My Least Favorite Part of the Week

IMG_9335So once again, we reach my least favorite part of the week. It’s not his fault that he has to go. It’s his job. To anyone who’s ever loved a person who travels for work, I salute you. It takes a special person to keep a brave face, smile and wish them safe travels when all you want to do is cling to them and keep them home with you.

I had him home with me. I had him home for twenty years. He worked a regular job in an office. He was home with me every evening. He slept beside me every night, and I didn’t appreciate what I had. I was stupid. I took him for granted. Now that he spends his week driving, I find that I miss those nights when he slept here beside me.

Times changed almost six years ago. He lost his office job, and to continue in the same line of work he would have had to start over again at the bottom. Places weren’t hiring, and the ones that were wanted people with college degrees. The only jobs open were temporary spots at an entry level with an entry-level salary. He didn’t want that.

He chose a life on the road. Driving is what he’s good at. In times of stress in our younger years, he often got behind the wheel and went for a long drive so he could think. Many dates and family outings were long car rides to nowhere that turned into adventures along the way. Those long car rides were harder on me. I have never been good at wandering aimlessly, and my father was famous for losing his cool behind the wheel when my mother planned trips with long drives. I ended up like my Dad, wanting a destination in mind and getting nervous when there wasn’t one. I find now that I miss those endless car rides where something awesome might (or might not) be waiting around the next bend.

When my least favorite part of the week arrives, I watch as he scurries to and fro, packing and getting ready to leave. I call out the verbal checklist, asking if he’s forgotten anything. I pack his blood pressure medicine for the week, and I watch as he carries things out to the car. A hug and several kisses later, he’s gone. I always stand in the doorway and watch him go, and I always cry.

When he comes home to me at the end of the week, he’s dirty and he’s tired. He showers first thing and usually goes right to bed. I end up with the bag of smelly laundry covered in mud, truck grease, diesel smell and man sweat. Most weekends we have approximately 34 hours together. When you factor in sleeping, it ends up being closer to 24 hours. Our schedules usually don’t mesh. He sleeps at odd hours on the road, and his sleep schedule will often be off when he gets home.

I try not to bother him on the road with petty things, but it can be hard when things break around the house and we don’t know how to fix them. I’m certain he wasn’t wild about the hysterical phone calls about the toilet leaking into the basement (turn the water off and call a plumber in the morning) or the overflowing sump pump (the pipe was blocked somehow and he had to talk my son through how to unplug it, and then when the unplugging procedure broke the connection altogether, my son had to learn how to fix it and put it back together).

It’s hard being married to a trucker, and it’s hard to send him away every week. He always comes back home, though, and that makes all the goodbyes and all the tears worth it. Now that we spend more time apart than we do together, I think that our marriage is even better than before. We’ve discovered how much we love each other, and we appreciate each other more. We don’t take each other for granted.

Looking forward to seeing him again at the end of each week is what keeps me sane and what keeps me going. Yes, his leaving will always be my least favorite part of the week, but his holding me close again is always the best part.

Life Experiences

I was inspired by Suzie’s post yesterday about life experiences. You can see her original posting here –

I have not been to any of the exotic places she mentions in her post. In fact, I haven’t been anywhere much at all (parts of the United States and Canada). I am not much of a traveler. My life experiences are more basic in nature. Some of you might say they are boring, but I feel very blessed to have experienced them all. Here they are in no particular order:

  1. Receiving my first college degree at age 55 and graduating with the highest honors. Walking across that stage 37 years after I graduated from High School was just as exciting as it would have been at age 20. In fact, I am glad that I waited so long. It meant more to me.
  1. Marrying the love of my life on a cold, rainy November day 25 years ago. 25 years this year, people. In today’s world where some marriages don’t even last 25 weeks, 25 years is a big deal. We’ve been through a lot together, but who hasn’t in 25 years’ time? Walking down that aisle I felt such calm and peace come over me. I wasn’t nervous at all. My brother (who gave me away since my Dad had died two years before I got married) was shaking life a leaf. I had no fears or concerns. It felt right (and it was).


  1. Giving birth not once but twice. I felt the miracle of life twice, and I knew such joy when I heard those first cries. When son # 1 arrived, I was the one who announced, “it’s a boy!” When son # 2 came along, we knew ahead of time that he was a “he”. I had had amniocentesis because at age 36 the doctor declared I was at “advanced maternal age” and he suggested I have testing beforehand to make sure all was well. I would develop pregnancy-induced hypertension with son # 2 and end up out of work 7 weeks before my due date. My delivery with son # 2 was also more difficult (for both me and for the baby). I was not aware of the distress that the baby was under, but Hubby was. He could see the baby’s heart rate monitor; I was blissfully unaware. The doctor would end up using vacuum extraction to coax son # 2 into the world. Today, I am so proud of the handsome young men who call me “Mom”. I couldn’t have asked for better sons. babies
  1. Learning to drive and passing my driving test on the very first try. I learned to drive in a 1976 Oldsmobile Delta ’88 Royale. It was my Father’s car, and it was a boat. I remember the first time my Mom let me drive it on a country road and her cringing when she thought I was too close to the mailboxes on the passenger’s side. I did not take my test in that car. At age 21 I bought my first car – a small hatchback – a 1979 American Motors Spirit. That car was so easy to drive and maneuver.

spirit5.  Spending all major holidays and important celebrations when I was a child with my extended family – parents, brother, grandparents, cousins and aunt. Some of my happiest memories are of those family gatherings and all of us seated around the same table. We didn’t have a lot, but we had each other, and we always celebrated together. We took vacations together, too. We spent summers camping in the Thousand Islands so my Dad and Grandfather could go fishing. I miss so many of them now. Death or distance separates us.


  1. Having two loving, supportive parents. My folks were always there for me. When I think of my childhood or childhood home, I see my parents. My Mom working in the yard, baking in the kitchen or sitting in her chair, reading. My Dad cutting the grass, painting the house, working on the car, napping in his recliner. My dad worked hard and was home every night. My mom was a stay at home mom who greeted me with a smile every day when I came home from school or work. They were my biggest supporters, and I never felt unloved.

mom-dadWhen I married, I gained a second set of parents.  My in-laws were nothing but supportive.  When we started out, they were always there to lend a hand.  When son # 1 was a baby, Grandma and Grandpa did daycare duties.  I can still see Dad sitting in his chair with my son, patiently reading the same Sesame Street books over and over again.  I remember one book in particular (Big Bird looking for something red). My son started Kindergarten already knowing how to read. When we bought our house, they were there to help us get settled. Over the years they were always there.

mom-dadflorack7.  All the time I spent with my cousin while growing up. We were inseparable. My parents called her “our second daughter”. She spent lots of time at our house. We laughed at the same things. During the summers we’d ride our bikes “to meet each other”, and then we’d either ride back to my house to hang out or ride on to my Grandmother’s house to hang out. It was hard losing her daily presence in my life when she moved from New York State to Texas. Her half of the family went to Texas in the mid 80’s. She’s now in Michigan (having met her Michigan-born husband in Texas). She’s closer but still too far away to see often. We still enjoy each other’s company, and when we do talk it’s as if we’d never been apart. We still laugh at the same things.


  1. Stolen moments with my trucker husband. He’s only home 34 hours each week. We have to make the most of what we have. We usually try to have a meal out together if we can. It’s nice to go on dates even if it’s just out for a burger or a coffee. If we can’t manage that, we snuggle up together and watch old re-runs on TV.

I would not have had the memories or the life experiences that I have had without the fantastic, loving and supportive family that I have. Family is everything to me.

Why I Could Never be a Trucker

1) I don’t like driving. I used to enjoy driving around in my Firebird, but driving a big truck for a living would not appeal to me. I’d get so bored behind the wheel that I’d scream. Truckers deliver to the same places over and over again, and it’s always on someone else’s schedule;

2-15-11 truck2) I don’t like waiting. When deliveries or pick-ups are made, it often involves waiting. Sometimes truckers wait for hours. They wait to get on the dock. They wait to get loaded. They wait to be unloaded. They are told to nap while they wait, but then they get roused several times. Sometimes they have a forklift banging around inside the trailer behind them, unloading things. Their schedule involves a lot of “hurry up and wait”;

3) I don’t like camping. Living out of a tractor is a lot like camping. It’s not home. It’s not always comfortable. There are no on-board potties or showers. You use whatever public facilities you can find;

Bunk14) I don’t like being away from my family and home. Being away for weeks at a time would destroy me. I like my own four walls, and I like having my kids and my pet children around me;

5) I can’t follow a map. I can’t find places I’ve never been before. I’d be useless delivering things in strange cities. I’d be in tears, trying to find drop-off locations; and

6) I don’t like being alone. Truckers rely on their own skills to find places and maneuver huge trucks through small spaces and back into tight spots. They are usually alone in their cabs, and they interface and conduct business with strangers. They often only have their own wits to rely upon. They eat alone. They spend most of their time on the road alone. That’s why CB radios are so popular with truckers. It gives them someone to talk to.

I will leave the truck-driving to my Hubby. He’s good at it, and it is something that he enjoys. He likes the challenges of the road, and he’s great at finding places in strange cities. I am more content to spend my working days behind a desk. Life behind the wheel is not for me.