Ben's trainer, Herb, was a very generous guy. He bought most of Ben's meals during their time together, and at the end of the training period, as he did with all of his trainees, Herb gifted Ben. He had recently updated his personal XM/Sirius Radio device, and gave Ben his gently used device, as he no longer needed it. And thus, enter into a whole different aspect of being on the road.
If any of you readers have XM, you know how enjoyable it can be to have virtually unlimited channels to unlimited genres of music, talk radio, sports radio, etc. For a small fortune of lifetime membership, we are able to enjoy all of these things and more! Ben had listened to XM every day in training, while my trainer's (old) truck didn't even have a cd player (a month without Bebo is hard), so I didn't much listen to anything. It took a little convincing on Ben's part, then, for us to agree to the subscription. It has made a world of difference in our spiritual lives, in knowledge of current events, of financial savvy-ness, and general mental health of not going crazy listening only to the lull of a diesel engine.
At first, I simply listened to Prime Country for 2 weeks straight and took a walk down memory lane with country hits from the 80s and 90s. Then I discovered the bluegrass channel, pops at the opera, and the message. Ben spent most mornings listening to Mike & Mike and The Herd (especially during football season), and on weekends we loved listening to numerous college games (with near hatred of USC football announcers) and NFL games on Sundays (fyi, the Colts downhome podunk announcers are so much fun).
About 3 months into trucking, we discovered the Catholic Channel. It took a little warming up for me to enjoy it, but we have gained so much spiritual growth and insight, that the small fortune spent has been 100% worth it! The Catholic Channel is sponsored in part by the Archdiocese of New York, and part of that sponsorship includes broadcasting daily and Sunday Masses live from St. Patrick's Cathedral, often celebrated by the Archbishop, His Excellency Timothy Dolan. As we're not always able to make it to Sunday Mass, participating in this way provides at least the spiritual nourishment given in the celebration of the Liturgy. This channel also broadcasts "Busted Halo" with Fr. Dave Dwyer, "Fully Alive" with Dr. Greg & Lisa Popcek, and my personal favorite, "The Catholic Guy" with Lino Rulli (he was one of the producers of "Champions of Faith: Baseball Edition"n which is an excellent piece if you've never checked it out). It has been so enjoyable to listen to this channel and so uplifting at the same time. If you are an XM listener, tune in to channel 117.
Another favorite as of late has been The Dave Ramsey Show. As you know from earlier posts, we are in this whole trucking business to pay off our many debts. We went into this careere with great ambition to get it all taken care of as quickly as possible, and discovering and listening to Dave has given us renewed vigor. If you've never heard of him, check his book out from the library or spend the $25 to buy it: "The Total Money Makeover". We are following his suggestions to become debt-free, which as our plans and compensation go, will occur three years from now. Goodbye credit cards, goodbye student loans payments, hello freedom! When callers phone in to his show to let the listeners know they are debt-free after so many payments and much "rice-and-beans-beans-and-rice" budgeting, Dave lets them scream at the top of their lungs, "WE'RE DEBT FREE!". It's truly quite inspiring and motivating and we look forward to that day in the not-so-distant future when we will be able to do the same. Our present sacrifice in "normal" lifestyle will be worth it when we have that financial peace of mind!
Do you have a favorite channel you would recommend us to check out? Let us know!
We've spent the past several days in the Seattle area, as freight is moving a little slow. We're thankful though, as we were able to find a few trails to do some walking on, in the shadows of the Snoqualmie Mountains. A highlight of the weekend, besides a fantastic 4-mile hike, was getting together with AJ & Sarah, going to Mass at Blessed Sacrament parish, and enjoying a bite to eat at Bahama Breeze. Check them out at http://west-coast-steins.blogspot.com . Thanks, you two (three!) for taking us out! It was so enjoyable to spend time with you!
Our home-time is scheduled starting Wednesday this week, so we're soon to be back in Bend, studying our brains out and celebrating my birthday. God is so good, life is great, and we are richly blessed.
God bless you too!
deb & Ben