My husband is a trucker. It can be quite lonely for both the truckers and their partners. Many wives have a hard time adjusting so there are on-line support sites and Facebook groups for truckers’ wives.
Having been single for 15 years before we married, it wasn’t as hard for me to adjust to his job when he went on the road. Amie Taylor offers some great tips for managing our lives as truckers’ wives. I was glad to see I’d naturally fulfilled her suggestions and was doing just fine most days without him around to help with the trash, dog doo… well, you know the drill.
We’d both just simply prefer to be together daily, though. And then I missed him today, so here’s an ode to my trucker man.
A Trucker’s Wife Sings the Blues
I’m jealous of the road
That takes him from
Down long stretches of
Highway and adventure
That I could not
It gifts him with
Visions of sunsets
And sunrises that
I can only dream of,
Deserts and forests
Only in my imagination,
Lakes and mountains
I long to gaze
Upon with him.
The road guides his days
And his nights
Changing his landscape
With every mile
While my days are
Filled with visions
Of the same four
Walls, as I look for
Waiting for the road to
Decide when to release
Him back to me
For a day or two
Of warmth, of love,
Bringing life back to
These four walls
Only to snatch
Him up again
Leaving me jealous
When I was young and thin, I practiced yoga occasionally for relaxation and strengthening. Many years and many pounds later, the positions weren’t as attainable. Sometime between then and now, I bought some exercise equipment. That’s as far as I got. The grandkids have enjoyed the giant ball and the yoga mat has stayed neatly tucked in the corner of the closet.
But something had to be done after three auto-immune diagnoses and the pain to go along which kept me sedentary far too long. So, I decided to check out yoga once again and began last week with a private session to see what, if anything, this ole body could do.
Lindsay at Samsara Wellness Center here in Bakersfield was as encouraging as she was kind. I hated to tell her after 20 minutes of some gentle stretching that my body was preparing to enter into total rebellion, so I endured another ten minutes. The body, which gurus say we must listen to, was going into shutdown mode. I had to tell her. She understood and still encouraged me by noticing that I am strong and flexible. She didn’t strike me as delusional, so I took her words under consideration and quietly exited the building.
When I arrived home, I thought I was going to die. Sitting on the couch, I couldn’t move, so I leaned … more like slowly fell… to my side, laid down and took a nap. Not wanting to give up, though, I decided to act on Lindsay’s encouragement and go to chair yoga the following week. Linda was our instructor and provided a lovely lotion smelling a little like Mentholatum for our necks, but I had her put it on my low back. Oh, how wished I could bathe in it.
It was a bit of a workout but relaxing and calming, true to yoga’s purpose. My hips and low-back began complaining about a half hour into the sitting exercises, so I was glad we stood to do more exercises. After an hour I wondered how much longer it was going to go on, praying it would end soon. Seeing that it wasn’t because she kept starting new stretches, I decided an hour was a lot better than the half hour I did last week so I wrapped it up and snuck out as quietly as I could. I was delighted afterwards that, other than some nagging pain in the left hip, I didn’t think I was going to die.
Next, I decided to try Samsara’s restorative yoga class since restoration is what I’m ultimately hoping for. Even though getting down and up from the floor is difficult, I expected that once I was on the floor I could do the stretching exercises. I was wrong. My extra-thick yoga mat that I was finally using didn’t even help. What I had forgotten was that the normal fibromyalgia trigger points for most patients are not really points on my body. My entire midsection from waist down is one large trigger point. Laying on that area was excruciating at first, and I thought I wasn’t going to be able to stick around for this class after all. But I worked on relaxing and breathing and soon my low back was beginning to cooperate.
I worked along with instructor Cathy’s healing voice, using extra padding and adjusting poses and stretches as my body needed. About three-quarters of the way through the program I was glad that I had stayed. Until, that is, what I’ll call the pretzel move. Everything pre-pretzel became a blur. Sitting, she had us bring our knees up, feet on the ground separated hip width apart. Then we were to sit up straight and put our hands down at our sides with our fingertips resting on the ground just behind us. “Did I forget to tell her that I have arthritis? In my fingers too?”
Cathy then had us move our right arms to our left sides, turn the upper portion of our bodies to the left and rest with our faces on our bolsters. But my body wasn’t having anything to do with this contorting. I wondered what in the world she was thinking… how anyone, let alone this 60-year old, full-figured grandma, could imitate the shape of a pretzel. She said that the right knee will be resting inside the ball of the left foot on the floor. “No lady, it won’t.”
Next thing I know, the nurturing instructor was next to me assisting with my positioning. She made it effortless and voila! I’m a pretzel. It felt good. I struggled through this yoga session, but the hour and fifteen minutes went by much faster than my previous two sessions. I made it through the entire workout. I felt like a rock star.
It always seems impossible until it’s done. ~ Nelson Mandela
The Bakersfield Sam Lynn Ballpark’s age only adds to its charm with giant trees and leaves so thick, they are a refuge from the blazing sun in the dry, valley town. It was Spring, so the trees and grass were especially verdant and the azure sky surprisingly clean and clear. Smiling faces in the crowd, kids playing calmly and my happiness at being with my family revealed a collective serenity – one of those serendipitous moments that seems to appear right out of another realm. With the sunlight glimmering through the trees and the anticipation of watching my grandson play ball, the afternoon was as invigorating as it was calming.
Then, in the midst of this savoring moment, it was as if something beckoned my attention – I noticed movement from the dugout. A lanky teen sauntered toward home plate with his bat confidently resting on his shoulder and thick, red curls billowing out from under his helmet. I love gingers, especially the strawberry blondes – like mine had always been until I turned 50 when it turned a ghastly dirty dishwater gray. The batter had to be twelve to thirteen years old in this league, he was slender and about five and a half feet tall. I imagined knobby knees and elbows under his baseball pants and three-quarter length sleeves.
The Ginger took his position to the catcher’s right – he was a lefty. He took ownership of his place by raising his left arm and positioning each foot squarely and firmly into the dirt as if he was holding our massive planet in place beneath his feet, as though he was directing it to do its job in support of his mission. This Ginger’s authority and defined stance reflected ownership of the space orbiting him.
He was a natural ball player, but he had attributes setting him apart from other kids his age. His interest in the game was genuine and the immature emotional expressions that are typical with this age group eluded him. Frowns, yawns, and staring off into space showed disinterest by some kids. Wide-eyed or “deer-in-headlights” stares reflected performance anxiety by others. But not this Ginger. His eyes were always on the ball, where the play was happening or looking ahead to his next move.
After his hit, the ball player made it, limping, to first base. Stealing was natural for him and he made several attempts to do so as though it was his one and only responsibility in life – to score for his team. He was having trouble with an injury not obvious earlier, so he was taken out and replaced with another runner. He showed no disappointment as he hobbled to the dugout.
When the young ball player was called from the dugout to pitch during the next inning, the crowd silently wondered how this would work since his injury took him out of the game earlier. I suspected the coach saw this kid as the team’s super power and took advantage of his best resource in a time of need. But, the Ginger’s injury turned out to be his kryptonite that day. He was removed from the mound after just two or three pitches. It didn’t matter, though. He’d be back. If not today, then tomorrow. Depending upon the seriousness of the injury, it may be painful to play ball, or it may not, but he will play nonetheless.
Sometime after the young Ginger disappeared into the dugout, my attention was drawn back to the brilliant canvas of colors that welcomed me when I arrived. Under the shade of the tarp and overgrown trees, I sat in the bleachers of the time-honored baseball park, once again relishing in the setting that seemed prepared just for me… and I rested in the tranquility of the moment.
Let us come alive to the splendor that is all around us, and see the beauty in ordinary things. ~ Thomas Merton[Top]
When it comes to furniture, personal comfort has been a priority for me, especially since 2010 when my body flared up with the auto-immune conditions fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. My husband and I found a bed we both liked even though he likes firm and I like cloud-like comfort enveloping me on every side. It served us well for a good eight years, but it was only a queen size – a choice we later regretted. Additionally, I was experiencing more pain on my pressure points with the mattress as time went on.
We ventured into a local mattress store to look for a king-size bed with a good level of comfort. We found it – it was more expensive than we thought we’d ever pay for a bed but we both loved the puffy comfort on their showroom floor. After delivery, I was surprised at how hard it was. It was not the same mattress we tried and thought we were purchasing despite the paperwork all stating it was. We were within the 100-day trial period, though, so we decided to trade it for another.
My daughter, who has some auto-immune issues too, was experiencing success with a Tempur-Pedic® mattress she purchased last year. I was hesitant because I didn’t like memory foam mattresses that I’d slept on before. We found a possible compromise – a hybrid that includes cushion spring coils but testing it on the showroom floor didn’t give us that cloud-like comfort I so loved. We took a chance anyway realizing the level of immediate comfort just might not be the ultimate indicator of what’s best for our aging, aching bodies. Delightfully surprised, I’m experiencing no pain from pressure points and my husband and I are getting a good night’s sleep every night. Also, it’s incredibly comfortable!
We went through the same process for our new living room furniture. Due to low-back and hip problems, I need to recline with my feet up. We expected our former pricey, leather recliners to be good for us but we found they had no lower-back support, so they required replacement. We ordered a good-quality reclining sofa and love seat which turned out to be harder than we like when simply sitting. Initially, they didn’t necessarily have the “feel” of low-back support, yet I feel great after sitting on them. We’re delighted that they’re providing healthy support.
These experiences taught me something about myself – what I need may not always be what I initially want but can turn out to be just the thing I really do want. Now, maybe I can apply this lesson to my eating habits and switch from the seemingly satisfying foods that I think I must have to more nutritional foods. Maybe I can realize a new health where my body is genuinely satisfied and fit, not relying any longer on the cheap, fattening, sugary starches. Hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?
Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it. ~ Kahlil Gibran[Top]