Saturday, July 26, 2008

Perhaps the Shortest Entry Ever

As I write this blog entry, I'm currently in Raphine, Virginia, at White's Truck Stop. It's one of my favorite truck stops, and the restaurant here has some of the best food I've found on the road. They have a motel here also, and I opted to fork out the money for a room so that I could get out my laptop and do some writing without any distractions, and also to keep from idling the truck so much to keep it cool.

Every quarter, if I meet certain performance measurements, including keeping the idle time of the truck below a certain percentage, I'm eligible for a bonus, and it can be several hundred dollars. So, occasionally spending money on a motel room is an investment of sorts to help me maintain my level of performance. And sometimes, it's just good to get out of the truck for a little while, especially since I'm on the road for two months at a stretch usually (at least).

Tomorrow, I'm picking up a load west of here, in Covington, Virginia, that delivers Monday afternoon in Concord, New Hampshire.

My driving since the last time I wrote has been easy for the most part, and I've mostly been places I like to drive (mostly in the south, the southwest, and midwest). This is the first time I've had to go to New England since I was in Connecticut a few weeks ago.

Florida. Since the last time I wrote, over the weekend of July 4 , I took several days off to take a trip down to my Daddy's with my sister and her family. We had a great trip, and enjoyed every minute of our visit, except for Cindy's two girls getting sick at one point. Probably the most enjoyable part of the trip for me was the extended time we all just sat around the table in the house playing the card game Rook , which my family has played since my earliest memories. It had been a long time since we'd done that (I think the first time that we had done it since Cindy and I have been adults), and it brought back a lot of good memories of Rook games from the past when I was a kid, watching all the adults play, sometimes all night long.

Reading. I am probably enjoying reading more books than at any time I can remember as an adult, and that is one of the reasons I'm so thankful for the job that I have. It allows me time to listen to books on XM while doing my job of driving, or books on tape (which I've started buying or renting for the first time in my life, and I'm loving listening to them now that I have started), and time to read regular books when I'm not driving.

I won't list everything I'm reading or have read since last time as I do sometimes, but I can't remember a time in my life when I've enjoyed this part of my life so much.

Writing. As long as I have been able to read, I have been writing as well. More at some times than others, but always regularly, even if it was just writing in my journal.

A few years ago, I started working on a collection of short stories loosely based on the stories that my grandmother always told about our family. I wrote rough drafts of three stories, and had started on a fourth, but hadn't written anything new since 2005.

Several weeks ago, I opened up that story I had started back in 2003, and started working on it again. It's basically the story of how my great-grandfather and his brother left the area of south Georgia where their family lived around the end of the 1800's, and moved up to northwest Georgia, around Rome, where my family remains in large part til today.

I'm pleased with what I've written so far, and in some respects I think it's some of the best writing I've done in a long time. I don't know if I'll ever finish the collection of stories, and if I do, I don't know if they could be published, but I'm enjoying the process, learning and growing through it, whatever becomes of the stories ultimately.

Terry. I cannot write this entry without a word about Terry. I haven't seen him in what seems a long time (though it's only been a couple of months I think), but we talk regularly. Terry is doing well for the most part, but is in one of those times all of us go through occasionally when it seems that major decisions must be made that will potentially chart the course of a life for the near future. We all come to those places where two roads diverge in the wood, and we must choose the course to take.

Looking back over my life at my own diverging paths, I'm glad for most of the roads I've taken, and particularly the ones that led to this life I'm enjoying now, driving around this beautiful country in a big orange truck.

Believe it or not, that is all I will write for this time. It may hold the record for the shortest blog entry I've ever written. And perhaps you have been able to read all the way through in one sitting.

Thanks for coming along with me on these periodic journeys. I always enjoy your company.

Until next time . . . keep the wheels rollin' . . . making choices and taking responsibility . . .


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