News from the Road
Check out AARP's first day of travel short by clicking here.
During our journey, Margarette and I kept track of the 5 things we were most thankful for every day.
Monday, June 20, 2011
1. Slept great in an unknown town!
2. Reminiscing about the trip as we drove
3. Loved having Jason (the AARP videographer) with us again
4. Picking Dene up at airport in the great big truck
5. The thrill of coming home and having an 18 wheeler in the driveway and my husband in the house
6. The best thing...going back...was when we went into the first nursing home we went into where the people were terribly sick...I said to myself, "Dear God, put into my brain what I need to say to these people" and suddenly out of the blue it came to me to quote Rose Kennedy. It really spoke to them. I haven't thought of that in some 30 years. It was the perfect thing. I talked about making the most of where you are regardless of where that is.
1. Waking up in an unplanned overnight stop and not needing to know where we were, only where we were going
2. Spending some time reflecting on the trip, going down memory lane while we were going down the highway
3. Picking Dene up at the airport
4. Having a blast at the nursing home in Ocala-- great people there and really fun party
5. Arriving at Margarette's house safe and sound 45 minutes ahead of schedule as we did for the whole trip
Sunday, June 19, 2011
1. Taking our time in the morning
2. Bumpy roads of LA that cracked our souvenirs
3. Reflecting about the entire trip last night with Annabella
4. Meeting the people of the Slidell, LA TA truck stop
5. I love sleeping in the truck; it had all the comforts of home...except a restroom. I love peeing between the truck and the cab.
1. Waking up and hearing Margarette's joy after having slept in the truck
2. Having a quiet day, spending a lot of time in silence then recounting our days out here
3. TA truck stop in Slidell had a perfect steak and eggs
4. Meeting a former Marine trucker in Slidell and thanking him for service with offering to buy him lunch
5. Watching the Panama City police confront the shop owner that refused our truck parking job
Saturday, June 18, 2011
1. Texas is a gorgeous state!
2. Meeting Annabella's friend Terry
3. Having some time to rest
4. Meeting a driver whose son went to Orlando water parks as part of Make-A-Wish right before he died
5. Sleeping in the truck last night. I loved it! Trucking is not for the weak. I was by myself in the middle of a field and slept like a baby.
1. Hitting the road to Houston where I would be reconnecting with a long, long lost friend
2. Getting there and seeing my friend for the first time in 29 years. Terry, you look great.
3. Stumbling across those presidential busts while looking for a place to turn around
4. Time to decompress
5. Setting Margarette up to sleep in the truck and knowing she would love it. It is like sharing one's greatest treasure with a trusted friend.
Friday, June 17, 2011
1. Slept until 9:30 this morning
2. Hollered and whooped all day with my friends Annabella and Cass Forkin
3. Going to Pepe's on Ozona, TX, and eating at Pepe's
4. Throwing three pennies in the fountain
5. Receiving the truck inspection sheet from the shop at the San Antonio T/A with my name in the driver's spot. I'm going to frame it.
1. Enjoying the lively conversation in the truck with Cass and Margarette.
2. Getting off the road for an unplanned lunch stop in Ozona, TX, and stumbling into Pepe's. It was a museum filled with the owner's artwork. And the food was delicious.
3. Walking up to the register at Pepe's while a senior was getting ready to pay and telling her we were paying for her and her companion's lunch. She said we couldn't do that and the cashier talked her into it. She started to cry with surprise and gratitude. It melted my heart.
4. Pulling into the TA in San Antonio and meeting Vanessa Hernandez, the first woman general manager I ever met.
5. Our reception at the TA here. You guys are great!
Thursday, June 16, 2011
1. Nice hotel & breakfast in Tucson. Thank you Viscount.
2. Great party at Armory Senior Center in Tucson
3. Travel Centers of America in Willcox. Great reception, gift basket, out of sight stuff, cake, and really nice people. Thank you Becky and Ruben for helping me with the dip stick, windows and gas on our new tractor.
4. T/A in Las Cruces went above and beyond. Juan—15 dogs, 11 children—awesome man and loved his attitude. He cannot fail.
5. Pulling into hotel at Van Horn late at night when all the world was asleep. We bravely marched into the Hampton Inn leaving our partner in crime to sleep on the truck. Good night, Cass.
1. Incredible breakfast spread at Viscount in Tucson. Nice place.
2. Pulling up on sidewalk in front of Armory Senior Center to park rig on their sidewalk for the party. That was cool.
3. Seeing a good friend from PA who had recently moved to Tucson and came to the party. You look great, Ellie. It was wonderful seeing you again.
4. I loved how Ruben at the T/A in Wilcox, AZ, looked at Margarette as she climbed onto the engine to wash the windshield. You could have loaded a ping pong ball in his mouth! You are a wonderful man, Ruben.
5. Meeting Mr. Tubbs, an appropriately named black pug who was born, raised and living on trucks. Thank you to everyone who works at the T/A's in Willcox and Las Cruces. You made Margarette's dream experience richer for your kindness. The blessings are flowing so abundantly, we can't possibly express our gratitude to everyone who has contributed to this wish granting. "Bring it on," she says.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
1. Riding through the beautiful western desert
2. Enjoyed the company of our AARP videographer, Miranda, and we miss her this morning!
3. Desert is hot—thank God for Penske's air-conditioned cab
4. Addressing the Rotarians in Blythe, CA—thank you for your huge generosity
5. Dinner with Cass and Rose in Tucson
1. Watching how the universe lined everything up so that we could address the Rotary Club in Blythe, CA—that was a magical happening! Thank you, thank you!
2. Feeling the hot desert air on my skin and in my lungs
3. Being asked to leave the California truck stop, if that hadn't happened, we would have missed the luncheon in Blythe!
4. Having all the right paperwork to get into AZ in the big rig
5. Dining with Cass and Rose and sharing some stories
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
1. Meeting Annabella's parents and Amy
2. Seeing their wonderful home and gardens
3. My relatives visiting from Monrovia, California
4. Enjoying each meal with Bertie and Wister Wood, Annabella's parents
5. Enjoying conversations with Wister about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness
1. Seeing my folks again
2. Meeting Margarette's Aunt Audrey and cousin Peggy—Audrey is a complete inspiration, they got that gene!
3. I was very excited and really moved to realize how this trip has reunited those two people after 70 years apart
4. Revisiting the garden my family planted together last Thanksgiving
5. I really enjoyed the companionship and camaraderie that we shared all day long—it was a busy day, but everything flowed together beautifully
Monday, June 13, 2011
1. The quietness of the new truck, no baggage on the floor
2. The Barstow TA Truck Stop—the manager was very gracious and bought us lunch
3. The concert in Apple Valley, CA (outside Hesperia). I really enjoyed the concert and meeting Annabella's friends and family.
4. Coming to Annabella's family's home late at night (12:30am) in Torrance, CA
5. Being recognized by truck drivers in the truck stop—they read about us in Trucker News and were all excited to run across us.
1. Moving into the new truck—it has so much room!!
2. Picking up Miranda from AARP to ride with us
3. Driving my route through the desert that I used to drive daily for years—we had the radio playing Truck Driving Mama turned up and enjoyed the ride—life just doesn't get any better!
4. Driving down Main Street Barstow and seeing Americana in the flesh and remembering my years there
5. The concert: seeing so many old friends and singing my heart out!!
Sunday, June 12, 2011
1. Amazing scenery through Colorado, Utah and AZ Gorge. Proud to be an American
2. Meeting 3 bikers and taking pictures
3. Enjoying our road trip therapy dog, Quark, who is a perfect traveler
4. I loved Bill & Marilyn Krueger, their hospitality, and their joy and happiness sharing this trip with them. Our evening was wonderful.
5. Thank you, Mr. Penske, for making this trip possible in a wonderful air conditioned, smooth running top of the line cab. I am a proud trucker in a Penske truck.
1. The incredible scenery in these beautiful Western states
2. Grateful to have such a light load we could get back on schedule
3. Seeing my friends after many years away—thank you so much. It felt great to just put our feet up.
4. Moving out of the old truck
5. Moving into the new one—vastly improved version
Saturday, June 11, 2011
What a day for our adventurers Margarette and Annabella! Colorado, full of beautiful majestic sights, on Annabella's birthday, found them temporarily broken down. But through faith and dedication they made it back on the road, and to the event at Mesa Manor Care & Rehab Center, in Grand Junction, CO. They had a wonderful time. Way to go!
1. Nice breakfast
2. Beautiful scenery
3. Wonderful afternoon with elderly at Mesa Manor Care & Rehab Center
4. The kindness of the staff at Mesa Manor for their patience with our delay and packing us dinner to go, presents, that great sign. Many thanks.
5. The beautiful night sky over Green River, UT
1. The beautiful accommodations and complimentary breakfast this morning at Embassy Suites Denver
2. The kindness and patience of the fuel staff at TA Denver West. You guys are the best!
3. Lying on my back in the grass taking the most majestic rest area scenery anywhere while waiting on the mechanic to come and get our truck going (east of Glenwood Springs, CO)
4. The moment the engine bumped to life by being pulled by a pick-up truck! That was spectacular.
5. Learning that our truck will be upgraded tomorrow in Las Vegas.
Friday, June 10, 2011
1. Wonderful interview with Brandon of Channel 13 this morning in Kearny, NE
2. Great breakfast buffet
3. Pulling in to Elms Haven Care in Thornton, CO, and seeing all those people
4. The wonderful gifts they gave
5. Our deluxe suite at Embassy Suites in Denver, and they let the dog in!
1. Stopping at the CO welcome center for a break and being invited to leave some tri-folds for travelers. I love being so welcomed everywhere we go.
2. Pulling in to Eaves Haven (Colorado) and seeing all the people waiting
3. Seeing how attentive they are to Margarette
4. Singing oldies to them and having them sing along
5. Great dinner buffet they set up
6. Going to sleep!
Thursday, June 9, 2011
1. Seeing huge truck with flag on it
2. Beautiful countryside with windmills all over
3. Getting surprised with cake, balloons and gifts at T/A in Council Bluffs IA. Really good people there.
4. Cutting the cake without the bridegroom and serving everyone in the dining room.
5. Arriving safely after driving in torrential rains and fog to a nice warm bed. Peaceful.
1. Shopping for necessities at Iowa 80 and having the cashier inform me that they were already paid for!
2. Leaving truck stop looking forward to a nice long ride.
3. Listening to iPod through FM radio on truck while watching the world go by.
4. Singing with Margarette.
5. Finding truck parking at hotel.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
1. The joy of being in Chicago.
2. Knowing God had truly put his hand on me to give me this trip and my good health. All the wonderful people we have met on the road.
3. To think at this time in my life that I am able to climb up on the wheel of an 18 wheeler, lean over and with my right hand clean the windshield with a squeegee. I loved it. I felt just like a kid.
4. Fueling two tanks at one time with $670 worth of fuel and 166 gallons!
5. Going through that great big truck stop and seeing the trucker's world.
1. Getting through the traffic leaving Chicago.
2. Seeing this country's heartland. I felt that peace come over me again driving through west Illinois and a bit of Iowa
3. Seeing the incredible trucks at the Iowa 80 truck stop. Dan, the assistant manager and our very gracious host, said the building was built around the trucks!
4. Training Margarette on truck servicing. She actually pumped the fuel and washed the windshields!
5. Seeing how big Margarette's eyes were when she saw the trucks in the Iowa 80.
6. Being treated like VIPs at the truck stop. Dan was very gracious and gave us a guided tour of the entire place.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Margarette's Favorite Things From The Road
1. Interviews at the wonderful breakfast at Baldock Health Care Centre
2. Walking into Perrysburg Care and Rehabilitation Center and having over 50 seniors there to greet us
3. The whole time with them was amazing, they gave us sack dinners so we could make Chicago on time
4. Meeting Lillian, 91 years young and still sharp in the mind and loving being a fellow Twilight Wish Recipient
5. The width, depth, length, and lights of Chicago blew my mind! So did the traffic!
6. The lights of all the cars going the other way and all the tail lights in front of us was so pretty: the red and white...
7. Past and present in my life...The greatest gift I have ever been given is my driver
Monday June 6, 2011
1. Seeing the truck come in
2. Seeing all the people
3. Loved the tables at breakfast
4. Loved the little toy truck
5. Loved the day in the truck, the conversation, scenery and Jason (AARP videographer). They are great!
1. Loved seeing the trailer, especially the part with me and Margarette
2. Loved seeing all the people at the breakfast
3. Seeing all those photographers
5. Seeing how happy Dene was
Second Day on the Road, Tuesday, June 7th, 2011
Margarette and Annabella head out on their trip to Pittsburgh. They had a great time visiting with our Pittsburgh chapter volunteers and director and are on their way to Chicago! Look out Windy City!
First Day on the Road, Monday, June 6th, 2011
Annabella and Margarette's first day on the road started with a kick-off breakfast at the Dublin Star Diner in Dublin, Pennsylvania. So many supporters and volunteers turned out to wish them bon voyage on their ground-breaking journey across America! After breakfast, they loaded up the truck with their luggage and supplies and they were off, led by a police escort courtesy of the Dublin Police! The truck is scheduled to arrive in Pittsburgh around 7:00 p.m. where they will have dinner with the Western Pennsylvania chapter.