In July of 2015, my direct sales team-mate and I attended the company’s annual summit meeting in Salt Lake City. We flew to Las Vegas, rented a car, and drove from there to Salt Lake City. We took 2 days to make the drive, so we were afforded the luxury of a little exploring prior to arriving for our meeting weekend. After our weekend in Salt Lake City, we enjoyed a couple of nights in Las Vegas before it was time to fly home.
Hubs has always been my favorite travel companion. That said, I’ve also enjoyed a few “just girls” trips. A trip with friends vs your spouse takes on a whole different vibe. You can talk about things that your spouse may not be interested in. You can window shop (something hubs definitely has no patience for) and you can share laughs over things that your spouse may not find all that funny.
Little did I know that summer, that very soon, hubs and I were about to embark on our longest journey ever together (aka joint retirement)
In mid September that year, hubs came home from the road and said he was done. On one hand, I was taken aback, because his plan had been to work 3 more years at least. He had just turned 60 in April and had said he wanted to keep working to realize a few more of our retirement plans – one of them being to purchase a motor home. On the other hand, I knew the night driving was taking its toll. The company he had been with for the past few years had required more night driving than daytime driving. He had suffered cardiac arrest twice on the same day 7 years earlier, There had been considerable damage to his heart and the result was far less stamina for driving when he was able to return to work.
So here we were again. It was the same as it had been for me – no discussion, no plans – just finished.
Most trucking companies don’t have a pension plan and the ones hubs had worked for over the years were no different. In preparation for his retirement, we had been able to max out our retirement savings plan for many years. We just hadn’t planned on dipping into it until after he was 65. We now had to re-think that plan. We were lucky to have had the foresight and ability to save for this eventuality.
Hubs was physically and mentally spent. For almost 4 months, he slept even more than I had after I retired. I let him be, as I understood what he was going through. Hubs had logged almost 3 million accident-free miles over the course of his career. That doesn’t happen without extreme attentiveness at all times, and that, in itself, was exhausting.
We stumbled along as best we could. A big part of our adjustment was getting to know each other at home again. Over the past many years, with him being on the road full-time and me nursing full time, about the only time we spent more than a day or 2 together was our annual 2 or 3 week vacation. Sometimes, I was able to get some time off to hop in the truck with him for a trip or two. I enjoyed the scenery and seeing/experiencing new places but it was a holiday for me – it was still work for him. Traveling together is completely different from being at home together. We had a big learning curve to overcome.
I always thought that the song 18 Wheels and a Dozen Roses by Kathy Mattea had been written for us.
The photo I chose for my featured image was one I had taken out the front window of the semi on one of the autumn trips to eastern Canada and the USA I was able to enjoy with hubs.