I really felt ‘the big chill’

Published 4:09 am Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Upon returning home from two weeks traveling the country in Mike’s 18-wheeler, I realize anew how blessed I am. Experiencing firsthand the frigid conditions in other parts of the country makes me so pleased to once again find myself in the Deep South. When I feel a little chill in the air I’ll remind myself of waking to below zero temperatures in Gary, Indiana and squelch any complaints.

The cheery yellow walls of my office lift my spirits as I think of the next several weeks that my hubby will be away from home working. We stay in phone contact as much as we can, and that eases the blow a bit. But, in reality, it’s not an easy thing to spend so much time apart. We always look forward to our next time together, and I plan to go out trucking with him again in the spring.

I’ve experienced more ice and snow the last two weeks than I ever have, I believe. At first, the winter wonderland of the frozen north was a thrill. The dry powdery snow simply took my breath away, and I felt like a child waking up on Christmas morning. I squealed with delight as large flakes whirled around Big Blue covering everything in sight.

Mike maneuvered through the snow quite skillfully. The roads in the north had been treated for the winter weather, and driving didn’t present much of a problem. As long as I sat safely in my perch high above the other drivers with the heater blasting all was well.

But walking through an icy parking lot to get to a truck stop in subzero weather made me long for home. My face felt like it would shatter into frozen pieces before I made it inside! My boot slipped on the ice, and I almost lost my balance. Thankfully, I regained my footing and didn’t take a spill. But during my ice capade my electric toothbrush flew from my hand.

I happily noticed the cover remained snuggly attached, and vowed to retrieve it as soon as a big truck passed by. The truck loomed closer and closer. I couldn’t believe the sorry sight when the truck rumbled out of view. You guessed it. The big truck’s tire had completely crushed my electric toothbrush.

At this point my adventure on Big Blue seemed a misadventure. I was cold, tired, and ready to go home. For a moment I felt like sitting down and having a good cry, but Mike quickly rushed to help me. He had more experience walking on ice, and gave me some good tips and his strong arm to help keep me upright.

After breakfast, the purchase of a new toothbrush, and a strong cup of coffee I was ready to continue on my trucking adventure. My jaunt across the country was like a rolling campout. I truly had a great time and experienced firsthand many beautiful sights. Perhaps, the best thing I gained from my trip was a greater appreciation not only for Mike and the work he does, but also for all the men and women who sacrifice so much to provide for their families and help keep our economy strong.

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at lilsisjan@yahoo.com.