate. Like I mentioned earlier, life. And right now? Well, it feels like I’m on a rollercoaster that just might come off the tracks…
As for the car? It was totally drivable, but it was something that needed fixing. It happened in the Festival Foods parking lot, right in front of a surveillance camera, which Festival would not access for us without a police investigation. The police considered it a “no fault” accident since it was a parking lot, so there was nothing they could do, either. Soooo… Apparently hit and runs are “okay” in parking lots. No one’s at fault. Soooo… Next time you hit a car in a parking lot? Look around, shrug, and drive off. I guess? That’s what people do. So our car is currently in the shop after an insurance appraisal of $900 damage and a $500 deductible paid by us through collision insurance. But no fault. Hmm. Life. Sometimes it’s… Well… A challenge.
And now, I’m sitting in the truck at a truck stop in Indiana after some planning and realizing JUST how tight my hours are going to be this week (will I have enough to get me home for my vacation, or will I end up stuck somewhere en route?). I mean, I knew it was gonna be tight… But it’s gonna be pretty close. Gotta do this perfect, that’s all. No big thing.
It’s what I do.
Update over. Until next time.***
Tonight I love being in warm weather in late November. It’s kind of glorious.