(South Bend, IN, USA)
His life on the road isn't a bed of roses at all! I get to hear first hand on the phone about him waiting for hours to be loaded or unloaded when he busts his butt to get there on time, traffic jams, full truck stops, lousy food, lousy service, dispatches with too little miles or not enough time to get there without shorting himself on sleep, crazy motorcycles, crazy 4-wheelers, and just about any other pain in the ass thing you could imagine out there on the road.
Then, when it is time for him to come home for 2 days after being out there driving for 2 weeks, the company tries to milk just one more trip out of him.
He likes to get home on a Friday afternoon when possible, but for the last 2 years, he's lucky to get home by Saturday afternoon. And I get to hear it all, first hand. When his day is bad (which is 95% of the time), my day is bad.
I work part-time and sometimes have to travel with my job. When I'm "on the road" is always the time he needs me to be home to get directions from my computer, and I'm the one getting yelled at because I'm not home to do it for him.
When I am home, I'm getting attitude from him because I'm not working and making money. I can't win for losing! Don't get me wrong, I love my trucker husband with all my heart!
We've been together for the better part of 15 years and married for the past 3 years. I've been out there on the road with him several times over the years and know how exhausting and frustrating his job is, so because of that, I'm able to relate.
In fact, I had my CDL permit and wanted to get into the business myself, but I couldn't find a way to pay for schooling without taking out a loan or signing on with a company that would make me their "slave" for 2 years after the schooling.
I'm the type of person that will not allow myself to be used like that, so my trucking career ended when my CDL permit expired.
Our children from our previous marriages are grown, so having little ones at home is not an issue for us. But, we do have a German Shepard/Wolf hybrid who will be 14 years old in January 2013. I've raised him from the age of 6 weeks old. He's my best buddy and is always by my side. He's always happy to see "his dad" when he comes home, and always spends a couple of days being depressed when "dad" leaves again.
Trucking is certainly not for everybody, and being a trucker's wife is not easy. Enjoying time together (when he's home for 48 hours) is beyond awesome, but as time goes by, I find myself becoming bitter to the fact that in order for us to make ends meet my husband has to be away from home most of the time busting his hump and getting no respect from people.
My own daughter-in-law told him a couple of years ago that he's a low-life truck driver who just sits on his ass and steers. Boy, that didn't go over too well, not to mention that I lost respect for her for feeling that way. She couldn't begin to do his job, even with her college education. Needless to say, hubby doesn't care much for her!
While he's out there earning a living so we can have a roof over our heads and food on the table, I'm dealing with raccoons tearing into that roof to have babies in the attic, calling insurance and contractors to get the roof fixed, backed up plumbing, a tractor that won't start half of the time (even after a new battery), a truck with a nail in the tire, a water pump that is water-logged that I have to drain and re-fill with air every 6 months or so, a leaky kitchen faucet, a camper parked in the driveway that we haven't used in over a year because we can't plan a camping weekend...we never know when he'll get home, a toilet that runs until I replace the "guts" in the tank, a washing machine that can't spin a load without walking across the floor, and now, sadly, a nearly 14 year old dog (yes, my best buddy), who's had a slight stroke and sometimes has problems with walking because of his hind legs not being in synch with his front legs.
When I go on the road for my job I have to kennel him, and although the kennel I use is top-notch, it still kills me to leave him there. I've learned to be an electrician, a plumber, a landscaper (we live on an acre at the edge of a woods), a carpenter, and everything in between!
If I had it to do over again, when hubby said that he always wanted to drive truck and wanted to go to trucking school when his career as a sheet metal fabricator went down the drain, thanks to jobs being sent overseas for cheaper labor, I'm not so sure that I would have been as supportive as I was.
As it is now, I have no choice. This is his life and I am his wife. We struggle with every aspect of life sometimes, but one thing is clear: I love him and I'll do anything possible to make his life at home as enjoyable as I can, because at the very least, he deserves it! He's a good man and works his tail off every day that he's out there.
I'm honest and true to him and can't imagine loving anyone else like I love him. I'm proud to be a trucker's wife!
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