Discussing our future is a daily occurrence for Ben and I. We have truly enjoyed these past 2+ years on the road, but the "honeymoon" of trucking is definitely over. We have logged close to 500,000 miles, traveled to 46 of the 48 continental United States, visited friends and family numerous times, but we are ready for Part II of married life.
It has long been a desire of ours to work for the Church in some fashion, and we hope and pray an opportunity will present itself to us that will allow for service to the Lord as well as provision for our earthly needs. We have realized these past 2+ years just how important it is to be involved in a faith community as well; we miss parish life and daily Mass!
A frequent dialogue we often share is also about children. We certainly pray for the expansion of our family and are eager to journey into parenthood. Being pregnant and raising a newborn in a truck are just simply not an option, so that is extra motivation to get off the road (no, Mom, we're not pregnant yet).
Our debt snowball has really gained some footing and we are 4/7 of the way through our student loan debt (we paid off all credit cards and vehicle loans in 2010). There are only 3 loans left, but they are big and will take some time. At our current rate, we should have #5 paid off by Christmas, #6 paid off by May 2011 or so, and then #7 paid off no later than next Christmas. We are putting a large amount of $$ aside into these debt payments each month, but it feels like we're slowly going nowhere because the amounts are so big. But--slowly we keep trucking and will reach our goal!
Checking Indeed.com and Craigslist daily bring up various job opportunities or at least ideas into our minds. Recently, we found a posting for a resort couple; one part grounds-keeping, maintenance, etc., one part hospitality, housekeeping, reservations and running the retail store. On a whim (and certainly influenced by our desire to cease nomadic lifestyle!), we contacted the owner who then requested we send our resumes. We were then called back for an interview, which will happen this weekend on our hometime. A lot of factors have to be just-right if we will even be offered and then take the position, but this small journey has been incredibly motivating. Taking this step, even if it leads to nowhere, is a good step in the right direction to help us in getting off the road.
Acting as driver recruiters has dried up quite a bit; the recruiter we were working with always seems too busy to make contact with the folks we pass her way. That coupled with just plain being burned-out with all the energy and effort it takes to make the contacts and follow-ups and not receiving even so much as a call back from so folks, we've put recruiting on the back shelf. But--a driver we contacted 9 months ago finally made the move and we received the bonus last week! And this week, we snagged another new-comer and will receive that bonus next week! Every little bit counts and helps us get closer to our goal!
This past Sunday, we were passing through the St. Louis area and were able to stop at "our favorite truck stop", aka Sarah Swaykus' house. She is a friend of ours from grad school and has always been so gracious in having us over when we have the time! We went to Sunday Mass, had a delicious brunch and eventually went to St. Nicholas' Greek Festival at a parish in St. Louis before heading to Ted Drewe's for some world-class frozen custard. A culinary delight filled with lamb kabobs, gyros, Greek salad, spanakopitas and then frozen custard (not Greek). We also took a mini-tour of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis (what a magnificent structure! It has over 41 million pieces of mosaic tile and is awe-inspiring! If you are ever in St. Louis and have time, you must check this beautiful holy place!). All in all, it was a fantastic day. Thanks, Sarah (and Becky and Karen and Amanda)!
Present location: Dallas, TX area (we've been here since Monday evening, and are scheduled to be home in Bend tomorrow. Do the math...it's not happening :-( )
Direction headed: Home! That is, if our next load doesn't cancel on us like the last two did to get us there!
Miles last week: 5600-ish
Have a blessed week, readers!