Packard Sonic’s Blog
From the mind of Packard Sonic. Buckle up for this ride!

Seven states and a funeral

This post was from Sunday August 20, 2006 – 12:25am (CDT)

Well I haven’t updated this in awhile, and I apologize for that. Once you finish reading this, you will understand why. I also want to dedicate this particular entry to my mother who passed away shortly after returning from this trip.

The last days of July were here and I get a call for a run. My dispatcher asked, “When was the last time you had seen the lights of Kansas City?” As I had replied “Never” This sounded like a good run to take. I grab a van and the laptop. Oh, I should back up here a little bit on that. The day before my trusty laptop which I had been using, over heated and died on me. I tried letting it cool, even so much as putting it in the freezer for about 5 minuets once I returned home, but with no results. My trusty laptop was no longer working. So I was loaned out one that a family member wasn’t using much anymore, and in a sense I was back to work, while I had to futz with this other laptop. Well so far it has worked ok, a few freezes here and there. But anyway back to the trip. I head to pick up the van and plug in all my essentials and started my journey, I pass though MN (that’s Minnesota for the abbreviated impaired) Once I enter IA (that’s Iowa by the way) And it never fails to astound me every time I drive into that state no matter from what entry point or highway, the state just smells!! I have passed thought a lot of states, but that one always has a smell to it. Well as I am traveling down the I-35 to meet up with the interstate 80 in IA, I was a little hungry, but as I was running up against the clock as I always am, I didn’t have time to stop. I had seen a BK (That’s Burger King if you have been living under a rock since they changed their slogan) and I thought about it, but on the other side of that BK happened to be an animal research center. Ummm NO! Not that BK would ever do that, just the thought of eating at some place that was so close by to such a facility, just to close to make me look elsewhere. So I pass by the area I was at a few weeks prior for another delivery, (See Just east of Davenport) and I headed though the state, well by the time I get most of the way though MO, (that’s Missouri btw) and they had their roads tore up as well. It seems that every state I had visited had been tearing up the roads left and right lately, anyway, the pavement is totally black at parts and no lines of which to speak of, I was just glad it hadn’t been raining, otherwise that would have been much worse. I get going down the road, and I’m getting tired after driving for nearly 10 hours now, I called in to see about getting a hotel room for the night once I am done with the trip. My dispatcher of the afternoon was Joe, I have spoken about him before in a previous entry. He had stated that they weren’t going to give me a room as I was in a van and once I get done driving and made the delivery I should just turn around and drive back. I felt a bit slighted to say the least! I knew my Co was pinching pennies, but this was not right! I didn’t bring along anything to accommodate such a situation. I was furious, after driving for 10 hours going on my 11th hour I’m told that I wasn’t entitled to a room cause I didn’t drive over 600 miles. Then my evening dispatcher came on and I told her the situation, she told me that Joe was mistaken and had worded it badly, that I had to drive 600 miles total for the day, If I had started my way back, the would get me a room, if I didn’t mind waiting for a load to come back the other way as well. Well that calmed me down a little, but either way I should have been able to get a room for the night. I get there and I am early again by about an hour for this trip. They weren’t expecting me for awhile yet, but I got it there. Well once I get there, the evening dispatcher was having a hard time locating a hotel for the night, as I had the GPS program on the other laptop which I was using, I discovered that it also had hotel information in it as well. I locate one with in a few miles from me on the computer, and I start my way there and I am fighting my way through traffic and being in an area I don’t know that well, I get turned around a little bit, even with the GPS as it didn’t update as quickly as I would like and when the roads get all mixed together like that its not hard to miss an exit now and then, and believe me, I do that often enough. Well I find my way there now, and I discover that the hotel is all booked up. So I start searching for another cheap hotel to stay at. Oh, did I mention that my Co. is not big on paying for rooms if they can help it. I locate another hotel, and make my way there, and discover that the second place is also booked up. At the rate things were going, I was beginning to think I was going to be half way home before I found one. Well turns out there was one down the block I had passed up as on my way there, but they didn’t even have a sign out, so I was unaware I had even passed it at all. I call in and discover that the credit card that they have for that to cover the expenses of the hotel room wasn’t available and they wouldn’t be able to use it. They had the numbers for it, but not the actual card. I had to pay for this one myself, hopefully they would reimburse me for the room right away, but later I find out, that was not going to happen. Anyway, I get checked in and bed down for the night. The next morning, I called in after my 10 hours rest was up and was told they are looking for something coming back. Well so there in the hotel room I sat waiting for another few hours, bored out of my mind as I had already caught up with my log book, and the cable channels out there really sucked, so there wasn’t much of anything to watch on the TV. Finally they called back saying nothing was coming back and I could head home. I check out, and stop to have a bite to eat. Turns out that there is a Sonic restaurant just down the block from me, so I give them a try as they don’t have any in WI. The food was ok, but not much better than a Wendies is. More bun than burger really. I start my way back and there are times when your driving that sometimes you prefer the day over night time driving and sometimes the reverse is true. Well in this case I wish I had been driving at night as the traffic during that time of the day is a lot easier to deal with. I get a call about half way through MO (thats Missouri btw) and I get a call saying that I should head towards Milwaukee for an extended trip out to PA (thats Pennsylvania btw) for a two man trip. I’m thinking I’m in MO, and they are calling me for a trip to PA. I know it was Saturday morning and all, but I can’t believe I was the only one available for a trip there? I told them, that I wasn’t sure I would be able to get there on time as I still had several hours 7 or 8 hours before this trip was to happen to find some one for it. They said they would call me about 3 p.m. to keep me up to date on what was going on. As that time approached, they still hadn’t called me back so I call them, and find out the situation had changed but not all that much. By now I am about half way though IA (If you have read in previous blog entries I hope I don’t need to explain that one) that there was indeed a change, now I was to go to Milwaukee, and pick up a loaded truck, and take it to someone in OH so they could take it to PA from there. I was to drive another 6 to 8 hours into OH with a straight truck. I just couldn’t believe in the span of 8 hours they couldn’t find anyone to cover that trip. Not that I didn’t need the money, just that the open road like that gets to be a bit much after time. As well as many out there already know. I make my way to Milwaukee, learning from the past mistake of following the GPS totally, I pressed on my own way and saved a little time getting there. By the time I got there though, well needless to say I was pressing my own clock at that point, and getting into a straight truck and driving it out to OH (that’s Ohio) in 6 hours was not very realistic IMHO. Trying to get through all the road destruction in Chicago was going to take at least 2 hours alone and I was getting very tired as well to tell the truth. I had a call on the work cell from #1 turns out that’s was my boss and owner of the Co.. I had explained the situation of how many hours I had and how tired I was, and he told me that they made a delivery promise to be out to PA by a certain time. Well I could understand that as that is the nature of this job, but after hearing the situation on how many hours I had left to me and the long ass day I had he arranged to get the driver out of Detroit to meet me near the border of OH and IN. Well after all that was said and done I felt the need to give my mom a call. A short time earlier in the year my mother had lent me her cell phone to use, to contact her as I didn’t have one at the time, and I knew how she often worried about me out driving so much, but I wanted to talk to her about somethings that were on my mind and to see how she was doing. Well we talked and she said she would call me back a few hours later. Well I was still making my way out to the far end of IN and I just could not keep my eyes open any longer. I pulled off at an oasis for a quick shut eye so I could still make the connection with the other driver. About an hour later, I hit the road again, a little more refreshed but yet still tired I make my way to the border, where I was to meet with the other driver. Well turns out I made way better time than the other driver did, and I was there for about 5 hours before he showed up. Turns out he got lost too on the way there. By now, by my calculations the freight was going to be late now. I had pushed myself to get there and he couldn’t find the place apparently. Well we switched trucks and I go back to sleep. I wake up and as my mom hadn’t called me back like she normally would have, I called her back and found out she had fallen asleep. I told her that was fine, and not to worry as I too was sleeping about the same time anyway. So we spoke for about an hour or so, about family and this and that. She said she was tired and was going to go lay down again, and I had to get going as well as it was finally time for me to leave there by then anyway. As I’m about to leave the dispatch calls and asks if I had looked in the back of the truck, I tell them no I hadn’t as I figured it was empty anyway, what reason would I need to look back there for? Turns out he had taken the only hand forklift jack with him. Why? I don’t know. As he was based out of Detroit, I thought oh great, I’m going to have to go there next and take that thing back with me. Well as the terminal manager of that place wasn’t as well lets just say work oriented as my current manager where I am at is, he wasn’t able to be reached, so I was just to take it back to Milwaukee with me, and be done with it. Needless to say this was good news for me, as I wasn’t to fond of the thought of traveling into Detroit anyhow. By the time I got into Milwaukee, it was dark again by now I was on my third day driving and by the time I switch trucks again back to the van I started with and headed home, I had put on about 2000 miles in the three days. I was beat to say the least. I had called my mom one last time on my way back from Milwaukee and spoke to her shortly as she said she wasn’t feeling well, and she would call me back later. Little did I realize that would be the last time I would talk to her. I was home for the day and and rested up, Monday came, and I was running all over the place as I usually did for work, and they asked me twice if I would do an do an early morning on Tuesday run for two different places, I declined both offers as I was so tired still from the previous trip. Little did I know that there was more to why I said no to those than I thought. I was up late that night as usual from the long nights messing with my sleeping patterns and I had just finally gone to sleep about 3 AM and a couple of hours later, the cell rings. At that late of night I thought it could be one of two things, something was wrong, or it was a wrong number. I was hoping it was a wrong number. It was from my moms phone, from the caller ID. I missed the call by a few seconds and called back to see what was going on. It was my step father in distress, he had told me my mother had just passed away. My heart just sank and my jaw dropped to the floor! I thought this had to be a nightmare, this wasn’t happening! He told me what had happened and I was in shock. He told me my bothers and sisters we also notified and were going to be on the way there in the morning. He said there was nothing for me to do, as she was already gone, I felt sick to my stomach, after talking to him for a while about everything, and I was still so tired from the trip, all I could do was cry myself to sleep. As this had happened about almost 4 weeks back now, at the time I am writing this, I don’t remember too much about what I did next or how I ever did get back to sleep, somehow I managed it. I called my work up let them know the situation, and told them I was going to be gone for the week. I don’t know if I will write about the funeral here as it’s to hard to think about, but she was surrounded by everyone that loved her and a lot of people that I knew were her brothers and sisters and some of them that I had learned didn’t get along with each other for what reasons, I don’t know. One thing that I know about the way seen things, she would have wanted us to get along with our lives, she was that way. She was a wonderful and special person and I will deeply miss her to no end. She was only 64 when she passed away, and she should have had a lot longer to her life, but they say when its your time, it’s your time. The pain of her passing will be felt by everyone that was close to her and I will miss her every day even more.

It’s times like these when we often reflect, on who is in our lives and those around us how they make us feel and how they affect our lives. With her guidance, and the person she was, I think that I might be a different person than I am today. Well, I am going to end this entry today with this.

When the people we care for pass from our lives, remember the impact they made on you and who you are today as they will live on in you for the rest of your life and keep their spirit alive within you by the things they taught you and how you treat others as you be a reflection on how you felt by their presence and their love for you.

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