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Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



As was documented in this space last week, it’s been a rough start to spring for me. In order to qualify my need for a week off from this column I am pleased to bring you just a brief overview of the last two weeks as seen from my brain…(note…names have not been changed because at this point there really is no need to protect anyone.

Day 5… This is really the best place to start…Day’s one through four were fairly normal busy days of running back and forth in the tender truck with the normal six a.m. call time and heading home in the evening around six or seven. But on Day 5 that is when the real fun began as it was decided that by midafternoon the ground was fit enough to pull gas. Time in – 6 a.m. Headed home that evening at 9:45 pm.


Day 6… I’m pretty sure it is Friday at this point. I’ve reset the trip monitor on the pick up to see how many miles a day I’m covering. I’m enjoying this. It’s not hard pulling tanks down the road, but can tend to be a bit like sitting in a bumper car when you are going down a gravel road. Finally realized it was Saturday and when I clocked out to go home at 10:30 p.m. my time card showed 68 hours for the week.


Day 7… I know it is Sunday only because I’ve listened to four radio sermons going down the road at 30 mph. It’s 9:45 in the morning and I’ve eaten most of my lunch. This could be a long day. I begin playing math games to determine how many hours I’ve been at work. I stopped at McDonalds at 10:15 to get something to eat. The car in front of me sat there for an excessive amount of time as they debated with the drive through attendant if they could get a 20 piece chicken nugget pack. They decided then to not order nuggets, opting for breakfast instead with and ice tea without ice. I silently hoped their car would explode before they got to the window to pay.


Day 8… To be quite honest Day 8 and 9 pretty much flowed together. I’ve gotten really good at reading a plat map but am beginning to question why there are so many dirt roads in this neck of the woods. I’ve now resorted to eating multiple lunches to stay awake during the day. I’ve misplaced the vanilla coke that I bought at the gas station. Vanilla Coke found two miles down the road right before I had to stop and wash it off the windshield and hood with a garden hose. Checked the trip meter…1205 miles at 30 miles an hour. That’s like driving from here to Maine by horse.


Day 10…I’ve realized by the time I ate the first of three peanut butter sandwiches I packed that if I got hit by a bus that I would still get a regular paycheck. This day after hour 49 I began to wonder how people who work three twelve hour shifts in a row spend their free time. I also start switching radio channels at random as I have now memorized the KSOM play list. I leave work late that evening and called my daughter on the way home. I wondered why all the traffic on the interstate was flying by me as though there had been a bomb dropped on Omaha and they were trying to get away. Looking at the speedometer I realized I have been doing 47 mph on the interstate. Speeding up to normal speed is scaring me and I feel portions of my face sliding off from the g-forces.


Day 11…It’s Thursday…I’m sure of it. At least I think I am sure of it. I’m well into hour 60 for the week and am trying to remember the middle names of all of the kids I graduated high school with. I’m hungry for tacos, but realize that tacos are not driving down the road kind of food. I’m completely and utterly exhausted but in a great mood because the forecast is calling for rain. At 8 pm. I met one of my coworkers in the yard and we stood talking for a minute about the rain chances for Friday. I said I didn’t mind being so tired because if it rained on Friday I was leaving early. He had the brass monkeys to openly attempt to dash my hopes by saying that they had been talking rain for two days and we hadn’t had any yet. I come from a long line of pacifist Quakers and told him to shut his w…. mouth or I would throat punch him with a hammer. The boss saw this exchange and decided we were both tired and should go home.


Day 12…Friday…No rain yet. I pulled into the shop and prepped my pick up for the day. I made sure to grab a hammer just in case the promised precipitation did not arrive. By 8:30 a.m. we are rained out. I’m still doing circles at 30 mph trying to drag tanks back into the yard to be filled. Phone rings at noon and I’m told everyone is going to lunch. I explained that I was an hour out with a set of tanks and that unless they are going to wait for me that I’ll just go without. Clocked out in an empty office at 4 pm on Friday…hour 75. 1633 miles at 30 mph. I’m positive that is half the distance to the moon.



Since that time…I’ve spent a total of 2 hours out of bed. I’ve got a cold…am losing my voice, and as much as it pains to say me…I’m ready to do it all again. But’s back to bed for just a little more rest. See you next week…remember, we’re all in this together…except for those punks that left early on Friday before I did, they are on their own.