The Other National Holiday (part 2)

November 3, 2014

Pat was deep in thought as he drove his eighteen wheeler down the interstate.  How could they take six hours to unload my trailer?  The load was all palletized.  All it took was 30 minutes once they started.  But they had him wait in the dock for 5½ hours before they started.  Pat normally would’ve taken it all in stride…after all, this is trucking right?  …and trucking is never perfect!  But this time was different.  Pat had a ten year old boy, excuse me, ten years, one month, one week and two (now three) days old boy who would be at home lying in bed worrying if Dad would be home in time for his first deer hunt on opening day.

As his lights peered down the interstate in the dark, they caught the tail lights of a car on the side of the road up head.  Pat geared down and pulled in behind the car on the shoulder.  He put his hazard lights on and climbed down from the tractor.  As he walked up to the car, he heard children crying in the back of the car.  He noticed the back tire on the car was flat and shredded.  Inside was a lady with two children buckled in their car seats in back.  They looked to be about 5 and 7 and were making all the fuss.  It was 10 o’clock at night.

He walked up to the driver’s side door of the car as the window rolled down.  The children were suddenly quiet.  “Thank you so much for stopping!” the lady exclaimed.  “No problem, ma’am,” Pat said, “looks like you’re having some tire problems.”  “Yes,” she replied, “I’ve been here for two hours and my cell phone is dead.  I can’t tell you how many cars have just driven by while we’ve been stuck out here on the highway.”  “Well, let me put my triangles out, then we’ll get you fixed and on your way. Have you had anything to eat?” Pat asked.  “No,” she said, “the children are hungry and have been quite a handful.”  Pat put out his triangles and came back with a couple ham sandwiches from his refrigerator.  She opened the trunk.  Pat pulled out the jack and tire tool and went to work.

It took about an hour.  The lady was very thankful and offered to pay Pat several times.  “No, said Pat, “Just do a good turn for someone else next time you get a chance.”  No one except the lady, her children and Pat would ever know of his kind deed.  After the lady pulled out, Pat gathered his triangles, secured them in the truck, climbed in and started again down the highway.  It was 11 at night.

At 1 o’clock in the morning, Pat turned his rig into the gravel drive leading up to the house.  He turned his headlights off so he wouldn’t wake anyone and navigated under the light of the full moon.  He backed the trailer up against the barn about 100 yards from the house, shut it down, grabbed his bag and walked to the house.

One light was on.  Carla sat up on the couch.  “Oh dear,” she said.  “I’m sorry it took you so long to get home.  You’ll be so tired tomorrow.”  “I wouldn’t miss this for love nor money,” Pat replied.  “I’ll get my gear ready, and catch a couple hours sleep before Luke’s big day.  He pulled the Rubbermaid tub with his hunting clothes out of the basement.  He went to the gun locker and took out the Marlin 30-30 and his Weatherby 30-06 and laid them on the dinner table.  He put his hunting boots by the tub and then settled down to have a grilled cheese sandwich which Carla made.  After he took a shower, he laid down.  He had two hours to sleep.  He fell asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow.

Stay tuned for part 3 next week!

Copyright 2012, Tom Kretsinger, Jr.