Saturday, February 25, 2012

Can I get some cheese?

What is the difference between a truck driver and a puppy dog?
The puppy dog quits whining eventually.
The passing of my 59th birthday just happened and I have been doing a lot of whining, at least in my mind. I haven't been vocalizing it but it has been on my mind. Then I see something that takes my breath away and helps change my attitude. Since the first of the year it has been one thing after another to go wrong. Nothing really major but a lot of little stuff. TV going out on the truck and things like that. Since I only use the TV to watch movies I can do that on my computer. Just not as well. Money that has been planned for one thing now ends up going to replace the TV. Along with that I have been busy as all get out on the road. Then today it happened, one of those extraordinary things that is both inspiring and aggravating. Inspiring because of it's beauty, aggravating because I don't have the time or place to stop and photograph it.
It happened as I was driving through the Columbia River Gorge heading east on the Oregon side. It had been snowing lightly, occasionally changing to rain with ice, all of which can be beautiful, until it sticks to the road or messes up your windshield. The storm seemed to be moving slowly eastward with me. Since the storm was much slower moving than I was, it wasn't long till I reached the edge where the storm ended and the sun was shining. Something caught my attention and I looked out at the Columbia River, the waters deep green in color with white capped waves as the wind fought against the natural current of the river. There it was, one of the most beautiful rainbows I have ever seen. For miles it hung there just outside my driver's window as if it were following me as I drove.
Trucking has been a hard life in many ways, but it has also been a great life. I have tried to capture some of the magic that I have had the pleasure to see, thanks to trucking over the years in some of my stories. Some are just beyond words. One of the biggest disappointments I have had is that pulling over to photograph these things is almost impossible due to parking area and, or time constraints. Some day I will find the way to do just that pull over and play with my camera for awhile. Until then I will have to just keep doing what I have to until I get to the point I can do what I want.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Passing of a friend.

In high school he and I were almost inseparable, then I ran off to California and ended up joining the Army. The adventures he and I had dreamed of around those summer campfires in the mountains were never to come. Our lives took different roads, but in a time when I really needed friends he and his family came into my life. What I learned from them about family was very important to my later life. His sister was the one to inform me of his passing. While we hadn't seen each other in years the memories that we created during those few years of high school will live on. Death is a part of life, yet it is always a surprise when it happens. To his three children who survive, all I can say is that your father was an important part of my life in a very positive way. He was willing to be friends with the kid from the Group Home, who had no family close by. We camped and dreamed around a thousand fires, all the time making plans for the future. Vic even though life lead us down different paths know that I will always cherish those dreams of our youth. I hope your soul was in Heaven half an hour before the Devil knew you were gone. May the adventures your physical body could not handle here on Earth be yours now for eternity.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Country Folks will survive.

Recently there has been some attention given to those that the media has dubbed Preppers. These are people who are preparing for an uncertain future. They are storing food, medicines, and yes guns and ammunition. Living in the country as I do when I am home, this only makes sense to me. I was in Denver during the Christmas Blizzard of 1982. The town was paralyzed for three days, every grocery and convenience store were picked clean, and all the shelves were picked clean. One person I know was trapped in his apartment with no way to get his insulin refilled. One of the conversations I have seen online had to do with taking the supplies from the Preppers by violence if necessary and that violence spilling out into the countryside. While that scenario may make for a good Post Apocalypse scifi movie the reality has a few flaws. First of all is the fact that people who live in the country tend to be armed and proficient with those arms. They hunt and fish regularly and hit what they aim at rather than holding the pistol sideways because it looked cool on TV. Add to that an intimate knowledge of the terrain and being used to dealing with hardships, the Country Folk have the advantage over those who live in the city. Most of those who would become the roving gang types are not really comfortable outside the city. They may venture out on occasion but will be met with stern determination. A good example of how it would most likely happen can be found in the book Granny Boo by Phil Whitley. People who know the land and understand it will always be able to rise from what ever is thrown at them. It is in their DNA.