Listening: Gator in the Granny Lane

It’s a long way to Omaha. He’s feeling a little bleary-eyed and reaches for something to keep him awake. “Breaker one-nine, Anteater, ya got your ears on?

An unknown driver answers back, “A-Firm-ative, this is Sleepin Beauty—I go by Sleepin B. What’s yer 10-20? Over.”

“Yah, this is Walleye. Back-door to a load of go-go girls.”

“Aah, that’d be Skillsaw in the rockin’ chair,” Sleeping replies. “Haven’t heard from him since mile marker nine. ‘Figure he’s reading the mail, or checking for pinholes in the back of his eyelids.” He chuckles.

Walleye hits the key, “Yah, I’ve got shutter problems back here myself.”

“Woah! Heads up, big gator in the granny lane!” B. yells.

“Copy.” Walleye eases his rig over to the passing lane.*

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Semi-trucks on I-80 in beautiful Iowa

If that exchange between semi-truck drivers has you worried about traveling the Interstate, let me set your mind at ease. You’re probably not going to see any real-live Anteaters or rocking chairs, gators or go-go girls. Gators are just big gnarly chunks of truck tires on the road and go-go girls are a load of pigs. The granny lane is the one on the far right side, an anteater a make of semi-tractor and your ears are your CB radio.

While I was croaking out my handle in the dark of night, those real truckers were out on the open road.

Big-rig drivers have a lonely job. And the 1970’s were particularly hard times. The fallout from the Energy Crisis was lower speed limits, gas shortages and higher prices for the fuel that could be found. It was nearly impossible to earn a living driving a truck.

CB’s were a lifeline for truckers. They provided a way for drivers to band together to beat the odds.  A trucker might have climbed up into that big-rig cab all by himself, but with a CB at his side he was never alone.

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I imagine we can all relate in some way to the trucker’s life.

Who hasn’t experienced her own energy crisis? What mom doesn’t find those years of diapers and sleepless nights a long, long haul? Big gnarly chunks of ugly wind up on our paths and hit us when we least expect them.  And, for sure, there are plenty of times when each of us feels alone.

Bill Fries, the voice and writer behind CW McCall’s catchy trucker songs, said this about the trucking community:

“I think truckers are the greatest people on Earth,” Fries said. “I’ve had enough experience with them now to know that they’d just give their right arm for you.

“I’ve seen them out on the highway doing things you wouldn’t believe,” he added. “Taking care of people and helping people out. They’re just great guys – and women too.”

via Special Report: C.W. McCall puts his voice behind OOIDA’s June Safety Month: Land Line Magazine.

Those truckers have it figured out—band together and help each other along the way.

How about us? Women, we need to open the door to relationships where life-giving, load-lifting words are given and received. We need those life-giving voices to come in and take up residence in our hearts and minds. It’s a powerful way to send all those destructive voices packing!

It’s true: the best defense is a really good offense.

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Build healthy relationships. Look out for each other. Be generous with good and helpful words.

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I long to be one of the voices, to share  life-giving words with others. I’ve taken on a really big challenge here—posting 31 days in a row! Thanks to each of you who are stopping in to read this blog. Extra-special thanks to you who are encouraging me with your comments, emails and Facebook posts. It’s like coffee for my soul. Thanks!

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*This CB conversation’s so loaded with CB slang it’d be as outrageous as my broadcast as the Smirky Traxor. I was just having some fun. I picked up several of these terms at the Trucking Country site.

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6 thoughts on “Listening: Gator in the Granny Lane

  1. You sure are practicing what you have shared here. Thanks for coming over to visit my blog so faithfully and leaving encouraging comments. You listen with your heart.
    Thanks. I’m looking forward to the rest of your posts.

    1. Hi Donna, When I saw the challenge to write for 31 days, I didn’t have a clue that it would be a chance to connect with people like you. Glad you jumped in—you are doing a great job! You go, girl!

  2. Mari, after seeing your trackback on our website, I thought I’d pop over to read your post. I’m sorry it took so long! But as both a trucking wife whose spent quite a bit of time on the road with my husband, and as a mother of 3 kids, I can really appreciate your perspective! Many times when my husband was out on the road and I was up seemingly all night with the kids, (and back before we had cell phones!) I sincerely wished I could pick up a CB and tell Jimmie just how I was feeling! Great analogy! Thanks for coming by the site!

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