Holy Cow!

I had no idea that Tony Robbins has been listening to Maggie’s philosophy. Imagine that. Seems Tony and I have much in common and share similar wave lengths. The only difference between me and Tony (besides the language) is that his philosophy is worth 500 million. My philosophy? It buys lunch…if I pay for it.

Well…there is another difference between me and Tony. If Tony calls out a person wallowing in self-pity and that person throws a fit, Tony can take his six foot, seven inch, 265 pounds of solid muscle self and loom over the terrified cream puff and intimidate the heck out of the poor whiner.

Me? If I call out a person wallowing in self-pity, and that person throws a fit, I can take my five foot, three inch, one hundred-and-never-mind self and leap into my Volvo truck with a loaded trailer that weighs 80,000 pounds and I can run over the poor wretch.

Way to go, Tony! Way to go, Maggie! This is a free country and this is free speech.

No worries. I’m just mouthing off. Of course I would never run over anybody on purpose, either literally or theoretically. When I search my heart, I find a greater emotion than the one which enjoys teasing the complainers. That greater emotion is love. I have had enough experience over the decades to convince me that God is Love. I would very much like to be like Him.

It seems like most everyone is following someone. Human beings are a lot like sheep. Most of us blindly follow the majority.

Experience has taught me a few things. As I traverse the land observing myriads of sights and sounds, the cautious side of my brain automatically throws up a red flag when I see a crowd following a particular person or a certain philosophy whether it’s the latest health food craze, a religious jubilee, or a rock star concert. Granted there are individuals worthy of following, but for me, it can’t be just anybody.

Why did I take time today to write about Tony? I noticed an article about him entitled “Tony Robbins is a Major Jerk, and Other Reasons You Should Follow Him”.

I realize you may hoot at my presumption of claiming partnership with Tony Robbins. Makes me laugh too. That’s the main reason I drew the comparison, to make you and me laugh. I am not in Tony’s crowd, but I do recognize the good part of “Tony’s Philosophy”.

It isn’t actually my motive to create “Maggie’s Philosophy”. I have no interest in flattery, either from myself or from others. It is important for my own self-respect to stand for truth even if it makes me unpopular.

Above all, I love to love others and be an encouragement. I feel deeply for the suffering of the sad and lonely, and I earnestly hope they can find HOPE. I know how it feels to be sad and lonely and downtrodden. Who made me feel that way? Not who you might think. Many former FLDS folks claim that our leaders made them feel sad and lonely and downtrodden, and many claim they were abused. I think it might be more accurate to say that it was people’s weaknesses and sins and refusing to change that made them feel sad and lonely and downtrodden.

Where did I find abusive treatment? Mainstream.

I find I can’t get away from myself. My appearance, manner of speech, my behavior, all are indicative of the FLDS culture I grew up in and still embrace in my mind and heart. I recall a time six years ago when I attempted to hide my identity because so many people gave me trouble because of where I came from. I couldn’t even find a job without running into prejudice.

I scrounged up a mainstream garb and combed my hair straight back. To myself, I looked like Alvin, the chipmunk, with a summer hair buzz which seriously accentuated my plumpy cheeks. The rest of me resembled a blubber whale squirked into a slinky knit tubular apparatus built for a porpoise. My disguise didn’t do a thing for me. Within five minutes my potential employer nailed me as FLDS because of my name and my speech.

Busted.

After that humiliation and a few others, I made the choice to embrace who I am and make no apology.

After further experience over the last five years, I learned to discipline my mind to turn off the “bother button” when my identity and my philosophy might bother some people. I am quite comfortable in my own skin, and I avoid negative people and negative philosophy like the plague. Every single thing I hear from outside input, whether it’s from people I meet, media posts, newspapers I might browse, television news I walk past in a truck stop, people’s philosophies, or even my own mental meanderings, I weigh it against the feeling of love in my heart.

Love is the great mediator. If any information, whether pleasant or unpleasant, cannot pass the sentinel of truth and love in my heart, it’s not worth taking into my mind or adopting into my philosophy.

Of course I realize throughout the world there are sad situations and there are mean people who hurt others. Believe me, I know what it’s like to be hurt. What FLDS dissenters and the media and law enforcement have inflicted on the FLDS has done much harm. I absolutely do not agree with bashing others and fabricating evidence and stomping on other people to benefit yourself.

I believe in love and kindness and forgiveness. When I do not understand a situation, I withhold judgment and automatically put it on the shelf until further enlightenment is available. But that further enlightenment absolutely has to come from the right source, the source that speaks to me of honesty and charity and objectivity, or I cannot accept it.

I never form an opinion about anyone or anything based on popular opinion. I automatically look deeper to see what the MINORITY is saying. Who is the underdog? Who is remaining quiet and peaceful without retaliation? Who is yelling the loudest and WHY? Truth can be found in the smallest places from the most seemingly insignificant sources.

I am not the original author of my philosophy. In a prior post, I gave credit where credit is due. But wouldn’t you know it. Many people have professed love and kindness and good will towards me, myself. Okay, fine. I do appreciate it. Some even said how proud they were of me and how much they loved my philosophy UNTIL I mentioned where I learned it. Then it was tar and feathers and a lynching party to boot. Someone I have been acquainted with for thirty-five years even called me a child molester. Interesting.

What if I had said, “I learned my philosophy from Tony Robbins!”

“Oh, Maggie, that is so COOL! You are getting on top of things and learning to be independent so you can get past all the abuse you have endured. Maggie, Maggie, Maggie, how wonderful and wise you are.” Right, right.

I could have said I learned my philosophy from Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, and Jesus Christ. I learned much from each of them, especially our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. But the truth is the person who had the most profound influence in my life by teaching the life and works of Jesus Christ is Warren Jeffs. He is a Master Teacher of faith, hope, charity, and love. Another man who has influenced me tremendously by teaching by love and example is my father, Merril Jessop. There are many others I could name whose examples have been worthy enough to follow.

I choose carefully what philosophy to adopt. Blindness has nothing to do with it. If I do not adopt the philosophy of others, that doesn’t mean I don’t love and respect other people. But I am under no obligation to adopt anyone’s philosophy.

When someone persists in trying to sway me to their opinion, my question is this: “Why should I believe you? Where is your proof? No, I am not interested in the “proof” you claim to have against someone you consider to be your enemy. I mean where is your character proof to earn my respect? What have you sacrificed for your religion? Where did you obtain your knowledge and how do you practice it in your life? How do you serve your neighbor, and what have you done lately to improve the lives of others? Where are your works to match your proclamations? Where is your credibility?”

Truth is truth. It doesn’t matter who says it. If truth is truth, I will embrace it. I will definitely prioritize truth. Sometimes truths can seem contradictory. There are greater truths, and there are lesser truths. I avoid paying complete homage to a lesser truth to justify deviation from a higher truth.

Seem like Greek to you? Go pay a thousand dollars to the Greek god, Tony Robbins, who can explain it better than I can. He may yell at you, threaten you, intimidate you, and even push you around to get his point across. Nobody calls that abuse. As long as it’s not in the name of religion, people can stand to hear someone tell the truth of their wimpiness.

HOLY BOVINE! Philosophy IS Tony’s religion.

Everybody has a religion. Whatever you love is your religion. If a god of stone brings you satisfaction, happy religioning!

When Father Abraham broke down Terah’s idols, he did it to get his father to see that his gods of stone were powerless to save him. Be sure to choose an idol that can save you.

Man, if your new Ford truck or your three bedroom flat in Park City can do it, that’s great! If your six figure income or your retirement fund can save your carcass, kudos. If your Louis Vuitton handbag, your Keto diet, your Ralph Lauren suit, the best hemp oil on the market, the new Taylor Swift album, your anti-polygamy crusade, your pro-feminist movement, or your march against breast cancer can save you, hurrah! Whatever makes you feel “saved” might be worth your time whether it’s your girlfriend, your powder puff, or Tony Robbins. Definitely pay homage to the god who can save you.

I choose my idols carefully. I find I’m much happier when I limit my idol to one. Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, is my Idol. He is the only One who can save me. His philosophy is the one one I can completely trust and follow. Jesus Christ and His love is my religion. If I listen very carefully and set aside all prejudice, He tells me which human beings I can trust and follow. I follow a Prophet who has shown the way to find Him.

You’re Kidding!

Winston, WHY is this silly thing empty? What?!! You can’t be serious! I actually erased my hard drive? No No, NOOOO!

Oh, Rats!

What? Well, you know how the screen thingie asks questions? Right, well it asked if I wanted to erase all FLIES. Winston, you know how I feel about insects. Huh? Ohhhhh. Erase all FILES? Well, of course I don’t want to erase all FILES! Why would it ask such a dumb question? Tell it NO! Fix it quick!!

No, I am not blonde, just graciously aged. And by the way, my hair color is all natural. What? Of course I realize I’m no Einstein. I’m just a truck driver. I truck stuff, and I write stuff. PLEASE fix this dang thing so I can find my FILES and write more stuff.

Huh? Well, of course I know who Einstein is. He’s the fellow who discovered the light bulb. Hey! Hand me that swatter by the computer, please. We’ve got FLIES buzzing around here. Whack! Oh, sorry about that, Man. There were two FLIES sitting on your shoulder looking at my FILES. They might be working for the CIA or the FBI or the JOU (acronymn for Joke’s On U).

What would I do without my son, Winston. When I break stuff, he fixes it. Even when he might think I am a quart low on brain fluid, he just smiles and magically fixes all my technical errors. He never pokes fun at my un-savvyness. Course there was the time he came home with a giant superman tattoo that was actually a peel-off sticker. Good gravy! I thought that atrocity was real.

Oh, and there was the time when he called ahead to say he was bringing someone special home to meet me. I sat on pins and needles wondering what to expect. He arrived with a wide grin and a tiny female Chihuahua named Honey. When he let her loose, she made a beeline for me and planted wet sloppy kisses all over my face and hair, my blonde hair. Wow! I sure felt loved.

And then there was the time Winston had me out looking for halogen fluid…

Dumb truckers anyway.

Hi Maggie,

Thank you again for your interest in our website. We read and reviewed your book and enjoyed it very much. Here is a copy of our review:

Five Stars

 

I was intrigued by reading “Full of Beans: FLDS Mormons: Evil Culture, Lawless Cult: Fact or Fiction? (FLDS Lady Book 1)” by Maggie Jessop Jeffs a true and realistic account of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS Church) which is one of the largest of the fundamentalist Mormon denominations in the United States. The author was born and raised in the FLDS Church environment and the author has arranged to have the proceeds from the sale of this book contributed to creating employment opportunities for displaced women with children.

I gave this book a five-star rating based on the author’s honesty and boldness. The author writes as if she is sitting in your living room telling you about her life, and ordeals and her experiences in FLDS and clashes with law enforcement.  She boldly gives the other side of the story openly and is totally candid.

In my view, it is an extremely difficult and distasteful subject. However, the author writes her views trying to make reasonable people understand the whole truth as to what happened in her life and the resulting consequences.  Maggie explains in the beginning, “In this book, I address a dual audience, sometimes the entire world. For this lack of focus, I offer my apology. It is not my tradition to speak or write publicly because I have no interest in debate. I believe what I believe, and for this focus, I offer no apology. I believe that truth can stand on its own and doesn’t particularly need me to wax eloquent.”

Throughout the book, the author has many pictures of what she and the community went through which bring you right into their environment. Many say a picture is worth a thousand words and these pictures enable the author to present a much wider view so readers can learn more about FLDS and form their own opinion.

The author is very sincere in her beliefs.  “The shameful thing is that dissenters know that FLDS members do not generally use the internet and would most likely remain oblivious to news reports and would never read a book defaming family and friends. I don’t think a dissenter ever expects to be called into question for slander. They feel strong in the support of public opinion. Misery loves company, you know. When a person persists in telling falsehoods to a willing audience, it magnifies and strengthens from there. Seriously? Make money by stomping on other people? Vomitous…I realize this subject is controversial… I don’t expect to become the most popular author on earth. I do not fear the world or worry over my reputation.”

Maggie tells a very open and honest story and adds more facts to widen the scenario with pictures and arguments as best as she possibly can.”

We posted our review on Goodreads, and we post on Barnes & Noble but could not find your book on B&N. We posted also on our social media and will try to post it on Amazon.

You can use our review any way you wish and thank you for your interest in our site and we wish you great success with your book and your future books!

Best to you,

Bruce Miller
 

Okay, so it’s Sunday, and it’s been a LONG time since we had a Gospel sermon.

In the absence of someone more qualified than I am to preach a sermon, I decided to rise to the occasion. Many people have messaged me asking questions and demanding that I justify my belief when all the “evidence” is against me.

Rather than overload the Google server with my answers, I decided to write them down in a blog article. When someone asks, I will send them this link. If they really want to know the answer, they gotta read a sermon. If they don’t really want to know, they won’t waste my time trying to sincerely and passionately explain my thoughts to somebody who doesn’t give a damn.

I joke about this being a sermon, and it kinda is because my indignation is piqued. But the truth is, I have no call to get preachy. So let’s call this Maggie’s testimony. I think the birds will be my best listeners. I really don’t expect anyone to actually read this and get clear to the end, but at least I can point to my link and be unavailable for comments from religious howlers and hater debaters.

So the evidence against the FLDS is too overwhelming to question, is it? Actually, I believe the evidence is one of those situations where little gnat rumors mushroomed into a Mount Vesuvius.

After the one thousandth person voiced unpleasantness against the FLDS and the people I love, some of whom have been in prison for over a decade, I reached the end of my patience. Yes, I admit it’s a sensitive subject. Okay, so let’s put your best friends in prison and gather up most of the people in the nation in a great big mob and throw rotten tomatoes at you and your people and trample all over your land and homes and religious rights and see if you get a little sensitive.

I’m just not interested in all the bad things people THINK they know about other people. Don’t forget, I have known the “criminals” personally for forty years. And YES “criminals” DO have American rights. Someday you might be surprised to learn who the real criminals actually are. Truth always wins in the end.

Let’s get some things straight.

1. I do not consider the FLDS a cult, certainly not the understood definition of cult with its negative connotations.

2. I did not leave the FLDS. The Good Lord sent me on a mission of self-discovery. If you’ve never gone out on your own to discover yourself, why you just haven’t lived.

3. I have lived and worked in mainstream for seven years and have had EVERY OPPORTUNITY to compare FLDS society to mainstream society. Want to know what I discovered? Mainstream is the biggest and most abusive and MOST immoral cult of all.

4. The good things I can accomplish on my own is because of the very things I learned from the prophets as an FLDS woman, not in spite of them. Over the last fifty years, I have spent literally thousands of hours in religious meetings that taught me how to excel in ANYTHING! By “anything”, I mean anything of a positive or productive nature.

People that claim the Gospel of Jesus Christ was forced on them and that Mormonism is a cult? Those are the very people who put themselves in that great big giant flock of Mormon Sheep. They somehow MISSED it. We were so incredibly blessed, even spoiled. But many of us listened without HEARING. We were complacent, lazy, and bored. We left the “being good” part up to our parents and the Prophet. And then we go racing out into mainstream to find our “freedom”, and we make the GIANT ERROR of blaming our laziness, our lack of initiative, our lack of brains, and our bad feelings on to the Prophet? That’s just not honest. In fact, it’s downright villainous.

Just want to make myself perfectly clear. I am NOT interested in anybody’s philosophy about what they think is wrong with the FLDS. If you have strong negative opinions because of all that “evidence”, you are just like 99.99% of the rest of the planet. You are just plain BORING and ORDINARY, just like all the rest of the sheeple in the fields full of cow pies and the fishies in the swamp who blindly follow the GREAT MAJORITY.

If you think that “Poor little Maggie is just uninformed. Maybe if we just download the boatload of “evidence” we got from a thousand anti-FLDS crusaders, Maggie will finally come around. If we break the news to Maggie how brainwashed she is and remind her how much we “love” (seriously? love) her even though she’s so stupid for believing in such “wicked” things, maybe we can get her to cave in and come join the rest of us bottom feeders glurping around in the sewer pond”.  Save it. Not interested.

I am a salmon. I prefer swimming upstream. If I were to join popular opinion in hate against Warren Jeffs as a result of calculated propaganda that most people suck up without question–If I did that, I would be a liar. I would turn against the truth in myself.

I do appreciate encouragement from others, but you would be amazed how many people I have met, even dozens of folks that I reconnected with the last few months since I have written public articles. Many are all “smiles and love” and supposed “respect and tolerance for all”. Want to know what’s mighty interesting? They love me and my philosophy until I give credit where credit is due for my philosophy. The minute most people discover my loyalty to my faith, my people, and the Prophet Warren Jeffs, they ping! Suddenly, Maggie is a criminal! When many folks find out that I have no hate in my heart, nothing to whine about, those very same people who professed love and friendship turn cold, indifferent, and even downright venomous.

It gets pretty boring to hear rotten stuff. Hey, I get it. If I didn’t know better, I would wonder what on earth is wrong with the FLDS because of all that bad publicity. I can tell you from first-hand knowledge that the propaganda is 99.9% false. Of course the “evidence” against a Prophet is scintillating and undeniable to the public. The devil is way smarter than you and me, and he is mighty crafty in organizing propaganda. He knew exactly what kind of tales would wrench your gut and fire up your indignation! He’s got so many people hollering over stuff they have no idea what they’re even hollering about. But as long as they’re hollering, they feel energized. Simply amazing.

Many people have asked why I use the internet since we were cautioned against it. Several people have mocked me for my blog. Boy, I sure see why we were advised to not use social media. It is such a terrible time waster, not to mention the hurt feelings from everybody barfing up opinions on one another. Makes life terribly complicated.

So why do I use the internet if I consider myself FLDS? Here’s my answer: WAIT A MINUTE! Don’t be like most everyone else. They ask me questions, and I answer, but they don’t even listen to my answer. They just want to state a question challenging me because they want to pick a fight. They have already decided the answer. Did you listen that time? If people would actually listen to me, and read with the intent to understand the person they asked the question of, they might be surprised to find out that an FLDS woman actually has very good reason to be faithful.

We were taught so many truths as FLDS people. Perhaps some recall the quote of the Prophet Joseph that says, “Whatever God requires is right though we may not see the reason for it until long after the events transpire.”

Sometimes our Heavenly Father will take us through hard experience to test our metal and to open our eyes. The test of time is one of the greatest tests. When it seems like a test will last forever and we can’t see the end, we are tempted to cave. I have been through many tests, some of which have been long enough to begin to see the reason, see the benefits after the events transpired. I still have much to learn. Who taught me that? Warren Jeffs.

One of the greatest things I learned as an FLDS woman was the importance of discerning the difference between the Spirit of God and the spirit of evil. It was impressed on my mind many times that I absolutely MUST know God for myself to survive the great contradictions. Our people were warned for decades that the day would come when we would be on our own without our parents, fathers, teachers, leaders, and without the Prophet to guide us. We were faithfully and repeatedly taught in great detail how to learn and earn faith in order to be independent in faith when the time came. Who taught me that? Warren Jeffs.

Many times our Heavenly Father will test us with a prompting to do something that is contrary to our former traditions. He told Nephi to kill Laban. He sent Esther to marry a heathen king. He told Abraham to take the life of his innocent son. None of those revelations were to me. So, what revelations are for me? If I am all alone and I can’t go ask anybody, who do I ask?

Do I have enough faith to ask God and hear Him when He answers? If I don’t understand His voice, and I don’t know how to respond to His promptings, it would be too easy to go join the world and enjoy all the “fun stuff”. If I want to be faithful, but I don’t know how to reach for answers to know what to do, then what? I have no idea how to make something of myself in mainstream, so do I hide away to protect myself and miss the point of the test? That would be like the man who hid his one talent in the earth to keep it safe. If I am afraid to step out alone, afraid to respond to a prompting that might go against my traditions, who is the loser? The man with the one talent hid it and did not seek revelation to know how to increase his talent. He lost it in the end. Who taught me that? Warren Jeffs.

At this point in my life, if the personal revelation from God to Maggie is to go do a man’s job and drive a Big Rig, risk my life every day driving solo in a dangerous environment, write stories and articles and even share my testimony and love for the Gospel with the world via the internet, I’d be pretty dumb and lazy and go against the teachings I received from the prophets to ignore that suggestion. I would end up losing my talent. Who taught me that? Warren Jeffs.

Of course I realize that I am human and a weak one at that. Yes, I could be deceived and be out doing things I dreamed up all by my little ole self. But if I am too afraid to try, I would never get anywhere. This I know: God will never fault anyone for doing the best they can in any circumstance.

I imagine most people who bother to read my analogy will think I am speaking nonsense. But if you are a Mormon and are well-read, perhaps you can see where I am coming from and understand the principles of which I speak. True faith is not earned without facing great contradiction. Many people have asked me how I can believe in a man in prison who has been convicted of heinous crime. It is one thing to be accused, and quite another to be guilty.

Many ask why I follow the Prophet Warren Jeffs when he, himself, claimed “he is not, nor ever has been a prophet”.

I answer. For those of you who still believe in the Gospel, you know that centuries ago the Prophet Enoch prepared a people who after much trial and sifting, perfected in their lives the First Two Great Commandments. 1. Love the Lord with all your heart, might, mind, and strength. 2. Love your neighbor as yourself. The people of Enoch became perfected to the point that God accepted them into a terrestrial state.

When it came time for the Prophet Enoch to go forward to the next step, many people followed him. He told them to not follow him and warned them they would die if they did. Many turned back, but some refused to turn back. The only ones who got to go with Enoch and his city to a better world were those who refused to leave him. We all know the story. The City of Enoch was the large piece of land that God took from the earth leaving a giant hole filled in by the ocean and is now called the Gulf of Mexico. Enoch could not refuse those who followed him–those who repented and stuck with him.

A Prophet cannot un-appoint himself. God is the one who appoints the prophets. He is the only one who knows which men have enough courage for that position. My faith is not in a man, but in God. He is the One who tells me who the Prophet is. I can’t even imagine the weight of such a responsibility that falls upon a prophet. Moses resisted his leadership appointment and God patiently worked with him until he accepted. A typical personality trait of Brother Warren Jeffs is to be humble and self-deprecating, much like the scriptures describe Moses. It would be typical of him to not seek authority for himself. He has always been the first one to admit the sins and weaknesses of his humanity.

The important thing is not what I think or what you think. The important thing is what does God think? I put my trust where He puts His. Whatever weaknesses or sins a mortal Prophet may have isn’t the point. If he is God’s man, I better make dang sure I’m not out looking for fault in God or the man he appoints. See, the issue isn’t really if I believe in Brother Warren. The crux of the matter is if I know the voice of God and will be loyal to my Creator no matter who He chooses as His Mouthpiece, no matter what things look like or seem like, as in popular opinion against the man.

Many people have asked me how I can believe in a man who sends revelations that “don’t make sense”. Okay, so let’s take you and lock you up in solitary confinement for twelve years and see how you talk, if you’re even still alive. I doubt most men could endure even the first year if they were treated the same as the Prophet has been treated. I am amazed at his endurance. Imagine yourself locked up, shunned, ostracized, kept in 55 degree temp at times, feeding tubes jammed down your throat because you were fasting. Many of your friends turn against you. Some of your own children turn against you.

Many stories are told which twist and corrupt truth escalating into the mushroom cloud of rumor. The media guts the life out of everything you ever said or did and presents it to the world with their own dark and dreadful interpretation attached. Your name is heralded to the world as evil and you are likened to infamous tyrants like Hitler. They write books and movies defaming your words and actions and character, and you are stuck there for 120 years. I wonder how you would fare. Don’t waste your breath telling me of your “innocence” that keeps you safe. Little do you realize the innocence of  the Prophet in God’s eyes.

I have personally known the Prophet Warren Jeffs for nearly forty years. I am totally amazed at many of my former acquaintances whom I also knew personally, shocked to see them come up with so much relentless hate and accusation against the Prophet. But it shouldn’t surprise me. That scenario was prophesied of decades ago and the attack is simply repeating history. Go read again the history of the Prophet Joseph Smith and insert the name of Warren Jeffs. You will find it similar to our day.

Every month or so, some new story pops up about what somebody suddenly “remembers” the Prophet is guilty of, yet he has been detained in solitary confinement for over 12 years. The attackers have become so emboldened that now Brother Warren can be accused, hauled to deposition to face the lion’s den, and the court doesn’t even require the accuser to give his or her name for “fear of retribution”. You’re kidding, right? Absolutely incredible.

There should be a human outcry from justice lawyers and civil rights activists. Yet, still the Prophet loves the people. He still prays for everyone. I have always seen and felt in the spirit Warren Jeffs kept around him, “Father, forgive them.”

When I have been fortunate enough to read the revelations from prison, I keep in mind two things. 1. I do not know if they are actually from Brother Warren without being edited or altered by others. 2. Even if they are exactly from the Prophet and I don’t understand everything he says, that doesn’t mean he is not a Prophet. Am I going to get so hung up over this detail or that detail, and spend so much time looking for error, that I miss the message? I already know what the message is. It basically boils down to this. “Great destruction is coming; repent of your sins; stand ye in holy places, and watch the arm of the Lord made manifest.”

The Holy Place for me is my mind. How do I make it holy? I discipline my thoughts to 1. Love God most. 2. Love my neighbor as myself. Makes life pretty simple and pleasant.

I offer this hypothesis. If it were actually true that Brother Warren is guilty of all the crimes they accuse him of… Now, I’m not saying he is guilty because I know first hand that he is not. Even a professor at the college in Saint George this month (February 2019) voiced to his class that he, the professor, met the female witness who put Warren Jeffs behind bars. He stated in class that the witness admitted to him, the professor, that she had lied on the witness stand. I knew that woman personally. I knew the other women who testified against the Prophet, and I personally know the men and women who have written inflammatory books defaming him. The woman who confessed her lie to the professor, her false testimony, was the factor that would have thrown out the case.

PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE. Ask anyone in the class.

Okay, so back to my hypothesis. IF the Prophet is actually guilty, and me knowing the voice of God enough to know that He STILL considers Brother Warren His Man, THAT SHOULD BE VERY ENCOURAGING TO ME. Not only me, but it should encourage all the rest of us. Why? If Brother Warren actually sinned, which isn’t the point, but if he did, and God forgave him and still guides him, maybe the good Lord will also forgive me and the rest of us miserable sinners. C’mon, admit it, we all know we are rotten sinners. Pride is the greatest sin of all. That dang devil! He’s got everybody SO distracted and SO riled up about what he says the Prophet is guilty of, that we all forgot about our own repentance. Crafty, ain’t he?

Remember, Enoch could not refuse those who followed him. Brother Warren cannot refuse those who follow him. He warned us hundreds of times (actually not just him, but the prophets before him also), warned us so many times that the contradictions would get so great, we would hardly be able to contain ourselves. Even the very elect will be deceived if possible.

We were taught that the gift we must seek is the Love for Truth. The power of love for truth is the only way we have the ability to recognize truth even though 99% of our friends and the public will tell us opposite. Of course most people will deny Brother Warren because most are susceptible to popular opinion, and they easily believe emotional human sob stories. Satan is very crafty in causing a gut-wrenching stir, even using the most vulnerable of subjects in order to incite the public and create the greatest contradiction of our generation–the innocence of children. What a pathetic situation. What an incredible deception.

Most folks are glad to hear public opinion that “the Prophet has fallen” because it gives them the excuse to do whatever they want. It’s easy for FLDS dissenters to join popular opinion and run to hell because hell is just so dang fun. Believe me, I have been living in hell for seven years, and I know how it is. All those shiny trinkets and fancy clothes, all that media imagery, not to mention the freedom to do whatever, whenever, with whomever you please. It’s just too irresistible for most people. Most of the population are prancing around in golden bracelets carving a golden calf looking for the golden goose so they can sit on a golden throne.

Lest we forget… 2 Nephi 13: 8-26

8.  For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen, because their tongues and their doings have been against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of his glory.

9.  The show of their countenance doth witness against them, and doth declare their sin to be even as Sodom, and they cannot hide it. Wo unto their souls, for they have rewarded evil unto themselves!

10.  Say unto the righteous that it is well with them; for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.

11.  Wo unto the wicked, for they shall perish; for the reward of their hands shall be upon them!

12.  And my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they who lead thee cause thee to err and destroy the way of thy paths.

13.  The Lord standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people.

14.  The Lord will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people and the princes thereof; for ye have eaten up the vineyard and the spoil of the poor in your houses.

15.  What mean ye? Ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor, saith the Lord God of Hosts.

16.  Moreover, the Lord saith: Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched-forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet—

17.  Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will discover their secret parts.

18.  In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments, and cauls, and round tires like the moon;

19.  The chains and the bracelets, and the mufflers;

20.  The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the ear-rings;

21.  The rings, and nose jewels;

22.  The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping-pins;

23.  The glasses, and the fine linen, and hoods, and the veils.

24. And it shall come to pass, instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle, a rent; and instead of well set hair, baldness; and instead of a stomacher, a girding of sackcloth; burning instead of beauty.

25.  Thy men shall fall by the sword and thy mighty in the war.

26.  And her gates shall lament and mourn; and she shall be desolate, and shall sit upon the ground.

I appreciate encouragement, but I hate false sympathy. I am only interested in going forward in love and gratitude for myriads of blessings. Did anyone notice that the sun rose this morning? Did you notice that you can still breathe the breath of life? Did you thank God today that you’re still alive? When our Savior returns in glory and each of us face Him to make a report, I don’t think He is going to be interested in all the bad things we think we know about other people.

I imagine He will simply ask, “Did you love one another as I have loved you?”

Life is actually so simple. It can be very pleasant when we focus on gratitude for our blessings. The best thing I can do TODAY is smile, say something nice, DO something nice, and be kind to others. Great things are on the horizon. Who will stand before Jesus Christ with a clean conscience? I don’t know about you, but I sure have work to do.

I think it might be wise to SHUT UP and watch how things transpire over the next decade or two. Wouldn’t we rather be silent about our opinions of the sins of others and perhaps be thought a fool than to open the mouth and remove all doubt?

I once read a clever saying. Silence is Golden, and Duck Tape is Silver. Think I’ll head to Walmart to stock up on duck tape.

End of Sunday sermon. You are now excused.

Birdies, meet me here at 10:00 AM next Sunday.

Person:  You poor poor little thing. You were abused so badly. Let me help you.

Me:  No, I was never abused.

Mad Person:  Of course you were! You just didn’t know it because you were taught to keep sweet no matter what.

Me:  Nope, I was never abused.

Madder Person:  Ah, but you were! Perhaps you need psychiatric help. You’re just too dumb to recognize abuse.

Me:  Naa, I was never abused.

Even Madder Person:  Idiot! You are so brainwashed! How brainless you are to not be able to recognize what abuse is.

Me:  No, I was never abused.

Maddest Person:  You pervert! You are sympathizing with criminals. You must be a criminal yourself to not admit abuse.

Me:  Absolutely not, I was never abused.

More Maddest Person:  You are a horrible animal! You are SO stupid and SO blind. You wouldn’t even know it if you were abused.

Me:  I say again, I was never abused.

Madderest Person:  I hate you! You are still drinking Kool Aid!! I had hope for you to see the light. I will warn everyone about your terrible wickedness and unlawfulness because you won’t agree with me that you were abused.

Me:  NO! I was never abused.

So, who is the abuser? And…who is mad?

YOU ARE NOT INVITED TO MY PITY PARTY!

Did you know there is actually a good side to theoretical dementia? Years ago I accidentally overheard a telephone conversation where a man  I really cared about (not my husband) told a close lady friend of his, “I don’t know what to do with Maggie. Nobody wants her.”

That was a serious slug in the gut. I had to make a choice. Would I get hot and bothered and make a giant stir? Would I go down in flames and grovel in self-pity and be a slave to that man’s perception of me? OR, would I stop trying to please man and work on pleasing God instead? So after I made a medium-sized stir, I faced myself in the mirror and made the choice to get close to my Heavenly Father because I really didn’t relish the idea of becoming a bitchy biddie.

The only way I can please my Maker and please myself is to not victimize myself. I pulled the plug on all my excuses and required myself to consciously think good, expect good, and make good things happen. Good news! There is life after self-pity.

I have been invited many times to join the fray in religious and political debate. Not my idea of a party. Every one of us have an opinion, and some of us have minions of opinions. Sometimes people get upset with me because they want me to be mad with them. Misery loves company, you know. When they find out I’m not mad and don’t sympathize with their bad feelings, then suddenly I am perceived as a vindictive enemy. Ok, well, nothing new.

I believe that the quickest way to destroy a woman who is feeling bad is to give her more reasons to feel bad. Life has  taught me that as long as a woman feels like a victim and seeks sympathy and financial aid from others, that woman cannot truly be free. Of course everyone needs a hand once in awhile, but I have seen where continual and repeated handouts and loads of sympathy actually hurts women quite badly. When a lady stops using her “hurts” as a crutch, she begins to stand tall and walk on her own. If she begins to see the beauty in her present and looks for good in every person she meets, out of the ashes of her past grows a beautiful garden that bears fruit she never thought possible. The best way to help a woman with a victim mindset is to not sympathize with bad feelings but perhaps assist with encouraging her to get busy doing something productive that helps other people.

I speak from personal experience. There was a time when I was angry at a man for how he treated me. The anger and self-pity inside me grew as I voiced my hurts to others, and the misery grew tenfold. I finally had to admit to myself that I was turning into a lousy complainer. Not fun. The most liberating moment of my life came when I called a halt to my own self-pity.

See, I can’t stand myself unless I have self-respect and respect for others. I was my own worst enemy. It was a trick of the devil to convince me that my sorrow was someone else’s fault. I had to take myself in hand and say, “Self, stop your whining and stop looking for sympathy from others. Get off your butt and get to work!”

You would be amazed how your life can bloom and blossom when you jerk the plushy rug out from under yourself and get rid of the negative mindset. I don’t think I would have ever had the courage to learn a new industry at my age if I hadn’t taken the highroad. Bad feelings and anger are like cancer which spreads and destroys. What may have started out as a gnat hill turns into a Vesuvius. Who wants to crawl around in the dung pile of gossip and hearsay and rumors and bad feelings from long ago? Wouldn’t you rather rise above it and soar with the eagles? Oh boy, I sure would. I hate the stench of self-pity and false sympathy.

Forgiveness is a grand thing. I wipe the slate clean every day and start fresh. The older I get, the younger I become since I adopted this mindset: When it comes to remembering good, I have a keen memory. When it comes to holding a grudge, I got dementia. Can’t seem to remember who did what bad thing, when they did it, or why.

Life is way funner. Just keep on truckin’!

From the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the Lakes to the Rio Grande, we are one united brotherhood, and united we will stand…

I remember singing that many times as a child. If only Americans could stand united. Whatever happened to that attitude of gratitude for America, this land of freedom that we seem to take for granted? What’s with all the quarreling?

Have you noticed that we build fences and erect walls around things we love. Why do we? Is it because we want to protect what we love? As families, we live in homes with walls. I haven’t noticed too many people living in homes without walls, have you?  Good grief! There’s Pa in his skivvies sitting in his Lazy Boy chair over there on his lawn watching the game, and he’s drinking…WHAT!? And there’s Ma in the shower. Heaven forbid! No walls in the bathroom? Eyewash coming up.

No walls, huh? Right. We all love walls, and we all need walls. The homeless live on the streets and under bridges, but I’m confident they would appreciate some walls. I have noticed that many people not only live in homes with walls, but they also enclose that home within a fence. And wouldn’t ya know it? They not only lock up the house, but they even put a lock on the fence. Those of us who are extra protective top that off with a security system with alarms that holler when an intruder enters. Heck! We even put walls around our hearts. We can’t have people trampling all over other people’s hearts, now can we. And if you really want to know who protects its own, walk into a government office and act like you own the place.

I have a question? Why do so many people have a problem with President Trump building a wall to protect our border? Remember, we protect what we love. Why don’t all United States citizens love their country enough to protect it? If you don’t love your country, why don’t you move to Egypt or Ethiopia? How about Iceland?

Doesn’t make sense. I bet those who fiercely oppose Trump’s wall are the very people who have big fancy properties with walls and fences and security systems. You are protecting what you love. You defend your own little country, your home, your family, your stuff. That is your American right. So, it’s great that you protect what you love, but you don’t believe in protecting your American homeland? Something is not adding up here.

I do have much empathy for the people in Mexico. In my experience, some of the finest people I have met are Hispanic. I feel for their poverty and I ache for their children. However deeply I feel after these fellow human beings, I do not consider it a blessing to either myself or those living outside my country to obliterate my Southern Border. Why? If I truly love my neighbor, why don’t I throw down the wall and invite them in? Not smart. Oh, yes, I learned long ago the importance of walls, fences, and boundaries.

I recall a particular experience during the “healing years” following the 2008 Raid after Texas returned my children to me. I was living as a single mother in a little house with my children, and we had a large garden to keep us busy. We had no father at that time, but life had taught me the proper way of serving and governing a home and family. We had a dilapidated fence around the house, but at least it was a fence. A neighbor family began to visit, and I made them feel welcome. At first I allowed the neighbor children to show up without invitation because I felt pity for them. Their clothing was worn and filthy, and they went without shoes. Often it appeared the children’s hair had not been combed in days, and they frequently came asking for food. The children did not appear to have regular chores or much discipline. It didn’t take long for the neighbors to feel welcome enough to walk through my home, run through my garden, distract my children from their chores, and interfere with my program. I no longer had control of my home, my responsibility, my sanctuary, my little kingdom. I could no longer protect what I loved because the neighbors ruled my home.

Solution? I had to build my Wall. I still cared about my neighbors, and I still loved those children. I did not get angry or refuse them succor. I simply built my wall and my fence and kindly, but firmly defined my boundaries. The neighbor children began to come with their hair combed and their clothing washed. They waited at the door to be invited in. They stopped running through my garden. My own children stopped getting distracted by our visitors, and we invited the neighbor children to help us weed the garden. Everything was fine. I had my wall, and they respected it. They obeyed the rules in my home, and I continued to protect my responsibility, my castle, that which I loved.

Let me illustrate this another way. Imagine a beautiful family of little birds. Papa bird, mama bird, and lots of cute little teeny tiny baby birds live together in a large nest in a thicket behind a garden wall. Now, mama bird, she is very soft and plumpy and birdlike. She looks around the garden and sees the other creatures that live nearby and she begins to feel sorry for those who appear to lack what she does not.

“Oh! Papa Bird,” she cries in her sweet little mama bird voice. “Just look at that nice family of rattlesnakes. They are so poor because they cannot fly like we can.”

“I see them,” Papa Bird replies in his booming papa bird voice. “You are right, Mama Bird. The poor creatures can only crawl upon their bellies. How fortunate we are to be able to fly about and gather food and live in the best part of the garden.”

“Oh, Papa Bird!” Mama implores. “Do let us be kind to this snake family. Let us tear down that wall and invite them in to share our worms.”

All the cute little fuzzy baby birds hop around excitedly, “Yay! We wuv snake fwiends.”

Mama Bird continues, “Oh, Papa, look! See the pretty little skunks with their black and white fur. Look, look, there’s a lovely family of scorpions with their cute little curly tails. Let them come too. What fun we shall have!”

Papa Bird, being the man bird, thinks really hard for a full five seconds and gives his answer. “Of course, my sweet bird family. It is good that we are kind and benevolent and sharing and caring and loving to all creatures great and small. Let us tear down our walls and fences and nests. Let us use the straw to make bonnets.”

That was a new idea. Mama Bird had never thought of that before.

The inescapable fact in this story is that Papa could not help being a bird brain. By now, I am assuming you are bright enough to see where this is going. Yup. Slither, slither, scuttle, slither. Scurry, flutter, slither, rattle. Sting, squeeze, zap, chomp, gulp. Papa Bird becomes grilled quail with pomegranate sauce. Mama Bird is now pigeon pie, and baby birds are gravy. And what happened to Mama Bird’s new bonnet? The bees stole it.

The irony of this tall tale is this: Too many Americans have LESS than bird brains. Truth is Papa Bird’s natural instinct is to build his wall and secure his border. Ain’t no way he will let down his guard. He might love the heck out of his neighbors, but that doesn’t mean he will open his borders and compromise the safety of his responsibility. What in the world happened to our natural instinct? Can you imagine what the animals think of our foolishness? I imagine the non-flying non-high-hopping animals are a little concerned about the Wall that might interfere with their natural migration. But animals are more sensitive to their natural instincts. Believe me, they will find a way to survive in spite of our wall.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that all who enter our borders are rattlers, skunks, and scorpions. To be sure there are many honest in heart who are genuinely looking for a better life in a land of relative freedom. But all it takes is a few skunks and rattlers to scurry in with the crowd to bring down our country from within.

Where there is a wall, there are also doors. There is a proper way to get in and out. Walls and fences make good neighbors, do they not? Did you know that in the Bible the reference to “walls for protection” is mentioned 245 times? If walls and fences and boundaries are important to God, why are they not important to us?

2 Chronicles 14:7

Therefore he said unto Judah, Let us build these cities, and make about them walls, and towers, gates, and bars, while the land is yet before us; because we have sought the Lord our God, we have sought him, and he hath given us rest on every side. So they built and prospered.

Property rights, public rights, human rights, animal rights, civil rights, religious rights, and women’s rights. Everybody is hung up on rights. I wonder if we forgot the most important thing. “The earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof.” Did anybody check in with Him? Imagine how He feels to see all of us ornery little kids who think we know so much blabbering about His earth.

OPINIONS! Those silly critters. The thing about opinions is that everybody has at least one. If you’re anything like me, you might have Minions of Opinions. What do we do when our precious minions are threatened? Jump on the soapbox! Grab the guns! Man the fort! Call in the troops! Shout and holler and blab our heads off! Fight to the death!!! Be sure to protect and defend your personal opinion because you might be the only person who loves it.

BUT WHAT IF… What if we loved America as much as we love those pesky opinions we would die for? If we did, the border Wall would go up so FAST, we would forget what the fuss was all about. If we had as many minions as we do opinions, picture all those millions of minions, including Bob and Kevin, working together to build Trump’s Wall. My friends, put that bee in your bonnet. Let’s quit our yapping and secure the border. Stand for truth and protect the innocent. C’mon, Stuart, hands out of pockets cuz you’re not a wuss.  Defend the Castle!

I wonder if it’s really the border problem that people have the greatest issue with. Could it be that folks are just mad at the President no matter what he does? I have observed that Donald Trump can’t do a thing right in the eyes of many. They twist and turn his words, motives, and actions to present an ugly picture to us little Sheeple.

This is familiar. I’ve seen enough propaganda against my own people to last six lifetimes. The propaganda against Trump is typical of an anti-Christian anti-conservative attack. Maybe people should quit blaming the Wall on Donald Trump. The Wall is for the protection of our country and those who live in it. It’s the People’s Wall. My word! Trump must be doing something right because it makes a lot of folks mad.

Musings from a little baa baa for whatever it’s worth.

I found myself on the road driving my Big Rig far into the night on February 14, the famous day of love, Love, and more LOVE.

I am probably the most UN-techie kid on the planet, a complete Facebook novice, and certainly not a purty pro poster person. I had just made a Facebook profile to advertise my new blog and books. So on the traditional Day of Love, I seriously tried to think of something sweet and clever and lovey dovey to say like everyone else does since I generally just go with the flow. (Man, I could hardly keep a straight face when I wrote that.)

Think, think, THINK. This has got to be special cuz this is about LOVE. Okay, how about this?

“I had SUCH a bad hair day, but Remington doesn’t even care. Happy Valentine’s Day, Sweet Stuff!” 

Woah! Steady there, lover boy. Down, DOWN, I say! Sluuurp!! Oh, yeeeeckth! You taste like moldy fish. Criminy, Remington! Why is your mouth always open?

 

 

Remington! Get back in your bowl, NOW! No bubbles, Remington. How embarrassing. For crying out loud, we are on Facebook.  Excuse us, folks. Give us a moment. CAN WE HAVE SOME PRIVACY HERE, PLEASE?

Remington, you’re gonna be crackers if you don’t behave. It’ll be the radiator next time.

I give up. Maybe I better try a poem.

Ode to Facebook

Tell it near, and tell it far; at home or work or at the bar;

Blab the news and pass the scandal; Soap Op buzz can’t hold a candle.

Opinions and hearsay and rumor uproar; “He said”, “She said”, and gossip galore;

Political debate and religious wars; parties and brawls and folks without drawers;

Brag up the kids and show off the cat; gush about food, and whine about FAT.

Hearts and roses and slurpy kisses; candy and cake and moldy fishes;

Speak your mind; the world will LOOK; spill your guts cuz you’re on…FACEBOOK!

 

Happy Heart Day! from Maggie and Remington and Belinda, stuck in a truck, on the side of the road, in the middle of night, somewhere in the middle of NOWHERE.

PS. Belinda is Maggie’s truck.

PS. PS. Remington is Maggie’s goldfish.

PS. PS. PS.  Remington likes cookies. Please send cookies.

Hug a Trucker Day?

I didn’t know they were on the calendar. They are now!

Recently I drove my truck to a shipper to pick up a load. I walked into the check-in office to see three female office personnel through the glass, well-dressed, all sitting at desks, each behind a check-in window. The women appeared to be drinking coffee and chatting amicably. 

I spend 90% of my time driving solo, so it always appeals to see people working together and getting along. My friendly communicative self pulls like a magnet to enjoy others and join in the conversation. I must be full of myself because I always subconsciously expect to be welcomed by others just as I would welcome them. Silly me.

Since the women did not appear to notice me, I tapped lightly on the window and smiled. The woman across the glass turned her head to look at me and her expression went from sunny to partly cloudy with a hurricane on the horizon. She opened her window and without so much as a howdy, she barked, “Can’t you READ?  There are signs everywhere. READ THE SIGNS!!!”

The tempestuous virago then slammed the window shut and returned her attention to her office companions. She said something while motioning toward me and all three women glanced at me, then laughed at some giant joke and commenced to sip café latte as though they were on vacation imbibing at the beach instead of manning the fort at a shipping office that should require professional behavior.

Needless to say, I was rather startled and a bit humiliated. I glanced around the room to see six men waiting quietly and politely. Then I began to read the signs. The biggest one said “DO NOT APPROACH THE WINDOW UNTIL YOU HAVE FILLED OUT YOUR PAPERWORK”.

Several more signs instructed which information was necessary, and still more signs warned “NO! WE WILL NOT SERVE YOU UNTIL YOU HAVE COMPLETED THE FORMS. IF YOU CAN’T READ, GO BACK TO SCHOOL.”

I was appalled. I studied the men standing around who appeared to be calmly taking in stride the negative slight. One of the men glanced at me sympathetically and remarked, “Welcome to the life of a truck driver.”

Something erupted deep down, and my dignity demanded audience. Yes, I CAN read, and yes, I should have looked around and read the signs before approaching the Ice Queen in her crystal palace. But there was no excuse for her rude and unprofessional behavior. 

I am a firm believer in the necessity of customer service excellence in the workplace. I see no reason on earth why a shipping office shouldn’t include the driver who risks life and limb to transport said company’s valuable goods as part of the customer who should be treated respectfully.

After I filled out my papers, I returned to the window and tapped. The woman looked up, then continued working at her keyboard a few minutes while I waited. Finally, she opened the window and said smugly, “I guess you actually CAN read.”

“Actually, madam,” I replied evenly with a sardonic smile. “I was a language arts teacher for well over a decade. Had you been one of my students, I would have given you an “F” for lousy communication.”

The woman stared at me for a moment and then barked out a laugh. “I can see you must be educated, which means you are not a normal truck driver.”

As though her updated assessment put me on her list of acceptable people to BS with, she added conspiratorially. “You would not believe how many DUMB truck drivers come through here.”

I glanced around at the men who seemed to emit the proverbial “water on a duck’s back” attitude and I marveled. In one way, I was impressed they had the ability to remain calm and not react as though they couldn’t hear, which I was sure they could. I imagine they had already learned after many experiences that it doesn’t do any good to hope for respect as truck drivers. But in another way, I thought it pathetic for them to just stand there and meekly accept the rotten tomatoes hurled by the hoity toity aristocrats. Most of the men were Hispanic. 

I was shocked by the condescending attitude of the office prima donnas whose most life-threatening accomplishment had most likely been to tootle across a gooey sun-baked asphalt parking lot in six inch stilettos.

If a person has never walked in the shoes of another, how can they be so judgmental? How can office personnel who remain in a temperature-controlled safe box understand what it’s like for a truck driver to face the hazards of the road in all kinds of weather on a daily basis to earn their life? 

So the typical driver might appear to need a shower and a shave, and he might not hear what someone says the first time since he might be bleary eyed after hours of driving in stressful circumstances. He might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer when it comes to paperwork, and his handwriting might be atrocious.

But on the other hand, he just might be the best Warrior of the Road who understands the innards of a big rig and can operate one slick as any rodeo star can manage a stallion.

I realize that truck drivers have earned a name for being dirty and grungy and a bit uncouth from past decades. I can understand that perhaps the intelligence level of some when it comes to language and writing may be lacking. I can understand that office personnel might have to explain things more than once, and I don’t blame them for putting up signs for drivers to read BEFORE they dare approach the Queen. But I don’t see how any or all of these challenges can justify the insolence against truck drivers found in many shipping offices.

I signed the bill of lading for my load and looked at the woman squarely. “I fail to see your justification for bad manners,” I said with a bit of a grin. “I bet this giant company really does care about their image, and they probably do care about customer service. If I was your manager, I would want to know how the office gals behave when I’m not looking. Since I don’t mind helping others, I think I’ll make a report to assist your manager in restoring the weather conditions in this office from toxic volcanic ash contamination to sunny skies with smiles all around.”

The woman stared speechless. I flashed a grin and said, “You have yourself an awesome day!”

Did I actually report the girls? No, but, the weather did improve. Next time I went to that office, conditions had improved fair to partly cloudy.

After I got a CDL two years ago and found out for myself what it’s like to traverse the nation as a logistics specialist, my respect for truck drivers greatly increased. It takes a surprisingly wide variety of skills to drive a big rig, navigate busy highways, meet deliveries, keep logbooks legal, and survive on the road. I have found it to be a relatively thankless job. 

Most people do not realize that unless you are a self-sufficient homesteader, every single thing we eat, drink, wear, use, or enjoy at home or work came from a truck. Did you know that? I sure didn’t. I never even thought about it until I began commercial driving.

So… I did some research and came up with a few projected statistics. I pose this question:

What would happen if all truck drivers in America went on strike?

If all trucks cease to move, this would be the likely result:

After 24 Hours: Medical supplies to hospitals and nursing homes will begin to deplete. Gas stations will run low on gas since they often require two trucks a day to refill their underground tanks. Assembly line manufactures will begin to run short on components. Mail delivery will cease.

After 48 Hours: Food supply in grocery stores will begin to dwindle. Gas stations will become increasingly low on fuel which will skyrocket prices.

After 72 Hours: Due to consumer panic and hoarding, grocery stores will run out of essentials like bread, milk, water, and canned meat. ATM’s and banks will run out of cash and will be unable to complete transactions. Gas stations will be completely out of fuel. Garbage will begin to pile up in the streets. Container ships will sit idle in the ports.

After 1 Week: Automobile travel will cease, as well as public transportation. People will not be able to go to work, buy groceries, or even get medical care. Hospitals will begin to deplete their oxygen supply.

After 2 Weeks: Clean water will begin to run dry.

After 4 Weeks: Clean water supply will be gone leaving contaminated water to use only if boiled. This will increase intestinal illness in an already weakened society. Medical supplies will be completely unavailable, and many will die.

After 1 Month: The United States will be totally disabled and in complete chaos.

Remember this next time you get hit with a case of road rage and want to shake your fist at that “stupid, filthy, low-life, POS trucker that cut me off.” Trucks keep the world moving and put food on your table. Trucks can’t move without truck drivers. How shall we increase awareness of our fragile infrastructure and improve the working environment for the Heroes of Logistics?

I came up with a SOLUTION!

Yep, that’s me. Yours truly. I propose we call the world leaders to a meeting and discuss a plan to honor truck drivers since they keep the world moving. 

So…I had an appointment scheduled this morning at Applebee’s with all the world leaders, but it was mostly a no-show. Angela Merkel and Theresa May were out grocery shopping. Ben Netanyahu was golfing with Mahmoud Abbas, and Putin called in sick. Warren Buffett was invited to attend, but it was bad timing since he was detained at the bank trying to cover an overdraft. Unfortunately, Enrique Nieto was stricken with shin splints while trying to scale the wall at the border, and Xi Jinping was recovering from a shark bite after his morning swim.

Most noted for his absence, Thunder Thor was at his summer home in Iceland frantically searching for his misplaced meow meow, and I have no clue where all the other dudes were. However, I did meet with President Trump, Queen Elizabeth, and Kim Jon Ugh. We passed a resolution unanimously with nary a disagreement and do hereby proclaim this illustrious day to be the long overdue, much needed, highly anticipated, mandatory worldwide celebration which we do hereby christen HUG A TRUCKER DAY (mandatory respectfully requested by myself and Kim Jon).

So, it’s official.  Do it!

Hug A Trucker Day!

Yay!!

About a year ago, one day I was out trucking. I swung my 18 wheeler with a 53’ refrigerated trailer into a Walmart Distribution Center somewhere in Oklahoma and checked in my load at the receiving office. I was instructed to drive to a holding area and wait for the call to drive to a specific door for unloading. I parked my truck and found myself eye to eye with a female driver sitting in the truck next to me.

There I was decked out in my long skirt and shirt which I had found superior to the prairie dress for comfort and flexibility.  I’m sure I looked remarkably bland with undyed hair and the absence of face paint.  I am very comfy in my skin and I don’t mind a bit what the rest of creation thinks about a boring lady in a dress driving a big rig. Rats! The hazards of my confounded friendliness. I rolled down my window and said, “Hi! Nice to see another lady driver.”

To my conservative eyeballs, the woman resembled an anti-human specimen from a science experiment gone wrong. My suspicion was confirmed when at my greeting and the mention of the word “lady”, the creature harrumphed out some sort of noise that sounded like “Snort, Glarf, Rarrrrrrf!”

My eyes widened significantly as the humanoid laughed uproariously, “Don’t INSULT me by calling me a lady”, she barked. “I sure as HELL don’t want to look like a lady!” emphasizing the final word as though it was some kind of noxious poison.

She must have thought she hit the joke jackpot because her raucous laughter continued to reverberate through the parking lot as she leaned out her window and slapped the side of her truck. “Don’t get me wrong, honey,” she bellowed.  “I like men, but they can go to hell most days.  I’m mighty proud to be a BAD ASS and clear full of SHIT!”

My startled expression was a mix of horror and amusement, I imagine, as I struggled to keep check on my gag button.  Deep breath. And then I smiled.  It really was more funny than not.  “Well, hey,” I replied matter of factly. “You certainly have the right to be a bad A and clear full of sheeee-it if that’s the kind of filling you love.  For myself, I prefer banana cream pie.”

She roared, and I tittered.  Up went her window, and up went mine.  Each to their own.  I have no problem minding my own dang business.  Sure wouldn’t want to insult the broads of the nation.

That experience caused a certain amount of reflection the remainder of the day.  I was born a female and never desired to be anything else.  But see, I have this novel idea.  Just because I work like a man doesn’t mean I have to look like a man or act like a man.  My great great grandmother was a pioneer and walked across the plains a thousand miles to help settle Utah.  I bet she worked as hard as any man, but I seriously doubt she ever considered taking off her dress and petticoats and donning a pair of shorts and a tank top to get the work done.

How in the world did the modern woman come up with the idea that to be somebody, you have to be a weathered old nakedemus with purple hair and tattoos and a voice that sounds like rusty bolts in a bucket?  The sad part was the trucker woman was quite a bit younger than myself.  But to me, she looked very old, and I found her rather unpleasant. Haven’t women in the world caught on by now that if they want to be different or special, they could behave like a lady?

Soon after that I had another experience when someone I met along my journey asked me about FLDS dress code. That’s an old one. I have been questioned many times about that subject. Some of my mainstream friends have commented that it seems FLDS women all look the same. One flashy mainstreamer with a short man’s haircut, an inch of make-up, a bright red sequined pants suit, and four inch stomp­ers remarked, “I pity you women of the prairie dress. You seem to be severely lacking individuality.”

Hmm, quite the opposite, really. If you knew FLDS women per­sonally, you might think differently. When you focus on the body and its flashing beacons, you get plain boring selfishness. Everyone is the same—selfish, selfish, and selfish. When you focus on the mind and character instead, and your outward attire is plainer and simpler, you get a rare and unique society. You get the blessed consistency of superb individuality.

I suspect there is a serious misunderstanding in mainstream about woman power.  Popular theory claims that conservative Christian women, particularly FLDS women, are kept in chains and lorded over by men. Maybe it’s true in some cases, but it doesn’t have to be. It certainly wasn’t that way for me. I have always thrived on respect. Self-respect and respect for others is the magic potion to wonderful relationships. It’s quite remarkable how well-behaved both men and women can be when respect is the focus.

No, I do not mean to say that disciplining one’s self in respectful behavior means that we all walk around like guppies and have no fun or humor in our lives. No, that euphoric aura of respect did not come down softly like a snowflake and diffuse upon me all at once. I am as proud and sassy as any woman, probably more so. It took a lot of experience, both good and bad, to learn how to behave to earn both self-respect and the respect of others. But hey, the effort was well worth it.

I suppose I could be accused of being “old-school” when it comes to this subject.  I much prefer old-fashioned traditions when the roles of men and women were well-defined and each had their unique aspects of hon­or that neither sex tried to cross over and claim for themselves. True, there were many men in past history who were big fat ugly brutes who thought it was okay to treat women like property. But that has never been a Mormon principle. It was never part of my life or belief system. Many women, and even some men, claim that Mormon prophets, particularly Brigham Young, have been down on women. People who cuss don’t understand the prophets. They speak out of context and twist the words of the prophets to support their own claims.

The fact that most women refuse to be guided by a man shows me that most women have never known men wise enough and self-dis­ciplined enough to peacefully and successfully lead. I do understand. I wouldn’t want to follow a man who doesn’t know how to be a man. But I was rather spoiled. The men in my life–my father, brothers, uncles, leaders, and my husband were hard working gentlemen with a conscience and a sense of humor.

After I began my sojourn in mainstream society, I was shocked to see how children treat their fathers. The “old man”, the dad jokes, the sarcasm about the stupidity and servitude of men I found extremely distasteful. The sassy attitudes of wives towards husbands I found even worse. Modern society glori­fies rebellion, especially female rebellion. Women rule men, and men allow it. I consider it shameful and embarrassing. If women want men to man up, why don’t they help them by treating fathers, brothers, and husbands with respect? Wait. First of all, how about men behave so the women and children want to show respect. What an idea!

I grew up very close to my father. I thought the sun rose and set with him. I still think that about him. It was easy to honor him because he was honorable. He was loyal and faithful, fun and funny, respectful and respectable, and an incredible leader. I thank the Lord every day for my mother who instilled in me that kind of loyalty. Because I learned as a child to honor my father, it was easy to honor my husband, honor the prophets, and most importantly, to honor God.

Learning this honor and respect for male leadership instilled in me a particular mindset. When anything comes up in my life, happy or sad, easy or difficult, my first thought is not, “I think this, and I think that; I want this, and I want that; this is MINE, and that is MINE.” My first thought in any circumstance is, “What does my Heavenly Father think of this? What is His will in this matter?”

What does this mindset produce for me?  Peace.

I believe that the disrespect society shows to fathers and leaders is far more detrimental to the future of this country than most realize. Disrespect and dishonor and sarcasm are like cancer which spreads and destroys. Modern women with all their supposed power is just a stupid flimsy excuse to flaunt selfish will unchecked, which seems to lead to the bottomless pit of immorality. Modern society with its wimpy men and feminist Nazi women has been eating away bit by bit the entire infrastructure of this once illustrious country. It is only a matter of time until the structure crum­bles. Only Almighty God can make America great again.

I have quite a few Christian friends, and some of them have described the “proper way” of marital relationships, as taught by their religious lead­ers. One of my lady friends explained it to me. “The man is not the big fat boss. Both of us, a man and wife, are partners and have equal say. We share the responsibility.”

“I gotta see this,” I mused.

My friend and her husband invited me to go with them to a con­cert, and I rode with them for the drive. The entire time I was with them, they demonstrated this wonderful sharing concept. That poor man couldn’t make a single move without his wife sharing. If he drove left, she shared with him her plan to go right. If he sped up, she shared with him her resolve to slow down. When he tried to park in one spot, she shared with him to park in another. When he was ready to go home, she shared her plan to stay.

“Ah, so this is sharing,” I said, utterly bemused.

I seriously doubt my good Christian friends realize that what they have renamed sharing is actually nothing more than female battle-axe and male milksop. The man doesn’t dare squeak lest the little wife rain hell upon him for not sharing responsibility. Sorry, guys, you fell for it. Give a woman an inch, and she’ll take a hundred miles. You let a woman share equal responsi­bility with you, and she rules. Forgive my smirk. You simply can’t have it both ways. Imagine the consternation of a two-headed beast.

Isaiah 3:12

As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.

Of course, I absolutely agree that a man and his wife should share responsibility, but my definition of “sharing” is rather different. In my world, sharing meant for both a husband and wife to faithfully perform their specific duties and be willing to help one another without expect­ing anything in return. When selflessness, not selfishness, is the focus, the results are extraordinarily favorable.

To have the best kind of peace in a family, there can only be one boss. A good boss respects those who follow him and seeks their perspective and ideas. A husband and wife share the respon­sibility in this manner, but one of them has to have the final word. Doesn’t it just make sense that the man should be the boss before the woman? After all, God is a man, though many women contest that point. God created man in His likeness. They are obviously the bigger and stronger sex, though it might send some women into a tizzy fit to hear me say it.

Some broads consider it their life’s mission to outdo men, but in doing so, they lose the beauty of natural femininity. If that’s what floats your boat, go a floatin’ and see what exotic locale your craft floats to. Cut Your Own Throat Island, perhaps? Go ahead and be that Fat Broad with her club if it turns your crank.

I know how females think because I am one. Deep down, a woman doesn’t actually respect a man who gives in to her selfish whims. Nor does she honestly respect herself when putting herself above a man. And of course a woman doesn’t actually respect a man who throws his weight around, or his temper. The quiet peacemaker qualities of my prince of a husband, his focus on requiring more of himself than he ever did others, in addition to his un­bending resolve to behave according to Christ-like principles, taught me worlds more than all the male domination, or its opposite extreme—wimpy male submission, could have done in a million years.

When I hear women crow about their supposed power and want to damn to perdition all the men in the world, it makes me grimace and shake my head. For a great big mouthy smarty pants woman to declare her superiority over man is no more convincing than a pygmy gnat squeaking out its claims of greatness to a hungry dragonfly.  Chomp. Gnat is gravy. Dragonfly has a bellyache.

But, oh the power of a sweet, peaceful, hard working, unselfish woman with a smile. No comparison.

I find after much experience that the more I submit to God and His program in my life, the more self-respect and self-confidence grows within. True nobility in women is to cultivate the ability to govern one’s self in consistent positive thought and action. True woman-power is the ability of “get ‘er done” in any worthy effort, the power of self-worth, the power of a smile, the power of peace. It is IMPOSSIBLE to get that kind of power by jumping up and down in an anger tantrum, making a horrendous stir, and whining or complaining or demanding or harrumphing or bragging OR being a bad arse and clear full of shmoo. Banana cream pie is much more appetizing.

Give it up, Fat Broad.

Leave the poor snake alone.

Get a life.

 

 

In my first youth, I had a serious weakness for donuts.  I must still be going through puberty because now that I’m in my second youth, I still have a weakness for donuts.  But where is it written that I have to give in to my weaknesses?

When I was in my late teens, although I was active in sports, particularly volleyball, baseball, basketball, and yoga, I began to stack on the lubs.  After many repeated attempts of dieting, I finally figured out the secret to dieting.

DONUT DO IT.

What a vicious cycle.  Invariably with each diet, after successfully losing five pounds, one will just as successfully gain ten pounds until the rounds of blubber stack on like the rings of a giant Redwood.  Perhaps there are a few very special individuals in the world who are masters at enduring the self-inflicted pain of diet withdrawals.  But I suspect that most of us Chunky Cheeks can’t handle diets since the deprivation of our comfort carbs builds up inside like a time bomb until the cravings explode.  Many a time has a deranged diet victim been known to raid the refrigerator not only at midnight, but in broad daylight, or else run the four minute mile to the nearest carb store to get a baker’s dozen followed by the breakage of the current donut inhalation record.  Disgustingly delightful delicacies, to be sure.

It’s just not fair.  I’m telling you, those carb factories must have a hidden agenda to blubberize the world.  I mean, c’mon!  Why else would they take those giant triangular blobs of dough lighter than dandelion fluff, cut them in half, fill the centers with fluffy white cream, and insert sliced strawberries that peep out at you with all their mocking pinkness?  And if that isn’t enough, they slather fudge on top those dang things and call them Alligator Jaws.  Gotcha!  Sure enough, you succumb as the latest victim of the pastry swamp.  Your newest diet is a lost cause.  There should be a law against that kind of fat propaganda.  And for cryin’ out loud, they make those usurpers of diets so pretty.  Pastries are so attractive and enticing.  Okay, Marge the Large Barge, let it go.

I discovered early on that diets simply DONUT work.  The only way to truly become healthy and fit is to slowly implement a lifestyle change.  The first item on the menu is EXERCISE.  The only real and lasting way to change one’s metabolism in order to lose weight and keep it off is activity, and plenty of it.  The second item on the menu is Real Food.  Whole food.  Natural food.  Cutting waaaaay back on empty carbs and replacing them with plenty of high quality protein partnered with a plethora of wholesome vegetables with the life-giving element of natural enzymes enables the body to cast off the unwanted and keep the good stuff.  I discovered that as I quit dieting and stopped focusing on my donut deprivation, as I became more active and consumed more natural foods, the cravings for those pretty little pastries began to diminish.

It took a major jump start for me.  I recall the day I hit the 175 mark on the scale at eighteen years old and panicked.  I was so fed up with the Fat Fight, that night I decided I was going to run five miles.  I ceremoniously donned my black and white Tenny Runner sneakers while adopting the “I’m gonna do this or die trying” expression I had seen on Sylvester Stallone’s face as Rocky when he got serious about training for the big fight.  I considered glurping down a glass of raw eggs to get into the spirit of it, but decided to postpone that extra perk for Day 2.

I headed up the hill and out into the desert in the outskirts of Page, Arizona, where I was living at the time working as an office manager for my father’s construction company.  After one mile I wondered if I actually would die trying.  But I knew that if I gave up before reaching the goal I had set for myself, I would likely never conquer my flab.

Gasping for every breath, I spluttered, “Self, you gotta keep going no matter what.  You can’t let yourself get away with being the local Lardo Lass.  If you are content to carry on with the fat, there’s a whole lot more stupid stuff that will happen.  Besides fat, you will also get lazy, bored, and selfish.  Nope.  Gotta keep going or die trying.”

So, I died trying.  Well, nearly so.  But in spite of my self-inflicted pain, that first Battle of the Bulge taught me a huge lesson.  I could do whatever I decided I could do.  I proved to myself that my better self could manage my worser self.  My second five mile run was easier than the first, and the third five mile run was even better.  Okay, I admit it was torture.  Those aching muscles, not to mention the shin splints screamed at me with every wiggle.  But the good feeling deep down and the exhilaration of accomplishing what I had required of myself was well worth the punishment.  No, I do not recommend anyone suddenly going out and killing themselves off running five miles first thing if they are accustomed to a sedentary lifestyle.  It’s way smarter to start slowly, and increase as the body can safely handle it.  But I don’t regret the extreme measures I went to in order to grab hold of my rapid decline into the fat abyss.

I kept up that habit of running five miles a day for several years until the natural effects of motherhood crowded out my regular exercise and replaced it with more infrequent activity.  I had six sons in a row and found that running after six little boys with all their shenanigans was no small feat in and of itself.  Since I had the blessed benefit of living a community lifestyle among my people, the FLDS Mormons, good health was more achievable than in other environments.  It was a big part of our lifestyle to plant gardens, enjoy the fruits thereof, and preserve the harvest.  Being fit and eating natural homegrown, home cooked food was important in order to have healthy children and healthy families.  It was part of our focus.

I plan on sharing with you some of the Personal Assistants I discovered to aid me in good health and weight loss along my journey, which I will do in the near future.  With all the thousands of products out there these days, it’s easy to get lost on the road to fitness.  Now that I’m older and wiser, having joined the Great Big Middle Age Club, I find the renewal of diet and exercise well worth the effort.  Did I say that word?  Did I say diet?  What I meant was DONUT DIET.  Diets are only temporary, and we are more interested in permanent.  Make a lifestyle change.  Do it slowly by increments.  You will find yourself on the HIGHROAD to self-improvement.

Here it is 7:00 AM, and my truck is warming up.  Gotta roll the rubber to reach Amarillo by morning…

 

P.S. Marge the Large Barge was a term of endearment from my husband when I got overly tempted to engulf the components of the pastry swamp, particularly the illustrious Alligator Jaw. We won’t discuss my term of endearment for him. It was all in good fun, and we had a lot of laughs.

What the heck does a truck driver have to talk about anyway?  “Infinity google ton”, as my six-year-old son used to say to wow his siblings.

I used to live in a bubble.  I was born and raised in a small religious community and lived there nearly fifty years.  It was a rare, wonderful, old-fashioned kind of existence, and I was both blessed and spoiled.  I had no idea what it was like to go hungry or worry about paying rent. 

Somewhat a precocious child with red hair, freckles, and a cheesy grin, I was often lost in bouts of deep and quiet contemplation of the world around me.  My analytical reveries were often interrupted suddenly when I would bubble over and burst into words and song and physical action whenever I felt like it.  I was equally comfortable with my nose in a book, sewing a princess dress, or playing rugby.  Unafraid to try anything, I overwhelmed myself with learning projects and made more blunders in a year than most people do in a decade.

I loved, and was loved, and knew next to nothing about the darkness in the world.

I grew up with the absence of the typical concepts found in mainstream society, and I’ve never felt deprived for it.  I spent many happy years as part of a large family and community doing girlish, tom-boyish, youthful things that eventually matured into lady-like, motherly, house-wifey endeavors like child-raising, cooking, sewing, and teaching.  Picture traveling back in time a hundred years to a thriving self-sufficient Mormon community complete with its economy, trade, thrift, dress, religious sincerity and family focus, but add in the benefit of modern technology.  Can’t get much better than that.

I find that trucking is waaaaay different than anything else I’ve ever done.  I will never regret the years I spent learning feminine skills.  After all, I was born a female, and I never had a desire to be anything else.  Deep down, I am a lady through and through.  My greatest rewards have come from faith, family, and community.  Deep-founded roots are the best part of who I am, but I don’t suppose variety of skill and experience ever hurt anyone.

There came a day in 2012 when I found myself alone trying to navigate the strange, scary new world of mainstream America.  It was like coming from another planet for all the bewilderment I faced in interpreting a world where yes, its beings spoke English, but certainly with a foreign dialect, inflection, tone, cliché, and hidden meaning enough to confuse the greatest linguist. 

The worst part was finding out that I was the foreigner, not everyone else.  I forged ahead pretending I was still on top of the world.  The only problem with that was I had to convince everyone else I had it together so I could market my skills to support myself.  I bumped along learning the world and avoiding pitfalls, rather like a mouse might survive near a harem of cats.  Scuttle into small places in the nick of time to prevent becoming afternoon snack to a feline.

By the time I turned fifty, I started to feel old and set in my ways, kinda like a slab of cement with the lazy, middle-aged mentality of a bowl of jello.  I decided to take a 180 and find something to do different enough to force me out of my comfort zone.  What could I do that would shake me up, sweep out the cobwebs, and make me young again?  Whatever it was had to not only be challenging, but also able to make money.  I got so tired of lady wages.  After several years of living on my own and barely scraping by, something had to change.  I had found that unless you have a bunch of abbreviations in back of your name, typical lady wage was no more than $15 per hour.  I would never become debt free, financially independent, fulfill my myriads of plans and dreams, and become a property owner to boot at that rate.

My prior experience in life had earned me a wide variety of skills, but I knew nothing about marketing or how to match skill with solid business to become comfortably self-sufficient. I could perhaps be called a “Jill of all trades, master of some, maybe none.”  In my youth, I had managed the office for a construction and trucking company, and occasionally, I operated a backhoe when the need arose.  Beginning at 23 years old, I had become a teacher of language arts, business math, speech, type, and home economics in a private school and also my family’s home school for nearly twenty years.

Simultaneously, I had managed a sewing manufacturing business for at least a dozen years covering the various facets of prototype, training, production, sales, and customer service.  I created and produced a mens’ dress shirt line as well as a line of bags and backpacks.  I managed production of many thousands of products for the yoga industry as well as promotional advertising products.  In recent years, I had started my own business called Silverthread Design & Mfg, where I tried to market my considerable skill as a tailor and also in fabrication of home décor for high-end homes.  You might say I’m good at sewing, lousy at marketing.

From youth, I had aspired to be a gourmet cook and baker and had participated in creating an unusual sprouted grain flourless bread product, second to none.  I had started my own business called Sonrise Kitchen, catering sprouted grain bread and popular homemade desserts made with healthy ingredients.  I continued to tinker with my hobbies since I have always imagined myself an amateur poet, lyricist, writer, and coloratura soprano.  I have written skits, plays, and musicals and directed and participated in theatrical performances and performed in vocal groups and as a soloist many times.

With a recent foster care license and real estate license, now I was thinking of getting a CDL license?  Good grief!  Is she nuts, or what?  Perhaps you can see why I was a bit confused where to focus.  I had always thought of myself as a piece of the whole pie.  I was accustomed to being part of a family, a group, a community.  I had the “we” mentality.  So, is this what they call the middle-age crisis when one is accustomed to being surrounded by people and activity, and all one’s decisions are influenced by and reflect that culture, but then from a large school of fish, the racing river of life washes up just one of those fish on a foreign beach, out of natural element, alone, and that writhing fish struggling for air is me?

I finally had to sit myself down in front of the mirror and have a chat.  “Self, you are NOT a community.  You are not PEOPLE.  You are a person, which means ONE person.  You can only do what YOU can do.  You cannot help everyone in the world, and you cannot manage the world.  You cannot make the world understand you, and you can’t worry about trying to fit in because you simply don’t.  Stop trying to find the perfect place.  Make the perfect place.  Stop trying to do business that takes a like-minded group to accomplish it and a like-minded community to appreciate it.  Don’t apologize for being different; enjoy being different.  Don’t try to change anybody else, and don’t resist change in yourself.  Just decide what you want to do and what you want to be.  Get off your butt and get busy.”  Thanks, self.  Nice talk.

It wasn’t that I was lazy, just not nearly as busy as I was accustomed to.  To try so hard and seemingly accomplish nothing made me feel lazy.  Since I didn’t know how to market my existing skills, I decided I had to get some new ones.  I had no desire to go back to school and earn abbreviations, so I haunted job boards and Craigslist ads looking for options.  Seemed like every other ad was for a CDL driver.  At first, I paid no attention, but after seeing those ads for nearly five years, I thought, “Why not me?”  I could see that with a CDL license, I could likely double or triple my wages.  And certainly, the job wouldn’t lack for adventure, not to mention the “challenge” aspect I was after.

I would have to start from scratch since I was not naturally mechanically minded.  I would have to learn a whole new vocabulary since I knew practically nothing about big trucks.  For all I knew, an airbrake was something used by the pilot of a 747 when pausing for a flock of pigeons.  A tandem axle might be a tool used by a pair of Siamese twins to chop their winter wood.  New learning makes a person a bit vulnerable.  I would have to humble down and set aside my former restraints since it meant learning an industry I had always thought kept in the giant garage of the male side of the world labeled “Man stuff.  Women, keep out.”

I was terrified.  Just the thought of driving an 80,000 pound monster down I-70 and losing my brakes on the mountain was enough to propagate pneumonia.  I imagined myself backing up a giant iron contraption hinged in the center.  One false move and I might jackknife the dang thing and wind up smacking myself in the head with my own back-end.  Ironically, the terror was both beckoning and exhilarating.  I made up my mind to conquer my fear or die trying.

I didn’t mind the new prospect of being alone.  Trucking is a solo job.  Well, eventually, it is.  I knew I would have to attend truck driving school and drive with a trainer for a few weeks, but that would be relatively short-lived.  Since most of my previous efforts in business had only made barely enough money to survive, I had concluded that my methods must be rather unorthodox, and just perhaps, I was even a bit strange in the mainstream world of business.  Me, strange?  Impossible!  I had always thought I was on top of the pile and possessed considerable self-confidence.  It was a serious let down to realize that what had always seemed to come easy of getting along, being classy and popular, successful in business, was culture related and culture dependent.  Now that I was the fish out of water, I would either die from lack of natural sustenance, or I could disguise myself as a bird and learn to fly.

This assessment naturally caused a certain amount of self-pity, which I am able to call it now that I look back.  At the time, I felt like shouting to all the members of mainstream society, “Ok, you LOSERS, if you don’t know how to appreciate the good business I can offer, you are missing out!”  I went trucking partly because I was ashamed of my failures to use my skills and natural sense of entrepreneurial prowess to become a thriving success, and I wanted to hide from the world.  Trucking could be my means of escape where I could retreat from unfamiliar society, avoid the unkindness, unfriendliness, and indifference I found everywhere.  Trucking could be a place where I could still be me and master my own time and create my own environment.  I could protect myself from unwanted images and sounds and influences.  I wouldn’t have to try to fit in to keep a job or have to worry about politics.

I could say anything I wanted to in the confines of my truck without the risk of offending anyone or being accused of being racist, sexist, or extremist for saying or doing something I had no clue meant anything offensive.  I could carry on a conversation with myself without anyone finding out I’m looney, and I could sing my heart out. 

This solo mentality was new to me since I had always been a people person, popular and full of myself, in the middle of everything in my own society.  But there comes a time in everyone’s life, whether they ever get to it or not, when a solo journey of self-introspection becomes most valuable.

Learning a new industry at my age has taxed my brain which is a very good thing.  For me, trucking has been filled with formidable obstacles, but it has certainly enlarged my perspective, also a good thing.  Commercial driving has tripled my income, and yes, indeed, that is a good thing.  Little did I know what I was in for to get where I’m at today, but something kept me from giving up the first year.  It could have been my dang stubborn pride that prompted me to keep on truckin’ no matter what some man might say or how many times I got laughed at.  If so, for once I’m thankful for dang stubborn pride.  My misadventures in CDL school deserve a story all of their own.

Now that I am past the first year of driving, and nearly finished with the second, I find that my self-confidence has grown significantly, not just in operating a commercial vehicle and managing the surprising number of various skills required in that endeavor, but also in the self-respect that grows when one takes on one’s self to conquer fear, learn new things, become self-sufficient, and travel strange unfamiliar territory.

I can legally drive eleven hours per day.  What a great opportunity of solitary silence.  I can listen to speeches, tutorials, sermons, classes, and books to improve my mind.  Department of Transportation law requires mandatory rest breaks.  I can only sleep so much.  What a great time to think and write.  I can dream up new ideas.  I can contemplate world hunger while I eat my boiled eggs with salt.  I can analyze global warming and decide to leave the weather alone since I have to drive in it anyway.  I can run an Amazon store from my truck to create additional streams of income.  I can write songs and plays and books.

I can plan my new homestead with cattle, chickens, gardens, and orchards.  I can design the cabin I plan to build when I grow up.  It’s got to have one of those old-fashioned cook stoves like my grandmother had, and kitchen accessories to satisfy the chef in me, and a canning facility, too, to preserve the fruits of the harvest.  I can spend time designing classy creations to beautify my home, which fortunately, I can sew myself with all those commercial machines I’ve got in storage.  My cabin will have lots of rooms, enough for all those children I plan to adopt.  I only had eight of my own, and it wasn’t enough.  And oh! the landscaping on my barnyard estate.  Breathtaking.

The joy is in the planning.  If you want something, you first have to DREAM it up.  Faith, coupled with hard work and persistence, unlocks doors to destinations that seem impossible.  Faith in God and His program stimulates faith in myself.  FAITH is the catalyst to ACTION!

 

 

The Paradox

I was born and raised FLDS Mormon and lived forty-seven years among my people. Married twenty years, raised eight children, had many remarkable experiences, including a terrifying government raid on the YFZ Ranch in 2008 when hundreds of our children were stolen by the state of Texas. In 2012 circumstances caused me to leave my home and community and take on the world, alone. As I lived and worked in mainstream society, wherever I went, people asked strange questions.

Did you escape from that awful religious cult in Southern Utah with the horrible men?

Did your husband beat you and force you to have lots of kids?

Did you escape from Warren Jeffs?

You poor thing! You must be so happy to finally be free.

Huh? Poor me? Free?

When I replied NO, NO, and NO to such questions, I got strange reactions. Silence. Eye rolls. Head shakes. Cold shoulders. Retreating backs. Smiles of pity, and downright angry accusations.

Whaaaat?

Abusive men, stomped on women, illiterate children. Busted bones, broken hearts, darkness and dungeons. Violence, crime, fraud, fear, and deception. Exposure, escape, heroes and heroines.

Seriously?

The moon is made of cheese; the sunset is orange soda. Chocolate with caviar is the best cure for cancer, and a daily Heineken will reverse hair loss. Brett Kavanaugh attacked Christine Ford, and Darth Vader is everybody’s hero. Nancy Pelosi is a pro-life activist, and Donald Trump is actually Santa Clause. The earth is flat, and all men are Christians. The stock market is stable, and my name is Bathsheba.

Somebody is full of beans.

From “Full of Beans”

Available on Amazon

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From “Full of Beans”

“Larry King looks like an ancient fossil up close,” I mused to myself as I sat across from him in his palatial news center in Los Angeles, California. “But, hey,” I told myself, “if I look that good when I’m a hundred and six, I’ll be doing great. Good job, Larry.”

Along with two other church members, I was there in July 2008 at the invitation of the Larry King Show to speak on behalf of my people, the FLDS Mormons. Three months previous, the state of Texas had stolen 446 children from the YFZ Ranch near Eldorado, Texas. Four of them were mine. I felt somewhat like a mother grizzly bear, and the scoundrels had messed with my cubs. There was hell to pay, and someone, or rather a lot of someones, needed to be ripped apart.

A full-scale witch hunt enacted illegally without legal search warrants had erupted upon our peaceful community with snipers on the hills, gunmen in full tactile gear, swarms of officers including the Texas Rangers, local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. Even Fish and Game showed up. The FBI showed up too, but declined to stay, with one officer saying it looked too much like the Waco fiasco. The things that happen as a result of gossip, hearsay, and ignorance, an unholy vendetta, and last but not least, one of the biggest setups in American history by government against its citizens!

Several days before the raid, an African American woman named Rozita from Colorado was paid by witch hunters to make a series of hoax phone calls wherein she posed as an FLDS girl named Sarah, saying she had been forced into marriage at sixteen to an older man and was being abused.  This lie and the myriads that followed from various people with an anti-FLDS agenda resulted in the removal of hundreds of children, a horrific situation which scarred innocent minds for life.

It wasn’t my most natural inclination to behave like a mama grizzly bear or be dwelling upon the fossilized condition of our host, Larry King.  I was trying to stay calm and keep my cool, but I felt terribly betrayed by my own country for perpetrating such a terrible injustice which had brought indescribable heartache upon innocent American citizens.  What had already transpired, and what was yet to transpire was unprecedented in modern day America.

Excerpt from “Full of Beans”

Available on Amazon

From “Stranger in a Strange Land”

After escaping from the nutcase in Winter Park who had hired me to help him establish world peace, I soon found myself driving through Golden, Colorado.  My head throbbed and my eyes were heavy.  So incredibly tired.  I had to get off the highway and sleep for a couple hours before I found myself upside down.  I saw a lovely little park down a hill near a neighborhood, so I took the next exit and circled around to the park.  I stacked my gear higher in the back seat so I could flatten the driver’s seat. I locked the car doors and fell into a deep sleep.

I don’t know how long I slept, maybe twenty minutes, long enough to be in that deep stage of sleep when you definitely should not be disturbed.  Wham! Wham! Wham!  Someone fisted my window so loudly and rudely that I nearly hit the roof.  Dazed, I tried to come to and clear my vision.  My heart beat fast, and my head was killing me.  I peered out my window and saw a policeman with a menacing face glaring at me. He motioned for me to open my window.

I rolled down the window a few inches and looked out hesitant and shaken.  “What on earth am I doing wrong?” I asked.

“Why are you parked here?” he demanded accusingly.

“Isn’t this a public park?” I answered softly.

“It is,” he replied in an ugly tone of voice designed to itimidate.  “But someone in a house near the park reported that you are LIVING here.  I am concerned about the safety of the children that come to this park.”

This was familiar.  I had met that same condescending tone from officers after the raid in Texas.  They had been suspicious and rude and accusing towards people whose only crime was to be busy all the time with normal everyday things like raising children, teaching school, weeding gardens, milking cows, and building houses.

“Why do you have tinted windows?” the officer demanded.  “What are you hiding?”

“I am hiding nothing.” I replied.  “I have been parked here for only a few minutes.  Would you rather I keep driving tired and cause an accident for you to clean up?”

“Roll down all of your windows!” he commanded.

I did so, and he peered inside at my belongings.  “You CANNOT live in this park!” he shouted.

This guy is two quarts lower than the world peace dude, I thought.  I was just about finished with his nonsense.

“I am NOT living in this park,” I replied tersely.  “I am looking for employment and a nice place to live.  You can bet it won’t be anywhere near here.”

The officer continued to glare as he demanded my license and registration.

I handed them over, and he returned to his car to converse with two other officers, one male, and one female.  Wow, I thought, I’m such a lethal threat they had to bring three cars with lights and sirens and three officers and all those weapons to protect themselves from such a dangerous criminal.

The officer returned, swaggering up to my window as though he had discovered I was a member of ISIS.  “WHY is your car licensed in UTAH, your driver’s license in TEXAS, and your car registered to WARREN JEFFS?” he almost shouted.

I sighed.  This guy was such a pompous idiot. Time to bring out the big guns and do battle.

 

From “Stranger in a Strange Land”

FLDS Lady Volume Two

Coming soon on Amazon

From “Stranger in a Strange Land”

I began to seriously consider hiding my identity as an FLDS woman.  So far, my job search had yielded nothing but suspicion and disdain, and I had to find a way to survive.  Soon, I would run clear out of money.  I felt I would sooner die than be found begging on a street corner like I saw many do.  I hated the idea of dressing down and trying to behave like someone I wasn’t, but I decided that a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

I found a thrift store in Denver and faced what I considered to be the hangman.  I had lived in a tradition of modesty for nearly fifty years.  It was a serious challenge to know how and where to compromise in order to fit in and cease the never ending questions.  After a couple hours of searching through racks of clothing, I gathered up a few items I thought I could endure.  I found a dressing room and began my transformation, into what, I did not know.  I took out the hair pins holding my chignon and let my long hair hang loose. I popped two blobs of bubble gum into my mouth to get into the act, and donned my selections.  Did I turn into a modern day chic?  Negative.  I came out looking like an escapee from the psych ward.

Outside the dressing room, I turned about in front of the mirror to observe myself.  There must have been a Two for One sale going on since a line of women stood waiting for the dressing rooms.  One fidgety teeny bopper quickly ducked into mine.  Oh, great.  Now I was stuck out there on Fashion Runway directly in the line of fire.  Since my dignity couldn’t endure form-fitting clothing, I had chosen a blousy top six sizes too big and a pair of trousers that had probably belonged to Melissa McCarthy before weight loss.  Can you guess the results?

Adopting a nonchalant expression, I walked around pushing my basket, which turned out to be a serious problem.  I needed both hands to keep my apparel in place and couldn’t spare one for the basket.  Clutching my neckline with one hand to keep myself from indecent exposure, I used the other hand to hike up my sleeves to keep them from dripping down past my finger tips.  Alas, that left no hand whatsoever to keep my pants from falling down.

My long hair hung in my face obstructing my view, and the large bobble necklace I had flung around my neck to complete my ensemble kept snagging on my unruly locks.  I thought the giant blob of chewing gum did indeed lend itself to the “casual” appearance like the “mainstreamers”, but it proved to be a magnet for my hair.

As I flipped my head going for the cool look like I had observed in a mod woman at the grocery store, my hair flew across my face and latched onto the gum ensnaring it hopelessly.  Between clutching my waistline to gather excess clothing, snatching at my protruding neckline to keep from falling out, hiking up the ends of my sleeves, and trying to de-gum my hair, finally, those wretched pants began to adhere to the law of gravity.  Reaching down to retrieve the miserable duds, my necklace snagged onto a bit of lace on the pants pocket while at the same time snaring itself impossibly into my hair, imprisoning me into a bowing position.  I jerked my head upward tearing lace, hair, and self-respect while dancing the penguin hop, wriggling and juggling to regain some semblance of dignity, but failing miserably.

I looked up to see I had an audience of professional mainstreamers all staring at me with expressions of horror and amusement.  I could see the headlines, “FLDS Woman Caught Posing as One of Us”.  Someone asked if I worked at the thrift store.  Obviously, I was in good company with the less fortunate.

Realizing I would NEVER make a good “normal” person, I made a decision.  I was SO disgusted with the whole world and everybody in it, but most of all, myself, for thinking I needed to wear disguise in order to fit in and be treated fairly.  With severely damaged self-respect, I waited in line for the dressing room, let the wretched fashions fall to the floor, returned my familiar attire to my grateful bod, wound up my hair and plopped it back into a respectable knot on my head, spit out the hateful blob of bubble gum, and walked out to my car.  Something erupted deep down and I mentally shouted to the whole world, but especially to myself.

“NO! NO! A thousand times NO! I am NOT going to apologize for living and get run down by the indifferent swarms of humanity.  I will be ME!  This is the United States of America, the land of freedom, and I am an American citizen.  I will believe how I please, dress how I please, and behave how I please.  It doesn’t matter if I am surrounded by ten thousand like-minded people, or all alone.  I am a Mormon girl.  Anyone who has a problem with that can go take a flying leap in the nearest sewer pond.  If someone is so small-minded and prejudiced that they won’t hire me because of where I came from, they can go back to perdition where they came from.”

My effort to disguise myself began and ended inside of an hour.  And I continued my search for employment…

 

From “Stranger in a Strange Land”

FLDS Lady Volume Two

Coming soon on Amazon

From “Traveling the Highroad”

She doesn’t have the ability to be a truck driver.”

Yes, indeed, that’s what my driving instructor said.  Whatever gave him that idea?  I had enrolled in a three week course in a truck driving school in Colorado the first week of January, 2017.  My New Year’s resolution was to learn something new and make lots of money.  I was weary of lady wages, so I chose trucking since I knew it would challenge me.  I had the mindset that I could learn anything and do well.

I always plan on getting along with everyone, and it always surprises me if I don’t.  I am a natural people lover, and I always assume that everybody loves me too, even if they don’t know it yet.  Someone once told me that I act too dang sure of myself so it threatens people in charge.

I never intend to sass or behave like a “know it all”.  In reality, I am trying to “learn it all”, so I tend to drive people crazy with a million questions.  It takes a little knowledge to ask intelligent questions.  Since I had no knowledge of heavy equipment and the operation thereof, my questions at first were not particularly intelligent.  But as I became familiar with the subject, naturally, my level of intelligence grew, which resulted in more intelligent questions, gradually.  If he will just hold on and give me a minute, for pity sakes, man!  You guessed it.  My instructor was one of those male chauvinist Trumpsters who easily get annoyed with “Blondies” and their dumb questions.  “Why the blankety blank is she in this class anyway?”

As luck would have it, I was the only female in a class of seven, which naturally caused my female-ness to show up more drastically.  I totally enjoyed my fellow students, who ranged in age from 18 to 65, and we all seemed to get along great.  My only problem was getting along with the head instructor.  Poor Harvey.  He had no idea what he was in for when he decided to dismiss me from class for behaving too much like a female.

Sigh.  Somehow the sight of a lady in a dress seems to present an image of a soft-minded creature made of ghost froth who might easily disappear if a breeze comes along.  Wrong.  I had made up my mind to learn to drive a truck and I wasn’t going to go away easily or quietly.  Just because I’m a female and wear a dress and speak softly doesn’t mean I can’t learn stuff, for cryin’ out loud.  During my three week class, four different individuals, one instructor, one fellow student, and two office personnel, sidled up to me and put their arm around me to gently break the news, “Maggie, your clothes are nice, but you need to realize that you can’t dress like that and drive a truck.  You’re going to have to lose the dress.”

“Oh yeah?  Watch me,” I thought.  Think about it.  A century ago, pioneer women worked a lot harder than women do today, and they were usually completely covered.  In fact, back then they wore a whole lot more layers of petticoats than I do.  I bet they never thought, “It’s going to be extra hot today driving this wagon across the plains.  I’ll think I’ll throw off all my clothes and wear shorts and a tank top.”

I had dressed modestly every day for fifty years, and I saw no reason to change.  It doesn’t matter a hill of beans to me what everyone else around me does.  It certainly isn’t my motive to draw attention to myself.  I’m not trying to prove a point, make a statement, or become a symbol.  I simply dress to please myself.  Myself is comfortable in a dress.  I didn’t look like I fit in a truck driving class.  So what.  But that fact added to my persistent questions and complete vulnerability in a male dominated environment seemed to affect the head instructor’s perception of my ability, or rather, the lack therof.

We had five instructors.  No problem getting along with four of them.  Unfortunately, before the first day of class was half over, I could see I was in for a personality clash with the head instructor, Harvey.  His style of teaching was to dish out sarcasm and belittlement in abundance which sent a message to his students that it was okay to match wits in self-defense.  For me to even ask a question would often instigate a debate before a direct answer was given.  Harvey was obviously very knowledgeable about the subject, and I was in awe of both his knowledge and ability.  Unfortunately, he confused the heck out of his students because he so often displayed cynicism and disrespect, but then out of the blue, he would throw a curve ball and send out a splash of good will and humor so that a student who he just made feel like shmuck would keep trying.  Trouble was I never knew which mood to expect at any given moment.

During my previous teaching career over a span of twenty years, I had learned by experience that if a teacher has trouble in his classroom, most of the time, it is his own fault.  No matter the age of the students, a teacher must set the learning stage with respect, directness, patience, and humor.  All human beings learn best by repetition, encouragement, and example.  When an instructor presents information in a positive, non-oppressive manner, optimum learning takes place.

Harvey’s qualities were many, and to be sure, we heard about them all day long.  He had a tendency to present himself as the God of Truck.  I got the feeling that if I could not measure up to his level RIGHT NOW, I would be banished to the scooter squad.  He had a way of making one feel foolish for asking questions.  One got the impression that Harv considered himself a step above Superman if he had to exert patience and explain things too many times.

Life in Harvey’s classroom was indeed a study, and certainly a bit frustrating because I honestly liked him and was all ears because I wanted to learn.  I could see that he had wonderful potential of teaching excellence, but he was so full of himself that he could only understand his own language, which was almost entirely foreign to me.  Teaching had taught me that just because a teacher teaches, that doesn’t mean a student learns.  The student must learn in his own language, so to speak.  No matter how incredible a teacher may be, and no matter how brilliant a student may be, the instructor cannot impart his knowledge to the student by giving lessons in Portuguese if the student speaks Swahili.

In spite of the challenge, my classroom assignments scored all A’s, and I was making progress.  Fortunately, when we went out in the field by Day 5 and began learning to drive a semi-truck, our instructors Bill and Bob were quite patient.  Learning to shift a manual transmission without grinding was huge, and needless to say, I earned a lot of laughs for my girlie escapades.  I should have charged admission to all those guys who enjoyed themselves at my expense.  I did learn and improve each day, but in the classroom, life became increasingly miserable.

The fateful fiasco came on Day 7 when we were doing a classroom exercise.  Harvey turned on his overhead projector to demonstrate a bill of lading.  Two problems: one, the board was dirty from cleaning neglect, and two, the image was grey, almost the same color as the board.  Difficult to read.  Harvey instructed us to copy the projected bill of lading on our blank forms and warned us that it must be exact.  I happen to be a perfectionist to a fault.  I had to get it just right, but I could not read the board.  It wasn’t that my vision was in question, but since I had chosen a back seat to minimize my presence in an all-male classroom, besides the fact that the image was handwritten, smudged, and on top of a dirty board, we had a crisis.  I had learned from experience that if I asked Harvey for help, he was most likely to deliver a cynical retort which would add just one more belittlement in front of our class of six men.  It gets rather tiring after so long.

We had a ton of paperwork to get through in a short time, and I couldn’t risk getting behind.  Finally, I told Harvey that I could not see the information and asked if he might read it to me so I could write it down.  Sure enough, Harvey replied in his Harvey tone that I could march myself up to the board to get a closer look.  I felt stuck between a rock and a hard spot.  I had no intention of making trouble for Harv, but I knew that if I walked up to the front of the classroom, the projector light would shine through my clothing, too obvious in front of a group of men.  Not my style.

I wrote down all I could from the view at my seat and then set the exercise aside to finish later.  Harvey had told us the first day to always keep our flash cards handy so we could fill our spare moments with memorizing vocabulary terms and definitions.  I got out my cards for review.  Harvey walked by and pointed out that I had not finished the exercise and told me to put away my cards.  He insisted I walk up to the board to write down the information.  It wasn’t a test on knowing the words, just a practice lesson on filling in the blanks on a form.  I asked Harv if I could get the words from Steve, my next door neighbor student.  Harvey replied in an exasperated tone that I MUST learn how to fill out a bill of lading and should do whatever it takes to get the information from the board.  I answered that I already knew how to fill out a bill of lading.  I just needed the words.

Bad commenced to worse, and Harvey reached the end of his very short fuse.  Dang my pride.  I should have set aside my caution and marched up to that board and made a spectacle of myself, no problem.  Why didn’t I just do whatever it took, huh?  After all, this is truck driver school, and the classroom is run by a hardened truck driver who doesn’t give two cents for a lady’s dignity, and she should just accept that fact and act like a truck driver like he does, right?

But let’s be fair.  Harvey could have prevented the challenge in the first place.  He could have kept his board clean, and he could have made sure his projected form was clear, and if not, he could have read it to those of us who couldn’t read it.  He could have tried to understand that there must be a good reason why the one female in the class didn’t want to walk through a light in front of seven men.  Harvey should not have assumed that the female in question was just being stubborn because she loves to challenge his authority and disrupt his class.

Harvey disappeared from the classroom and I got the feeling that World War Three was imminent.  He returned a few minutes later to escort me to the principal’s office for a thorough scolding and expulsion from school.  Harvey stood with his arms folded and announced to Fiona, the HR manager, “I recommend we dismiss this woman from our driver training program.  In all my thirty years’ experience, I have never met a student who asks so many questions.  She is not grasping the material, and she does NOT have the ability to be a truck driver.”

I stared at Harvey, dumbfounded.  The HR manager took it from there.  “Miss Jessop, we don’t think this class is a good fit for you, and we have decided to terminate your enrollment.  Your potential employer has been notified.”

I was bewildered.  The HR manager was a woman I had never met.  She knew nothing about me except what she had been told and what she could see in front of her.  It was too obvious that both Harvey and Fiona expected me to cave in and go away in a meek lady-like manner and never be seen or heard of again.  It dawned on me at that moment how much we as human beings judge one another based on appearance and hearsay.

It was so ridiculous, it was almost funny, but I was past being amused.  What an insult to intelligence.  Not smart enough to be a truck driver, huh?  I had passed the Colorado real estate test the first try a few months’ prior, which I had been informed was a commendable accomplishment.  I had taught language arts, business math, speech, speed reading, home economics, and chorus for years.  I had been a business owner and manager.  I had been through many experiences over the years which had taken the kind of grit that would make a grown man cry, yet these folks were treating me as though I was illiterate and incapable.  They had no idea what kind of person they were dealing with.

Hurricane Maggie was about to arrive.

 

 

From “Traveling the Highroad”

FLDS Lady Volume 3

Coming soon on Amazon

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary…

to drive a Big Rig, it is also necessary to do it safely.  THEREFORE, thou must bring thyself down into the depths of humility and give thy consent to be crammed into an exceeding squishy cave-like compartment with another being, perhaps human, until such time as the tight-fisted, unsmiling keeper of the trucking universe has peradventure determined that thou art no longer a danger to thyself, nor to the remainder of said universe.  And thou must do this cheerfully, without malice, regardless of the sight, sound, or smell, of the said being thereof.

After surviving truck driving school and graduating with your very own piece of plastic bearing your name which declares your honorary title of CDL driver, you discover that you now have to convince the owner of a $100,000 truck to let you drive it.  Most trucking companies have a driver trainee program where a beginner is teamed up with a trainer.  A certain length of time, or a certain number of miles are required before the trainee is allowed to drive his or her own truck.  Some companies are so desperate for drivers, the duration of team driving is relatively short-lived.  This sometimes results in inexperienced, unsafe drivers let loose on the roads, but for the most part, drivers are held to certain standards of skill before they go solo.

I definitely agree on the importance of a trainee proving skill before risking his own life, not to mention the lives of others out there on dangerous highways.  However, teaming can be a huge challenge simply because of human nature.  It isn’t easy to find compatibility with a stranger and work that closely for several weeks or months.  It is particularly challenging for a female since there is a shortage of female trainers, and it can be rather awkward for a female to team up with a male trainer.  On the other hand, it may be easier for a female to get along with a male trainer rather than a female trainer.  It totally depends on personality, personal habits, level of professional attitude, and one’s own ability to adapt to anything, no matter how foreign.  I can only exclaim, “Blessed are those who can endure team driving.”

For team driving situations, trucks are usually equipped with double bunks with enough space afforded the trainee on the top bunk equivalent to the space one might find in a prison camp.  Depending on the truck make and model, the trainee may or may not be able to sit on the bed without bumping his head.  Generally, a driver trainee has already had a certain amount of training and has a CDL (commercial driver’s license).  Usually, the trainer spends a day or more in the passenger seat guiding and directing to be sure the trainee knows how to handle the truck and the road, be it somewhat awkward.

After trust is earned and a comfort level is reached, the trainer and trainee begin taking shifts, each one spending break times either in the passenger seat, or in his own bunk.  Technically, for safety reasons, it isn’t legal for someone to be in the top bunk while the truck is moving, but most trainers are only too happy to turn a blind eye and let his trainee sleep on the top bunk.  The idea is to keep the truck moving and cover as many miles as possible safely.  The trainee gets practical experience and has a trainer available just a few feet away.  Ideal scenario.  What could possibly go wrong?  Just about everything.

I was a terrible team member.  I couldn’t seem to find even a shred of compatibility enough to endure a few weeks.  Heaven help any trainer who tried to put up with me.  I’m sure I was considered the world’s biggest prude because I had simply never before been exposed to nakedness and the constant stream of language which largely favored the letter “F”, not to mention the never ending innuendos of a subject that starts with “S” and ends with “X”.  I burned through six trainers and finally gave up.  No way was I going to give up driving, but I had to find another way.

 

From “Traveling the Highroad”

FLDS Lady Volume 3

Coming soon on Amazon