By now y’all are more than ready for another update to my crazy life. It’s never a boring, sedate place to be. Your Gypsy Gourmet has not stopped traveling the countryside in search of the perfect bite. The wheels keep rolling, both in business and life, and there’s been some major changes, AGAIN. Remember that driver I’d hired? Gone. There is no longer a mystery man, or a second truck. I’m now mentoring a student on the Freightliner, and getting a little closer to paying off Buella.
About the time I thought life was easing up a bit, I had to recover my beloved truck, Buella, in Phoenix, AZ. She was filthy, and not in great shape. Somewhere along the way something had gone wrong with the communication in my world, both with my business, and in my personal life. Everything happens for a reason, of course, but it seemed to me when it started raining it began to pour.
I ended both partnerships. Well, really one was ended for me, and the other was for his own good. Those of you who have followed this blog from the beginning, know where my heart has always been. It will remain where it has always, and I do promise my faithful readers when the time is right, I’ll let you guys celebrate with me. Just for today, however, I’m keeping my lips zipped and waiting for the outcome just like you.
When I got to Phoenix, I cleaned my girl within an inch of her life. I set up the inside just the way I like, and proceeded to go through the engine maintenance like a good owner should. While the shop had a hold on her, I decided to do something I’ve grappled with doing for the last few years. Become a certified mentor for Swift.
I took my certification classes and was approached and requested to be a mentor by a very nice young man named, Brad. I am sure I got very lucky, as we get along well, and he’s an all around great person. We come from very similar backgrounds, he’s terribly intelligent, and it feels a lot less like work, and more like I’m teaching my buddy Brad how to navigate the Swift system and highways.
As soon as we were almost ready to being our first journey, I got some news from the shop that Buella was in need of a whole new clutch assembly. Crimeny Sakes! Eight payments to go and an expensive repair. My helpful and excellent mechanics at the Swift corporate shop in Phoenix, assured me it would be done post haste. Jeff Feagins, the service operations manager for the shop, carefully oversaw the project to make sure it went off without a hitch.
Many folks have a lot of terrible things to say about my company, but you won’t EVER hear a bad word out of my mouth. My support staff has been the reason I’m still out here on the road. Whether it’s been the follow up from people like Brian, Becky, Richard, Mark, Eddie, and Joran in Rapid Response, Cindy in dispatch, or Jeff and Chris in the shop, the people here have always given me the best support anyone could ask for. So, when folks talk trash, pay no mind. Every company has it’s strengths and weaknesses. Mine is no different; it’s how you navigate those challenges that matters. Thanks, team.
Brad and I have been skipping across the states hauling varied loads from place to place, even getting to spend some time in Georgia with my friends and family. Sunday dinner was in full regalia with a smoked pork roast, turkey pasta, potato salad, sweet butternut squash, caprese style baby greens salad, and homemade Gypsy Gourmet bleu cheese dressing. It was spectacular, and we got the opportunity to relax a bit and re-charge our batteries. It was necessary and I can’t wait to get through Tucson again to do the same for Brad! It is guaranteed to be a good time.
On a side note, those that are wondering about my loyal sidekick, Harley, never fear. The pooch is currently hanging out with my sweet roommate, Lexi and her red nose pit Pup Pup. He is taking a few weeks off per company policy when training a new student, but when Brad and I become a full team after his graduation, my little love bug will be back out with us. So, all is well in the land of OZ. I think Harley’s a bit sweet on Pup Pup anyway, the scamp.
Things with The Long Haul magazine are in full swing, I never lack something to write about! My next piece is centering around a fantastic tattoo artist, who used to be an over-the-road trucker. He’s got some art on me, and will be added to the body art page as soon as he gets his information to me. I’m really looking forward to that one, it’s guaranteed to be a great read.
Next blog post will cover a few of the recipes I know y’all have been waiting for. The pepper jelly, the banana bread, and the turkey red grape pasta salad I’m terribly fond of. I just thought y’all might enjoy a little update and a quick hello, to know that you’ve not been forgotten. I’ve been busy as a one legged man in a butt kicking contest, but I’m plugging away. Until next time folks, eat well, laugh often, be free, & be you.