OOIDA on the road
The long and lonesome road

By Pam & Howard Hart
OOIDA member columnists


Sometimes the cab of the truck is too small …
… and sometimes it is too big. Team drivers can relate to this.

After having been teamed with Pam for nearly 12 years, the fickle fates of providence changed our plan when we got to the Petro in Las Vegas, NV. They decided that Pam needed an attack of kidney stones. So, being as close to the house as we were gonna be for a while, I put her on a plane back to Washington so she could start jumping through the family doctor hoops, the specialist hoops, the insurance company hoops – everything but a hula hoop.

Now it is just me and “Jazz” for a while, and the cab of the truck seems too big. And I find myself remembering those days when the cab was sometimes too small and the conversations went something like this:

 “Jazz needs to go out for a walk.”

 “What? I’m already in bed and it’s raining out. Besides, he is your dog, you know.”

 “Well, I’m not dressed either, and it is raining out, and I don’t want to get wet and cold.”

So guess who loses and gets to take Jazz for a walk? The only thing that has changed with this since Pam’s been off the truck is that Jazz and I forgo the conversational exchange. I still get to take Jazz for his sanitation break.

And how about those other conversations?

 “When are we going to eat?”

 “You just ate a pound and a half of ‘Twinkies. What do you want to eat for?”

 “Well, I’m hungry and I would like to get a shower too.”

 “We just showered three days ago. Don’t you know we are in the middle of a drought?”

And there is always: “Where is my underwear?”

 “I don’t know. I don’t wear your underwear.”

 “Well, I better do laundry. We are running out of clothes.”

 “Just turn them inside out and wear them for another three days like any other trucker.”

 “I’m not any other trucker.”

So it’s just me and Jazz putting the inside out theory to the test and/or doing the laundry when we get a chance.

The one I really miss (actually I don’t miss this one) is every once in a while we end up with a tough customer in the trailer, and afterward here is how it goes.

 “Darn it! When are you going to learn to stop egging these types on?”

 “I don’t know, why?”

 “Couldn’t you tell that guy is a loose cannon waiting to go off? I mean he looked and sounded just like Charles Manson. Do you want to end up being part of ‘Helter Skelter Part 2’? Some day you are going to talk us into something that I’m too old to fight our way out of.”

Well, it is laughable now, but at the time the “pucker factor” was spiking upward. Yes, some days the cab of the truck isn’t big enough for both of us. And some days the aloneness of running without one’s partner is overwhelming. LL


OOIDA Life Member Howard Hart and his wife Pam are from Spokane, WA. Howard has been driving 12 years and Pam has been driving for 10. They can be reached at harts@ooida.com.