Happy New Year everyone! What a winter it has been, so far. Being on the road for days or weeks at a time can certainly take its toll. It can also cause strains and challenges on relationships with loved ones back home. Add to that the element of being stressed out by bad weather, and the feelings of homesickness can creep in quickly. Back in the “old days” we didn’t have the luxury of cell phones to keep in touch with our friends, family, and customers in an instant. We typically called home once a day from a payphone, or perhaps a tabletop phone at a truck stop diner. That meant purchasing a pre-paid calling card and loading several minutes onto it so you could carry a conversation on for just a few minutes. Dispatch calls, loading arrangements, and driving directions were all done this way, which consumed lots of valuable time. Heck, even weather reports were gathered either by watching the news in the diner or hearing the reports from other drivers. Remember when we used to communicate with each other in person like that? Cell phones have revolutionized the way we do things today, and, for the most part, they have done the industry lots of good. Now we can search for weather and road conditions and even find load information and directions, at the tap of a finger, in the cab of the truck. And the best part is that we can call home anywhere and anytime. Those calls home can be a real morale booster when homesickness gets the best of you. This poem takes me back to the days when a call home was not as often or as easily executed as they are today. Back when before ELDs had us racing a countdown timer, and we actually had the time to stop and relax in another cafe somewhere, while we made that coveted call home.
THE CALL HOME
By Trevor Hardwick
Another day out on the road,
Miles were made and stories told.
I hit the Jakes and hit the ramp,
Tryin’ to find a place to camp.
I circled ‘round the parking lot,
Lookin’ for the perfect spot.
The perfect spot cannot be found,
So I just keep circling ‘round.
I can’t believe how long that took,
I draw a line there in my book.
Shruggin’ off the cold dark night,
I walk inside to grab a bite.
Through the doors I stomp my feet,
I see a friendly face to greet.
I find a sink to splash my face,
In another unfamiliar place.
I make my way into a booth,
No appetite, to tell the truth.
I just want to call back home,
And so I grab, the telephone.
It rang and rang ‘til you picked up,
The waitress fills my coffee cup.
It sure is good to hear your voice,
That’s when I feel my heart rejoice.
How ya’ doing, how’s the dog?
I’ve been pushin’ freezin’ fog.
How I wish that I were there,
Right beside you, in that chair.
The road is long, the trip’s been tough,
And just when I have had enough.
You always know just what to say,
And you’ve been on my mind all day.
I’ll be home in three more days,
And I’ll be thinking of more ways.
That you and I could spend more time,
Chasin’ love, instead of dimes.
I’ll be fine, I just need rest,
And hearing you makes me feel best.
Tomorrow there’s a brand-new day,
And I’ll be headed back your way.
I’m well aware it just ain’t right,
To have the phone kiss you goodnight.
But that’s the way it has to be,
With all these miles ‘tween you and me.
I love you, dear, I’ll be home soon,
I stir the coffee with my spoon.
I hear the click upon that phone,
And end another, call back home.