About Willow

2012

From the time I was a little girl, I wanted to drive a big rig. To this day, even after spending every waking minute in and around an 18-wheeler, I still get a thrill when I see one's marker lights break the horizon from the other side of a hill and the grill rises into view. Of course, I wanted a Peterbilt; what little girl didn't want a Peterbilt? My tastes have changed over the years; the trucks have changed, and there are a lot of nice ones to be had. I saw an older model Peterbilt a month or so ago that was sage green with lavender fenders; the sight of it resurrected that same familiar longing I remember from my childhood. My dad would say, "turn around and sit down; leave that trucker alone" when I would hang over the back seat of the station wagon motioning for the truckers to blow their horns.

I don't drive a Peterbilt. I probably couldn't even if I could afford one. I am only 5'2" and probably couldn't reach the pedals. Instead, I drive what the company gave me, which is a 2012 Freightliner. I got it on my birthday, which was way cool. Only that one was a lemon, and after weeks of trouble with wildly swinging speedometer needles and mystery fault codes and lost wages, we were issued another new 2012 Freightliner. This one has been a dream. 10 speed Cummins engine. I could do without the BRIGHT RED color but hey, at least we're visible in a storm.

I drive team with my husband. Somehow we thought getting married, quitting our desk jobs, and getting our CDLs all within a span of 3 months time was a good idea. What it was, was a lot of change, real fast, and then months and months of sorting through the fallout. We drove OTR (over the road) for our first two months; then, we accepted a dedicated long haul route. We haul IV solution from North Carolina to Chicago. We bring back the corn sugar used to make the IV solution. Our loads are always heavier than 42,000lbs. Most loads are over 44,000lbs. On some runs we are only a few hundred pounds shy of the 80,000lb limit. We run 6300 miles a week and are home every Sunday. Every 7th week we have one week off.

We have a beautiful home, which I miss terribly when we are gone, with a deck and a hot tub, a garden, a fire pit, a garage, fruit trees, and a calico cat, Pachinko. My oldest son lives in Hawaii; my youngest son lives with us. He takes care of the house and the cat while we are away each week.

Before life on the road took over all my time, I had an extensive organic garden; I hiked, jogged and swam. Now I drive and daydream about hiking, gardening and running. I do manage to squeeze in a few hikes here and there. My hiking adventures are documented here.

 The one thing I refused to give up in the truck was good food. We have a refrigerator with a freezer, a microwave, a rice cooker, a crockpot and a toaster in the cab.  I keep the truck stocked with healthy food; I cook one meal a day in the cab. Usually, we'll eat one meal out in a week's time, stopping at a Denny's or a steak house. Lunches or dinners are sometimes Subway sandwiches.  Recipes that have worked for us in the truck, are featured as blog posts.  Check out the Recipes Label in the Topics list.