Family Center - A Trucker's Wife

Life on the Road: A Real Eye Opener!

By Amie Taylor

I recently had the opportunity to accompany my husband on the road. Having made it back alive, I can say that I highly recommend it. If you get the chance to go out with your guy, go for it. A trip with the hubby is an adventure, a lot of fun and it gives you a perspective on what your man does all week that you'll never get from sitting at home.

I was a little apprehensive when it came to the prospect of going OTR. On one hand, I was really intrigued and eager to go. On the other hand, I didn't quite know about leaving behind the comforts of home. I'm a lot happier with cable TV and knowing where the bathrooms are! Maybe I'm just not that adventuresome. Who knows? At any rate, when my husband called me on a Friday night saying he was heading for Florida, the temptation was too great. I told him to pick me up! I was headed for the open road!

Going on the road with my husband really gave me a sense of closeness, togetherness and working together for a common goal with him at the wheel and me with the map. We even managed to make a side trip and spend three hours in the ocean at Daytona Beach! While life on the road was a ball, partly due to the great company and the adventure, it sure opened my eyes to what life on the road is like for my husband.

Here are just a few of the things that surprised me while I was out:

Showers - I'd always found the idea of taking a shower on the road in a truck stop to be a little odd. I could not quite imagine taking my clothes off in a public place (even though I knew I'd be in a private locked room) and showering where hundreds of other people had showered before me. Sounded a little iffy to me.

Let me tell you, after a few days on the road with only washing up with cold water in a pan in the back of the truck, the truck stop shower is a true thing of beauty! We only managed to squeeze two in the whole week we were out, but they were absolutely the best showers ever. I think that fact that they were so overdue made me appreciate them more. I've never felt cleaner than I did after those showers. They were nice and private, roomy, clean and there was plenty of hot water. Ambrosia! I felt like a new woman. I'm a huuuge fan of the truck stop shower!

Directions and Map Books - I never understood why my husband would call me so frequently to have me look at a map or find directions on the computer. It was so aggravating. I always seemed to be in the middle of something. Why couldn't he pull over? What is dispatch for? Why bug me?

Now I appreciate the fact that from time to time he needs a little help. I saw that when you're trying to get from point A to point B in a hurry, pulling over is not something you want to do unless you have to. It was great while I was in the truck and could consult the map for him while he continued to drive. I was the queen of the map book and the truck stop guide, and felt proud that I was such a help to him! At the same time, the next time he called me at home for help, I didn't gripe!

Truck Stops, Rest Areas and 4-Wheel Travelers - I never understood why my husband begrudged having to share truck stops and rest areas with vacationers. I really thought he was being incredibly picky when he wished there were places solely dedicated to truckers. Now I get it!

When I woke up first thing in the morning, throwing on my clothes and making a mad dash for the bathroom, the last thing I really wanted to deal with was a bunch of happy, loud, jovial vacationers, freshly showered, dressed and out enjoying their vacations in their nice comfy SUVs. Heck, I'd not had a shower for two days! My hair looked like I'd slept in it 'cuz I had. I wasn't feeling exactly friendly and the last thing I really needed was a bunch of loud, excited chattering people. Grrrr. Truckers definitely need places of their own!

Eating - I always nag my husband about this. "You need to eat. You need to have meals. Why do you go all day without eating?" Well, I see now. The day just goes. It flies by in the truck. While I did always manage to have a snack or a sub or something stashed away to nibble on, getting regular meals just never seemed to happen. It's so easy to judge when I'm home with the kitchen close at hand.

Lot Lizards - Every new trucker's wife can probably understand apprehension involving these "working girls." While we may have the greatest hubby in the world and trust him implicitly, it's still a little scary to think there are women out there whose sole mission is to have sex with your man! And for your money! Grrrr. I'd say most trucker's wives see red just thinking of it.

For one thing, I didn't even see one the whole seven days we were out. I had anticipated seeing them somewhere, but they never appeared. While there are obviously places where they are, there are also plenty of places where they are not. Also, when that truck stopped, we were both so tired. I honestly don't know how some men, any men; have the energy to "entertain". We were exhausted and both fell asleep as soon as the wheels stopped turning. Who knew trucking was so tiring?

Wives on the Road - I was also surprised at the number of wives/girlfriends out on the road with their hubbies. Some of them are even out there all the time. It was nice to see. I even managed to have a couple of conversations with other wives. It's nice to see family men that are devoted to their wives and dispel the myth of the single trucker out for a good time.

Restaurant Meals - After most of the week spent existing on Subway, hot dogs and McDonald's, a restaurant with silverware was a real treat. While it wasn't home cooked, it was sure the next best thing. Fast food gets old quick. No wonder my hubby's happy with even the simplest things cooked at home.

Cozy Bunks - This was another surprise. Having chronic back problems, I thought I might be really uncomfortable in the truck. No way. I love the bunk! Hubby's truck has two so he took the top and I took the bottom and let me tell you, I've never felt cozier or as snug as a bug in a rug than when I was sleeping in the truck. It was comfy too. I swear my back even felt better when I got home.

No matter if you are out with your man all the time or if you just take the occasional trip, being on the road is a real eye opener. Be prepared to rough it in some regards. It's not like being at home, but it is a lot of fun.

I was surprised at how happy my husband was to have me with him. I was surprised that life on the road was very different from what I'd pictured. I was surprised at how quickly each day went and the whole week was over before I knew it.

Going on the road gave me a sense of accomplishment and confidence knowing I was able to live on the road happily and successfully. A trip on the road will give you a whole new understanding, too, if you'll just let it.