Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Earlier this morning, while you were asleep...


Meet my 1997 Chevrolet S-10 pick up truck. The photo was taken a few months ago, when, while on my way to a very important meeting, the tire blew and left me stranded. I missed my appointment, and they wouldn't reschedule.

Earlier this morning, while you were asleep, my truck stranded me on I-20 once again. I was on my way home from a nice visit with James at our "satellite office," and was about 4.5 miles from my exit. Suddenly, the truck just froze. As I watched the speedometer quickly drop from 70 to 50mph and falling, I quickly and safely pulled off.

This was 1:30 in the morning. Attempts to call home failed four times. On the fifth time, my groggy wife answered. Her car has been in the shop all week. The truck was our only vehicle.

Was, that is.

With no solutions and no one awake, I started walking. At once I felt like Bill Bixby as David Banner from The Incredible Hulk TV series from my youth. With my wife's work bag on my shoulder, and with no flashlight, I began the 3 or 4 mile journey to my exit. As I was walking in the dark evening chill, my thoughts wandered to my good friend Peeley, who is bravely serving our country in Afghanistan. Soon, my self pity began to wane, and I tried to focus my thoughts on walking. I literally could not see in front of me until vehicles passed from behind me. I thought about holding out my thumb, but decided against it. I recalled a presentation I saw in 2nd grade where two young girls got picked up by a stranger and butchered. Police presentations can be quite brutal on the senses. Remember Driver's Ed.? I rest my case.

After hoofing it for about 20 minutes, my wife called me to tell me my brother-in-law who drives a tow truck (God bless him) was on his way, and I was to walk back to the truck. I calmly stated that I was close enough to the exit that I was not turning back and could be picked up at the faithful 44 Truck Stop, which never closes. I knew there would be coffee and water there, so I kept moving.

25 minutes later, as my right leg began shooting pain into my hip, I arrived at my exit. A car drove past me, and I saw them stop and begin to back up. Two young men offered me a lift to the truck stop. Though I was very grateful for their gesture, I politely declined since I was so close anyway. I then recalled all the times I had driven by someone walking on the interstate and had never stopped. Suddenly it occurred to me that I had an interview scheduled for today. It was one I have been waiting for for about 2 weeks. Once again, when I needed her the most, my truck failed me. Still wrestling with the "Why?" of it all.

Pity soon gave way to joy as I saw the bright lights of the 44 Truckstop just ahead. I victoriously walked inside. As I sat down with my truck stop variety coffee, my brother-in-law pulled up with my truck in tow. I decided to buy him a hero's breakfast. After we ate, we headed for my house.

I arrived in my bed at 4:45 am. Exhausted, but at the same time impressed that I was able to make the journey. Walking is really exhilarating, especially in the dreary cold chill of night.

What will become of my truck, now parked on my front driveway? Will they reschedule my interview?

To be continued...
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