The Smokies are pretty this time of year. The low hanging fog just add to their beauty. The light, white clouds just mixing in with the mountains. The wet roadway being dried by the bright morning sun is the only hint left that it even rained. The air is so clean and crisp. Unlike my fruit-loops that have lost their crisp crunchy feeling from absorbing the moisture in the air!

A while back during a morning prayer, I noticed we have a male and female word for most of our relatives. We have nieces and nephews and aunts and uncles. Grandmothers and grandfathers. But we only have ‘cousins’ for others. Why is that? First of all, it makes no sense. It’s not logical. Surely, those that studied us years and years ago made up names for some of our relatives but not others? Why?

NC has added beautiful flowers along the road way just to brighten my day!

This happens to be the leading whitewater running area in the eastern US. At the height of the season, the grade 5 is some of the wildest found. At least that’s what the sign said!

I just came out of Atlanta early week and now sit in Rosemont, MN waiting for them to unload my load of sugar dust [again] directly from Wrigley’s. So far I’ve been here 7 hours and they still haven’t started to unload.

I hope everyone is doing OK, enjoying their last days of summer. I’m headed to CA again. Hoping to run through Phx…

SORRY this is so late but you need an internet connection…

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in a heartbeat…

August 22, 2011

As usual my first picture will be of a …….. sunrise!!!! Big surprise there. The sunrise turns out OK in the picture but is so much more real and thus prettier in person. I see the various shades of light through the could cover. The sun is trying to break through and looks like a glowing red spark of fire blowing in the wind. The clouds cut it in half, causing the clouds to take on a glow all their own. It’s so cool, and changes constantly as I drive toward it. Probably because the angles that I see keep changing. And as the sun is growing higher in the sky, the cloud formations would be different. I just loving starting my day watching something man will never be able to reproduce. Notice the sun is just trying to break through the top section of the clouds. The next photo, same morning, watching the same sunrise; the dark clouds are hiding the top part of the sun, showing us only the glow of red between the clouds and the earth’s edge.

Sun rise again, check out the red fire ball just showing itself….

They are rebuilding a bridge in Park City, UT. And I had a short detour around it.

We all know our world can change in a heartbeat. Most of the time it has changed for the worst when we hear that phase. Most of us relate it to losing a loved one. Aside from a spiritual awakening, I’ve never experienced this type of change. I haven’t seen the movie ‘The Blind Side’ yet, and haven’t read the book. But I did just finish the story behind why the whole Tuohy family does what they do. The ‘why’ behind them stopping and talking to Michael that first day. It’s titled, In a Heartbeat. It’s an easy read and would probably change how you think about your ‘giving’. I know why the movie and book are titled as they are. However, don’t know why they titled this book as they did. I guess it’s because in only a heartbeat their life and Michael’s was changed forever.

The Mississippi River in MN.

I encourage everyone to pick up a copy. Because it will [I hope] change your life.

A really big Pheasant! A sign says it’s the world’s largest pheasant. And they should know as SD hunts more pheasants [they say] than any other place in the country. But then you’ve seen this photo before!


BUT have you been up close and personal with a windmill blade? ON a trailer? Going 70mph?

Hope everyone had a good summer. In some parts of the country it’ll be over soon and people will be wearing their coats, gloves and hats again. Take care.

August 14, 2011

and the rat died…

Pretty blue sky mixed with white billowy clouds, thunder heads, rain clouds as they slide over and around the mountains of UT.

So, enough with the strange writings. I was just writing what I was feeling, were ever it took me. It probably didn’t make ANY sense to the reader. And today, it may not even to me. But as I visualize it in my head and put it on paper, it makes perfect sense. There’s a message or meaning in the words. A story that’s deeper than the actual words we read. Some of it is supposed to be deeper than the usual meaning of the words. Like life, the meaning is a puzzle.

Pulling out of the truck stop in Jamestown, NM. I love the reflection of the mountains in the pool of water. I think it’s a drainage pond for the gas refinery behind me as I take the photo.

The End by Jim Morrison, The DOORS, 1967. It is a very strange song, with various meanings depending on where your head was at at the time. Or ‘on’ at the time. [But then I’ve never taken an illegal drug, so I really wouldn’t know!] Written in the tone of the 60’s during one of Jim’s many ‘dark’ periods. It can be very deep or just strange and meaningless.

I’ve seen sunsets and sunrises in half of the states. Winter and summer; fall and spring. I’ve seen them from both coasts, over the Gulf and even Canada. But day in and day out, Phx, AZ has the prettiest sunsets I’ve ever seen. Probably has a lot to do with the heat off the desert floor as it raises up to meet the moisture in the clouds as it blends together to filter out the sun.
Looking west and south towards South Mountain from Tolleson, AZ.

I think it strange for a Christian boy attending what he thought to be an upper-middle-class Baptist High School to be inspired by such a song. Part of a collection, is a poem titled ‘And the Rat Died’, probably written during Spanish or English class. I’m finding my granddaughter to have some of the same ‘dark’ bends to her writings. It could be a gene thing. Or maybe just the simple expressions of exploring our youth without a clear path to follow.

It’s raining in Fillmore, UT, about 167miles inside the UT border headed to Salt Lake City. The clouds are rolling in to cover the mountain tops. It was almost 100 before the rains came. Now it’s a wonderful 79. So much for the truck wash I got in CA yesterday.

I pulled a load of luncheon meats out of IA into West Phx last week. It was a load to get me home to test for a HazMat endorsement on my license. Yes, I passed. The TSA will run their background search on me and then issue me the stamp.

And I saw a couple I lived next door to in Goodyear. Good visit catching up on their world cruise and his health concerns. Didn’t get to see a couple of other people but maybe next time I will. Had dinner with my brother and his wife; time spent with family is always good. Our time left here may be short.

Errands to run, docs to see, a haircut, put together quarterly paperwork for my new accountant [mailed it], wash clothes and just driving around doing the errands is very time consuming. Spent 2 days just running around it seemed. Glad to get back on the road just to relax and get some sleep.

Headed to DeKalb, IL with a load from 3M in Ontario, Ca. Hope it’s not sandpaper! Not sure where I’ll go next.

Hope everyone is doing well.

you busy dyin’…

August 10, 2011

Again the clouds were beautiful, full of bright thunder heads grouped together as if ready to do battle. A mixture of blues make up the background. A dry Texas dirt is preparing to give footing for all those who are willing to cross it.

Friends shouldn’t be people we only miss after the connection is broken. They should be like a garden we’ve planted before standing in the middle taking in a most wonderful feeling. Almost like family but better. As you get to choose what you kind you want to plant and harvest.

Movies are like other people’s lives taking shape before us. As we wonder why life gets in the way of ours being the silver screen? The plays of Broadway seems like rehearsals for the time we count down daily. Which one of us could stand in the rain, singing and dancing without fear of rejection? Do we really have enough of what it takes? No matter how we play the game, or as many times we rerun the movie or watch the play, we run out of time.

As the play clock runs down to the last quarter, we begin to play with more energy. The last act waits to reveal how the story should make sense to us. And only when we’ve watched the movie for the fourteenth time do we understand where it was headed from the first screen.

Do we ever have enough of anything we really need or want? Those we think we are closest to, are too busy to be of much help. Let alone lend a helping hand without being asked. I’ve found friends are here for only a season of our lives. And yet it’s usually been really my fault. The island was built a very long time ago. Yet some are fortunate enough to have the same childhood friends 40 years late. It’s only when we have forgotten them do we miss them. Then through tears of remorse we wonder how to connect again. Yet all in vein.

Was it during our early years we develop how we would view the world? Are we influenced by something someone has done or said? And how did we choose that which is most important to us? What we realize as adults was simply basic youth conflicts, those we’ll battle for a lifetime. Or maybe that’s the age we decide how to face all that is against us. What battles to fight, which paths to take. Without knowing the where’s or how’s, we set our paths early on. Then forever wonder why we have chosen either. I bet most of us couldn’t explain to a stranger the why’s of the path we have walked. Or are we running along this path? As fast as we can, trying to stay just one step ahead of our own image? What would you say, where would you start? Are there flies on the wall for that conversion?

So, are we busy dying rather then living? Have we been running so fast, we’ve run out of time to smell the roses? Or did we never even see them? The process towards the end start the day we begin. We all start on the same page, and all end on the same page. And the story has always been between the pages. We have no choice in the matter. It’s been decided for us. Regardless of who or what you chose to believe in, the same questions are repeated. The same answers are given. Live a good and worthwhile life, do good toward others. Believe in Me and you will have everlasting life.
Regardless of when or if you’ve decided, the simply act of living our lives is full of roadblocks, detours, valley and mountain tops. Choked full of being pulled this way and pushed that way. In the end, seemingly without rhyme or reason. Sadness, pure joy, ecstasy, happiness and the simple act of feeling alive are all feelings we’re allowed.

We talk about our ’dreams’, those things we want to do, those important to us. I asked my son this week if he has dreams. Did he have a plan to fulfill his dreams? Did he have a ‘bucket list’ he should be starting on? But a plan is not enough because there is a clock of our lives that’s always ticking. A ‘couple’ friends of mine, are fulfilling theirs and so are some of you.

Let me suggest you stop long enough to tell someone you haven’t talked to in awhile that you’re glad you’re friends. Maybe tell someone the ‘why’ of why you love them. Make time for someone this week, maybe a total strange. You may be the only person to show them a caring heart this week. Your heart will be full when you share it with someone.

Whose time is almost up? Whose curtain call will you miss? Will your name be in their movie credits?

Or as Andy said …get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’

Yes, this is the sun just coming up over the hills. Don’t remember where it was but probably in KY or TN.

But are you wet? I’m in South Carolina, it’s 104 and raining!!!! Three days later I’m in KC, MO and it’s 112 and dry as Phx usually is, 12%. Right now, in a DOT inspection scale yard east of KC, MO with an ‘Out of Service’ trailer, waiting for a repair truck. The air bags that hold the rear of the trailer up were not working correctly, meaning they were flat. Not good! You might be asking, how did you not know they were flat? Well, I did, kinda. I evened out the weight in Dalton, GA Monday night. The truck was bouncing a little more than normal, as they will sometimes. Meaning the load is a little heavier in the rear. But it wasn’t real bad. Then this morning I noticed the air bags were very low during my walk-around inspection. There was nothing I could do at that time except call a road service to repair them. But knowing the company, they would have wanted me to simply take it to one of our yards for repairs. That would have cost me a lot of time. Time and travel I’m not paid for. So I risked taking it to the drop off point and let the company fix it from that point. Without me. Usually no big deal, as I usually get ‘green’ lighted’ thru the scales. But not this time. At a DOT inspection point, it’ll get fixed here, faster because the road service is usually more knowledgeable. Yes, I’m waiting but I’ll rearrange my trip, spend the night right here and leave in the morning.

SO much water everywhere. I was still having to take detours 10 days after I last reported. This was taken just the other day and still the highways are a mess. Poor farmers.

The really good thing is my truck was inspected at the same time and it passed!!!! One always thinks their vehicle is in good working order, but do we really ever know? While I look it over every morning, knowing me, there’s probably something I missed. But not this time. Or at least not today.

Headed to Omaha, NE with a load of carpet to drop about noon on Wednesday. Not sure after that. I’m in a ‘discussion’ with my fleet manager about getting me a load thru Phx. I need to get my HazMat endorsement. I’ve found that those companies that are paying more require it. I’m looking to move again. I have to find a company where I can keep more of the freight bill and fuel surcharge that is paid. I have a couple of companies in mind that are well thought of but all require the HazMat.

Please be praying for Tom and Chrissy. His dad had a massive stroke last week and wasn’t doing well. He was going to Hospice care last time I spoke with Chrissy.

Aaron has finished his Masters in Business Administration and Ethic from Southern Nazarene University in OKC. He completed his BS in Business in May of ’09. So he’s really been working his butt off improving his education. And he changed jobs in the middle of the Masters. Both degrees were from brick and motor colleges rather than ‘paper mills’. From experience I know this will pay off for him in the long run. I couldn’t be more proud of what’s he’s accomplished.

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer. The weather’s been pretty hot and it’s raining in a lot of places, but hey, you wouldn’t want it to be snowing in July would you?
Doug