When my husband and I first met in 2006, he drove big rig end dumps for a local company. He worked mostly on construction sites creating road and building foundations, industrial sized retaining walls for commercial locations, etc. Anything construction related, he worked it. In fact, there aren’t too many places we can go within 50 miles of home that he didn’t do some type of work.
While nowhere near the absenteeism of long haul trucking, his hours were long, late, and/or sporadic. I learned to live with that for the first couple of years. Then in 2008, the bottom fell out of the real estate market and construction ground to a screeching halt. Michael lost his job without any warning (I talked a little bit about what we did to keep going during that time here).
The first job he found was as an over the road regional driver. Basically this meant he was home at least once a week, but rarely for even a full 48 hours. I HATED this. I was home alone all week, or sometimes over the weekend, and when he was home, he was mostly useless. He spent most of day 1 recovering from the bizarre hours the heavily regulated trucking industry forces him to keep. The second day he spent preparing to leave for yet another weeklong journey.
Luckily this only went on for a few months when a position opened up within that same company as the lead fleet mechanic. Finally he was home every night, maybe not early, but he was home. For 6 years we had a mostly normal routine. Work days, home nights, Sundays off together, and vacations were possible.
Fast forward to November 2015. Michael’s boss decides he doesn’t want to be in the trucking business anymore and liquidates his fleet. Now Michael’s back to regional trucking. If I hated it before, I really hate it now. Now we have the added obligation of our homestead property to get prepared in the next 5 years. We have already had to shorten one weekend trip up there, and this weekend he has cancelled going all together.
I will be going to the property with our daughter. It’s like being married to a paycheck. The money comes in from some mysterious source you rarely catch a glimpse of. Last night I came home from work, and he was sleeping already. He slept for 17 hours straight. All our talking and planning happens via text message, and with photo emphasis. Almost like mini Powerpoint presentations.
Since he is working this week, and I am heading to the property alone to meet with the septic guy, I won’t get to spend any time with him before he heads out for another week over the road this coming Sunday night.
There’s a reason they have support groups for trucker’s wives.