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    5 years, 8 months ago

Homefire's Bio

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Posted:  5 years, 6 months ago

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New Trucking Family, New to TT

Starcar, I'm still around....lol. My man has been training OTR since the 7th of May and even made it home a couple of times. He took the road test for his CDL with the DMV and passed (Yay!), so now it is all a matter of cranking out the rest of the training miles to get into his own truck. The money has been slim (of course), but his earning potential will jump to a more reasonable wage when he gets out solo.

On the home-front, we have been keeping busy. Our kids are out of school for the summer. We all miss our trucker, but we are getting by pretty good.

Cole, It is awesome that you enjoyed the updates. Thank you. I really enjoyed sharing it all. I am still playing with the idea of another similar thread. I still feel like a bit of the oddball though...lol.

Posted:  5 years, 6 months ago

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Happy Mother's Day

I wanted to take a moment to wish all the ladies at home taking care of the kiddos on their own and all the lady drivers that are keeping the wheels turning to provide for their children a Happy Mother's Day!!

You are awesome! Enjoy your day!

<3 (>^_^)> <(^.^<) <3

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

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New Trucking Family, New to TT

I didn't get in my post yesterday (life....eh?) so let me first backtrack to Thursday.

The guys made a run with two training trucks and the safety manager of the company drove a brand new T700 (regular company truck yet to be assigned to a driver) to carry a few empty trailers down to a drop yard a few hours away. The drive was 3 1/2 hours each way and they started around 7:30am. They hit the rush "hour" (he he if only it was really an hour...lol) going and coming back. When they arrived at their destination and made the drop, my man was nominated to drive the safety manager back up with him. He said it was stressful to drive 4 1/2 hours through heavy traffic with the safety manager riding shotgun, but he got to have some great conversation and get to know the guy a bit. The safety manager said he drives well and that is a big relief. The day ended pretty well and my man was whoop dog tired when it was over. We caught up with each other on the phone and facebook; what has become our "usual" way since he has been gone.

I did my grocery shopping that day and all was well until I lost my vaporizer pen. My man and I quit smoking cigarettes a year ago. We still use a nicotine vaporizer (e-cig) to curb cravings and prevent a relapse. I had it before I got out of the van, but realized it was gone when I was heading to my next stop. I back tracked and retraced my steps but couldn't find it anywhere. I finally broke down and bought a replacement. $35 later I was just sick about having to spend the money. Money is soooo tight. Oh, well.

Which brings us to Friday! My man is officially a graduate of CDL school. The last day was very short as they only had to turn in some paperwork and get a training folder. Our timing was off when he called. I had a friend just arriving for a visit and he called just as I was letting her in the house. He had so much to tell me. He was excited that it was an early day and he was finished! He found out a lot of info about the medical insurance program he wanted to talk about, and he wanted to tell me all about his trainer assignment. Yes! He finally has a trainer assigned! We talked for a few minutes, but then I had to get off the phone because I was being rude to my guest. He seemed really unhappy about it. It was the first time I told HIM I had to go because I had other things to do. Darn!

I tried to call him after she left and it went to voice mail. I left a message and waited. My girls got home from school and I sent him a text. Still nothing. An hour later I tried to call again, voice mail. I sent another text. Another hour, another call, more voice mail. I was starting to get really worried. He has NEVER taken so long to call or text back. I facebooked him. No reply. Another hour passed. I was getting really worried and my mind was going crazy. Is he mad?? Did he get mugged and murdered? Is he on his way home for a surprise visit? Is his phone broke? WTH??? I finally left him another voice mail message saying I was getting REALLY worried and I was going to call the hotel phone if he didn't get back in touch with me soon. Finally, 4 1/2 hours later he answered the phone and it turns out he had fallen asleep! Here I was, all jumpy and ridiculous over nothing at all. He went back to his room after we talked and sat down to watch some T.V. and just drifted off.

Unfortunately my man woke up like a grizzly bear. He was bored, lonely, and dreading the long weekend. He didn't want to eat any more "slop from a can", but he didn't have enough money to spare to go get something from a restaurant. It was going to be "forever" before he gets his own truck. He is so "sick of this D@#% hotel room". Unfortunately I was having it a little rough too. His nap put me in a bad mood (because I let my imagination go wild) and it rubbed off on the kids. They were snarking at each other and bickering over nothing, like kids do sometimes. My man was grumpy and I was getting exasperated with it all. I cut our conversation short, because I felt like it was boiling up to an argument. I was not feeling patient and understanding. I was feeling frustrated and I just wanted to tell him to put on his big girl panties and deal with it, because that's what I have to do! I'm glad I didn't let things escalate like that. We haven't argued since he has been gone and I didn't want to start it up.

He sent a text after the kids were in bed and we ended up talking again. He was in a much better mood, though still lonely and missing home.

So this is it. My last post in this "introductory" thread that went horribly right (for me at least and hopefully some other folks eventually)...lol. My man has orientation for three days this week and will likely hear from his trainer on Monday. After he talks to him we will know whether he gets to come home first. Unfortunately, we don't yet know where his trainer's "home terminal" is and so we don't even know if he will get home before his training is over at all. If his trainer isn't from the terminal here close to home, he will have to stay on the truck when the trainer takes home-time.

I have enjoyed this daily posting so much and it has been a really helpful tool in navigating this change in our lifestyle. I am playing around with the idea of beginning a new thread to chronicle the experiences we have once he gets out with a trainer.

Thanks so much for your patience and understanding. :)

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

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New Trucking Family, New to TT

Good Morning TT Folks (Afternoon and Evening too...lol)

I am thankful to say that my man NAILED the parallel parking! I got a text before his call that the class was tested early and he aced it! I am so proud of him. He said he got it on the first attempt and just kept putting it right where he wanted it every time. The whole problem was his confidence. After a poor parallel park on Tuesday morning he just lost his groove and couldn't seem to get it back that day, but yesterday there was no problem.

I was so relieved and excited, but of course, by then he was well over his moping about it and seemed as if it was never even a problem. The greatest part is that this was the last thing that a student could "wash out" for and he is over that hurdle (as long as he doesn't HIT anything...lol). He had a lot of book work to complete last night and trip planning for a 3 1/2 hr haul the students are doing today, but he is IN!

He is still waiting to hear about his trainer assignment. The longer it takes the more likely he is to come home for a few days and wait here. It is hard to believe he could be home in just one week!! I can't wait to see him. I am trying very hard not to get my hopes up, because he still has plenty of time to be assigned a trainer and leave from school on Wednesday after orientation is ended. However, who doesn't get all excited when their trucker might make it home! On a little side note, I set (and reached!!) some nutrition and fitness goals for my self while he has been away so he gets to come home to a slightly thinner and better toned me :).

Two of our children had to go to the dentist yesterday morning (one for check up, the other for a minor procedure). I managed to knock that out and shampoo a carpet in our home that needed it. I also planned our weekly menu and made my grocery list (today is grocery day!). I was sure to include the ingredients for my man's homecoming meal, just in case :)

I am so grateful that we have found this industry. The clock is ticking down to when some money will finally start coming home. He could very well get a paycheck in as little as two weeks (three is more likely)! This is a huge deal, because even though his training pay won't be a lot, any little bit will help to give me some comfort when it comes bill time. Our children are tired of hearing me say, "Maybe when Daddy starts getting paid...." and the bill man (or woman) doesn't give a hoot when the money comes in as long as they get paid on time.

Just two more days of school (if I count today), one lonely weekend, three orientation days and my man ether starts his OTR adventure or gets to come sleep next to me :). A win in either case.

Thanks for listening :)

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

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New Trucking Family, New to TT

Yesterday, things did not go well for my man.

He finally hit a hump that he isn't sure he can get over and it's name is parallel parking. His group has spent the week on the backing range and all was going well except with this maneuver. He was so stressed out about it. He said that he feels like he might have to come home with his tail between his legs. Parallel parking is a requirement to graduate from the program. The way he explained it is, he is holding a turn too long to place the trailer then isn't getting the truck lined up properly and he ends up curved out of position. I comforted him the best I could and asked if he was doing anything different from the other guys. I also asked if he was paying close attention to how they are completing the maneuvers. He got kind of grumpy with me but apologized for it afterwards. He says he was doing everything he could and his instructor didn't know what else to tell him except he is holding the turn too long. Thankfully one of the guys agreed to trade his practice time on parallel parking for my man's time in alley dock. My man can alley dock like a champ and is only concerned with the parallel parking at this point. I'm hoping that all this time, effort, and money hasn't been a waste and that he can complete this program. We literally sank every dollar we had left into this dream and if we can't make it in trucking I don't know what we are going to do :(.

I have complete faith in my man to get it done, though. I advised him to stay relaxed and don't sink every bit of hope we have into this one maneuver. I told him it is just like any other day and any other maneuver. I'm afraid that if he stays stressed about it his mojo will vanish and he won't be able to get it at all. He was able to complete this maneuver successfully twice on Friday, so I KNOW he can do it. Tomorrow is their test day for backing. Here is hoping he will be able to get it down in time.

I spoke with him again a while later and his mood was greatly improved. He went to dinner with some of the guys and had a belly full of good food and a heart full of good cheer afterwards. I think talking over his concerns with the guys was just what he needed.

I spent some time with my mother yesterday, but otherwise it was an uneventful day. Housework, laundry, pet care, kid care.....lol. A never ending cycle.

I'll have a change up in my routine soon though. I have been working a part-time temporary position three times a year for the last four years and it is almost time to go back again. By Monday or so I will be rejoining the ranks of the employed for a few weeks. I love my job and the people I get to work with. Generally I would work a full 40 hr week, but my lack of childcare will pare my hours down so I can be home for my children in the afternoon. I'm going to miss the money I made before, but I am happy that I don't have to quit all together and my boss is willing to work around my children's school schedule.

I'm thinking that it is nearly time for me to bring this daily thread to a close. Since my man should be through with training and orientation by the middle of next week, I think that may be time to start a new thread beginning with my life after he gets over the road with a trainer. The experience of sharing everyday has been comforting. As always I appreciate the listening ear. :)

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

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New Trucking Family, New to TT

Well, the newly established pattern holds true again this week.

My trucker was in much better spirits yesterday after a long day of school. It is clear that "boredom + weekend = homesick" and "truck practice + weekdays = coping fine". It make me worry about how he will handle resets and layovers on the road.

My man spent the day on the backing range. They worked on parallel parking and offset backing. He says that backing is going well so far, but he had a hard time with the parallel parking at first. He said he kept over steering or under steering, but finally nailed it before they were done. He said he room-mate backs like it is second nature. He joked that he is a super trucker....lol.

My man complained of back issues and I told him it could be poorly adjusted seats causing the problem. He said he didn't think that seats were the issue and I wondered if maybe he was twisting his back funny when he gets in and out of the truck. I told him to be mindful of his body mechanics and maybe it will clear up on it's own.

Apparently my man got the impression that I got jealous of the housekeeper in the hotel...lol. Over the weekend he mentioned that he looked up the way to ask for more coffee packets for his room in Spanish, because the housekeeping lady that cleans his room doesn't speak/understand English very well. I recall telling him that it was very considerate of him to do and she probably appreciated that. He recalls me pausing in a significant way first. He said that he thought I was picturing a housekeeper like "Catalina" from "My name is Earl" (hilarious show and a very pretty girl), but he said the housekeeper was more like "Consuela" from "Family Guy"....lol. I had a good laugh over his misunderstanding and it made me wonder if he read about my little jealousy issue here and it has him spooked.

Yesterday was my biggest housework day of the week. It wasn't so bad, but it kept me busy for a while and it was a nice peaceful day. There is something very relaxing in the mundane household tasks. It keeps me busy without wearing me out and it makes me feel good to bless my family with a nice home. I look forward to my man's home-time when he can come enjoy it too.

I had a moment yesterday where I felt about an inch tall. I use instagram for food pictures often and post them to our private facebook page from time to time. I made an especially delicious dinner last night and posted the pretty picture like I normally would. A little while later, he commented that his dinner was like dog food. His comment upset me so much. I felt so bad for posting it and actually took it off. I felt like I was inconsiderate for posting it, knowing that he is eating from a can more often than not, and it makes me want to stop with that kind of posting all together.

I'm sure I'll step in it again before I get a handle on it.

Thanks for listening :)

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

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New Trucking Family, New to TT

Great advice Starcar!

It is my intention to keep home-time about home and family. I feel like he will get his fill of pressure out on the road and won't need a drop more when he comes home. I joked with him before he left that he gets to come home and be a rockstar/king!! The kids will be all over him and our friends and family will want to see him, he may need a velvet rope to hold court...lol! In all seriousness though I am looking forward to the challenge of making home-time special and relaxing. I am eager to cook for him and make over him. He is definitely earning some pampering. Not to mention, some good quality couples time between us ;) .

My man was so down in the dumps yesterday. He is missing home so very much. My heart just breaks for him. He misses the kids so much and he has so much time left to go before he gets to come home. He said he spent a lot of the day scrolling through our private facebook, re-reading all the old posts and looking at the pictures.

He did go have a nice big breakfast yesterday morning, but didn't eat anything else all day. No amount of coaxing from me could convince him to go get something, order a pizza, or microwave some canned food. He is so worried about money. He already figures he is going to be broke and uncomfortable with the trainer and when he goes solo.

I doubt seriously that his weekly truck budget will leave him hungry and miserable (it is pretty sizable), but the cost of things on the road is intimidating and he is still getting used to trying to pre-plan for his needs on his own. At home, I always take care of those things and I can't be there to do them for him now. In a different world, I could be there with him when he goes solo and take care of him while we travel, but the kids need me here more and it just can't be that way.

I will do everything in my power to gather the things he may need while out there on the road so he can take as much as possible at the cheaper local rate (I am pretty good at getting a deal).

The kids and I went to my step-father's birthday party yesterday. We had a nice time, but it is taking some getting used to, going to family gatherings without him. My camera lets me act as his eyes here at home and I take comfort in knowing I can show it all to him through the lens. I keep reminding myself that separation is part of the game.

What hurt the most is when he says he will only be a visitor here from now on. I just don't see it that way. I insist that his home-time isn't going to be a visit. He will be coming HOME. He says his home is going to be that truck. I'm not sure which of us is right and which is wrong. Maybe we are both right. Maybe he needs to think of the truck as home and I need his home to be here. Either way our devotion to each other and our children is the same.

We ended our lengthy conversation on a positive note, talking about next summer when the children can go with him on the truck for a few weeks. Our youngest has several years before she will be able to go, though.

I know he will be relieved to get back to the grind today. They are backing on the range for the entire week. He needs to keep busy so he doesn't have so much time to dwell. The more time passes, the harder some of it becomes and the easier some of it becomes. We just have to keep our eyes on the prize.

Thanks for listening! :)

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

New Trucking Family, New to TT

Yesterday was a bit busy for me, but not so much for my man.

He is the only student in the hotel again this weekend. Like last weekend, spending the day in the hotel room (bored) made him home sick.

I went to my mother's house for our belated Easter gathering. The kids and I had a nice time and enjoyed our visit.

I was missing my man a lot too yesterday, so when we talked that evening I just didn't want to let him get off the phone. He says it feels weird running out of things to talk about and just sitting on the phone. As far as I'm concerned, I don't mind. I still see it as spending time with him, even if we don't have much to talk about.

Over time, I guess we will have more conversations that go that way. Since we talk everyday at least twice and I post lots of updates to our private facebook about what is going on at home, we aren't missing much of what is going on with each other. As a result, our lengthy phone conversations stray to small talk and other less important subjects. I have read other women's accounts of their experience that say they will just sit and watch T.V. "together" with their man while on speaker phone and they enjoy hearing the room noise around them. I think I am going to end up this way as well. Knowing he is right there on the other end of the phone makes me miss him less.

He told me he may come home before he meets up with his trainer and if so that is only 1 1/2 more weeks!! I am keeping this news to myself until we know more. I don't want to get the kid's hopes up too high when he could still get a trainer straight from school. A week and a half is a long time for planning ahead in trucking....lol

He is calling a few relatives and friends today to catch up on how they are doing and heading out to the terminal/school to do his laundry. Tomorrow begins a full week of backing practice and the last week of the "school" portion of his training.

Thanks for listening!

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

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New Trucking Family, New to TT

My man began backing practice on the range at the terminal/school yesterday. He said that things went pretty well and, like most skills he has been introduced to, backing is coming along well. The backing portion of the training will continue on through the last week of school. The guys have to learn straight backing, alley backing, serpentine backing, and parallel parking.

My man posted a few pictures from the range on our private facebook. I was like a little kid, excited and in wonderment of all the neat "truck stuff". He had a scary moment though when he was exiting the truck he dropped his phone to the ground below. The back came off and dirt got all inside and he had a hard time getting it cleaned out. It still worked for him, but he was sure he had broken it all together when it happened. Thank goodness it didn't, a new cell phone is not in the budget right now.

He still hasn't heard from a trainer, but he estimates that about 1/3 of the class is still waiting to be assigned. If he performance hadn't been so good, I might worry, but i'm grateful that the company takes the tme to find a match that they believe will fit.

He was so very tired yesterday evening. He said he wasn't even sure he was going to attempt dinner. He hadn't ate by the time I spoke to him for the last time, but I encouraged him to fill his belly and I sure hope he did. Going hungry will just make him feel more lethargic.

I had a very empowering moment yesterday. I have a cat that just loves to chew cords and my son had recently bought a new game controller. He or one of the other children left it out and the cat happily chewed through the wire. My man is always the handy one that knows how to fix things like that. I on the other hand usually just set these things to the side until he can get to it. I decided that I was going to fix it myself. I talked the project through with my man on the phone the night before. He gave me a basic idea of how to do it and where the tools to do so were located. I came in from my gardening (relocating those accidental pumpkins :) ) and pulled out everything I needed for the project. An hour later I had a repaired and fully functional game controller. Yay, me!! I was so excited I even did a little dance (scared the dog to death I think she may have thought I was having a seizure...lol).

So far, I am embracing my handier side. I don't want my man to spent all of his hometime working on projects that I could attempt on my own. It is a real confidence boost to "take matters into my own hands" and get something done.

I heard a song yesterday that really spoke to me. It was a super sappy love song and it brought tears to my eyes. I had to sit on the bed and hug my man's t-shirt covered pillow and cry a while and just miss him. Being apart can be like a roller-coaster ride, sometimes. One minute I'm doing the happy dance because I got something accomplished on my own, the next I'm hugging his pillow and crying. Missing him is always going to be part of the equation. I give myself permission to cry and hurt sometimes, but not to dwell on it. When the song was over, I wiped away my tears, made a cup of tea, and moved on to the next thing.

My man is going to be the only student in the hotel again over the weekend. I hope it is better for him than the last one was. It breaks my heart to hear him down in the dumps. He will be heading back to the terminal to do some laundry at least, so he will have a few drivers here and there to talk to. We will try to talk more over the weekend too, but today he is sleeping in and I won't hear from him until at least 10 or so.

As always I appreciate the opportunity to share my experience. :)

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

New Trucking Family, New to TT

Such a busy day for our family yesterday!

My son had a dental appointment first thing. I sent his sisters off to school and went over on our own. We scheduled a follow-up visit for him to have some minor dental work taken care of.

I was a bit behind, so after dropping him off at school I had to backtrack home and finish my grocery list (it was grocery day). While looking at my finances I realized that I didn't have enough money to buy food for our dog. I had fed her the last of it in the morning and had to reach out to my mother for help.

Getting a job in the trucking industry isn't like getting a regular "around-town" job. It takes much longer to start earning when you are starting with no experience. It is considered a low-skilled job, however it requires a high level of skill and professionalism in order to be safe and successful. The effort required to learn the industry and equipment is similar to many other skilled trades. The sum of this is you can't get started today and get a paycheck next week (and the Department of Labor needs to re-examine it's label of the trucking industry).

Financial hardship (unless you have had another profitable career and savings to use) is a certainty for the first couple of months. Although we are managing with help from our family, it is hard to keep going to them and putting my hand out to ask for help. It will be such a relief when my man starts getting paid and I can repay those that have lent financial support when we have so desperately needed it.

I had housework to do and got a start on some gardening. Along the way I discovered pumpkins growing in my flower garden. In the fall I set my children's Halloween pumpkins (whole uncarved) in the garden and allowed them to rot there with the intention that it would enrich the soil. They were turned under about three weeks ago. I wanted to tell my man right away about my accidental pumpkins, but alas, I had only facebook to tell (through our private group). Whenever something happens that I want to show him, I reach for my camera. Having this kind of outlet makes me feel closer to him over the distance.

My trucker called a little later than usual and I was so eager to talk to him. I always ask him about his day before I start catching him up on ours and our conversation went something like this:

me: "Hi Baby!" him: "Hi" me: "How was your day?" him: "Good" me: "What did y'all do today?" him: "Drove" me: "Where did y'all go?" him: "Around"

This was so much different from the other conversations we had and I pressed him for more information. He just kept giving me these short one or two word answers. I was starting to feel like I was talking to my teenagers instead of my man. He got a little frustrated with me and finally started to give a little more detail. They drove a lot of back country roads and a little more mountainous areas. He said "everyone was a little off today" and then quickly wanted to speak to the children because one of the guys was supposed to come to his room and get him to go to Wal-Mart. I handed him over and the children talked to him. He seemed relaxed and unhurried when he spoke to each one. He got off the phone with the promise to call back later.

I was a little puzzled when we got off the phone. IMHO I have been supportive, understanding, and strong for him. I stay positive. I don't nag or complain. I had the impression that he just didn't want to talk to me. My mind was all over the place for a little while. Why was he in such a hurry? It wasn't like the guy was at the door waiting for him to go. Maybe he didn't want me to hear the voice of the person coming to the room? Is it a woman? Maybe he is heading out to Hooters for dinner (one is nearby the hotel) with the guys and he doesn't want me to know because he thinks I'd be mad? My mind was going and I was thinking all kinds of crazy things!

I decided that I needed to SLOW DOWN. He was probably having a crappy day and it was effecting his mood. Not everything is about me....lol. He is human, he is going to have a bad day from time to time.

My rationalizing turned out to be true. When he called back a while later he was ready to talk about the day. He said that most of the guys were struggling with the truck today. He was not satisfied with his own performance because he had a hard time shifting through some turns. He forgot to take his allergy medicine in the morning and spent the whole day with itchy eyes, a runny/congested nose, and a dry itchy throat. He had decaff coffee instead of regular coffee hoping to lessen his necessary bathroom breaks and although it helped with that, he felt like he wasn't as energized and AWAKE as he usually is. The other guys had several mistakes too and it sounded like it was a stressful day all around.

He was also stressing over his money. He said that every place they have stopped is so expensive. He wasn't well prepared for the "on the road" week and ended up spending more than he intended to eat lunches. He still has enough to get through, but he is disappointed that he won't have as much surplus as he was hoping when he finally gets on the trainer's truck.

When we got off the phone, I was so thankful that I hadn't become reactionary and set in on him with accusations about his motives. It is so easy to slip into a negative mindset and assume that something bad is going on. Acting this way would be so bad for our relationship and his career.

Thanks for Listening! :)

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

New Trucking Family, New to TT

Thanks Starcar!

In trying to be completely honest, I let my less desirable traits show (like occasional irrational jealousy...lol) and it isn't pretty, but it is real. You are 100% right that I should feel flattered. I know my man loves me to the ends of the earth and our relationship means more to him than anything (except our kids).

My "maybe" on his getting close to home turned into a definite "no" yesterday afternoon. There just wasn't anything that needed to come to that terminal today. I have read accounts of other women's disappointments on the "maybes". Thankfully, I didn't set my hopes too high and I didn't say anything to our kids about it. Tomorrow they begin backing practice, so no chance of getting close tomorrow either. Oh, well. He'll be home when he gets home or in 6 1/2 weeks, whichever comes first.

My man did mountain driving with his group yesterday. He said it reminded him of the roads here where we live. He really enjoyed getting to drive a 13% grade with the jakebrake! He said it is amazing how powerful the jakebrake is and he got a good feel for it. He is really loving that truck. He said the hardest part was having to sit and ride while the other guys got a chance to drive. :)

When they returned to the school/terminal, he got to meet a man that works for the company, a youtube-er that we watched while he was considering trucking as a career. He said the man was just as nice in person as he was in his videos. He told him how much we both enjoyed his videos and had a nice conversation with him.

Several of my man's classmates have already been assigned trainers and are communicating with them by phone. One of the guys (married) has been assigned a female trainer. She has a reputation for being an excellent driver, trainer, and very professional. She is going to meet him and his wife at their home to pick him up for training. My man said that the guy and his wife were comfortable with it after learning about the type of person she was. My man, however, told his instructor that he couldn't have a female trainer. My man is no misogynist, (female truckers rock!...lol) but would not feel comfortable sharing close quarters with another woman. He was assured that there is no other female trainer available on his training timeline, so it is certain that he will be paired with a male trainer. My man is a bit concerned that he hasn't been assigned a trainer yet, but he is doing well in class, will ultimately graduate from the program, and they will find him a trainer soon. He says the hold up is likely due to the fact that the company wants to find him a trainer that is out of the terminal closest to home. He has communicated to the instructor that he will accept any trainer that can take him, no matter where their "home" terminal is. He really wants to get through driving with a trainer ASAP and into his own solo truck.

He expressed some concern that his training pay is going to be low and he won't be able to send very much money home. I re-assured him that any amount sent home is more than the 0ZERO0 that we are currently receiving. I don't want him to stress about the money! I am prepared for the hardships that will continue for some time. We are much better off than some. We have food, we are not losing our home, he have transportation, I can pay the electric bill. We are blessed. One of the other students' wife got a final eviction notice his first week of school. He had to go home over the weekend and move the whole household in with a relative. This is the story of several soon-to-be truckers getting into the industry and we are so fortunate that he doesn't have that kind of stress to deal with on top of the lifestyle change.

Last night I got to imagining what it will be like when he finally gets to come home. I took the time to write out a menu of his favorite foods and a few fun things we could do together here at home. I am NOT making out a "honey, do" list for him. When he comes home I just want him to be able to enjoy it, his time with the kids, and his time with me. Thinking about home-time of course leads to thinking about when he has to leave again. I also made myself some notes about things to send with him when he goes.

I miss him so much. I swiped a couple of his t-shirts and have been keeping one over his pillow beside me on our bed. At night I cuddle it and it makes me feel close to him. I think about how casual it used to be when I could just turn over and put my arms around him and my head on his chest. Oh, the things we take for granted! I can't wait until I can do just that.

Thanks so much for continuing to listen. I am grateful to TT for giving me a place to air it all out! :)

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

New Trucking Family, New to TT

It seems that my trucker and I have fallen into a comfortable routine. He focuses on school. I take care of home and share it all with him through our private facebook group. We talk in the afternoons and in the evening before the kids bedtimes. It is working for the both of us.

Yesterday my trucker and his group went on a 3 1/2 hour (1 way) trip with a light load. My man drove second (six guys needed to drive). They planned the trip so that they would avoid traffic from the major metropolitan area that the school boarders. they arrived on time and pulled an empty back to the terminal where the school is located. Everything went well and my trucker says he feels like this was the thing he was always meant to do. I am so proud of my man!

I had a moment of jealousy yesterday, but thankfully, kept it to myself and got over it pretty quickly. My man was telling me about a conversation he had with a female desk clerk. He was talking about how long he was to be away from home there in the hotel and on a trainers truck. He said he told her about our facebook group and how I was holding it all down at home. It was irrational to be jealous of a polite conversation he had with an employee of the hotel, but I was envious that some random woman got to look into my man's eyes, smell his cologne, and have a conversation while I have to wait several more weeks (probably) to have the same experience. I know that my man will be faithful to me because he isn't wired to be a cheater. I am going to have to lighten up and remember that he has to talk to ALL kinds of people, women included...lol

I had myself a little adventure yesterday. A friend and I went out on a local lake (about 20 min away) with her kayaks. I had never been on a boat before (other than a ferry) and it was so much fun. It was a very relaxing experience (and a great workout). I enjoyed the get away and it was very rejuvenating. I needed to have some fun to relieve the tension of all the new adjustments and missing my man. Of course he was on my mind the whole time.

Today my man is going out to do some mountain driving with his group. I pray they have a great and SAFE day.

Thanks for listening :)

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

New Trucking Family, New to TT

Thanks for the tips on pay Starcar.

One neat thing about his company is they offer an extra paid vacation week per year for those that choose the per diem option. Also the paid holidays aren't included in straight pay. They definitely make per diem sound attractive, but we have a couple more weeks before we have to make a "final" decision.

I am still in the dark as far as practical vs hhg miles. they sound so very similar. Any insight on that?

Yesterday my trucker got to go on the road with half of his class and an instructor. He drove first and he said he did really well. He got his first taste of actual traffic. He said he got a little nervous with so many four-wheelers zooming around him and cutting back and forth across his lane. At one point he had to get across two lanes in the heavy traffic to make an exit. He made it through fine though and he says he is really enjoying it. His homework was to trip plan the next run with his group. They had to decide the order they were to drive and where they were to stop to change drivers/fuel. They are pulling a load to their destination and bringing an empty trailer back.

I had an appointment that I couldn't get out of yesterday and had to get a sitter for my kids. They had a long weekend because of the Easter holiday. Thankfully my mom was up for a houseful of kids and took them for me. The first of many times I will need someone to help with our kids.

Prior to his leaving for training, he and I arranged our schedule so that one of us would always be with the kids. Daycare is uber expensive and we don't really have friends that would babysit. My mother has been the only other adult with the kids for several years and then only once or twice a year. It will take some adjustment on my part to coordinate with my mother for those times I can't bring my kids along.

As a result of my man's busy day, we didn't talk as long as we usually have. This gives me a peek into what our communication will be like on the road after he goes solo. When he is solo, his schedule will revolve around what loads he pulls, where they have to go, and when. I am trying to mentally prepare myself for the times his schedule and mine clash.

I did get a bit of good news though. My man has nearly convinced his instructor to let them run to the terminal here close to home. His instructor is trying to see if there is a load that needs to come this way. My trucker asked if I could please bring "us" some lunch if they get to come. I asked if "us" meant he and I. He paused and said "well, and the guys....". LOL. I told him to let me know if they plan the trip, then I'll put something together for his group. Why not?? I did tell him we didn't need to make feeding the whole lot a habit :). I am seriously considering taking the kids out of school and bringing them along to the terminal. I don't want them to miss school or getting to see their dad (torn). Not to mention that a terminal isn't exactly the place for a bunch of kids. It is a business, not a playground. It is going to require some mulling over.

My son mowed the lawn yesterday afternoon. He is really maturing. My man gave him a "man of the house" talk before he left and explained that he wanted him to help with the tasks that he would normally help with. I am so proud of my boy!

As always I appreciate the listening ear (reading eyes?!?) :)

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

New Trucking Family, New to TT

Thanks so much for your encouragement Starcar! I am trying to include the details that I wanted to know when I first began scouring the web for advice about this new lifestyle.

When your hubby gets on the road, you need to get one of those huge school maps of the US...so your kids can "pin him" across the states.

I have a map all picked out when I can afford it on Amazon. It is a National Geographic map that includes lots of cities and all the major truck routes. It is a steal at $25, but i have to have the extra $25 first...lol.

My trucker and I got to talking about money last night. When it comes right down to it. The money was the biggest deciding factor for us when it came to choosing this career. The pay-scales in this industry are complicated and it makes it hard to compare pay between companies.

My trucker gets paid a flat, per-day driving wage while he is on a trainers truck (another 2 1/2 weeks at least before that starts). When he goes solo, he gets a certain cents per mile (cpm) paid either "straight" or "per-diem". Although I am no expert, the way I understand it is that the IRS allows a trucker a set amount per day as a deduction at the end of the year for food, housing, and entertainment. With "straight pay" the driver is responsible for tracking and claiming this amount. With "per-diem" pay the company reports a certain cpm as non-taxable pay, supposedly to simplify filing at the end of the year. He also has a choice between "hhg" miles or "practical" miles. HHG milage is (a mystery!?!) a system that is developed by the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA). It basically rounds off the number of miles driven by calculating the nearest route to the destination that a truck could take. Practical miles are the shortest practical route from point a to point b. Hub miles aren't offered with this company. In addition to cpm pay in any combination of the above factors, his company offers small cpm bonuses for meeting certain performance and safety related goals. These are paid in different amounts weekly, quarterly, and yearly. Finally there are flat rates paid for holidays, loading/unloading, stops, detention (hrly), and down-time (repairs/maintenence on truck).

While we discussed his pay potential we had a hard time figuring out exactly how much to expect. Before he left we made a decision on his truck budget (money for his own living expenses on the road) and the household budget. It was important to us to have a clear view of how much it would cost him just to work this job. It was a hard figure to agree on. Too little money will leave him uncomfortable, poorly fed, and unprepared for an emergency. Too much money will create a hardship at home and completely defeat the whole purpose of pursuing trucking to start with. We settled on an amount that seemed similar to the budgets of other comfortable drivers.

At the end of the day, the money he sends home will be the deciding factor on whether all this time away and distance between us is worth it. We are still wondering (but hopeful) if this industry will allow us to meet out financial goals.

I am still learning so much about this industry every-day! It s certainly unlike any other :) Thanks so much for listening!

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

New Trucking Family, New to TT

Good Morning and Happy Easter!

This is the first Holiday our trucker is away and so far everyone seems to be handling it well. We made a "Open on Easter" box for him before he left with a letter from me, drawings from the kids, and some of his favorite candies. The kids got their Easter candy super early this morning and I took a picture for him to see in our private FB group.

Yesterday was a hard day for my man. He was alone in the hotel room with too much time to think about home and nothing to do. To top it off we were having phone problems for a portion of the day and couldn't get through to one another.

He called us in the morning after he slept in. We talked for a long time and he spoke with the children. We got cut off twice while we were trying to talk but we both had a strong signal on our phones and couldn't figure out why.

We had a lazy day here at home. It was raining, so we couldn't go out and do yard work. I decided to play a video game in the middle of the day (very unusual) since I was feeling a little blue and a little bored. The kids were doing their own thing and floated in and out to watch.

During that time I chatted with a friend and tried to call him afterwards. The phone kept going straight to voice-mail. Apparently he was trying to call as well and was getting upset about not being able to reach us.

By the time he got through it was nearly dinner time. He was feeling really sad and lonely and missing us really bad. Yesterday was the first day that he wasn't too busy to dwell on the distance. It hit him hard. On top of it he was trying to save money, so he didn't go anywhere or do anything all day. Eating food from a can, cup, or pouch was also wearing on him.

We talked for a long time and he talked to the kids a long time too. I comforted him the best I could over the phone. It just tore me up inside that he was feeling so sad. When he hurts, I hurt.

Today he admitted that he feels guilty about being happy with his new experiences. He feels guilty about spending money on himself when he knows how tight things are here at home. I let him know that we want him to be happy. We want him to be comfortable and have a good meal when he can. I told him that it doesn't dishonor us here at home if he enjoys himself. I also told him that we are going to be happy here with the new life, we aren't going to feel guilty, and HE SHOULDN'T EITHER. We can't let this new lifestyle be consumed by guilt because we are apart. We have to share all the joys across the miles where-ever we find them. I want him to LOVE this new lifestyle and embrace it.

We did talk about what communication we like to have from one another and talked about what is working and what isn't working. He LOVES the FB group and reading all about our day, seeing all the pics, videos, and other goodies I post. He doesn't like calling in the a.m. because he doesn't have enough time to wake up fully before heading out to school. He said he is staying off of this thread from now on because it hurts too much to read. I told him I like to talk to him right after school even if it is only for a few minutes and again before the kids go to bed. My only complaint was that he hasn't taken many pictures yet and I want to SEE him and see what he sees. He said he would feel silly taking selfies in the mirror. I told him that I didn't care! Just give me something I can look at. So today he posted his first selfie...lol and his breakfast for me. It did my heart so good to actually see my man. Gosh how I miss him.

Today he is taking a different approach. He went to breakfast this morning and had a good hot meal with all the trimmings and he is heading out to do laundry at the terminal. I am so glad that he talked through this rough spot with me. Communication is sooo important! Without it we would drift apart over the miles. Now that we have a clearer view of each other's expectations we can both rest easier. We love each other with all our hearts. Distance means nothing when you have your soul-mate.

I'm sorry these posts are getting so long! I appreciate the outlet and hope that they give some insight into what it is really like to be apart. Thanks for listening :)

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

New Trucking Family, New to TT

I got a good belly laugh from your response Starcar! LOL

I'm going to take you up on that advice on how to fix stuff thing...lol. We live in a house that is nearly 100 yrs old and it is always needing a little love <3.

Yesterday, my soon-to-be trucker watched 6 training videos in class. It took all day and he said it was SUPER boring. He did get a few complements from his instructor on his backing the previous day and his ability to avoid an accident with the "four-wheeler". The videos covered vehicle systems, control systems, driving through/ turning at intersections, ect. This was likely the last classroom day and next week the class will split up and get some experience with driving on the road or backing.

He did tell me that they will not be visiting the terminal nearby our home, but instead will be traveling to another when they go on the road. I was a bit disappointed to hear that, but it makes sense that they would travel to different terminals with different classes. I imagine the instructors would be bored to death driving with the students to the same terminal over and over. I will just have to wait for home-time to see him instead of catching a glimpse sooner.

As for my day, the kids were out of school and I woke up grumpy. I improved my mood by getting the kids to go out with me and help with some yard work. They did a great job and we all worked together really well. There is lots to do out there since the seasons have changed. It made me miss my trucker because we were doing some of the things that we would normally do together. I called a friend and chatted with her for a bit and waited for my trucker to call in the afternoon.

I have been keeping up our secret facebook page and posting updates, so I had a few pictures to share of the improvements we made to the yard.

At the usual hour he has been calling, I got a text saying that his room-mate was going home for the weekend and he would call us after he left. I proceeded to make dinner, feeling bummed and missing him. I tried to put on my Bee Gees Pandora station to cheer me up, but Pandora only wanted to play sad love songs from the era. I switched over to a Blues Traveler station and the same thing happened. Finally, I put on a 90's station only to end with the same result. I just turned off the music (Pandora why have you betrayed me!?!).

The kids and I ate dinner and then I veg-ed out with some TV to wait for him to call. I was feeling so bummed about not getting n our "regular" call and felt so impatient. I sent him a text telling him I was missing him and to call soon. He finally called at about 7:45. he has went out in front of the hotel (in the rain!) to call us because his room-mate's girl was running late to pick him up. He talked to our youngest because it was getting close to her bedtime and spoke briefly to the other kids.

He told me that his room-mate's girl had brought a home cooked meal for his room-mates birthday and shared it with him the night before. I was so grateful to this woman I had never met for filling my man's belly with good home-cooked food. I worry about his health with him eating so much canned food and noodle bowls.

He had to get off the phone sooner than I was ready for because he was getting pretty wet outside on the phone. He is trying to be so polite to his room-mate. He didn't want to talk on the phone while he was watching TV and I suspect he feels funny about being over-heard on the phone talking.

I waited and waited for him to call back (it seemed like forever). My 10 yr old daughter came in to my room and looked at me and said with maturity beyond her years "You really miss Daddy a lot don't you?". It was all I could do not to burst into tears because it touched my heart that she was so insightful and aware. I have been keeping my brave face on for my kids, trying to stay positive. I pulled up the pictures and street view from Google to show the kids where his hotel and school.

I finally called him back (it was only an hour later). His room-mate still hadn't left to go home but our other kids were getting ready for bed and I wanted them to be able to talk to him.

He had a really nice conversation with both older kids and even pointed us to a video on youtube a trucker from his company made about the terminal where his school is located. The video also showed the truck that my man has been driving. It was exciting for the kids and I to see.

It definitely made me feel closer to him.

I talked his ear off when it was my turn and kept him on the phone until nearly 11pm. I just didn't want to let him go. We talked a bit about missing each other and adjusting to this new life. I could tell it was really hard for him to talk about and we both agreed that we don't want to dwell on the distance.

I know that missing him (and him missing us) will just be a part of the new routine. The distance makes us step up and really work on our relationship. With him home all the time, our family seemed more like a passive existence. A long distance relationship is more active. We have to put forth more effort to stay connected and include each other in our lives by sharing our experiences.

Today he is the only student that is in the hotel. Everyone else went home for the weekend so he is the lone ranger. More privacy will mean more phone conversations and maybe even some more skyping. We didn't have much luck with skyping earlier in the week.

Thanks so much for listening :)

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

New Trucking Family, New to TT

My soon-to-be trucker and his class got a surprise yesterday! They got to go out driving on the road with the trucks instead of doing classroom all day! They flipped the schedule around and he said they had a great time.

My soon to be drove last. When he took over, the truck was parked in a space in a truck-stop so he had to back it out. It was a straight-line back and he says that it went well. He has got a feel for it already! He was the first of his class to back the truck (and got it done like a pro :) ). He got to take the truck all the way to the governor (top speed allowed) on the interstate near his school. AND he had his first "four-wheeler" run in. He said that someone scooted passed him while he was attempting a right hand turn. He stopped the truck without hitting anyone (YAY!) and his instructor just grumbled about the "four-wheeler" so the close call wasn't the result of anything my trucker did.

They will be back in the classroom today covering the rest of the book material. It will likely be Monday before they find out which guys (all guys in this class) are going on the road next week and which are staying around for backing.

Yesterday was my grocery day so I went out and did my shopping. The shopping trip went well. I got all we needed. My Mom called while I was out and asked me to come by so I started to head her way. I was just fine until a song came on the radio. The song got my water-works going and had me missing my man BADLY! One minute I'm driving along be-bopping to the radio and the next I'm trying to keep my tears from pooling up in my sunglasses.

I wiped away the last of the tears pulling into my Mom's drive and decided to keep it to myself. No need to get my Mom all upset about my being upset. We had a quick visit and I went home feeling a little bummed but determined to enjoy the rest of the afternoon.

I got my groceries in and took a few pictures of my haul for my man. I found myself talking to the pets like people and wondered f I was cracking up a little...lol. I was deep in thought putting away my groceries when my dog went ballistic barking and growling looking out the window and sniffing under my door. When I looked out my window saw a white van parked in my driveway (driver inside) and a not so nice looking guy walking up to my door. I froze for a second and then walked to look out the small window in the door. I decided to lock my door at the last second. The guy's eyes were on my dog at the other window and he didn't see me standing there yet. I noticed he had some pamphlets in his hand and I assumed he was a meat guy wanting to sell something (or a con man trying to get into peoples houses or see who was home or not, ok I was a little skittish). He looked up and saw me in the window and I smiled politely and said "Sorry, We're not interested." He paused a moment looked back at my dog and walked away. As he got back in the van I realized I was shaking all over and scared to death. I sat down and just sobbed. My reaction scared the dog and she was on alert, slinking around and looking for what was making me so upset. I cried because I got scared (over-reaction). I was all alone. Alone in the house, and some strange man came to my door. I was so grateful I have a BIG dog! It was really no big deal, but at the time all I wanted was my man home with me.

I made sure to check both of my doors (locked) and texted a friend about what happened. I finished putting away my groceries and tried to get over the creeped-out feeling that I wasn't safe. I finally decided to turn on some tunes to cheer me up (70's disco, Who can be sad while listening to boogie fever??) I put my keys in my pocket and kept them there for the afternoon (I have a panic button on my key-fob) just in case and got on with my day.

My girls came home from school a while later and made a video of them getting off the bus and walking into the house, talking about their day like we always do. We have a long weekend (kids home today and Monday) so we talked about sleeping in. I hovered more than I usually do over them. Watched them play a while then decided to take in some TV.

I ended up calling my man before he called me because I was so eager to talk to him. I listened to all the exciting things he had done that day and it cheered me up so much that he did so well and enjoyed it so much. He told me that he read this thread and was concerned that I was upset with him and not saying. We talked it through and I let him know that although I love him, HE is not the audience of this thread...lol. I am writing this for others to see what it is like and to get it all out of my head. I told him if he and I had a problem I would say it to him, not put it in a post on a forum. He let me know that he IS busy (feels bad he isn't posting pics and stuff much), that he still misses us more than anything, and although he is enjoying school he would rather be here with us any day. I let him know that I am not upset with him, I am keeping it together here, and I miss him to pieces too. I let him know all about my day, even my scare, and he talked to the kids as usual.

The kids and made supper and hung out until he called again. We did all the talking and catching up that has become a daily pattern, although his phone wasn't properly charged and he needed to go sooner than usual.

I spent the rest of my evening playing a video game :)

I appreciate being able to share all of this. Thanks for listening.

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

New Trucking Family, New to TT

I believe all of the excitement over the last few days finally got to me yesterday. My motivation was non-existent. I tried to stick to my routine, but found myself avoiding housework and such. My nervous energy expired.

I didn't hear from my soon-to-be in the morning although I was hoping for a call. I made a couple of short videos with the kids for him before they went to school though and posted a few little updates to facebook. There really wasn't much going on so their wasn't much to say. I guess it will be like this, super busy days then boring days with little to report.

I chatted up a friend for a while, then visited my Mother, then came on back home early still feeling wiped out.

I made videos with the kids for my soon-to-be after school so they could tell him about their day. My 10 yr old daughter was feeling depressed about everything and she got grumpy on the video. I posted it as is. Her feelings about this are something we BOTH have to deal with. I also had to have a talk with my 14 yr old son. He was feeling kind of abandoned and I had to explain to him how much he was loved and that this doesn't mean that our soon-to-be doesn't want to be here at home.

He called after he was finished with class, jubilant about having a great time learning to shift the trucks. His mood and my mood didn't match in the least, but I put on my happy face and asked him all about it (one can hear a smile through the phone).

The class spent the first part of the morning with and instructor learning to shift/change gears. They also learned about double clutching, used their paper log books, and logged into the qualcom. The class was divided between three trucks. He fell in love with another girl yesterday. She was a Kenworth...lol.

He said that his room-mate's birthday was coming up (today) and he was going to the lounge with him to buy him a beer then the guys were getting together to hunt down a hot meal. The company will allow them to use the shuttle van for trips out of the hotel. I felt grumpy about him getting to go have a beer and dinner with his new friends (especially because I abstained from the drive-thru to save money when the kids and I had such a busy day). It was reality check time. I bit my tongue. He hadn't had a decent meal all week. He needs to get along with these guys and build friendships so he doesn't get so lonely. Afterwards I was glad I didn't get fussy about it.

He talked to each of the kids before he got off the phone to head out with the guys.

I made dinner and got all the standard evening chores done and waited for him to call again.

He called at 7:30 and it wasn't as awkward a conversation. I think he feels more comfortable with his room-mate now. He talked to all the kids again and got off the phone early. I was glad he had a good meal and a full belly.

Today in class they will work on pre-trip, post trip, and everything in between. He said all the guys dread going back to sit in a classroom all day, but everyone is eager for next week when the focus moves off to driving over the road, or backing.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. :)

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

New Trucking Family, New to TT

I love you too, baby! :)

Posted:  5 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

New Trucking Family, New to TT

Yesterday was such a busy day!

We heard from my soon-to-be before class while the kids were getting ready for school. They were so happy to talk to him in the morning! Got the day off on a good foot.

He studied map reading and trip planning with his class most of the day. They also learned how to do paper logs and got their driver numbers.

He was finally paired with a room-mate. He said he is a nice guy. It was strange trying to talk about his day with a listening ear in the room so I asked him if he could go someplace private to talk. He asked quite simply "Where?". The reality is that he has no real privacy right now and probably won't have much until he finishes training and gets in his own company truck. He will be solo then. So I have to just accept that I won't get the "whole story" until he has some alone time. He is one of only 3 guys that aren't from the local area there so he may be alone over the weekend. Today is the first day they get hands-on with the truck. I am just as excited as he is. No way to know if he can actually do the work until he starts learning those trucks! From what we have read from truckers, there is no classroom setting that can "teach" you to drive. It is all about feeling the girls (trucks) out.

I had housework to do for the first part of the day. Then a meeting at my son's school. Then my 5yr old daughter had a performance with all the kindergartners from her school in the evening. My soon-to-be called after school just minutes before we had to leave to wish her luck (break a leg kid, what daddy? why do you want me to get hurt?...lol). I could tell that it hurt his heart that he couldn't be here for her. She had been practicing for months.

I took video while my son tried to get pictures and she was soooo cute. It broke my heart that he couldn't be there. He always LOVES the kids school programs.

After the performance I had to get dinner cooked (glad when the money starts coming and days like this can be a drive thru dinner), kids bathed, and pets cared for. In the middle of all that activity, my soon-to-be wanted to talk. He was talking, kids were talking, I was trying to get it all done and I felt so bad. He just wanted my attention because he had to miss an important school function and I kept handing him off "Here talk to daddy while I....".

I finally asked him if I could just call him back after all that was out of the way and he said it was fine. I was left wondering if this made him feel excluded.

At last we finished dinner and all and called him back. I spent the rest of the evening uploading videos and pictures for him to our "secret' facebook page. He is really enjoying the constant updates and he said it helps that he can get on there and catch up with the whole day when he has a moment to spare. It is so labor intensive though to get it all out there and I wonder if I can keep up the pace. It has only been a few days and I am already exhausted! We were able to finally connect and talk to each other for a little while, then my 10 yr old was at my bedroom door sobbing. "I miss daddy!". I put him on the phone with her for a few and we talked to her again about why he is doing this.

He is doing it for US! He is doing it to get our family out of poverty because there was no work available locally that paid more than min wage.

She finally calmed down and went on to bed. My son talked to him for a minute (he is autistic and has a real hard time talking to him on the phone) and then my soon-to-be was ready to get off the phone. I felt deflated. Oh well, I thought, back to facebook updates.

I know we are going to have more of these days where we just can't seem to click because of his obligations and mine will often be different. I have to just let is roll off my back and try again.

Thank you so much for listening!

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