Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tales From the Truck

Do you remember when Travis and I used to be truck drivers? I'm betting you do, because I feel like I talk about it all the time. Mostly because it is the last "real" full-time job I had.

I'm realizing as I get older that I'm not going to remember everything about trucking that I thought I was going to. My "mommy brain" is starting to kick in and it isn't pretty. So I thought I would hit the highs and lows (and there were plenty!) of life in a semi-truck.

Without further ado, presenting for the first time ever on this blog, a new series called "Tales From the Truck". (Catchy, isn't it?) (And dorky too, but that's how I roll.)

Travis and I were living in a rented house in West Des Moines. I loved my job as public relations manager at United Way, and Travis worked in the design department of The Des Moines Register. We wanted to start a family but realized that we couldn't afford to. Especially since I wanted to stay at home with the kids. We brainstormed a lot of different ways we could pay off our student loan debt (the main problem). Travis suggested truck driving. I literally laughed in his face (I thought he was kidding) and said, "There is no @!#$$!!@ way I am going to be a truck driver. (Sorry for swearing mom, but it's true.)

Nine months later he brought it up again, but this time with research, charts and a calculator to show me how much money we could make. It was really hard for me, but I finally agreed to drive truck for one year. (I am skipping a lot of arguing and heartache on my part, but I'd rather not remind myself of those details.)

We moved out of our rental, put almost all of our belongings in storage, and moved into a furnished studio apartment that you could pay by the week in. (It was actually kind of fun. It was definitely an adventure!)

We quit our jobs and enrolled in truck driving school. We went to the DMACC Transportation Institute in Ankeny. Yes, folks, I made us go to truck driving school. I didn't know how to read a map, had never driven a stick shift and knew NOTHING about trucks. Even regular trucks.

The school taught us a lot (you should have been there when I was learning to shift) and after 8 weeks we took and passed our CDL test.

The funniest part? Is when I wore khaki pants and a button down dress shirt to our "graduation", and invited my little sister Bonnie to the "ceremony" and "reception". Trust me when I say that no one else was wearing khaki pants. Or even jeans without holes in them. Or even jeans that were washed.

We were ready for the open road!

More later,

P.S. If you're lucky I might be able to scrounge up a picture of us graduating from truck driving school.


Anonymous said...

You are funny. You have to post pictures!!!