Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Today and 5 years ago

2:15 pm

Did the double inventory in Greenville, after getting back to the workout routine with weights yesterday, I will begin getting the shoes worn out starting today, by beginning my walks....was supposed to be hot(90s) and humid, but up until an hour ago the clouds had kept the sun and heat away....but with the red ball back out, we'll see if the heat/humidity increases.

Patricia is doing school work preparation, they get back going next week. Hal got home at 1:30 this morning, back up and headed for the Cleveland area around 5AM for move unloading....his replacement phone arrived an hour or so ago. No RVs available for Sam, so he is a couch potato in waiting. Anissa is off to "The Place" and 'The Brown House"....I'll pick her up around 5, since Patricia won't be home until later. Heard word from Wisconsin, Bev is still in hospital, temp spiked at 102 last night, so at least another day, to see what was up with that.

Bringing up the RV reminds me that I retired from the Van Wert Health Department 5 years ago in late July.....always wanted to do some extended travel.

5 years ago

___________Had my ducks in a row as I retired from the Health Dept. in July 2002....I had been working for several weeks, getting driving records, D.O.T. Physical, and resume ready to change jobs....I want to drive luxury RVs for delivery around the country.

After a couple of calls, letters, and "feelers" a place out of Nappanee, Indiana(about 120 miles northwest of Celina) calls and wants to interview me for a RV driving job....it would be independent contract work, I would get paid so much per mile(depending on the cost of fuel) up front, finding my own way home was my job(problem). After a week or so of hassling about insurance, getting the drug test etc....I was offered a run to either San Diego or Charlotte(NC)...not knowing how I would handle a large RV across the desert or mountains, I told Ross(the manager of Hoosier Transit) I would take the North Carolina run....a 24 foot(small by RV standards) BT Cruiser to Charlotte....I did not have a tow vehicle, so I would grab a Greyhound back after delivery.

That run to Charlotte would begin what has become 5 years of driving to almost every state(Vermont and South Dakota in the lower 48 are the exceptions) plus Canada. I got to pick and choose the size and locations of my runs....and I did them all...16 foot business vans, to airport buses, to 42 foot luxury "Diesel Pushers"...drove in heat, rain, snow, wind(especially going west)...it's been an interesting 5 years, I would take a couple months off for baseball, making only local runs to locations in Ohio and Indiana.....now that I am contracting out to the Greenville plant, plus picking up my football license, the runs have slowed to a crawl..but still do one on occasion, unlike oldest son Sam, who got his CDL in 2003 and joined me in the runs, he still spends much time on the road.

Making money was a slow learning process, but finally getting the knack, I did all right, plus the tax benefits(expenses) made it basically income tax free....I also bought a Jeep Wrangler in later 02, which I used to tow...no more buses for me....I either tow the Jeep and drive back, fly, or on occasion rent a car.....the bus trip back from North Carolina, plus one later from Tucson, made my decision...I would deliver these things, but no way I was doing a bus coming back....nasty, nasty, way to travel. Sam still does on occasion, but usually flies, only if doing a double with me does he drive back.

It's been an interesting and quick 5 years.

[photo: Me and a 20 foot Vista Cruiser diesel at the Route 66 Casino on I-40 in New Mexico, heading to a RV show in Pomona, California 9/06]