It’s often the little things

Published 4:37 am Wednesday, January 3, 2018

My first full day on Mike’s 18-wheeler was not what I had imagined. We had only been on the road for about an hour when the hubs received a message over his Qualcomm (onboard computer).

The pickup at Shaw flooring had been delayed until the next day, which in turn caused Mike and and me to whip into the nearest Pilot truck stop to wait. (Big rigs don’t really whip in anywhere, but I liked the sound of it). As fate would have it, our stay was anything but boring.

“Mike, this is great,” I chattered! “I’ve always wanted to check out Crossville. This place is the retirement mecca of Tennessee and home to the famous Cumberland County Playhouse! Let’s see if they have anything happening today!”

“Uh, haven’t you forgotten one very important thing,” Mike answered. “We can’t drive an 18-wheeler to a playhouse for the evening. Also, all I have is cargo pants with me. Whoa, girl. Take a breath!”

Not to be deterred I excitedly continued. “Ryan is always talking about Uber. Uber is everywhere.”

I looked up Uber’s website and loaded the app on my phone. When all was said and done, guess what? Uber is not everywhere. And the playhouse was sold out for the day.

We hung around the truck for a little while and went inside for a shower. Now this was the one thing that made me wait almost two years before I finally went trucking with Mike. The thought of showering in a public place among strangers made me cringe. But I put on my big girl panties, grabbed my makeup and hair bags, and strolled into the truck stop with feigned confidence.

On my way in a nice young manager said, “Enjoy your shower Ma’am.”

One look into his kind eyes told me he was genuine. I realized in an instant what a wonderful thing it really is to have a nice, hot shower.

“Thank you very much,” I answered with a broad smile. Much to my surprise the showers were absolutely clean and very nice. There was a place to plug in my hairdryer, and a nice big mirror too. Actually, it was much nicer than many bathrooms I’ve encountered in my camping days.

On our way out, I asked the nice young manager about a taxi service in the area. I thought maybe we could change gears and see Star Wars instead of a production at a the playhouse. He answered, “Sorry, but our only taxi service went out of business.”

Mike raised his eyebrows at me with his “why don’t you give up?” look.

Somehow, I still had the feeling we were meant to have a little fun. We strolled back to the truck, and I looked up the local theatre. I found out Star Wars had a 3 p.m. showing. We were even eligible for senior tickets, so things were definitely turning around!

I called the local car rental agency and shared my dilemma with the helpful girl on the other end of the line. “I know of a new taxi service in town. Let me get that number for you.”

If I had had room in the truck I would have done a happy dance! At the end of the day as I drifted off to sleep I whispered a prayer of thanks for helpful people, hot showers, and taxicabs. It was a very good day.

May the force be with you.

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at