We should be able to say that because of our association with one another, “I am a better person having known you.”

Years ago I heard this story which found a permanent spot in my memory. A Spanish girl named Elizabeth told the story about a sweet and unusual friendship between her mother and an old native Indian woman from Central America who came to their home often.

With each visit, the Indian woman gave Elizabeth’s mother some partridge eggs and berries as a gift. The native woman spoke only Araucanian and Elizabeth’s mother spoke only Spanish.

Their conversation was minimal as they sat at the table together drinking tea and eating cake while smiling and laughing. Each time the Indian woman rose to leave, she said the exact same words to her friend.

With much curiosity, Elizabeth and her sisters memorized the words and later, found someone who could translate Araucanian. When Elizabeth found out what the Indian woman had said to her mother so many times, she was greatly touched and thought it was the nicest compliment ever spoken.

Each time the Indian woman rose from the table to leave after visiting her friend, she said,

“I shall come again, for I like myself when I am near you.”

Holy bovine! It’s official. I actually have a real live, cuter-than-a-bug children’s book published in eBook, paperback, and hardback available on both Amazon and Ingram Spark outlets.


EBook ISBN: 

Paperback ISBN: 

Hardback IBN:



I also published my memoir WHERE MUCH IS GIVEN.

My perspective is from the other side of the mountain of opinions. Personally, I think it’s a beautiful story. Not popular, but if I was popular, I’d wonder what was wrong with me. Whatever the majority is doing, I go do the opposite. …Unless the majority is doing the right thing, which I doubt.

Paperback ISBN:


Hardback ISBN:


My father had lots of fun ways to teach lessons. One day he put a bowl of candy on his desk. Sure enough pieces of candy began to disappear throughout the next several days. One night he came home for prayer time and brought the bowl of candy with him. He pointed out that several pieces of candy were gone.

“Did I offer anyone a piece of candy?” he asked.

We all looked around the circle shaking our heads. A few notable guilty expressions from various petty thieves were obvious, including my own little fat face.

Father said, “I want to be able to trust my family to not touch things on my desk. If you see something anywhere that isn’t yours, don’t take it without permission. Even if you are all alone in the room, who can see you?”

“Heavenly Father!” we all chorused.

“That’s right,” Father said with a smile. “Let’s have clean hands and pure hearts. Remember, I’m your cute little Dad, and you are my cute little Kiddos. I want to trust you.”

Father replenished the candy bowl and put it back on his desk. By the next weekend, fewer pieces had disappeared when he called for an accounting. It had been a sore temptation for me. Several times I had walked by Father’s empty office. Nobody was looking. How easy it would be to snitch just one little piece. But I couldn’t get past the fact that an unseen Witness saw everything.

We gathered for prayer time once again that weekend, and Father brought the candy bowl. He noted that fewer pieces were gone and pointed out the improvement. Again he voiced the lesson that God sees all we do. Again he said he wanted to trust his family to not touch things that didn’t belong to us.

Father filled the candy bowl and put it back on his desk. Another couple weeks went by of trial, some error, and then an accounting and assessment time. Finally, after about a month, he brought the candy bowl to prayer time completely intact. He was thrilled. The rest of us were too.

Father passed the candy around and admonished us to keep on being the good kids we were.


Memoir by Maggie Jessop Jeffs publishing soon

Last week I was trucking near Tucson and saw an IN-N-Out Burger joint. It is particularly dangerous for me to be hungry while driving a semi-truck and come upon In-N-Out. Something about those freshly cooked French fries with the pink pickle sauce has me hitting the brakes and looking for a place to park.

Give me forty acres and I’ll turn this rig around, right? Not sure if they mean my truck or my backside.

In-N-Out totally intrigues me. Their menu is child’s play, only half a dozen items, yet people pour in-n-out of In-N-Out like their lives depend on it. Somebody is making some serious dough. Besides the buns, that is.

Well, my noggin got to coggin’, and I came up with a plan. I think I’ll open a restaurant called Up-N-Down. I’m currently looking for investors. Anyone? Anyone?

We should have more food choices than In-N-Out. I propose we have EVERYTHING on the menu from healthy food to the lowest of the low, maybe grease chips with fake nacho cheese lava. Sound good?

When a chunky cheek chick comes into my restaurant, we will offer weight loss assistance by steering her towards the DOWN side of the restaurant to keep her encouraged with her diet. We will begin with a large glass of water followed by two ounces of beef liver accompanied by three large broccoli florets. She’s gonna love it!

Those on the anorexic side will quickly be shuttled to the UP side of our restaurant since they need to stack on a few lubs so the next summer breeze doesn’t blow them off to Shanghai. For these folks, we will serve all manner of non-food items to encourage weight GAIN. I’m thinking along the lines of pizza, fries, ice cream, donuts, twenty-five choices of cake, and Flam-Nuggers. That’s what my three-year–old son christened a hamburger.

We are going to make a ton of money. Shark Tank, here we come!

If that doesn’t work, I’ll open a new restaurant called Side-to-Side. We will feature only side dishes, absolutely no main dishes allowed. Everyone will lose weight. So awesome!

Wait. How about a diner called Back-and Forth? What say we have a mandatory stipulation that our customers walk backward to enter the restaurant. Then when they go forth, they will always come back. Cool.

One more brainstorm. How about a coffee shop called Ahead-N-Behind. Hmm, that could be misinterpreted. We could have weekly bicycle competitions to work off the daily latte, wot? That makes sense. Some people will be ahead, and some will be behind.

What’s your neat idea for a restaurant?

Now, pipe down, everybody. Don’t get offended by my fat jokes. I don’t have much room to talk. Last May someone nice bought me a fat-laden birthday dessert about the same size as I was. When I saw the pictures, it was the last haystack. No wonder my funny husband used to call me Marge the Large Barge.

Now, four months later, I find myself forty pounds leaner. I can handle the teasing a little better now.

Can I have my cake and eat it too?


Forty down

Forty to go.

Give me forty acres, and I’ll turn this rig around.



This is the second publication in a series on Amazon called FLDS Lady.

This book is Part One of three which will complete my personal memoirs.
Still tweaking my book cover. Soon to publish…

This account is from the “opposite side of the mountain”. All stories currently being told about the FLDS are negative, even extremely derogatory. Although my story may be far less sensational and indeed, less popular, it is still my truth. There are plenty of negative perceptions. It seems only fair to have at least one positive perspective. This is a piece of history.

Part Two: Stranger in a Strange Land
Part Three: Traveling the Highroad

Yaaaay! Finally, almost ready to publish my first children’s book.

THE CAT MEOW is the first in a children’s book series called Square Peg Storybooks
Written by Maggie Jessop
Illustrated by Filipa Losada
Published by Highroad North
Coming soon on Amazon!

A story about being yourself.

Way back when I was a kitten, all kinds of personalities lived on our farm. Everybody tried to be somebody else. The mule thought he was John Wayne, and the cow said he was smart as Einstein. The duck imagined he was Crocodile Dundee, and the chickens shrieked the Hallelujah Chorus like a bunch of Joan Sutherlands. The rooster impersonated Johnny English, and the dog recited the Gettysburg address. The goat quoted Shakespeare, and the lamb tried to be Mother Teresa and create world peace. And the horse? He was convinced he was Tony Robbins.
Everybody tried to be somebody by putting on a show and saying fancy things.

Me? I just said, “Meow.”



I learned early on that the human heart has the capacity to love many people. I have often heard the mainstream argument that too many children means there is not enough love and attention to go around. Not so in my family. If anybody felt left out, it was only because they wouldn’t get their lazy carcass out of bed in time to get in on all the fun.

For some reason, most of us Jessop kids were night people. I have no idea why. Our father was a morning person. He wanted us up and busy in the mornings. “Mind over mattress, people!” he often said with a grin.

Most of us spent our childhood awake and alert and full of energy at nighttime. We often played hide and seek after dark. It was way more exciting tracking the enemy in the dark.

We were like the energizer bunny. We never stopped bouncing until we finally pinked out somewhere around one ‘o clock in the morning. The next morning invariably dawned sooner than unconsciousness expired, bringing with it the typical “drag meself out of bed” syndrome.

Father often said, “If you’re going to dance all night, you have to pay the fiddler.”

My brother Joe coined a famous line to illustrate the guilt battle of sluggish mornings. “Whenever I get up late,” he said wisely, “I feel like sneakin’ around the rest of the day. I hate that.”

One time I came up with a great idea. Father had called a work project the following morning. I was only too aware of my weakness of sleeping like the dead in the morning. I could not risk being absent for the project. I reasoned with my sister Becky that the only way to be absolutely sure we were up the next morning was to never go to bed. I talked her into joining me in staying awake. What an idea!

We raided the pantry that night for stay-awake snacks, and watched the hours slip by. We managed to stay awake until it was time to get up. Nothing short of dynamite could have awakened me after I finally succumbed to weariness.

Father was not impressed. Later that afternoon when I finally awoke and explained my motive behind my absence, he was still not impressed.

“What a solution, Maggie,” he chided. “Stay up all night so you can be up early the next morning? Now that’s not only un-smart. It’s downright dumb.”

I had to agree. I was famous that day for doing the dumbest thing ever. Sure seemed like a good idea at the time. I thought I was invincible. I had so much energy at night, I thought if I never put it to rest, I could keep going like the energizer bunny. Apparently not.

After the initial disappointment of my transgression wore off, Father often told the story as though he thought his kiddos were the funniest kids on the planet.

“I have GOT to be up tomorrow morning, so I’m going to STAY AWAKE all night!” he cried slapping his knee while the whole family, including me, laughed uproariously. “What an idea!” he exclaimed.

I learned early on that to stay alive in the fast lane, I had to be able to laugh at myself. There was no other way to get out of a predicament and get past embarrassment.

Father never let us kids stew in our juices too long. He brought things out into the open and helped us to face things squarely. He always forgave us for childish pranks.


Memoirs of Maggie Jessop coming in September 2019 on Amazon

My childhood felt free as a bird. Sometimes we may have been a little too free and were prone to mass participation in mud fights, water fights, and clod fights as opportunity permitted.

Jessop kids seemed to know no fear. Our dare-devil escapades on bikes, in swings, on roofs, in trees, on mountains, and in water holes would probably have given our parents a few heart attacks if they had seen it all. It seemed like we always had something to do and boredom was virtually unknown. Rarely did anyone fall through the cracks, but sometimes naughty behavior resulted in the loss of privilege.

I recall one instance when my brother Nathan and I got punished with the withdrawal of dessert for helping ourselves to the pantry one too many times. We skulked off together and discussed at length the unfair persecution we were suffering at the hands of our mother. We concluded that all the rest of our siblings were her favorites since they were chuffing their fat faces full of Betty Crocker chocolate cake and sticking out their tongues showing off the disgusting evidence.

Nate and I decided that since nobody loved us, we would teach everybody a lesson and run away. Oh, how they would suffer when they didn’t see us again in this life. We planned a heist of one loaf of bread and a quart jar of canned peaches for our subsistence and set off down the creek.

We hid behind a sand bank for a couple hours and polished off our food supply while watching our spoiled rotten siblings run around whooping like wild Indians. Occasionally, Mother Ruth stepped outside to check on things, but nobody even seemed to notice our absence. That was a serious insult to our juvenile pride. Our planned retribution was having no effect whatsoever.

Nate and I discussed things further. We reasoned there was a slight possibility the punishment had fit the crime. We had recently digested the Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn and could relate to the adventuresome idea of living on the edge. It seemed only right for us to pay for a small percentage of our crimes.

After another hour when loneliness began to set in, we analyzed the possibility that perhaps our mother loved us a little bit after all. We decided to give our family one more chance to treat us right, and we returned to the fold forthwith.


Autobiography by Maggie Jessop Jeffs
Coming soon on Amazon




From Maggie’s forthcoming book “WHERE MUCH IS GIVEN”

It was typical for my sisters and I clad in ruffles and lace to be found skipping down Main Street holding hands on our way to school singing songs in three part harmony at the top of our lungs.

Once in a while, Father joined us in our skipping jubilees. We all competed to see who could skip the fastest and highest. Because Father was never embarrassed to be seen clowning with his kiddos, we weren’t embarrassed either. Sometimes our brothers joined us, but since they were outnumbered, they preferred keeping a safe distance behind the overabundance of sisters.

Sometimes tourists drove through our community. I imagine we made a fascinating picture with our unplanned parades. It was not uncommon to see unfamiliar vehicles doing the turtle drive occupied by goggle-eyed gogglers hanging out the window with tongues and cameras waggling.

The strangers seemed to think we were strange, but they couldn’t see that their strangeness was even stranger to us.

Our parents and teachers warned us to not accept rides or gifts from strangers. They said the world did not like our family structures and were busy trying to find ways to attack us and break up our community. We were taught to keep our mouths shut and not offer information. It could harm our fathers for strangers to know they had multiple wives and more children than the public thought they should have.

I was a communicator by nature, and much too friendly for my own good. But I could most definitely see the wisdom of silence. Sometimes I blundered.

One day when I was about eight years old, a stranger knocked on our front door and I answered it. I snapped to attention to see an unfamiliar face. My immediate reaction was fear, but I quickly regained my composure and offered a cautious grin. The man was a vacuum salesman. He was tall and good-looking with a mustache. “Is your mother home?” he asked pleasantly.

Without hesitation, I replied, “Nope! Neither one of them are.”

Mr. Mustache and I stared at one another, he in mock surprise, and me in horror that I had just revealed a family secret which was actually no secret at all since we had never made any effort whatsoever to hide our family relationships. We held the stare, and finally he cracked. Shaking with laughter, he blurted, “Then you are going to be in double the trouble.”

I didn’t think it was that funny. But I laughed to insure him I was in charge of the situation. Soon the mothers came home and we bought a vacuum. Mr. Mustache was ecstatic, and life went on.

In those days I suspect vacuum salesmen who were brave enough to knock on doors in Short Creek became millionaires.

In households with many children, the most valued tool of all had to be a good vacuum. I never saw one outlast a family. Any salesman with half a brain could see that if he could overlook the silly rumors of violence and death he might risk by wandering among the infamous polygamists, he might discover a goldmine.

If he could mind his manners and not ask too many questions of silly little girls who accidentally spilled secrets that weren’t really secrets, he could return every six months and make another vacuum sale.


Coming soon on Amazon

From Maggie’s upcoming book “WHERE MUCH IS GIVEN“.

Born of Goodly Parents

I hit the Earth in May 1964, and it was big news.

What? You didn’t hear about it? Well, it was a great event for me.

I was born in a place called Utah, but it could have been Jupiter for how different my world was from mainstream America. The Father of all Creation chose me out of all the millions to arrive that beautiful spring day when I became the third child of my parents Fredrick Merril Jessop and Foneta Marie Cook.

Not only did I belong to my parents, my big brother Freddy and my elder sister Janice Marie, but I also belonged to a church and community. The church was the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The community was Short Creek, the name we call the twin towns that straddle the border technically known as Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona. Nestled beneath the watchful citadel of a giant red rock mountain called El Capitan, our community felt safe, familiar, and beloved.

It would probably be more accurate to say that my parents and siblings, my people, and my church and community belonged to me because I definitely took ownership of them all. I lived among the FLDS nearly fifty years. It was a rare, wonderful, old-fashioned kind of existence. I was both blessed and spoiled. As a child I had no idea what it was like to be hungry or homeless.

Though the homes and businesses, gardens and fields, and flocks and herds of our community were always in a state of progressive improvement, it was our Eden.

Our properties were protected under the umbrella of a legal trust called the United Effort Plan. Our community was built upon several land parcels that had been donated by our grandfathers and great-grandfathers for the benefit of those who adhere to the FLDS faith.

Our birthright as Mormon children came with strings attached. Ever since our church had been founded in 1830, persecution had followed us. Many times throughout Mormon history, the people had been driven from their homes by hostiles who misunderstood Mormonism and the people who call themselves Mormons. That was part of our birthright and our heritage.

I remember as a young child listening in wide-eyed concern to the stories of mobbing, plundering, and murdering of early day Mormons in the lifetimes of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and John Taylor in the 1800’s. I was even more concerned about persecution that had occurred less than twenty years previous, the infamous 1953 Raid when the state of Arizona backed by the mainstream LDS Church, the popular offshoot of the Mormons, had swooped in and arrested our fathers and taken away all of our mothers and children to Phoenix, Arizona.

My paternal grandmother Ida Johnson Jessop had been one of those mothers. A few years later, she died a premature death in her 40’s as a result of that raid.

My father had been one of the teen boys left behind because law officers were afraid the boys would give them trouble. After the forced evacuation, the boys went around to each home and performed their own brand of mischief. They retrieved baking bread from ovens, fed livestock, milked cows, harvested gardens, and tidied up the frenzy which evidenced the hurried exodus of their beloved families.

I recall as a small child gazing for long periods of time at pictures of the Raid trying to imagine what it must have been like to be suddenly uprooted from familiar surroundings by officers with guns and dragged away to the cold cruel unfriendly world.

I thought about my great grandfather Joseph Smith Jessop, who at the time of the ’53 Raid was a venerable stalwart in his nineties with piercing blue eyes and a long white beard. Great Grandpa was loved and respected by all who knew him. When the authorities with guns bristling surrounded the people, Grandpa Jessop stepped forward and said, “If it’s blood you want, take mine. I’m ready.”

He went on to state that the desert sand would drink his blood before he would give up his right to worship God as he wished in this land of America where many wars had been fought and won by honest men who had willingly given their lives for the sacred right of religious freedom.

Great Grandpa died shortly after the Raid of ‘53. It broke his heart to see the children taken away.

I could not fathom why people in the world hated us. I knew that most of mainstream America had a problem with our people because our fathers had more than one wife and our children had more than one mother. I could not understand why they called it a crime. Didn’t they realize what a benefit it was for us to have lots of brothers and sisters for friends? Why couldn’t they see that having more than one mother in the home was a great benefit to the children?

It terrified me to think I could be stolen from my parents. But life was sweet and safe. I kept my fears hidden underneath the hubbub of family life which encompassed a great deal of activity—school and gardens, laundry and sewing, babysitting and cooking, ice cream and baseball games, sunburned noses and perpetual blisters. Little did I know what further raiding and persecution that I with my people would yet experience.


“Where Much Is Given”

Coming soon on Amazon


I spent the last few weeks editing and updating my published book FULL of BEANS. I added a few stories and pictures, as well as improved the format. Since the subject matter of my beans book is highly controversial, naturally the book is not exactly popular. But it definitely gets read. My motive is not to make money on the book. I have spent more than $2,000 over the last two years to complete the project. Amazon pays me less than $4 for the eBook version, and about $3 for the print version. Since the book includes over 50 color photographs, the download and print costs are more significant.




Why do I do it? I love to write. I write about real things, things I know, things I have experienced, things I have learned. I write to better understand myself and the world I live in. I write from the perspective of a believer. Likely we can agree that 99% of all the information concerning the FLDS is negative, even extremely derogatory. I don’t mind sharing my honest testimony and experience because I believe there are a few people in the world who have the ability to look beyond the smokescreen. Perhaps they can appreciate truth from the viewpoint of a female believer who has decades of experience among the FLDS.

Please leave your review on Amazon and Goodreads. Think of this book as a piece of history. I think we can all agree how important it is to document history. Even if you don’t agree with my faith, perhaps you can find something positive about my writing. There are plenty of negative stories about people’s perception of what they consider bad experience. Isn’t it only fair to have at least one person’s positive perception? There will always be believers, and there will always be unbelievers. Many people make a big stir over giving everyone a chance to speak, yet when someone speaks up with an opposite viewpoint, suddenly that person is viewed as criminal. I find it interesting that when a woman stays true to her belief, others accuse her of being brainwashed and manipulated. When a woman dumps her faith and joins the majority, she is somehow viewed as courageous and independent. Doesn’t make much sense to me.

I realize that my views are diametrically opposed by all other authors with books and articles about my people. I personally know many of those authors. Some of us grew up together and had similar experiences, yet we have opposite opinions. Why? Perhaps we are looking through different lenses. Perhaps it’s because I recognize the value of experience. Perhaps I do not allow long-promised contradictions to define my faith or negatively affect my viewpoint. Perhaps others of my acquaintance have allowed long-promised experience to negatively affect their self-confidence and damage their self-respect. When people persist in using their energy to point out what they think is wrong with other people, it is an indication they are not at peace with themselves.

I find it interesting how some people see the monetary opportunity in telling stories of abuse and escape from the FLDS. You will even find that novelists have picked up on the scoop of beans. You can find several novels available for sale that use the media’s version of a religious setting to keep the negativity circulating against the FLDS. Crick Code, with a five star review rating is just one example. There isn’t much difference between the novels and the “personal memoirs” published by ex-FLDS. Scandalous novels satisfy those interested in sensationalism. Many people aren’t particularly interested in truth. They digest and approve of stories that agree with their preconceived notions.

There are millions of people in the world who have angry wild stories to tell about their spouse, father, mother, brother, sister, or anyone they consider an enemy. Why do stories from ex-FLDS become popular? Because of the identity of the people they oppose. If a woman in mainstream writes a book to “expose” her ex, most people wouldn’t give it the time of day. It’s too commonplace. But if you tell horror stories about the Prophet and plural marriage, then people sit up and take notice and join your vehemence. The book turns into a bestseller even though the author might have no discernible writing talent. Fascinating.

Do you thrive on scintillating secrets? Let me tell you one. Mormon faith does not allow revenge or retaliation against those who speak or act dishonestly. We leave judgment to God. People who slander their former friends and family know full well that those who stay true to their faith will not expose them or drag them to court for illegal defamation. You will never find FLDS people marching down streets holding signs advocating opinions against any other person or group. Dissenters feel safe in telling embellished stories out of context because they know the law will not hold them accountable. I guess they forgot that God will eventually serve justice.

Recently, a college professor in Utah told his class that he had met the female witness whose testimony was the deciding factor to put the Prophet Warren Jeffs behind bars. The witness admitted to the professor that she had lied under oath in court. It is now public knowledge. It is a sad day in America when people can publicly brag without consequence about their illegal action that incriminated an honorable man.

If people are going to write, maybe they should write about things they won’t be embarrassed about a hundred years from now. I seriously doubt the Good Lord is going to commend us for our negative opinions. We all know that every single human being has good experience in life and bad experience. That’s part of being human. You tell on yourself when you reveal what you remember. Do you predominately remember bad, or do you also remember good?

I would a million times rather remember good. The challenges in my life were good because they contributed to experience and character growth. That is why I write. I write to leave a legacy of faith for future generations. I don’t expect modern society to fully appreciate my books. I imagine my life and testimony will be more interesting to my great great grandchildren. As they pour over my ramblings I imagine I hear them say, “Great great Grandma Marguerite was such a…such a…Woman of Words.”

Nope, I don’t expect accolades until long after I am gone. Even then I don’t expect fame. See, the important thing is not what I think or what you think. The important thing is what God thinks. I really appreciate the peace He grants to me as I allow Him to work upon my mind and heart through experience in the continual quest for enlightenment and self-improvement. I don’t mind sharing with you the beauty of life as I see it.

I have been amazed at the reactions of a few people who have discovered my book FULL of BEANS. For some reason Amazon has neglected to publish several dozen positive reviews, but I sometimes get emails with reviews. I have noticed that those who particularly appreciate the story I tell about the Raid on the YFZ Ranch are people from other countries. Here in the United States, most people are free. If you are a typical member of mainstream society, you enjoy freedom. If you are a member of a religious group with unpopular faith and practice, you might experience the lack of complete freedom. All it takes to truly appreciate freedom is to lose it.

I thought I’d share with you three reviews from people who recognize the paradox discussed in FULL of BEANS.

From TR, Buenos Aires, South America

“I have read lots of books from ex-FLDS. I have read many reviews that say how brave and courageous women are for exposing the evil and crime of the men. I think it’s backwards. What is so brave and courageous about women telling their side of the story to a great big agreeable audience where they know they will get much sympathy and support? The men never even get a chance because everyone is against them. I think true courage is found in the author Maggie Jessop. She tells her story even though it is unpopular. Very few people will sympathize with her. That is brave. I believe her more than I believe the other women.”

From OS, Czech Republic

“I don’t think the author Maggie Jessop intended for her book to be a thriller, but I found her testimony of what happened in Texas to be just that. A polygamous Mormon community stalked by authorities after a fictitious call for help. Armed soldiers stormed into the community and took hundreds of children away from their mothers. While the children were held prisoners, they secretly called their parents and older siblings on hidden cell phones.

The testimony is all the better because the author is a woman who lived in the community and explains the attack on her faith. Thus she refutes the idea of ​​abused women and children. This incredible event is more like a novel set in a totalitarian state, not a country based on religious freedom. After reading, one asks, “Is it even possible that a man in the 21st century in the US has a chance to know the truth?”

If it wasn’t for this book by Maggie Jessop, the public would still live mystified by the sensational media reports. Remarkable are the testimonies of lawyers, which ultimately helped mothers win their children back. “What we did was bad, terribly bad,” says one of the officials involved in the crackdown.

I lived 22 years in Czechoslovakia when it was occupied by Russian communists. What happened to the FLDS at the YFZ Ranch resembles what happened in my country. Since then we have had 30 years of democracy. This would never happen in Czech Republic today. We know the price of freedom. Expression, faith, and opinion should be free. After reading this book I have the feeling that the US is losing it.”

ZJ, Perth, Australia

I approached ‘Full of Beans’ having read most all the accounts published by ex-FLDS members, yet with a desire to understand the mind of an FLDS believer from her own perspective. I was not disappointed, and was in fact very excited by what I learnt and how the topic was approached.

The way Maggie writes is a breath of fresh air! I could sense, from beginning to end, the fun she has with words as I read them – how refreshing! Knowing that Maggie was an English teacher, I find myself ever-so-slightly jealous of those students who were taught by her, as her passion for language and writing is so clear… a rare privilege to read.

For many, the notion that the FLDS religion has its faults is of no question. It is certainly unwise, however, to write off an entire belief system and culture as ‘all bad’. ‘Full of Beans’ introduces a welcome new perspective into the canon of FLDS commentary… anyone can acknowledge that it is unbalanced that until this time FLDS literature (meaning that which is accessible to mainstream society; not including that which circulates within the church) has been entirely negative. I was pleased to learn in this book of the elements of FLDS life that I had long suspected were worthy of respect… The deliberate approach taken to parenting and to relationships in general, built upon the expectation that one works consistently to improve oneself, but is focused on forgiving others their shortcomings, is quite inspiring. I am sure that, in this way, we could all learn a thing or two about character from the FLDS people.

I was very pleased to read Maggie’s perspectives in the chapter entitled ‘Marriage’. She does not try to sell the idea or practice of plural marriage to the reader, but points out the joys of approaching marriage the way her people does. Following the marriage structure ordained of God, with the man as benevolent leader and woman as help meet unto him, FLDS teachings seem to focus on mutual service — the husband serves his family in service of God, and the wife serves her husband and children in the same vain. Forgiveness and patience, even long-suffering are essential; and one gets the sense that each party participates for the joy and benefit of the other, rather than in selfishness.

I do not expect that every single FLDS member succeeds in living this way, but I can’t fault the design. This is a people that clearly appreciates the blessings incurred by a pure and humble approach to marriage far more than does our modern society, in which divorce is commonplace and married couples appear to spend much time tearing each other down with insults and dishonouring their own union. My very-feminist friend, after I asked her to read this chapter, confessed, “I understand what she’s saying… she’s kind of right in some ways…” I was shocked by her response, but suspect that Maggie’s style of writing, with its humour and occasional sarcasm, but clear and sensible objective, struck a chord in my friend.

While at times I wished that Maggie had included more anecdotal content about her growing up and living in the very thick of the FLDS (I suppose in order to connect more personally and make one feel as though one knows the author), it is clear that a personal account is not Maggie’s foremost purpose in writing ‘Full of Beans’. Many who read this book will already have known Maggie or known of her, if they were once of the FLDS people, and I suspect she writes with this in mind… her purpose seems not to fact-check stories told about her, or to tell stories about others, but to offer a rarely-highlighted perspective on FLDS life and philosophy. It is, at once, an entertaining account of certain experiences she has had, and an intellectual assessment of her own faith… fascinating to read, indeed. I look forward to whatever writing she will publish in the future, perhaps including more accounts of her own life and experience.

It is certainly true that Maggie approaches her writing differently than have ex-FLDS writers. One might expect, coming into ‘Full of Beans’, that the author will use the same writing form and structure to defend her faith as has been used by those who criticise it. I would encourage every reader to ease up on any ideas you have of what this book ‘should’ be — I wouldn’t say it is an autobiography, nor is it a work of apologetics; and Maggie’s sensible hesitation to ‘name names’ presents a character-driven narrative. What you will find is an honest examination of FLDS belief and life, and of life itself, from the perspective of one with rich experience and a strong desire to remain positive, optimistic, and faithful.

I thank Maggie for her honesty and boldness in sharing a perspective previously silenced and too-often marginalised. I recommend ‘Full of Beans’ to anyone willing to open their mind and accept that in all things there is nuance… not all widely-accepted ideas are true or right, and a prairie dress does not simply equal a down-trodden/brainwashed polygamist lady — there is just so much more beneath the surface than what the majority would have us believe.”

From Maggie’s forthcoming book…

I looked forward to starting first grade with the patience of a bumble bee caught in a Mason jar. My wiry little self fairly trembled with excitement over the prospect of book learning and living life to its fullest.

Since I couldn’t seem to wait, I started my own little school in our basement. Mother got us some little desks and chairs and a blackboard. I corralled my younger siblings into playing school with me. Of course I was the teacher. I made up assignments and made sure the kiddos completed them. We used a Monopoly game to play store and learned how to swindle each other. Memory games were our favorite. When my little batch of squirrelly squiggles got too squiggly, I marched them outside to the dirt bank for an invigorating clod fight.

We kept up the pastime of playing school during summers for years. I never got over the desire to teach school.

My first grade teacher turned out to be Mrs. Gardener, an elderly lady from Hurricane, a nearby community. I loved Mrs. G. She was not a member of our church, but she was patient and motherly.

The only fault I could see in Mrs. G was that she wore dresses with short sleeves. That was a serious problem because the dear soul had lost her youth, which meant her skin had lost its elasticity. When she wrote on the blackboard, her tired flesh hung down like dangling ropes waggling back and forth frantically.

It was a serious hindrance to my education because I couldn’t keep my eyes off Mrs. G’s arms. To my horrified gaze, the trembling mass looked like unbaked bread dough. My poor little sensitive heart mourned because my dear Mrs. Gardener’s flubbery arms were continually attracting giggles and smirks from my classmates.

I made up my mind then and there that would never happen to me. I resolved to NEVER allow my flesh to age into trembling bread dough, much less stoop to the indignity of using scanty wrappings to reveal the shameful mass to onlookers.

I loved school and everything to do with it. Sometimes I was found in deep and quiet contemplation of the world around me. My analytical reveries were typically interrupted suddenly since I also had the tendency to bubble over and burst into words and song and physical action whenever I felt like it.

I imagine I was somewhat of a trial to my teachers, but they seemed to accept the fact that I was a square peg and just couldn’t fit in a round hole. I learned to use words and conversation to my advantage and became skilled in the art of communication. Sometimes my teachers classified my intelligent expressions as sass. I suspect they may have been correct on one or two occasions.


Coming soon on Amazon

I have never won a beauty contest, nor have I ever entered one. But hey! I figured Belinda, my truck, could win. She’s mighty pretty, especially when she reflects the sunset.

I decided to enter a photo contest offered by Women in Trucking, a website that supports and promotes female truck drivers. With the demand for drivers at an all-time high, there are simply not enough menfolk to meet it. Women to the rescue!

This is the annual photo contest for Women in Trucking. This years theme is #STEERING TOWARD DIVERSITY. I thought just perhaps I could win this contest because I might be the diversest truck driver that ever hit the trucking industry.

This is the photo I entered. Go to the site and VOTE! Your country depends on it.

Scroll down to the “VOTE NOW” photo contest button. Scroll through the entries and look for the lady in the lavender dress.

HINT: She is the only one wearing a dress.

This contest has ended. Who won?

Pretty sure I won. There were 121 photos entered, and I received the 122nd honorable mention. Very cool!

It was kinda fun to enter a contest. It was good for me to make myself do something awkward. I’ve never been a fan of competition. I enjoy the accomplishments of others and never had a desire to step on or over people to reach a pedestal. I have always believed that the only competition I should be engaged in is to see if I can do more for my neighbor than he or she can do for me. I guess that character trait was born into me and is part of Mormon culture. Thanks for voting!

I drive a semi-truck many hours of most days. Sometimes the music fills my head and I write songs. A couple weeks ago, this song came to mind.

The Lovely of You

Dedicated to the memory of my eight beautiful children who are grown and flown

by Maggie June 2019

They say a trucker’s life is lonely, endless hours and days alone;

But I’ve got something better than radio; by end of day, time has flown.

Mile after mile, you’re on my mind; no need for coffee, no time for the blues;

Hour by hour I replay and rewind the lovely of you.

I see the dazzling lights of cities, the glamour of poetic ode;

I’ve been to the Falls of Niagara, and driven the Golden Gate Road;

I drive the sunset with scarlet and sapphire hues,

But I’m always aware than nothing compares

To the lovely of you.

Mile after mile, you’re on my mind; no need for coffee, no time for the blues;

Hour by hour I replay and rewind the lovely of you.

I drive the wailing desert wind storms and through the lush mountain pines;

Through daylight and on into darkness, in rain and snow, I drive the lines;

Time has no meaning; each day is exciting and new;

Awake or asleep, my dreams still repeat

The lovely of you.

Mile after mile, you’re on my mind; no need for coffee, no time for the blues;

Hour by hour I replay and rewind the lovely of you.

Lovely, lovely, lovely,

Lovely, lovely, lovely,

Oh, I’m always aware than nothing compares to the lovely of you.

Awake or asleep, my dreams still repeat the lovely of you;

The lovely of you.

The next day I was driving along, and the sunrise inspired a tune to go with the lyrics. I will just have to get myself a guitar and a recording studio to document my songs for future generations. Sounds like my next project.


Live load, tandem axle, air brakes, halogen fluid? Huh? It was Greek to me.

Ever had a blonde moment? C’mon, admit it. Even if your hair is dark black and you are a veteran male truck driver with eleven million miles and 78 years of experience, you might recall waaaay back when you had a blonde moment.

The internet flaunts quite a number of trucker blonde moments. Swift drivers are the butt of the largest percentage of jokes. After some research, I determined that the reason Swift has got a reputation for so many rookie drivers let loose on the road is because Swift has by far the most trucks with the most drivers out there. The giant company has somewhere around 20,000 trucks, give or take a few thousand, so the law of averages dictates that you will find more Swift blonde moments than any other.

Of course training requirements, which varies significantly from company to company, affect how prepared new drivers are to meet the demands of the Road. Due to insurance restrictions, many companies won’t accept new drivers until they’ve had 12-24 months experience. Naturally, those drivers might have fewer blonde episodes.

Hats off to the companies who accept new drivers and train them well. If it weren’t for them, us newbie, rookie, blondies wouldn’t have a chance.

The thing is truck drivers are in such high demand everywhere, the industry has no choice but to grant some leniency to new drivers. If it weren’t for truck drivers, you wouldn’t be eating breakfast this morning. Your daily visit to Starbucks would find them out of your favorite latte, and by the time your car needs refueling, you’d find gas prices had just doubled; that is, if you can find a gas station with fuel.

The demand for CDL drivers seems to be growing faster than the supply. I have much empathy for those who brave the Road and endure the first six months of hard knocks, sometimes literal, that inevitably attend the learning curve. I don’t laugh at Swift drivers. I don’t laugh at any driver. It takes more than most non-CDL drivers realize to learn to drive a Big Rig.

Now that I’ve had 28 months experience, things come much more naturally, and I absolutely enjoy driving. But I am always AWARE to BEWARE of complacency. Getting too comfy precedes accidents.

I recently read a statistic which stated that every 16 minutes, an accident occurs somewhere in the US involving a semi-truck. Many times truckers are at fault, and many times, they are not. You can’t imagine how many times little cars cut in front of a semi and then slow down causing the truck driver to hit the brakes. I imagine many car drivers are unaware that a truck with a loaded trailer takes much longer to slow down safely. Often, even when a truck driver has the lesser fault in an incident, the CDL driver takes the biggest legal hit.

Now that I have learned what it takes to get into the profession, the long hours, and the risks involved, my respect for truck drivers has grown immensely. Knowledge should increase awareness and appreciation.

When you gulp down your Big Mac and coke, thank a driver. When you streak your Corvette into a gas station for a refill, thank a driver. When you plant your trees and flowers in your grandiose back yard, thank a driver. When your friends and family gather for barbecued burgers and a bucket of booze, thank a driver. Everything you eat, drink, wear, or use in your home, yard, or business came from a truck. Before you dish out Scotch blessings to a truck driver who slowed your commute or obstructed your view, pause and count to ten. Then count your blessings. The Good Lord provided them, and they were delivered by a truck driver.

Have I had blonde moments? Huh? What did you say? I CAN’T HEAR YOU! Okaaaaay. Well…yeeees…I’ve had a few blonde moments, maybe a couple. …Okay, so a couple hundred.

It wasn’t the most natural thing in the world for me to learn to drive a semi-truck. Naturally, I had to work hard and long and endure a lot of razzing to get to this point. The Swift drivers that people laugh at? That was me. I’ve never driven for Swift, but I was as rookie as any of them, probably more so. If there was an award for the blondest driver, I think I’d win.

Since most of my life I have been involved in professions in which I was skilled and comfortable, the vulnerability of a strange new one hit me like a ton of brick. I was too dang stubborn to give up. I remember how humiliated I felt the first day in truck driving class January 2017 when I found out I was blonde. I had never been blonde before. In fact, I was the one who usually teased the blinky creatures.

Justice. Day of Judgment. I was now the newest blinky creature. Time to find out how it feels. I had to make a decision. Would I be blonde like Marilyn Monroe? Or would I be blonde like Einstein? I chose Einstein. At least I think that way in my own brain. However I appear to others makes no never mind to me.

Now about those blonde moments…Since it’s important that Einstein is able to laugh at herself, I will share…

When I first started driving solo about the six month mark, I chose a refrigerated van company. I liked the idea of delivering food to the country. It was like I was Mother Maggie and I was fixin’ dinner for all the kiddos in the nation. Children are my favorite people!

I drove to the designated address somewhere in Ohio to pick up a load of seafood. The girl in the office gave me a door and told me to back in and check with the loading manager. I spent thirty minutes backing in. My driving instructor had pounded into my head the importance of G.O.A.L (get out and look.) I had to get it just right.

My most recent profession before CDL class had been designing and manufacturing picky nicky picture perfect embroidered silk pillows and draperies for high-end homes. A quarter inch made a huge difference. When I backed in my truck and I wasn’t exactly centered, I kept trying. Gotta get within that quarter inch mark.

After so many forwards and backwards, I finally got it. Upon embarking my truck, I noticed a couple muscular dock fellows watching me with arms folded across broad chests. There’s something about a gawking dude standing with the arm folding thing accompanied by an all-knowing smirk that speaks a thousand words. And when you get two of those wolf-like creatures together, you can only imagine I felt like a rabbit. But I’m pretty good at pretending to be smart as anyone, and I enjoy good humor. I figured the two men meant no harm with their teasing.

I walked up to the first macho man and gave him my order number. He looked me up and down as though I was wearing a ballgown when it was just a simple prairie dress. “Been truckin’ long?” he asked dryly.

“Six months!” I replied proudly ignoring the sarcasm.

“You doing a live load?” he asked.

“Uh…l-l-live load?” I stuttered. “Um…my order says seafood.”

Buster’s wolfish grin spread as he asked, “You got your trailer pre-cooled to minus ten? We can’t load unless its down to temp.”

“Yes,” I replied confidently, “It’s ready as ordered.”

Buster exchanged a knowing look with his leering partner in crime. Turning to me with one eyebrow quirked, he drawled with mock sincerity, “Bubba, let’s get this lovely lady’s live load loaded!”

Oh, great. Buster and Bubba doing tongue twisters at my expense, just my luck. But I’m no prude. I could enjoy the humor.

However, I was seriously distracted with a horrible thought. It just didn’t add up. Seafood? Minus ten degrees? Live load?

I schooled my perplexity into the most mature and comprehending expression I could muster and asked, “So…what’s with the live load? You mean the fish are alive?”

Bubba and Buster looked at each other over the top of my head and nodded solemnly.

“B-b-but,” I protested. “If it’s down to minus ten, the fish will die!”

The two scalawags appeared to be holding back a great deal of emotion as they looked at each other in mock horror. “That’s right!” Bubba moaned over the top of a giant guffaw. “That’s why you have to drive really fast to get to San Antonio in time before the fish perish.”

“Wait a minute…” I sputtered. “I can’t risk losing a load. What the heck?”

“Don’t worry, mam,” Bubba squeaked as he shook with hiccuping laughter. “If you need to, you can stop in Arkansas and do mouth to mouth resuscitation.”

“This must be an inside joke,” I muttered laughing. “Tell you what, Cheech and Chong. You get this lovely lady’s live load loaded PRONTO while I go find somebody with brains who speaks English.”

I escaped with as much dignity as possible and returned to the office where I quizzed down the personnel to find out EXACTLY what is meant by “live load.” Good grief. We can’t have the fishies dying on us. And no, I’ll forgo mouth to mouth with the slimy critters. I got my vocabulary lesson for that day. Live load? They sure didn’t teach us that in truck driving class. Once again, I added a term and its definition to my truck driving glossary.

Live Load: When Einstein does not drop her trailer, but waits around FOREVER for Cheech and Chong to load her trailer with extremely dead, frozen solid seafood. Hopefully, said driver will still be ALIVE when the clowns are finished clowning.

Blonde moments? Yeah, I’ve had a couple.

From Search for the Highroad, a tale of high adventure

Coming soon on Amazon

I recall hearing a story years ago that made a big impression. I don’t remember the name of the author or the name of the man in the story, so I will tell the story as I remember it.

There was a certain young man whose name was Michael. When but a young man of fourteen years of age, he was overcome by a blizzard in Michigan. Before his parents discovered him, he was frostbitten so badly that he had to undergo amputation of his limbs. His right leg was cut off almost to his hip; his left leg above the knee; his right arm was amputated as well as his left hand.

Can you guess the consequences? He went to the Board of County Commissioners and asked for a loan to educate himself, with the promise that he would pay back every cent he borrowed. This he did in a few short years. During World War I, Michael became president of one of the largest banks in St. Paul, but he left his position and went to Europe to help build up the soldiers’ morale.

Upon one occasion in London, he lectured to wounded, discouraged soldiers, who were brought to the hotel in wheelchairs. They were placed in the lobby, and Michael stood on the upper floor.


As he began to speak, he surprised the disheartened men by minimizing their wounded condition, showing no sympathy for their loss of an eye, an arm, or a leg. Michael refused to listen to their complaints. His apparently unsympathetic nature angered the wounded men so much that they began to jeer at him as he continued speaking. Then Michael began walking down the steps, still reminding them how fortunate they were. They became furious as he commented further. Finally he sat down and removed his right leg. This surprised the men and reduced their anger somewhat, but still they resented his suggestion that they were well off. When he took off his left leg, there was instantaneous silence. Before he arrived at the bottom of the steps, he removed his right arm, and a left hand. There he sat just a stump of a body.

Did his losses thwart his usefulness? No, indeed. Besides being bank president, he was the father of five children. His faith in himself which was founded and bolstered by his faith in God, showed others, whether physically wounded or mentally challenged, how to triumph over obstacles. He proved his determination to do his best in spite of severe handicap.

Do we complain over a bruise or a scratch and use them as excuses to avoid responsibility? Do we excuse ourselves from being the best kind of us by dwelling on self-pity for real or imaginary wounds? Do we withdraw in discouragement and give up when things just seem too great an obstacle?

How determined am I? How determined are you? What’s my excuse for lack of initiative, lack of accomplishment, lack of contentment and happiness? What’s your excuse?

I don’t know why they say “never give UP”. Up is a great word. It brings to mind progress and improvement. Why don’t they say, “Never give down!”

Mistakes of the Past, Worry of the Future

All can be solved by spending the Present Moment in Gratitude and ACTION!

A ship building company had this statement in its advertisement: “All of our timber comes from the north side of the mountain.”

Why the north side? What does that have to do with timber?

After investigation, we find that the best timber grows on the north side of the mountain because of the rigors of Mother Nature.

On the north side, the snow is deeper and the cold is colder. The winds are stiffer, and the warmth is not so warm and comfortable as it is on the south side of the mountain. The very harshness of the weather is a contributing factor to the toughness of the timber.

Human character is not much different from timber. How often the best in character grows on the “north side of the mountain”.

We may grumble and complain about our hardships and difficulties, yet those very challenges help us to grow in understanding and ability. Each can look at his own life and see that the times when he made the greatest personal progress was probably when life had him on

“The North Side of the Mountain.”

A truck driver in a prairie dress?

What’s this world coming to?

The way I am perceived and received as a female trucker goes from one extreme to the other. Some people rave over a lady in a dress driving a truck, but others look me up and down and side to side as though they are considering throwing a sack over my head and hauling me to the nearest insane asylum. I find it rather comical to see people’s reactions. I never lose sleep over other people’s opinions or perceptions. I enjoy what I do, and I dress to please myself.

Recently I drove to a large manufacturer in Texas to unload. I spent a few minutes jumping in and out of my truck to open trailer doors, back into a dock, and unhook my trailer.

As I walked into the receiving office, I noticed a group of warehouse workers sitting at a lunch table eyeing me. Judging by the awed expression of one particular Hispanic lady, I wasn’t sure if she was horrified or fascinated with my presence. I made a point to nod and smile.

The pretty woman, maybe mid-thirties, approached me shyly and asked my name. Her eyes were red-rimmed and suspiciously moist. I immediately felt compassion for her as it seemed whatever life was dishing out to her was enormous. I have become such a cupcake in my young age. I can hardly bear to see others suffer.

I asked the woman’s name and she replied, “Maria.”

“Are you having a nice day, Maria?” I asked.

The young woman stared at me with a sparkle behind her tears and then stated in broken English. “I sit here all sad. I cry with tears in my eyes, and I say, ‘God, please help me. I am sad and lonely. I hate my job and everybody is mean to me. I don’t make no money, and I need a new life. God, what shall I do?’ Then you drive up in your beeg beeg truck. You jump out in your pretty dress and I see you are smart and happy and I say, ‘Thank you, God! Maria will learn to drive a truck.'”

Maria asked how she could get started in trucking. We exchanged phone numbers and I promised to send her some information. After I left the warehouse, I quickly researched a local driving school and sent her contacts for companies that offer paid training and orientation. I was thrilled to be an encouragement to Maria that day in taking a step towards greater independence and financial stability. She promised to keep me updated on her progress.

If any women out there think they just aren’t capable enough, smart enough, or man enough to operate heavy equipment safely, all you have to do is look at Maggie. If she can do it, anyone can. Maggie is the most unlikely truck driver the country has ever seen.

I realize trucking is not for everyone. I would never have taken on such a task when I was a young mother with eight children.

Many middle-aged women are discovering the benefits of a truck driving career. Not only does trucking offer higher income than typical lady wages, but also provides a woman with the opportunity to learn something terrifying that requires her to go beyond typical female boundaries.

Learning new and challenging skills provides a feeling of accomplishment which can result in greater self-confidence. Females are typically more cautious and detail-oriented than males. Some male trucking bosses I have met have informed me that they are actually beginning to prefer female drivers because they’re not as reckless or hell bent on speed like many male super truckers are.

It is obvious there is a huge demand for truck drivers in our nation. Everywhere you go, you see ads for CDL drivers offering them the moon and the stars. It’s rather amazing how much companies have to compete. The benefits and bonuses they offer to engage drivers is often substantial.

Approximately 6% of truck drivers in the United States are female. That percentage is expected to increase as the demand grows and more women become aware of the benefits of driving as an alternative to office and warehouse jobs or food and hospitality employment.

For me, the main benefit of trucking, besides tripling my income, is the independence I enjoy. Although I currently work as a company driver, I have almost as much freedom as if I was a business owner. I have a great boss who isn’t a micro-manager, and I can manage my own time and environment. I don’t have to deal with those company politics so often found in office and warehouse jobs. I face new adventure every day, and the high-risk factor should keep me humble.

The only way I can truly appreciate trucking is because it allows me to work like a man but still be a lady. I don’t have to sacrifice modesty or dignity by driving a Big Rig. I especially love driving a truck because it makes me look small.

It isn’t exactly easy for a lady to get started in trucking. When I went to truck driving school in January 2017, it was very un-smooth. I was the only female in a class of six men, and the head teacher was a male chauvinist. By the fourth day of class, he hauled me in to HR and requested they dismiss me.

“This woman does not have the ability to be a truck driver,” he announced. “She is not grasping the material, and I suggest she find another industry. In my thirty years of teaching drivers, I have never met one who asks so many questions.”

I was rather shocked at his assessment. I pointed out to the HR manager that all my assignments were in the high 90’s and they had no justification to dismiss me. I informed them I would not give up or allow them to get rid of me. I insisted the male teacher stop judging my driving ability by the dress I wore. When I asked to speak to the owner, things changed. Bingo! The owner was a female. She called off the dogs and insisted they give me a chance.

I had to fight every step of the way on my journey to become an independent driver. I endured much teasing and taunting and even downright disgust from many individuals. Some of it was warranted. It was absolutely true that I was a fish out of water. I was scrambling to learn an entirely new industry with a foreign vocabulary and scary monster equipment. I was a lady whose former experience with heavy machinery had amounted to an industrial sewing machine. I was a Blondie trying to survive in a world of Johnny Bravos.

Several people said that they were proud of me for trying, but added their opinion that I could NOT be a truck driver and wear a dress. Several predicted I would be taken advantage of and would never be safe on the road. One female battleaxe truck driver friend warned me, “Maggie, you HAVE to learn to shout the “F” word! You gotta learn to flip birds all day or else all the F’n men out there will trample you into the ground.”

I replied, “I am convinced I can get further, faster, if I behave like a lady.”

That philosophy has proven to be true. I have never had serious trouble during the last two years of commercial driving. I enjoy respect from others on the road, at shippers, and in truck stops. The very fact that I wear a dress protects me. Almost all the male truckers I meet are quiet and respectful, at least they are in my presence. I have been treated better by male truck drivers than I have by business office professionals.

If, like Maria, you find yourself sad or lonely or bored, if you struggle to make ends meet, or you feel you can’t stand company politics another second, consider driving a truck, solo. After a short period of training and team driving, you can get a beautiful truck all to yourself. It’s like having your own personal Tiny House that goes with you everywhere. You can decorate how you please!

You can be a company driver or eventually become an owner operator with your very own custom fluorescent pink tractor. You can keep your truck spotless or let it pile up with pizza crusts and McDonald’s sacks, you decide.

You can still do your daily exercises, eat healthy out of your truck fridge, keep up on the news, and spend mandatory rest breaks stretched out on your memory foam mattress, comfy as home.

Sometimes the best employment in life is solitaire! You can keep to yourself when you feel like it. Or if you get lonesome, you can visit every truck stop on the interstate and BS with a thousand other truckers. Navigating through rush hour isn’t really so bad. You are bigger than all the twinkie little cars so they usually stay the heck out of your way. You keep the country supplied with everything. You are Mama Trucker and you feed the nation. You are Queen of the Road.

I absolutely respect and appreciate good men, and I support male leadership. I am absolutely NOT a feminist. But I think strong women who aren’t afraid to do whatever it takes to improve their circumstances and never give up are to be commended. A positive dynamic woman is no threat to good men. I applaud good men with honest principles, and I applaud the same in women.

From Search for the Highroad

Publishing soon

Date: Sometime last year

Place: Somewhere on I-80 near Chicago

To: Brian Barlow, B&M Services, Location Update

Long night last night. Didn’t leave the shipper until 2:00 AM.

Later… I was driving along observing all the rules and keeping all the laws (of course), and this unexpected mountain came along and plopped itself on the horizon. My worst fear came to pass, and my brakes went out on a fully loaded trailer, and I went hurtling down the mountain.

As the scenery flashed by, I noticed a large group of veteran truck drivers all gaping at me with their teeth in their mouth. Strangely, some of them did not have teeth. That proved to be my undoing because the sight of toothless truck drivers was rather unnerving because I remembered the dentist telling me last week how important it is to get a check-up every six months.

The steering wheel suddenly morphed into a giant Ferris wheel proving most difficult to grasp. However, I did manage to keep one hand on the wheel while using the other hand to push the flying hair out of my eyes so I could see more clearly. But when I looked again, the gaping men had turned into the rocks of Stonehenge. The stones didn’t have teeth either. Weird.

Luckily, I was able to steer between two of the giant landmarks with only a 3″ scratch along the entire 75 feet of my truck and trailer menagerie. And me and Remington, (he’s my pet goldfish); we just kept on bouncing down that mountain. I slipped him into the radiator for safe keeping.

There were no speed limit signs on the mountain, and it was a serious crisis! I continued to hold on tight while navigating crazily through the rocks, narrowly missing the pigeons and turtles and other sea faring reptiles. In spite of my breath holding and teeth gritting and eye scrunching, I safely careened around a curve, and jolted up the other side of the mountain, and that 80,000 pound bucket of bolts just kept on going.

My GPS kept hollering obscenities at me, but could I help the situation? No, I could not. We plunged up the other side of the next mountain and hurtled over the next ridge. I feared for Remington’s safety getting jostled like that.

Finally, as a last ditch effort, I remembered my air brakes which I engaged by punching a large purple button on my CB mike which resulted in a gigantic pink parachute contraption shooting out from the back of the trailer. However, the parachute proved to be far too flimsy for the velocity, probably because it was just so…so…pink.

To my great alarm, the parachute was soon shredded by the tornado-like activity swirling all around me. I noticed I was being thoroughly scrutinized by a snooping satellite which grinned menacingly from the stratosphere above as the pink parachute streamers billowed behind us shouting, “Look at me, everybody!” The satellite did have teeth.

I wondered where the cops were hiding, as well as the game wardens since the last of the red speckled turtle species were in serious danger of being smashed as we continued to bounce along. I also wondered why in the heck Volvo doesn’t do a better job on their parachutes since they are supposed to be such a high-fallutin’ establishment.

We continued to hurtle, and I saw all nine, plus two, which makes twelve, of my lives flash by in Technicolor as we came to a screeching halt just before going off a seventy-six foot cliff. I scrambled out of my truck with only three broken legs and four bruised cheeks and ran around surveying the damage.

To my great dismay, I found that every single tire on both truck and trailer was ripped to shreds with trails of burnt rubber streaking far behind into the horizon as though the truck had been dipped into an ink bottle the size of New Mexico. That made no sense at all since I was in Illinois.

My entire livelihood, my lovely Volvo Bernice, and my best trailer 1021 (best since it was my only trailer) teetered on the edge of the mountain like a giant see-saw.

I watched in horrified fascination as both truck and trailer, hinged at the king pin, sawed up and down like the motion of a colossal violin bow, creating the same haunting scratchy noise as one might imagine played by Paul Bunyan on his giant fiddle.

Frantically, I ran to the back of the trailer, grabbed the fender, dug my heels into the rocks, and held on with all my might. But alas, in spite of my heroic efforts, both Bernice and 1025 hurtled down Mount Whatsit making a mighty splash into Lake Michigan just one inch from Chicago on the map.

The first thing I thought was, “Uh oh, Brian isn’t going to like this.”

The second thing I thought was, “Cool! I still have teeth.”

Then I woke up.

When I reported this incident to my boss Brian, he replied dryly, “Well, at least you woke up.”

Man, the nightmares I endure trying to be a truck driver and keep the nice equipment nice.

PS. Bernice was the name of the truck I drove before I got Belinda. Bernice didn’t actually get damaged, well…not much, anyway, either by my driving or my nightmares. Bernice went the way of all good trucks and is now resting peacefully in the truck yard of all nice, useful, over-the-hill trucks. May I never go there myself.

PS. PS. Remington is okay.

From Search for the Highroad

Publishing soon

Why are some people never happy?

Since I am a human being, I have experienced emotion. I know happy; I know sad, and I know everything in between.

From what I have gleaned out of life so far, I can say with certainty that the biggest reason a person is unhappy is the direct result of continually pointing the finger and looking for fault in others. They might even be forever searching for error in that rascal in the mirror.

Of course it is a good thing to look within ourselves to see how to improve, but must we be ever complaining against ourselves and others?

Life has taught me an important truth. It isn’t what I can find wrong with a person, an event, or a concept that causes me discontent. The issue is when I allow my opinions about a person, an event, or a concept to steal my focus and rule my emotions.

If I allow outside stimuli to control my emotions, I am weak. Even if I allow my inside emotions to control my emotions, I am weak. Some people feel big and strong and mighty when they throw a fit, scream and yell, or shout profanity to express their disagreement or displeasure. Does it really solve the problem? I have heard many people make a big stir and then claim they feel better from their outburst. I can’t help wonder if they are being honest with themselves. When you allow your emotions to control your behavior, does it actually make you a stronger person?

Years ago I discovered that I was too often sad and unhappy. I began to look deep and found that too often, I was allowing other people’s words and actions to control my life. It wasn’t that other people were actually doing bad things or treating me badly on purpose. They were doing the best they could just like I thought I was. So why was I unhappy, and what could I do about the situation?

Someone I highly respected had enough courage to tell me the truth. He said that my unhappiness was not due to the issues I found in myself and others. My real problem was that I did not have a strong enough testimony of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. At first I was offended? What?!! Me? No testimony of Jesus Christ? I thought I believed in Him as the foundation of my very life.

My friend advised me to read again the New Testament, particularly the four Gospels, with the particular focus to get to know Jesus Christ for real. I took the first step by humbling myself enough to take his advice. I read again Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John to better learn who it is I believe in. What did He believe, and what did He teach? How did He behave? How did he speak? How did He feel about people and situations?

That was a turning point in my life. It was as though I had been blind, and now I could see. I had no idea I had been so shackled by selfishness. There was nothing, not one word, not one action, nothing selfish to be found in the life and works of Jesus Christ.

After that great awareness came upon me, I began to live the rest of my life. Easier said than done. It takes a constant effort to discover oneself. It takes learning here a little, there a little, line upon line, precept upon precept. It takes a heap of living to learn to control one’s own thoughts, feelings, and emotions. The biggest challenge I ever found was refraining from reacting negatively to the unkindness of others.

There is nothing quite so frustrating and infuriating about People Police, the name I call the group of folks who might be way too busy when you need a hand, but always make themselves available to point out what’s wrong with everyone and everything.

So often, people police overlook the good part of what others do or say and instantly zoom in on what they think is the bad part. Some people have no sense of humor and cannot take a joke. Some aren’t happy unless they’re unhappy. I guess some people feel smarter and bigger and more important when they identify what’s wrong with everyone else.

Ah hah! Caught myself. I think that’s exactly what I’m doing right this minute. I’m judging others for judging me. Tut, tut, MaGee. Vicious cycle, ain’t it. Grandpa Rich used to say, “There’s two kinds of people who won’t make it to heaven–the criticizers, and the criticizers of the criticizers.”

I believe him. I better watch my step. I find that in order to maintain peace within my heart, I must not concern myself too much with other people’s opinions–even those of my friends. In my present endeavor of blogging, perhaps I would be more bothered by the people police if my motive for writing publicly was to obtain public favor. Truth is I write to please myself. It doesn’t matter if a thousand people read my thoughts or absolutely no one but myself.

That doesn’t mean I can’t learn from others. I am happy to hear constructive ideas. But too often, people just want to blab their opinions and pick a fight. Call me a wimp, doesn’t matter. I don’t fight–at least not by way of public debate. I simply turn off comments and write. Sometimes I succumb to temptation and retort since I am a communicator by nature. But I never like myself when I join a debate. Most people think it’s healthy to debate and try to best others in verbal wars. My conscience says it’s not for me. Trouble is I can usually win a verbal war, but I never feel like a winner. I find no satisfaction in belittling others or stomping on wounded pride to get to the top of the Uppity Ladder. I leave debate to CNN and competition to the NFL.

I love to write. I write to please the good feeling inside. I write to better understand myself and the world I live in. I write to encourage others and generate smiles. I learn day by day. Something I wrote about last week might change this week because I learned something new since then. If we make snapshot judgments and hold them against others, we make someone an offender for a word. From then on, we remember that error, that judgment, as though it was the deciding factor of the whole person.

Makes me grimace when I hear people blabbing about other people’s sins and weaknesses from months and years and decades ago. Why do people persist in finding bad in others and what on earth do they find exhilarating about repeating it to others? Why would someone want to resurrect some hurt or error from long ago? What if the offender had long since repented of the offense? Even if someone did something really stupid just yesterday, why that was a whole entire twenty-four hours ago, for crying out loud!

My conscience would never allow me to hold a grudge. Seems awfully counterproductive to personal growth. My conscience calls the shots, and she is bigger than I am. Smarter too. When she says, “Go”, I go. When she hollers “Stop!” I stop. When she commands, “Jump”, I ask, “How high?” That conscience of mine is so dang bossy. She controls me, and I let her.

I have learned the wisdom of withholding judgment. Even when I hear something someone said or did that seems pretty dumb, I avoid setting it in stone in my mind. Chances are that person will repent of his oversight by tomorrow. He (or she) sure doesn’t need me setting myself up as judge over them.

If I was worried about everybody’s opinions, I’d be spaghetti. If I stress over how my fellow human beaners perceive me, I would hide under my rug and never come out. Wait. I don’t have a rug big enough to hide under. I would hide under my truck and never dare do anything. I would never LEARN anything. And if I hide under Belinda, sure as shootin’, somebody else would come along and take over my truck, feed Remington to the seagulls, drive off, and run over me.

When I feel like singing and want to share the good cheer with others, and all someone can do is find a goat raisin in my bowl of oatmeal, I think of my sister Jane. She was always so funny with her wisecracks when we were kids. She could smart off without cracking a smile. I never could do that. My cheesy grin always escaped me. When people got too opinionated, my little sis used to say dryly, “When I want your opinion, I’ll squish your head.”

I know. It’s rather uncouth. Us kids that grew up FLDS should have learned better manners. We were certainly taught good manners. But we were also taught the importance of a sense of humor. We learned the necessity of backbone. We had to find courage to try new things and face the impossible. We were NEVER popular with the public. Unpopularity is nothing new. If I was popular I’d wonder what was wrong with me. If others gang up against me, doesn’t matter. Whether I’m all alone or surrounded by ten thousand like-minded people, I still have the same responsibility to think good, speak good, and act good.

I know there are many issues in the world, in our country, in our cities, towns, and communities. Many find issues in their families and with each other. So many people are so focused on the faults they find in their neighbors, that they forget to tend themselves. Life is actually so very simple. It is easy to find joy and contentment when we look within and start with yours truly. This is my SOLUTION for all the issues in the world.

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.

Let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be;

With God as our Father, brothers all are we;

Let me walk with my brother in perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me; let this be the moment now;

With every step I take, let this be my silent vow,

To take each moment, and live each moment in peace eternally;

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.