Road Trip

DadTruck

Norman with daughter & granddaughter … and his truck, Summer 1974

As the eldest daughter of an over-the-road (OTR) trucker, I learned early in my life to pick up at the drop of a hat and GO! I remember one Christmas when I was about eight years old (?). My dad came home from work one day, told my mom to prepare for a car trip to Pennsylvania, and four hours or so later, we were on the road! (I’m amazed at my mom’s unflappability in such instances!)

The picture at right is my dad with his truck, a picture taken shortly after my oldest daughter was born (1974) in Dallas. Whenever my dad was on the road and passed through an area close to where we lived, he’d try to drop by and see us. In this case, I think he was pretty anxious to get acquainted with our daughter!

Inheriting my love of travel from my dad enabled me to enjoy being part of several music groups. We’d travel to perform at county fairs, school gatherings, church groups, Kiwanis and Rotary clubs, and just about any other function where a music program would be appropriate and we were invited.

Riding in chartered buses was our primary mode of transportation. The drill varied but often required us to travel at night, arrive at our destination for a breakfast program, take a few hours off before presenting a lunch program and then rehearse before doing a longer evening program. After we were finished at the end of the day, we might be on our way straight back to school … or sometimes journeying to another program locale.

All the travel was fun! We were excused from classes during our absences, we had the honor of meeting lots of delightful people, and I’m glad to have been part of this unique experience!

But I gotta say, travel has lost its allure for me. Since my dad died some twenty years ago, I can’t ask him whether or not he tired of the road. I tend to think he did. He was eager to retire when the time came. — But what surprised me at the time was his almost-immediate purchase (following retirement) of a large recreational vehicle! He and my mom spent months in this RV (their car in tow behind) seeing the US! Seriously? Given how many miles he’d logged as a trucker, we were all surprised an RV became part of his early retirement years!

Today as I head off on my road trip, I’m more eager just to be there. I’d be a great candidate for the Star Trek transporter that immediately teleported a person from here to there! But no, I’ve got nearly 400 miles to go before I lay my head on a pillow today.

I will bid adieu with this post and my next posts will be written from my dear mother’s kitchen table. We have plenty of activities planned … a visit to the local Social Security office (arghh!), a purchase of some new hearing aids, and the family reunion with our German relatives all part of the agenda. It will be an exhausting trip but I’m always privileged to spend time with my sweet mama (who celebrates her 88th birthday later this month).

Anybody know if there’s a used teleportation machine available somewhere on Craigslist? I could use one right about now!

Renée