What a week its been, a far cry from the norm for me. Hanna and I spent a whole week with Wayne on the semi; driving through much of eastern USA. Last Friday evening Wayne called home saying that he really wanted us to be with him when he took this trip to Delaware, leaving Sunday morning. I have to admit that even though I agreed to going a big part of me was fighting the prospect. I'm finding that I'm a bit of a homebody, it feels safe, secure and it's what I know. So much for being adventurous. Also, the idea of being seven months pregnant with a two year old seemed very daunting. What really pulled me along was the desire to finally be with Wayne for a whole week and I realized that he's been really struggling with being alone away from us.
We got ready in a hurry on Saturday and were ready to leave the next morning. By that time my excitement had built and it felt great to climb in and head out!
Wayne's trip included taking a load of woodstoves to Delaware with four other drops along the way. I think in total we drove through nine states. A little ways into Wisconsin, the scenery began that I'd really been looking forward to. Farmyards dotted the country with two storey farmhouses and big, old barns. The trees began to look different and so tall. There were so many farmyards that I just wanted to pick up and take them home with me. I really got a sense that the Americans are big on preserving their heritage, there was such an old fashioned feel to the rural areas. The small towns are so unlike ours; homes with front porches line the streets, so many of the stores looked to be in original buildings, the sights of the town just feeling so homey! These sights continued all the way to Delaware, I can honestly say I didn't get bored of looking out the window. The weather got warmer, the trees so many vibrant colors, and definitley the land becoming very populated. By the time we reached Pennsylvania and Maryland I realized how wide open and spacious our land really is. I think there was hardly every a square mile that didn't have yards close together. I noticed that farmyards are really compact with all the buildings near each other. The distance between towns seemed so short, but the landscape was breathtaking and the yards so well groomed. I've come home with many ideas of what I'd like the outside of our house to look like someday! We didn't realize that all our drops were mostly to farmyards and not commercial places, so we really were able to take in the rural country although I'm sure Wayne would rather have been in a smaller vehicle than in a semi with all the twists and turns we took. Of course if we'd been in a small vehicle he would've had to stop many times for pictures and at all the stores and neat places that I wish we could've stopped at.
Hanna did so well on this trip. We brought along many toys and books and she spent much time playing with those. I was thankful for the bunk in the back so that we could move about. Surprisingly, she spent much of the trip on my lap, content to see the sights and now knows all about bridges, water, towers, hills, tunnels and was always talking about seeing big bucks in the bush! We had our laptop with so she could watch some videos and she did a little bit each day but nearly as much as I thought she would want to. Most evenings when it was dark she would ask to go home as boredom started setting in. She was always excited to get out of the semi and walk but never put up a complaint about getting in. Our sleeping patterns were thrown for a loop with having just left on time change weekend at home and then three states later entering another time zone. Even though some nights I felt like a squished sardine we still had a decent amount of rest. The truck stops weren't nearly as bad as I thought, the bathrooms and showers were always clean and I guess I have to admit that you can still find healthy food on the road. We definitely had more junk food than usual but still ate a good amount of normal food. Me being the Chip Queen, bought only one bag of chips. That's recordbreaking!
The picture above is of the five mile bridge we crossed from Maryland to Delaware. It was spectacular to see but I was relieved once we had crossed it. I don't have the best pics to show of our trip as everthing was snapped from the truck and just didn't turn out very clear. The picture below was our final destination in Delaware. We pulled up to a long lane and sign had the name Miller on it. I excitedly said " Wayne! Miller is an Amish name, I think we're unloaded at an Amish yard" Sure enough the closer we got we saw a woman in a long dress and white cap, Amish clothing on the laundry line and a buggy came into view. There were two yards down one lane and they were just beautiful places with big homes and barns. We got out of the semi and the first thing I noticed was the stillness. We'd just driven out of busy roads and towns into total peace and quiet. The yards were surrounded by a few acres of tilled land and then surrounded completely by bush with tall, colorful trees. I was so thrilled that this had been our destination and to have a chance to enjoy the simplicity of it all.
Finally time to head back home. Our route now would take us north though Delaware and into Pennsylvania to pick up our load to take back to Canada. Now that I was into Amish sightseeing this would be the state to go to. I was telling Wayne about the Author Beverly Lewis and how her novels are based on the Lancaster Area. Well to my delight we drove right through this very area, a place I'd always wanted to see. I definitely want to come back to this area again someday. The picture below was just before Lancaster where we saw Amish men baling with a horse pulled baler. Then in town Wayne stopped the semi so that two amish men could make a turn in front of us and they waved cheerfully to us. I'm sounding like such a tourist and like I've never seen Amish in my life. Being a mennonite it shouldn't be such a novelty but nonetheless I was still thrilled. Pennsylvania was both very exciting to drive through and very stressful at the same time. We had some complications with the load to work out, bypassed an accident for quite a distance and I have to say we were relieved to get out of the hills and and back to flatter ground. At this point Wayne was frequently reminding me how thankful he was to have us with him because there were times where it seemed that our trip would take a turn for the worse and that we would be very delayed in making it home. On Thursday I was praying that everything would work out on the road home, that the scales and rules of the road wouldn't keep us from home for too long.
Friday we made it to Ohio and we were feeling so much closer to home. The land was starting to look more like the prairies and that feeling of having space was coming back to us. We were feeling the anticipation of home being nearer. That night we slept in Minnesota, and it probably my best sleep and the nicest truck stop to be at. The next morning we'd have eight hours to go and then HOME SWEET HOME! Crossing the border felt so good. As much as I love the sights of small town and rural America home is still the best place to be even if the scenery isn't as great. I do have new appreciation though for the wide open spaces of the prairies, it feels like home.
I'm so thankful I went on this trip with Wayne. It was worth the aches in my hips and back, the sleeplessness and (holding it in for long periods at a time). I just really appreciated being able to talk endlessly with him, laughing about silly things, dreaming about the future and just sitting quietly next to each other, knowing that home is really wherever the three(and a half) of us are together.