Late Night Drive

Late Night Drive

There’s nothing like a late night drive in the summer. Whether you have the top down or all the windows open, it is the most exhilarating thing, ever! To feel that warm air through your hair or your fingers, the zing you feel when a bug pops you in the forehead or your arm that’s out the window. You have your tunes turned up to a tolerable level and cruising down a two lane road or highway and not another car in sight! Smooth Jazz, R&B and old school is what I’d be listening to. Music from Boney James, Rick Braun, Marvin Gaye, or Chaka Khan, Otis Redding, Esperanza Spaulding.

Plenty of nights out on the road, I-40 mostly, in New Mexico or Arizona, listening to Will Downing with the windows down and cruising at about 70 mph, was the best time of the day. You did have to keep your eye out for deer or elk out in that area but that wasn’t too much of a problem.

When I am in the car, preferably on the passenger side, I put my arm out the window and hope I don’t get zinged by a bug. I could ride forever. Of course, the person that’s doing the driving should be someone you’d want to be with. Such joy I feel during that time. Serenity. Wait, where are my keys?

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Riding the Highways

Riding the highways of this great country of ours has given men a great sense of home!.  I spend most of my time out here making timely deliveries and pick ups for shippers and receivers.  In some cases, it can be a great thing, meeting new people, seeing the country and how others live, dealing with other state traffic laws.  But, more than enough, you find yourself longing for home.  Depending on how close you are to your family, going home is something you look forward to at the end of the week.  I am very close to my family and can’t wait sometimes to get home to my granddaughters.  As they say, home is where the heart is and for most of us out here, that’s a true statement.

Not every truck stop you go to is clean, some of the parking lots are not paved and have a lot of pot holes that you pray your truck won’t get stuck in.  There are plenty with paved parking lots and hundred of spaces, with a truck wash on the premises.  But the ones that have every amenity that you need while out here, still can’t take the place of being home.  The truck stops are equipped with showers, laundry rooms, and restaurants, TV rooms where you can watch cable or movies and fast food.  Just about everthing you need.  But still, it’s not like being home.

After a while of sleeping in the truck, you find it hard to sleep in your own bed at home.  Like me, I found myself sleeping on the sofa in the den.  I’ve tried replacing the mattress in the truck with a twin mattress, even though it’s more comfortable, it doesn’t feel like the one at home.  Maybe it’s because of the noise of the truck’s engine that I am missing when I am in my bed, that noise is not in my bedroom!

When you pull into a truck stop and lucky enough to find a parking space, you go in and the smells sometimes remind you of being home.  Other times, it makes you think you have walked into the men’s bathroom.  You walk into the restaurant, if they have one, to find out what is on special for the day.  They tell you its Smothered Pork Chop, green beans and mashed potatoes, you place the order and when you get it, the gravy on the pork chops is thick and greasy, the mashed potatoes could stick on the wall for days before falling off.  You struggle through the meal and pay the bill, then the regret of eating such a heavy meal start to creep up.  It’s meals like that that will put the weight on you.  There are many transportation agencies that are trying to get the truck driver to think about what they are eating and how to control their weight.  They need to start with the truck stop restaurant and make sure the foods they are serving are healthy.  If a driver has a choice between smothered pork chops and a chef salad, which do you think he will pick?

When I finally make it home, I try to spend as much time with my family as possible because I know in a few days, I will right back at it again.  I’ll end up somewhere 600 miles away and by the end of the week, I would have driven about 3000.  Yeah, home is where I want to be, but driving is my passion and I would rather not do anything else.