The Road Trip in Big Bird

Let’s just say that when I decided to embark on this adventure of road tripping a 26’ big yellow truck, there were a surprising number of my compadres who wanted to ride shotgun.

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Apparently size does matter, and also carrying your earthly belongings across multiple states, and into the country to the north, means a big diesel truck, and taking wide corners.

At the risk of being redundant, I have often leaped before I looked, however it seems that if I had realized the challenges in front of me, I would have cowered in a dark corner, and not risked this unknown.

The furniture and clothing that I had stored in a storage garage in Colorado needed to be moved from there to Ontario, it was time.. I needed my things with me, and  to set up a house once again, to start life anew.

I was aware that this would be challenging.  I had begun a new job, and had been staying with my good friend Kathy, who very generously gave me her bedroom to crash in. When I argued with her, she very firmly and decisively stated,

” I don’t want to hear another word Missy, this is where you will stay… for as long as you like.”

It puts another lump in my throat to recognize that there have been so many that have cone alongside me in these last few years especially.

Friends who gave lent me their couches to sleep on, and allowed me to “ couch surf.” They have very kindly given me miscellaneous beds to sleep on, and have been completely generous with their homes, and their modes of transportation.

It overwhelms me, and humbles me completely to feel the endless support and love from friends and family, as I’ve ventured forth into my great unknown.

A community of people who have your back, and step out with you, even when they might think you are making mistakes, but are still willing to support you as you blunder through new life choices, is a priceless gift.  I have been fortunate enough to have been given “ people gifts”…. the best kinds that there is.

When I arrived at my storage unit, the day before the “ big move,” It appeared as if somebody had backed into it, so I did not attempt to raise the garage up, for fear of it getting stuck open.

I contacted the company who owned the facility, and when I returned the next day with “ Big Bird,” I found a maintenance man attempting to open up the garage.

He was able to get it done, but as the door raised, it appeared that there had been a leak in the ceiling of my unit, because there was insulation , and dampness on the left corner of the space.

I’m not sure what “black mold” looks like, but there was mold… and it was black.  Apparently, there had been a ceiling leak, between June, and October, and this extra damage had occurred.

It appeared that I would be purging more of my belongings on the spot.  It’s funny how decay, and destruction of these items that I once held in such a space of importance, seemed inconsequential now.  They were just… things.  They were replaceable… people… not so much.

I had hired movers to help me get everything into the truck.  They were phenomenal, and worked hard to fit and pack everything in, and as I  watched, I realized that a year and half of being stored there had not further endeared my possessions  to me.  I was quite detached from them.. This was a surprise.

I had lived out of a few suitcases for this last  while , and had found it rather freeing to do so… lessons you learn… less is more..

Now,  these items were something I had to unpack and move, and so another chasm opened up in me, as I realized that I would have to deal with some of my stored up grief that had been packed away in this garage.

A therapist asked me once,  why do you keep running?”… I pondered that question, but I guess.. it’s this.. this opening up of water damaged boxes, bottoms falling out, black mold, crashed into garage doors, and disseray of that which you once held dear. This is the general unraveling of your bandaged up heart….This is what I had been desperately trying not to navigate.

I knew I would be emotional… the day before, my son Logan and I had ventured over to visit Bianca’s grave, and now I was transporting her empty wheelchair back with me to Canada.

 

Even though I spent less than an hour with my son, it was important, and wonderful, and life giving……#thankful…..

It was another broken garage door to close, a damage waiver to fill out, and a big diesel tank to refill.. because there was something new on the horizon, a final voyage to embark on, through, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and New York, before entering back into Ontario.

This truck was big… and intimidating.  I had parked in a big open lot, because I was trying to never ever have to back this bad boy up..because .. well… how???

My friend Laura had stated unequivocally that she was coming on this cross country ride with me, but as I watched she, and her husband arrive, and how big bird dwarfed his truck, I thought for the millionth time in my life, “ what have I done?”

Her husband just shook his head in my general direction, and said, “ I will be praying for both of you, and everyone else on the road.”

I retorted sarcastically, “ go big or go home.”  I’m all talk though, I was scared out of my ever loving  mind to take this big rig out onto the road.  Lots of prayers went up about this excursion, and once I got used to staying in between the lines.. it was “ all good.”

My friend Jeri had sent a giant bag full of munchies and drinks, complete with multiple magazines and a sign that said, “ give thanks.”  We promptly propped that up in the right side of our window, and it was our mantra as our big tires crossed over state lines.  Laura read stories to me from the magazines, fed me segments of oranges and alternate pieces of smoked sausage seasoned with peach?  We listened to podcasts, had great discussions, prayer time, and ate ghost pepper corn chips that caused me to sneeze six times in succession.

We giggled in hysterics as she made eye contact with other truckers, that we were now at eye level with.  She seemed so far over lengthy bench seat in the front of this truck, and had all manner of acoutrements alongside her.  She would bring out her lap top, attend to business, make phone calls, file her nails, and tell me the ground breaking good news that coconut oil would cure whatever ails you.

I nicknamed her side of the bench, “ her office,” and she would comment each morning upon hoisting herself up, that “ her office was a mess, and so she needed to clean up.”

She truly was my “ wing man,” and would leap out before we pulled into fill up with diesel whether or not our  12’ 7” Big Bird would fit under the roof… We definitely did not want to turn our rig into a convertible.. It would have been highly doubtful that I would get my safety  deposit back if that occurred.

We stayed two nights in hotels with beds that felt so luxurious, and comforters that were soft and cozy, and enjoyed some wine, as we unwound from being “ Truckin Mamma’s”

Each day we marveled at the goodness of God, and that our weather in November was clear, and the roads were dry..

As we came closer to the Canadian border, I had some angst in my heart, about whether or not I would have to pay duty on any of my possessions.  As we approached, a smiling faced Canadian asked if I’d filled out the

“ B-4(before?)” paperwork?

I said, “ I don’t even know what that is.”

She said when I re- entered Canada to stay, they should have asked me about any belongings that were to follow me, and I was to have presented a detailed list of my contents.”

I had not done that, but had just prepared the night before, a ledger from the office of my hotel bed, a list just  like this in an official looking notebook.

She had us pull over into customs.  It was about  3 pm, if I recall correctly.

I prayed to myself as I walked in, and Laura and I entered.  There was no line, and had not been a line at all either, when we drove through.  A woman beckoned us forward, and I recall she had kind blue eyes, and freckles on her nose.  It’s true.. “ Canadians are friendly people.”  I presented my passport, showed her my list, and began babbling about extra information that she didn’t need to hear… but I was very tired… and nervous.

She asked about the “ B-4” form too, and whether we had any firearms?  Thank goodness I left my arsenal of weapons behind… I’m kidding…She looked up, and said, “ this looks good, welcome.”

Really… that’s it.. we were in… no tariffs, nobody even opened up our truck, they  just welcomed us in with open arms.  That is grace and goodness, and thankfulness, and relief all smushed up together.

I felt like a cooked spaghetti noodle.  We were almost there… but this road trip was such an example to me of “ Jesus taking the wheel.”  Thanx again to Carrie Underwood for singing that song, and reminding me yet again, that…

” He’s got this.”  I, we, can rest in his arms, and know that He navigates my path, and He makes a way in the wilderness.

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7 thoughts on “The Road Trip in Big Bird

  1. Hi Jill, I SO enjoyed reading your account driving the Big Bird Rig all that way. You are very brave.
    How great you got such a welcoming reception at the Cdn. Border 💐 🌸 🦋
    And I’m thankful God gave you a lovely friend to accompany you. Sounds like you both had a fun trip.
    So, happy settling in. May you experience the special 💕 Love and Grace 👑 of the Father Who loves you greatly.
    Much Love,
    Aunty Joy (Aunty Ella’s sister)

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    1. Dear Aunty Joy:
      I always enjoy hearing about your mission work over in Israel, from Cory. I have appreciated your prayers, love and advice too on several occasions. So greatful to our Heavenly Father who keeps us connected across the many miles..Thank for your love and support… maybe one day I’ll come visit..sending love back to you, Jill😍❤️

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  2. He giveth and giveth and giveth again……. Thankful you were safe driving those many miles, I think i would have asked my son to bring me. The impossible has been the possible when coming to the Canadian border. May God protect you and give you all that’s need for the next mile ahead. “He goeth before you ” Jill. Audrey Millard.

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