Yes, I Can!

I told the guys on the fire department that I can drive anything with wheels. I think they doubted me. There was no reason for doubt; I really did learn to drive (many years ago) on a manual transmission.

One of our trucks that I don't drive.

One of our trucks that I don’t drive.

What was the big deal? I wanted to be able to drive the tanker truck. Josh rode shotgun and let me have my chance. He explained that speed tops out between 52 and 55 mph. It’s also top-heavy, so I will need to practice safe turning techniques.

The guys are all taller than I am, so nobody wants that particular tanker because they joke about having to open the door to hit the clutch. Not a problem for me! Being short has its advantages!

Have I ever mentioned that I can get lost in a paper bag? It’s a fact. The best thing that can happen is for me to drive and have a top-notch navigator with me! After all, what good is “my” water truck if I can’t find the fire? I might also need to buy a step stool…..

This is the one I can drive.

This is the one I can drive.

Another view of "my" truck

Another view of “my” truck

The Chicken Chick


Swapping toys....

Swapping toys….

The kids were both crying when it was time for us to leave. They swapped stuffed toys for a tangible reminder of the visit. The longer we stayed, the harder it was to think about heading back to Nebraska. We spent part of the day packing the car. There were tubs of books and pictures that had to be crammed in the car. Luckily, Mom knows how to pack! Dad helped a bit as well.

I tried to take a nap, but it was hard to get any sleep. After an hour and a half, I gave up. We had originally planned to leave around 11 p. m., but since I was up and alert, we pulled out around 8 instead. I knew the drive home would be brutal. Bela and I amused ourselves playing Banana! and Punch Bug! again. If you happened to be driving a yellow car and saw strange people pointing at you, it was probably us!

I will treasure all the memories we brought back with us. Every picture reminds me of something or someone special. There was mention made of us returning in the summer…….not too sure about that yet!


Thanks, Judy, for taking this one!  C. J., Bela, me and Lisa

Thanks, Judy, for taking this one! C. J., Bela, me and Lisa

Seeing Aunt Ottie was nice!  It had been YEARS!

Seeing Aunt Ottie was nice! It had been YEARS!

I was tired of driving, so Judy took over.

Mother Trucker-Part 3

Dear friend Judy called in the moment I was deciding to stop, and that sealed our fate. Judy said for me to rest. I was tired (almost weepy), and I had to sleep.

The Motel 6 in Cookeville was passable, but not stellar. We had a room on the second floor, the bathroom was tiny (barely room for a butt on the potty because the walls were so close), but there was a queen bed. It was around 11 (p. m.), and I had a wake-up call coming at 6. We had just enough energy to drag our “devices” (laptops, Nooks, etc.) and our carcasses up the two flights to the room. We were settling in when our friends, Joseph and Pam, called to check on us. (To meet them, see Mother Trucker-Part 1) They are the COOLEST! After connecting the phones to charge, we crawled into bed.

After being told about breakfast at 6, we trudged to the car with our devices, drove to the office area, and went looking for food. We found only coffee. I was slightly (!) annoyed. We drove across the street (in a huff), grabbed a coffee and topped off the tank. Cookeville was a memory in no time!

Ysabela kept helping watch signs for Bluefield. It finally appeared. When it was 14 miles away, Ysabela was ready to do a happy dance. I was too, but I explained that we were NOT going all the way to Bluefield—our exit was SOONER! I finally spotted the exit we needed, gave a war whoop (we are part Cherokee) and felt like