By: Steve Irick
This was neither the time nor place for an older couple, Brian thought. Why are they traveling during the winter so unprepared? Their car was low on fuel, and they didn’t have any food, water or blankets. The snow accumulated on Brian’s Carhartt as he spoke with the couple through their window.
“It really would be much better if you to stayed the night in my rig,” Brian said, trying to persuade them out of their car and into his truck.
He eventually convinced them, but from the few words the gentleman had to say it was apparent they didn’t trust truck drivers or have a good opinion of them.
Brian helped the couple climb into the cab. It took awhile to make introductions, but they eventually were able to relax in the cramped quarters Brian called home. He showed the couple his portable toilet, sensing that the woman was uncomfortable for another reason as well. She looked relieved to see the accommodations, and he quickly excused himself to inspect his rig before shutting down for the night.
When Brian returned, he warmed a can of soup for them and began talking. It turned out both men had served in the military and enjoyed fishing. The couple was on their way to visit their grandchildren for the holidays, and the weather had caught them by surprise.
Brian shared how he’d been driving since leaving the Army and ran his own trucking business for several years but recently returned to the company he had been with earlier. He told them that he was married, had two children and, if everything worked right, was hoping to be home with them for Christmas.
Satisfied with their conversation, Brian left the sleeper berth of the truck and closed the curtain for their privacy. He stretched out on the passenger seat with his legs on the dash and let the low rumbling idle of the Cat diesel engine purr him to sleep.
A gust of wind rocked the truck, awakening Brian with a start. Instinctively he searched for a steering wheel and pushed his foot into the air looking for a brake pedal. Sunlight was reflecting off the mirrors in his face. The storm had passed. Brian looked out and saw a plow working its way through the eastbound side.
The couple stirred behind the curtain, and he greeted them. Within a few minutes, coffee was brewing. Brian climbed out and looked around. The hunters were enthusiastically digging a path for their vehicles, and the minivan driver stood motionless, looking at the snow. He offered him some coffee, and they discussed the situation.
After eating breakfast, Brian retrieved two shovels, and they started digging out. A few hours passed and the plow arrived.
Everyone quickly joined the snowplow convoy. Brian remained behind to unchain. He knew he was hours behind schedule. When he climbed into his truck, he looked over to the passenger seat and noticed something. Brian smiled.
To be continued…