Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Finally! A Welcome Law From the Fed!

I am pleased to report that US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a federal ban on texting while operating a commercial vehicle. This ban is effective immediately, and is enforceable by a fine of up to $2750.

Now, when will this law apply to "four-wheelers"?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Why Trucking?

Yes, it is a bit unconventional of a job for two people with post-graduate studies. The idea originated back when we made the decicion that I (deb) would move back to Ohio to finish classes, for us to plan the wedding, get married, and then what? I had applied for a job at the Apostolate for Family Consecration (aka Catholic Familyland, where Ben was working maintenance), but it didn't pan out. After Ben mentioned that there was a large distribution center in nearby Bloomingdale, in passing, I said, "Heck! I'll even become a truck driver! It's in my family!" Well, that's what got the ball rolling.

It's true, many of the men in my family carry CDL's:
Uncle Tom
Uncle Bill
Uncle Herb
Cousin Dave
Cousin Lee
Cousin Ken
Cousin Keith
Brother Joe
And she-woman power, mother Eileen (school bus!)

And, of course, my dad Marty had a CDL too. He hauled livestock in the midwest. Ultimately his love for being out on the road led to his demise. We hope not to follow his footsteps quite that far, but we are really enjoying what we're doing right now. Dad once told me, "I've got diesel in my blood. I need to get back out on the road." This is not hard for us to understand, and as my mother rightly states, I am my father's daughter, through and through.

What we do is honestly not that much different from couples who go RVing across the country. We're just 30-40 years their junior and we're getting paid to do this! The money to be earned in truck driving is very good, especially as a team (our truck can pretty much move 22 out of 24 hours a day). The lucrative pay of up to $120,000/year is bonus to the fact that we enjoy spending this time together, we enjoy driving, and we have a whole lot of debt we want to pay off.

Our commitment to this career will God-willing only need to be 3 years or so. That will be plenty of time for us to finish our degrees (Ben: Master's thesis in philosophy, me: Master's comps in theology and catechetical program), pay off our school loans and credit card debt, and save enough moeny to put a downpayment on a house. We have strong interest and desire to then return to working for the Church in some ministerial fashion, whether for the Diocese of Baker, our local parish St. Francis, or possibly opening up a Catholic bookstorew for the Central Oregon area.

So far in the 6 months we've been driving together, we have driven through every state in the continental US except Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island and Delaware. We've driven as far north as Coeur d'Alene, Idaho and Londonderry, New Hampshire, and as far south as Miami, Florida and San Antonio, Texas. Our mileage total to date is 88,580. It is very likely by the time we finish trucking we will make it to one million miles. That is a lot of rubber on the road!

Please feel free to ask any questions you may have about trucking and/or truckers. We promise to be candid, and we will try to update this on a more frequent basis. Please do keep us in your prayers, also, for safety. We look forward to hearing any questions or comments you may have! God bless!

deb & Ben

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Frozen Florida

Rodman, I'm pretty sure you're the only follower of this blog, so here's an update for you!

We just spent a nice long weekend in Tampa, FL, where the temps hovered around freezing the entire weekend and we witnessed the natives in ski-masks and parkas. Not quite what you would expect in the Sunshine State! We had hoped to visit with the Creedican family, Florida Branch, who reside in Tampa, but they were back in the Northwest for Grandma Betty's funeral (may she rest in peace--a beautiful woman with a heart after the Lord!). Then I remembered that my Franciscan University neighbor was from the area and set to track him down. We were able to touch base and enjoyed a few meals together (including a Tampa staple: La Teresita's lunch counter with the best black bean soup I've ever eaten and some fantastic Cuban flatbread). He drove us around the "old" Tampa, Ybor City, along Tampa Bay, and through downtown. We also were able to attend Sunday Mass (Baptism of the Lord) at St. Lawrence. The choir sang all the Mass settings in Latin; it was pretty close to heaven :-). Thanks, Jeff Lambert, for your company and showing us around!

Because of our layover (freight in Florida just doesn't pick up the way it does in much of the rest of the country), we were able to watch the Cowboys/Eagles and Packers/Cardinals games at a local pub. Normally the truck stops would air the games but they didn't have any local channels. Instead, we enjoyed pub food and even sang some karaoke songs. Good times were had by all!

Presently we're in La Salle, Illinois and will be heading west toward the Reno, NV area tomorrow. It is still cold up here, and we look forward to seeing what I-80 west will look like.

Please keep our safety in your prayers, and we will do the same for you!

God bless,