Jim Morrison • Sun Valley, California • Driving for 20 years
I’ve been a truck driver for 20 years. My wife Lorraine and I have a six-year-old daughter and an eight-year-old son. I was coming home every two weeks, but my youngest was having a hard time not seeing her dad most of the time, and
having our good-nights happen over the phone. So last summer I thought, let’s all go out together on the road. My company, STI Transport, was wonderful about it, and we all spent the summer together traveling in the truck.
We liked it so much that when summer was over we decided to pack up our things and do it for a while longer. I told Lorraine, “I don’t want to miss seeing the kids growing up, maybe it would be good to be together.” We home-school Zelda and Rey, with lots of support from K12, an online home-schooling program designed for truckers. We just love it.
Now my kids are seeing things in person that they’d only seen pictures of when they were in public school. They actually see the Golden Gate Bridge; Gettysburg; Virginia; Glacier National Park; and the Tetons in Wyoming.
We’ve seen manatees in Florida. The Statue of Liberty in New York.
When we have a rest break or reset time, we go out to see historic places. So if we are in Virginia, we might visit a Civil War battlefield. We went to the American History museum in Washington, D.C. What a great place to go after teaching history in the truck earlier in the day, to get out and walk around D.C. where the kids get to see the exact things they were just reading about. It’s a great education for them, and for us.
When it was just me in the truck, I would get out sometimes, maybe take a picture, but I never really took the time to stop and look and learn more. Now I’m not just a phone call. I’m part of my childrens’ lives every day. It makes me happy and it makes them happy.
And my daughter loves trucking. We were doing math lessons with her one time in Oregon. It was snowing real bad and I couldn’t find anyone to help me slide my tandems. So I asked my six-year-old daughter to count me four holes from where the pin is. She did, and I told her that I was going to get in the truck and when she sees the trailer go to that fourth hole, wave at me. She did. I got out and told her she did a good job, just as two guys came walking up, looked at me and my daughter and said, “What are you doing?”
My daughter looked right at them and said, “We’re sliding tandems, rookie! Come on dad, we need to get down the road!”