A Wealthy Soul

Up with the sun, gone with the wind
She always said I was lazy
Leavin’ my home, leavin’ my friends
Runnin’ when things get too crazy
Out to the road, out ‘neath the stars
Feelin’ the breeze, passin’ the cars

Women have come, women have gone
Everyone tryin’ to cage me
Some were so sweet, I barely got free
Others, they only enraged me

Sometimes at night, I see their faces
I feel the traces they’ve left on my soul
Those are the memories that make me a wealthy soul
Those are the memories that make me a wealthy soul

Travelin’ man, love when I can
Turn loose my hand ’cause I’m goin’
Travelin’ man, catch if you can
But sooner than later I’m goin’

Sometimes at night, I see their faces
I feel the traces they left on my soul
Those are the memories that made me a wealthy soul
Those are the memories that made me a wealthy soul

Bob Seger – Travelin’ Man

I’m not sure what makes me so uncomfortable staying in one place for very long, but I have felt this way my entire life. For years I ignored the sensation while trying to fit into society as a whole, walking the path of least resistance with the hopes of finding my way in this sometimes bitter world. But to no avail as my search continues still.

“All I wanted was to live a life where I could be me, and be okay with that. I had no need for material possessions, money or even close friends with me on my journey. I never understood people very well anyway, and they never seemed to understand me very well either. All I wanted was my art and the chance to be the creator of my own world, my own reality. I wanted the open road and new beginnings every day.”

Charlotte Erickson

I changed companies in search of something new, only to find the same tired routes and crushing boredom after falling for the promises of another company that didn’t deserve my faith. Another lesson for someone who can be too trusting, someone who still tries to take people at their word. Though I know that sentiment can be a hindrance, it’s part of what makes me who I am.

In the three weeks I stayed at this new company I pursued other positions at smaller firms hoping for a better sense of belonging not found often in my career to date. A place where you are taken at your word and trusted based on your past record, not given a dirty truck and a camera staring you in the face all day. A place where the rules are simple and based on common sense, not proscribed by executives from a nameless insurance company. Fingers crossed, I may have found it.

My new daily driver!

This is a 2003 Peterbuilt 379 with a flatbed trailer, a driving job I have never done before. The driving skills are all the same but the loading, strapping, chaining and tarping are something new to me. I admit I was quite winded on this first load from the effort, but the exercise will do me good. I took this picture when I stopped at a rest area on our first trip with this company with Brandy looking on. Traveling from Maine to Arkansas with this load of finished lumber for a cabinet shop took two and one half days to load, drive and unload. Such a great respite from he drudgery of New England over and over!

Unloading in Arkansas

It felt so good to be on the open road again, nothing but highway speeds cruise control and my best friend. She’s such a happy dog and full of life, calm as we drive but eager to run when we stop. Almost never barking she gladly sits in her seat with the same view as I as the miles roll by.

My co-driver looking on!

My second load was steel I beams that weighed alot! The truck pulled it very well and I learned how to chain it down just by watching the other drivers before me. I do have the official book outlining the laws and standereds, but one can only learn so much from books. Nothing takes the place of real world experience.

Heavy load!

Then, as if to challenge me right away, my third load was a group of steel rods used to support floors of new construction as they are poured with concrete. Once the concrete cures the rods are removed and reused on the next floor above. These were loaded on me in Fishers Indiana and delivered today in Nazareth PA in the pouring rain!

Tricky to tie down but I got it!

Cold and wet with no complaints, I can feel my strength returning. My sense of well being re-kindled by the sweat of my brow I look forward to the next challenge with thoughts of highways west, desert and mountains I have not seen in years. Long open vistas and miles of straight roads with nary a twitch to the wheel.

I remember this day well…WOW!
Interstate 40 approaching Southern California

A subject to which few intellectuals ever give a thought is the right to be a vagrant, the freedom to wander. Yet vagrancy is a deliverance, and life on the open road is the essence of freedom. To have the courage to smash the chains with which modern life has weighted us (under the pretext that it was offering us more liberty), then to take up the symbolic stick and bundle and get out.”

Isabelle Eberhardt

As I sit here looking from my home to the office as it were, a renewed sense of purpose fills my mind with hope. If I work hard over the next few years I may be able to fulfill two dreams and make a final lifestyle choice based upon the results of my efforts. I can take some time off to explore the west by Jeep with my trusty furry friend, and I could also take some time and crew on a sailboat going offshore to Bermuda. Whatever experience thrills me the most will win my undying effort to make it my final way of life.

As of now my focus is building up a safety net of funds, then improve the Jeep and trailer for the upcoming summers camping trips. When the time is right I will head west to experience all I have only seen through the glass, then settle down again for awhile before setting of on a sea adventure. In a few years I should have made a decision on what suites my personality best and the lifestyle that brings me happiness and peace. Whatever choice I make it will still be a solitary, ever moving panorama of this big beautiful world we live in. And when I die, these will be the memories that will make me a wealthy soul.

13 thoughts on “A Wealthy Soul

  1. John always remember this, the man above will never give you more than you can handle. With that being said i know you have gone through a lot but yet you have overcomed any obstacles that got in your path to your happines because you’re determined. I wish you nothing but the best throught this journey. Deep inside i know one thing for sure. You will never quit and never stop until you reach your final destination. Good luck my friend,

    P.s Miss those saturday calls

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  2. The co-driver seems to have really settled well to the new job. Nice office by the way.
    Glad that you’ve found a good company to help you build up the funds. Looks like you can teach an old dog new tricks after all! Hope it continues to be a satisfying way for you John.

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  3. Next song on “Live Bullet”, “Wants to dream like a young man, with the wisdom of an old man, lost his home and security, wants to live like a sailor it seems…”. I’ll stop there. Learned a bit ago that flatbeddin’ ain’t for me. If I show up at the window, that’s the end of the quiet from your co-driver. A few weeks ago, my house became unlivable. I hope to extricate myself from Connecticut and still pay for a new house. We differ only in that after over 30 years in motion, I have a need to claim a smaller region as my own. My final goal is to have no need to go south of the erector set again, and to finally live in a town. I’m not holding my breath, but it could happen.

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      1. Haven’t had the experience of staying put and you have. Maybe that’s the difference. Maybe I need to experience staying put, then I may end up where you are. Part of the reason the house went to junk is I tried buying it and maintaining it while still on the move. We’ll see…

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