Meet Jack, an OTR driver. It’s morning just before he wakes for a busy day. He’s 3 days into his run. He went from Winnipeg, MB out west to Seattle, WA. Today he has two deliveries then he needs to get to Oregon for a reload tomorrow morning.
His alarm goes off at 8am; well 6am Seattle time which makes it 8am for him. As he gets dressed to go grab coffee (nothing resembling work shall ever happen before his dawn ritual) he makes a mental note that back home his wife, Jane, and 2 children should be up and about. He wonders if they had a good night and if the kids had porridge for breakfast which they’ve been pining for the last couple of days. No time to phone & check nightmares, just enough time to grab and go coffee and hit the road to his delivery. The wonderful traffic patterns in the area turns his 37 mile drive into a nearly hour and a half crawl to his 8am delivery appointment.
First delivery goes as well as these things go. Just the normal delay of hitting the dock then nothing happens. Why don’t they get in the trailer right away? What are they doing? After nine years as an over-the-road truck driver Jack still has no idea. He imagines they’re just looking straight up and bumping into each other. He leaves and has to get across town. The trip takes him over the floating bridge on I90. He hates that. So does his wife. A floating road seems unnatural; especially since, well, it sank once in it’s history.
He arrives at 11:55am. They rotate their lunch breaks so he can get unloaded right away. That’s a nice bit of luck. He’s on the road again at 12:30. Then the phone rings. He looks at the display on the phone and it’s his home number. He gets that sinking feeling. He’s glad to talk to his wife but an incoming call from home, during the day, could also be about trouble at home. The natural parental fears of something happening to the kids is always just under the surface. Time away and being too far away to have any control is something Jack has never gotten used too.
It is trouble at home. Nothing big. Kitchen sink pipe needs to be snaked. Normally that’s his job. However no kitchen sink for a week isn’t going to fly. So Jane will do it. Their conversation is cut short by the kids running around screaming like a horror movie in the background. It sounds like a loony bin there but he wishes he was home and valued the time he could chat with Jane.
The drive to Oregon was a slow and frustrating 350 miles of construction and four wheelers acting like four wheelers. He didn’t get as far as he wanted and it’s late. Jack phones home as he does daily. They talk about their day. Jack goes to bed and has to get up early to make up for the miles he didn’t get done today.
Meet Jane. Jane is, well, Jane wears many hats. She cooks, cleans, does errands. She moonlights at her own home as a shade tree carpenter, mechanic and landscaper.
As she wakes up, she rolls over, to see her youngest son already up. He must have been up for a while. She can tell, by what is best described as a mural, he’s drawn on the wall with a marker. Green. Simple self-preservation should have informed the child to wait until she’s had coffee (nothing resembling patience shall ever be displayed before her dawn ritual) before tagging her bedroom.
With her little artist in a time-out she makes coffee. She knows this is a delivery day for Jack. She’s less than comfortable with his trips into the mountains. The risks inherent to Jacks job are always just under the surface. Since the kids day is starting rough she decides to make porridge. Restart the day for them.
After a late breakfast she has to do a load of dishes. She didn’t have time the night before so there’s a bit of a stack. As she rinses the sink she sees the water isn’t draining. She’ll be wearing her plumber hat today. She can’t find the proper wrench to disconnect the pipe under the sink so she calls Jack to see if he knows where it is. The kids go running and screaming threw the kitchen with the family cat in a pillow case. She cuts the conversation short for equal parts – save the cat and curiosity about what they had planned. She is glad Jack is out of Seattle safely.
It’s late and Jack hasn’t called yet. She’s slightly concerned but she understands Jack is just running behind for some reason and he will call when he has a chance. When he does she tells him about the cat and the sink. He rants about the drive to Oregon and the four wheelers. A twenty minute rant, so he kept it short tonight.
She goes to bed glad he’s safe and shut down. Jane knows she has to get up early tomorrow. She has a wall that needs to be scrubbed.
Guest post by Cyndie & Jeremy Derricks