View From the Cab: A Look at Life from 18 Wheels

36524_10200242706613215_2031204608_nI have a friend — roughly my age — who started career number 3 a couple of years ago. (Or at least career number 3 since I have known him.) When we first met, he was in sales. After a number of years, he scratched an itch to own his own business. He owned and operated a print shop in Omaha for a long time. He finally got tired of the hassles involved in owning a business, and he hung in for a long time as it became more and more difficult to find ways to make money as a printer in an age of social media and other high-tech obstacles. 

Professional truck driving was something in which he had had a niggling interest for some time. Why not, he thought. So he went to school and learned to drive an 18-wheeler. Driving a “big rig” across mostly the central and northern Midwest, he delivers goods from one place to another. And he looks at life from high up in his cab. He posts his observations regularly on Facebook, and they always — every single time — make me smile. He has a way of looking at the world that I think is remarkable. He notices things that I take for granted.

With his permission, I am going to occasionally share his observations with you, as a guest blogger.

I have seen some really interesting things in the past couple of weeks in my trips through central Nebraska and Kansas. We had a bad snow that closed about a 20 mile stretch of I-80 but I was lucky to have missed it. Instead, I was off duty for a day and then off down to Liberal, KS on the Oklahoma border once the snow ended and melted off. The 80 degree temps in KS were great. While in Kansas I saw an incredible sign as I approached a small town. It said, “Russell, Kansas – hometown of U.S. Senators Bob Dole and Arlen Specter”. WOW! These 2 heavyweight senators from the same small town! That’s incredible!

On the same trip I saw a cloud formation I have never seen before and was unable to find a picture of in hundreds of internet cloud pictures. I was driving west on I-70, the day was warm and sunny – partly cloudy. The unusual thing about the clouds was that they were low cumulus type in wide parallel, evenly spaced blue & white stripes that stretched from horizon to horizon in all directions. It was as if I were driving under a huge Greek national flag. I wish I had been able to take a picture as I have never ever seen clouds arranged like that.

Then, there was the rainbow just north of I-80 near Cozad, NE. This is corn country, flat and wide open. The corn fields this time of year are mostly cut stubble left from last fall’s harvest. It was about 5pm and I was driving east approaching the back side of a rain front that had just passed through. With the sun at my back, a rainbow was created that was long and low that appeared to me to grow out of the highway ahead of me and stretch to the north horizon to my left. As I got closer to the rain front the rainbow increased in color intensity and grew into a full double rainbow, still seemingly to originate directly ahead of me. Getting closer to it and as wide open as the terrain was, I realized I might be able to see the end of the rainbow. Pretty soon it was evident that the rainbow generated not out of the highway ahead but just off it to my left in the cut stubble cornfield about 200 yards from the road. WOW! I did see the end of the rainbow as I passed it into the rain front! At the same time I saw 4 large men wearing black jumpsuits load an object resembling a large black pot into a black van lettered “United States of America Internal Revenue Service”. Even a pot of gold isn’t safe from those guys!

There was the Delorean car customized to look just like the “Back to the Future” time travel car going west on I-80. Cool. And the suicidal squirrel that ran out into the road, stood up on its hind legs, and stared wide-eyed as my big, red truck sped toward him. He did what he set out to do. Who knows why?

Boy, those parallel clouds were awesome! Keep your eyes open and drive safe. — Bob B.


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