It’s not impossible to eat healthy on the road. Most fast food places have marginally healthy options now. Some truck stops (Pilots in particular) have fresh fruit available. Whenever we had the time or the inclination to sit down to dinner, all of the truck stop diners had a salad bar available.
My problem is that my only weakness is that I’m weak. I ate healthy a lot on the road but not primarily and not nearly as much as I should have. I barely control my eating habits when I’m at home and don’t have these horrible fast food options at my fingertips. On the road and under stress, with it right in front of me it was regularly beyond my strength.
As for the stress, I would like to point my finger straight at southern California. There are so many nice places to go in SoCal if you’re a tourist. You do not visit those places as a trucker. You go to places like Oxnard and Vernon and see things like this out of the window.
And then, when you want to leave (desperately), you sit in traffic for three hours, regardless of what time it is. John ranted about the traffic we encountered at 2 in the afternoon.
“Why aren’t these people at work? I’m at work!”
I was born and raised in a city of nearly a million people. I had a backyard, but barely. I’ve always dreamed of having my own farm. I’m closer, map-wise, since I’m living in this cow-town these days but I’m no nearer to my dream in any sort of real way. Someday, though, I hope to have goats, pigs, chickens and perhaps a horse or two. My husband has quite a different animal-based dream. He brought it up a week ago, while we were driving through Tiger Pass in Washington.
“I want a gorilla friend,” he said, to my utter puzzlement. “I figure he can control the tiger for me, too.”
“You can’t have a tiger, we talked about this.”
“Because it will eat you the first chance it gets.”
“That’s what the gorilla is for!”
That’s not a perfect transcript but that’s as close as I can get. To my chagrin, I have never had the presence of mind to record these conversations when they happen. The gorilla thing is new but John has wanted a tiger for a while. It seems so strange to me that a man who can barely stand to have our one cat (and has forbidden the purchase of another) wants so badly to have a nearly half-ton jungle cat. And a gorilla besides.
But that’s my husband.
Recently I packed up my things and went on the road with my husband, John. He has been a truck driver for the better part of the last four years but only recently went back to long haul. It’s been a constant struggle and occasionally a nightmare for both of us. If I could, I’d probably stay on the truck with him all the time. I’m not employed but I do have pets that need looking after, a duty that falls on my wonderful sister-in-law, Kayti, while I’m gone. Point being that I can’t stay out too long or I feel as though I’m shirking my responsibilities.
Living together on the truck is kind of like sharing a very small apartment. An apartment that moves, has no bathroom, and is constantly humming. Our things are generally everywhere, due to the abundance of them and the lack of places to keep them. John does all right by himself (as well as you can expect from a man living like a bachelor) but with my stuff added in it becomes a catastrophe. No matter how frequently I clean up, it seems as though everything is everywhere. But that’s only the beginning of the troubles I’ve found being on the road.
The bathroom situation, I mentioned that. I’m sure you know what it’s like: you wake up at the butt crack of dawn and you have to pee, badly, so you begrudgingly leave your bed to go to the bathroom. It’s probably about twenty steps from your bed. And you don’t have to put on pants or anything. It’s not quite so easy on the truck. Every morning I wake up far too early and struggle to find my clothes and my shoes. Which would be easier if I could remember where my glasses were. Generally once I’m fully clothed I have to make a vague attempt at making myself presentable to the public. Finally, I get to walk across a vast truck-and-trucker-filled parking lot to the public restroom. Can I get back to sleep when I return? Of course not.
My final point for now (I have, oh, so many more) is what I teased already: my husband is a fire elemental. I discovered this only recently but there have been hints in the past. He’s always a blast furnace, even when it’s freezing. He wears sandals all the time, no matter what the weather is like. Worst of all, he always has the AC on which is what lead me to my final conclusion. We spent a rather hot day in French Camp and he kept lowering the temperature on the AC, until he got it as far down as it goes: 50 degrees. I was wrapped up in two blankets at that point and still shivering but he was hot to the touch. Sure, maybe he was dehydrated or some other such thing but I choose to believe that he’s a fire elemental.