The New (and Improved?) Yooper Stewart

0220170943a_500x1000He did it!

Yooper Stewart finished his first solo week driving in his own truck. He drove to Connecticut through a winter storm, was woken up at 1 a.m. for a 5 a.m. delivery, and managed to drive 3,000 miles total.

The Saturday after his week ended, his company threw an employee party to celebrate people for their years of service and to recognize the company’s 45th anniversary. We decided to attend so YS and I could meet more of his co-workers. I also thought it would be a good opportunity to help him organize his truck (though he wasn’t sure that he wanted the help).

When I arrived, Yooper Stewart looked the same, but something had changed. I didn’t realize it yet, but after five weeks on the road (one by himself), YS had had a heart change. Miraculously he did two things he’s never done before.

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  1. He wanted to go to a party. That’s right – no more waiting until the last minute with me dragging him behind me as he tries to come up with a good reason why he should be able to skip another social function. I knew my bearded introvert would enjoy his alone time in the truck, but I didn’t realize that all that alone time would awaken his social side and lead him to seek out personal interactions. Not only did we arrive early, we were one of the last few people to leave.
  2. He let me organize his things. I’m a natural organizer. Yooper Stewart is not. I’ve been begging him for years to let me help him organize his office, but he’s never let me. After a tiring week on the road in a cramped, disorganized truck, however, he was willing to let me try. And he liked the results. (Maybe now he’ll let me into his office!)

0219171919_500x1000To celebrate his first successful week, he celebrated like any good redneck – with a medium-rare ribeye (thank you Mom and Aunt Linda for the gift card!).

With his first week behind him, he’s feeling more confident and relaxed. He’s ready to take on his first month, his first summer, his first year. (And I’m ready to take on his office…)

It’s Official – Yooper Stewart’s Truckin’

As you may remember, Yooper Stewart decided to go to school to become a semi-truck driver. It’s a job he’s been prepping for his entire life: long hours on the road, not having to interact with people, and optional showering. 13395

After school, he interviewed with two companies and received two job offers. We spent several days praying about it before he made a decision, though it wasn’t easy. His new employer provides a variety of delivery routes and locations, which appeals to YS. It also, however, delivers to New York City – a location YS was in no hurry to visit. Still, we had peace about the decision, and YS decided he’d face NYC when he had to.14076

YS accepted the job and took his first four trips to NYC: twice to the Citibank building and twice to Nassau Colosseum. He didn’t always have time to play tourist, but he did manage to dine out a couple of times.

To make sure YS was completely comfortable in a truck, his trainer took him to NYC for the grand tour: from Delaware to Manhattan to Long Island to Queens to the Bronx to Manhattan to New Jersey. After this training, I think YS is going to be ready to drive anywhere. 14211

It’s been an interesting transition. We both thought I’d have the harder time with it (not seeing him for two weeks at a time), but it surprised us both that YS struggled the most (primarily because he’s a hardcore introvert, and he had to spend a month in a 6′ x 6′ box with a complete stranger). Though the training surprised us, what didn’t surprise me was that YS mastered training faster than average. Shortening his training by 25%, he’s ready for his last run before he graduates to his own truck. 14208

 

I won’t lie – we can’t wait for him to be in his own truck. Not only will he have some much-needed alone time, he’ll be able to set his own schedule (which includes home time!). And then – in April – if everything goes well, I’ll get to pack up my bag and hit the road with him. (Neither one of us wants to speculate as to how well we’ll do together in that truck cab, but we take comfort in knowing that if it doesn’t go well, it’ll only be 3-4 days.)14214

We’re both looking forward to settling into our new lifestyle. Everything has been inconsistent and constantly-changing since December, but getting his own truck with put YS back in the driver seat (literally and metaphorically). We still don’t know what life will look like in three months, six months, or a year, but we’re excited to find out.