Sunday, August 1, 2010


Did I say I was tired last week? Stupid woman that I am, there was worse to come. Admittedly though, there has been some beetling down the Interstate with the a/c on and the radio playing; there has been some wearing of the baseball cap and feeling like a real trucker, but mostly there has been Too Much Information.

More places to find, new procedures, a trainer who yells about details and then tells me that she is only being tough on me because I am good. She is pleased with my progress and thinks that I will be ready to roll solo in another week. I am glad she is pleased. In the world in my head, I should not still be getting confused when I’m stressed. I have driven across the Ambassador Bridge from Windsor, Ontario to Detroit, Michigan four times now. How come I am still lost trying to weave around the bollards which mark out temporary truck lanes during the construction work? How come, when the customs officer asks me a question, the answer escapes me? I have taken to writing down my destination on the windscreen with a dry-wipe marker so that I can get that one right in any and all circumstances, but I really ought to be able to remember where I live.

There is significant good news though. I can drive for 11 hours straight without collapsing. Since this is the US legal maximum I am minded to declare myself fit for purpose. I do know that the more familiar things become, the less befuddled by anxiety I will be. I have celebrated surviving week 1 of highway training with some shopping. A big cooler-fridge, for all the snacks and drinks required to keep one amused at the wheel. A natty little gadget to play mp3s from a usb memory stick through the truck radio…at the paltry cost of $9.00, this is a significant find as it means not needing an Ipod to carry radio 4 podcasts around; I can keep up with The Archers! The Ipod savings made me feel a bit better about the major outlay of bucks for a truckers’ GPS. I think it will pay for itself over and over in not-getting-lost time but actually sending off for it before earning any wages felt like a risky investment.

We are off, this afternoon, to a company we delivered to last week in Auburn, Indiana. I made a few notes about the location in the little book than never leaves my person and, surprise, surprise, when I read them and looked at the map I could remember the way and picture the building. I ran through it in the shower…’I94 to I69, exit 129 for Indiana road 8, turn left from the ramp, third lights after the rest of the 94, turn right. Entrance on the left, just past a big blind bend, wind round the building on lanes with huge boulders to stop you driving on the grass. Relatively easy set-up for a straight reverse on the dock.’

If I can recall everywhere we go after one visit (with notes) then some significant anxiety about my aging brain will dissipate over time. Maybe, with my trusty gps as well (OMG how do you install those?) I can do this after all. Just got to get that bridge sorted out within a week…

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