Life has been chaotic for me and my family since Sept. 13th of last year. It is never easy changing jobs, or in my case careers. My wife has been having one medical problem after another which has not only been painful, it has also been a huge financial strain. She has had to have two surgeries on her foot in the last 13 months which has put her off work for about a month each time. She has also been having some heart problems as well, and it looks like corrective action will need to take place there as well. In addition to this, she has unbelievable asthma causing coughing fits so severe that I wonder if she is able to breathe. What makes matters worse is that she pretty well has to go at it alone because I have gone most of the time since Oct. 18th when I left to start working at JB Hunt.
Then there is the struggle of trying to figure out what we are doing. Truck driving is one of the worst careers possible for a person who cares about his health and hates being alone, but I simply see no choice in the matter. After leaving the Marines, I felt as if God was calling me into the ministry. I devoted myself to that endeavor for a good portion of my adult life, but I am forced to face the fact that I seem incapable of measuring up to the standards of the full-time ministry. I have given it my best effort in several different capacities over a period of many years. I gave a maximum effort, made many sacrifices, uprooted my family, destroyed my future, and isolated myself from my mother and other extended family. I have poured myself into education, but my education has only put me at odds with some of the beliefs and practices of the denomination I was educated to serve.
Therefore, like so many others who have been educated for the ministry, I also must give up the delusion of being called to that career and accept the fact that I need to find another way of making a living. At age 50, it’s kind of late in the game to be starting over. So, it looks like I must resolve myself to life on the road. With any luck, life will be short.
Then there is the question of where are we going to live. We already started packing back in September in the hopes of moving closer to our daughter and granddaughter. I had even taken a job anticipating our move towards Searcy, and we even found a church that we really liked up there. However, this would mean that Paula would have to change jobst too which would lose our health insurance, and we would be moving away from our son who is not interested in leaving Mena at this point.
During November and December I crisscrossed the country east to west four times. That earned us some money, but several things has lead me to change companies already.
- The heating system in my truck was not adequate for keeping me warm at night. Because of this, I was not getting adequate rest.
- My truck was small and it was against company policy to own an inverter to power a refrigerator and microwave.
- I was employed out of Searcy instead of Mena which made it difficult to get home.
- Trucks were governed at 62 miles an hour. This was a real problem going through states where the speed limit is 80 mph.
I do not like changing jobs so quickly, but I didn’t see any choice in the matter. It set us back financially, but I believe it was the right move for the long term. I am now home to pack up my truck and prepare for the next several weeks of living on the road. All indications right now are that we are staying put in Mena.
Caleb is going to drive up the Searcy and bring Tabitha back today. So I will get to see her and Grace before I leave. My dog is very glad to have me home so somebody will take him for a walk. I’m glad to be in warm temperatures again especially since the company I now work for is in LeMars, IA which is just a few miles from the first full time preaching position I took after graduating college. It is like the artic circle of the midwest. I never thought I would have to go back there. I suppose most have never heard of LeMars, IA, but you’ve heard about Blue Bunny Ice Cream. That is where it is made. Perhaps they make it there so they don’t have to worry about freezing it.
I figure I will return to Northside. I’m not really sure who my real friends are there anymore, but I won’t be in town much to enjoy church fellowship anyway. So I might as well go where people at least know who I am.