2017 went out with a blast and 2018 came in with a blast of cold air plus some interesting things I never saw coming.
On New Years Eve I accepted a driving assignment to Corpus Christi, Texas. It began at 9:30 PM. That all seemed innocent enough and it was.
The tractor I was given was the first non-diesel fueled rig I had ever driven. It runs on compressed natural gas. They drive exactly the same from the driver’s seat but put out much less air pollution with somewhat less power.
By the time I picked up my load of mail I headed south. Since the tanks on the CNG rig are fairly small I had to find a special gas station for that specific fuel.
After I parked at the pump I called the dispatcher so he could walk me through connecting the right hose on the appropriate nozzle. Yeah, there’s more to it than simply pumping liquid into a tank.
The clock must have struck midnight while I was talking to dispatch because fireworks started going off all around me. It was that or a small war broke out. Fortunately it turned out to be fireworks.
Come to find out I had the wrong card to pay for fuel there so I had to drive to Waco and go through the steps all over again…this time without fanfare, just a fresh layer of ice on the ground.
The rest of the trip to Corpus went off without incident. So far so good.
After my ten hour law abiding layover I got the company car I was assigned to drive back to Dallas…no, I don’t know why I didn’t drive the big rig back. I just do what I’m told…or I do my best to do it at least.
Two things struck me as odd when I put my stuff in said car. One tire was soft and the gas gauge was on empty.
According to an app on my phone there was a truckstop less than fifteen miles away. I figured I could take care of both things at the same stop…at least that’s what I thought would happen.
The truckstop ended up being twenty three miles away. No problem, I made it there and gassed up after some cashier guided prompts to accept the card I had.
With a full tank of gas I knew I needed to drive to the diesel pumps for the air hose to fill up the soft tire before I drove home…yeah, right. That’s when things got interesting.
I started the car, put it in gear and began to drive away…then it stalled never to start again. Then all the lights on the fairly new truckstop went completely dark. Cue the Twilight Zone theme music.
To add to my dilemma the power outlet in the car didn’t work so I couldn’t charge my phone that was now on four percent battery life.
I knew I could call dispatch, but wasn’t sure how many more calls after that. Fortunately it made quite a few calls on one percent charge.
I noticed we had the first full moon of the year above me. The second full moon will be on the 31st of January. That makes it a blue moon. You know how often that happens…that’s right, once in a blue moon. Now you know where that phrase comes from.
Aren’t you glad you read this far so far?
The towtruck driver went past the dark truckstop before he found me just after eleven o’clock. Shortly after he parked in front of me he got out and introduced himself to me. Then all the lights at the truckstop came back on. Cue the Mission Impossible theme music.
Me and the car were taken back to the motel I started out at just before midnight so dispatch could decide what to do with both of us. I went back to the room I slept in before I left and went back to sleep. The car slept in the parking lot.
One dispatcher said the next driver was scheduled to head back that evening. It ended up being two o’clock Wednesday morning. I spent all day Tuesday at the motel looking for something to do.
I found it in one of my bags of stuff I need for traveling. Until Shiloh Comes is a book a writer friend sent me over two years ago. Apparently Shiloh had come at last so I could read the book, finally. I’m glad I did. A review will show up here soon.
When I opened my motel door at two o’clock the other driver was exiting his room across the hall from me. He said he slept about four hours. I knew I didn’t need much sleep before we left, but he did.
On one point I felt good knowing I wasn’t the only human who struggles with sleeping during the day. But then I sent up a prayer for him to stay awake to get us home in one piece. My prayer was answered in the affirmative, just barely.
We fueled up just past San Antonio. I found a comfortable position and slept through Austin, which as slow as Austin traffic normally is it’s no big deal…never mind.
As I was getting my bearings I realize why I woke up. The truck was making some familiar awkward movements from side to side. My chauffeur was fidgeting in his seat.
We made it to a rest area before he lost consciousness. Cue the lullaby music.
After the wheels on the truck were going round and round again my phone chirped. It was someone from a different temp agency. I filled out an application for them online before I left on this run. She asked if I could get to their office before three o’clock. I prayed that I could. That prayer was answered in the affirmative, just barely.
Once back in Dallas I filled in all the appropriate paperwork to get paid as much as I can for this fiasco of an assignment.
I drove home with enough time to change my clothes and check my mail, nothing more. Fortunately my next assignment paid for my meals for the next two and a half days.
Knowing what was coming I made sure I drank plenty of liquids on my drive to the new temp agency. After filling out more paperwork I went to give my specimen to see if I would pass my drug test. I prayed I would, especially since I didn’t have time to study.
That prayer was answered in the affirmative. I start on Monday with a company that will have direct deposit and insurance. I kicked myself for not switching sooner. It is what it is so I shall go on from here.
I prayed my next to last paycheck would arrive in the mail on Saturday. That prayer was answered in the negative.
You know who your true friends are by how they respond to your dire situation, not by how they treat you during the good times. I know I have at least one great friend. He knows who he is. Thank you.
Saturday was a good day of rest and exercise. Sunday showed some potentially interesting promise on another front in my life that I may share later.
Somehow this is all working together for God’s good in my life. I don’t need to make sense of it as it happens. I just need to keep trusting that God is in control of it all.
One step at a time is all He expects from me. That’s good, since that’s about all I can muster some days.
I pray you see God in every circumstance in your life, too.
That’s a prayer I hope He answers in the affirmative.
Keep smiling. Wade