By Steve Irick
Just as it was difficult to convince the older couple to weather the storm in his truck, it was equally as hard to refuse their desire to compensate him for the hospitality. After Brian watch them leave, he unchained and got into his cab, only to notice that, at some point in time, the couple had slipped him a gift.
Brian remembered talking about how he enjoyed fishing.
The steel fishing rod on his seat must have belonged to the older man as a child. It was an impressive piece of tackle that had seen many years. It would work great at the lake or hanging over his fireplace.
The 100 miles to Sidney took hours. The snow was over, but the aftermath was evident everywhere. Brian lost count of stranded vehicles on the road, and it was late afternoon when he finally pulled into his stop.
A man came out to greet him, walking with a limp. He was the owner of the company, waiting for Brian’s delivery. The storm had affected him as well, most of his employees unable to come in. The load was important, but his bad leg kept him from operating the forklift. Brian offered to help, knowing that another delay would cost him more valuable driving hours.
Brian unloaded the truck and reloaded it with the owner’s assistance. Shipping papers were in order, and he was ready to pull off the dock and park for the night.
“Thanks. You really saved me,” said the owner. He invited Brian to share dinner with his family. “Hey, it’s the least I can do.”
Brian dropped his trailer and bobtailed along behind the owner. The man introduced him to his family and gave him a tour. He discovered why the man walked with a limp after meeting the herd of untamed horses. While they ate, Brian shared how his wife was also involved with horses, and he enthusiastically supported her interest.
After eating, Brian was introduced to the man’s “indoor” hobby: making tack from horse hair. He showed Brian some reins he had just completed. The detailed work was impressive.
“Here, give them to your wife,” the man insisted. “Besides, I owe you for all the help.” Brian graciously accepted the gift.
The evening reminded Brian how much he missed his family and looked forward to getting home in time for Christmas.
Eight hours of rest came quickly, and Brian headed out of town early. To stay on schedule, he needed to arrive in Albuquerque by four that afternoon. Traffic was light and road conditions were good even as he passed through Denver. There wasn’t any reason why Brian wouldn’t make it to his next stop on time.
The PrePass on his dash flashed red as he approached the Monument port of entry, and he pulled behind a long line of trucks waiting to clear the scale. The radio chatter indicated they were doing inspections on every out of state truck.