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