Home Got The Range

Any frequent readers of this blog will know that we’ve recently uprooted all of our possessions and driven out to Corn Country Iowa. Living in De Moin, CCI has been a challenge for our family as we’ve been learning the local language and customs.

If you ever want to move to another state, get prepared for sticker shock on everything. With the exception of big box stores like Walmart, Target, and Wicks & Sticks, everything in I-owe-uh costs only an arm and they let you keep the leg.

Don’t get me wrong, these people are still Americans. I have picked up a fancy-sounding job as a Whirlpool Dedicated Authorized Delivery Specialist with some very sophisticated roles:

  1. Drive a truck in a state with a combined population of 3.1 million
  2. Open a truck’s back door and sometimes lower a ramp
  3. Unload stuff and sometimes load stuff into the butt end of the truck
  4. Sometimes hook up water lines and plug in power plugs
  5. Close the door and drive that truck somewhere else

I do kid. The job is a little more complex than that, for several reasons:

1. Truck driving is still challenging

Even though there are more grains of corn than people in this state, some people fail to understand what turn signals do. Dumb drivers are in every state, and the absence of construction or traffic jams comes at the expense of boredom-induced distracted driving.

However, the most significant traffic obstruction here is tractors, especially during sowing and harvest season. Those guys don’t understand that other people have to be somewhere yesterday and drive as if they were on a rural road.

2. Hauling stuff is heavy

Your average side-loading washing machine weighs 500 pounds because someone thought putting concrete into the housing would make it more sturdy. Your average dishwasher weighs about 100 pounds and often stacks three-high in a trailer.

My point is that hauling appliances out of the trailer, especially on a rickety aluminum ramp, is a daunting workout. In fact, I’m such a pansy girly-man macho awesome ex-flatbedder that I had to call off work early today because my left arm loudly disagreed with my brain and filed a complaint with my nervous system.

3. Home deliveries are stupid

Since the paying suckers customers are paying $3,000 for a fridge that depreciated in value 35% below their indebtedness as soon as their ferret sneezed on it, home delivery folks are anally particular about any scratches and dings that could come from a stray gust of wind.

Not all home delivery stops have folks look at you like some sort of (gasp!) blue-collar worker, but it’s still painful seeing their diminution of power to obtain some sort of perception of identity from a vastly overpriced combination of water lines, electric motor, agitator, and compressor-refrigerant system.

Anyway, whatever. I’m getting paid and the child and wife can afford to not die.

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Changing Seasons

One week ago, my Pushy Pullers and Cantaloupe drove their way across flyover country to arrive in the land of the silent “S”. They rolled into the Des Moines area with my parents’ assistance the Monday before the nation celebrated its freedom with controlled explosions in small containers.

I rolled in that evening as well. I had placed my two weeks’ notice with Melton, and though they carried out the most professional form of begging possible for a mid-sized company I had to decline. Some things are more important than a lucrative job.

OTR is a challenging lifestyle and can only be tolerable when you are either able to bring your whole family along with you or you’re single and ready to not mingle.

However, I’ve now moved on from that life and am back to being a father. Our Pineapple is growing more sentient each day, and it’s starting to develop a sense that things beyond itself exist in this world. If I don’t watch it pretty soon it’ll procreate, and the cycle will begin anew.

I’m transitioning to a role at JB Hunt hauling new appliances to homes and retailers. It’s a rewarding job of heavy lifting and allows me to have a home again while paying bills and not dying of money deficiency.

In some ways, it feels like I’m coming home, but I’m still having flashbacks to my OTR life. I keep forgetting that I have more than 20 square feet to work in. I forget to use the bathroom regularly from my expectation of a 5-minute walk. I expect my diet to have a choice of destroying my wallet or my shapely physique. Most alarmingly, I tend to forget the presence of the small two-foot alien that I’m responsible for teaching how to budget and eat alongside my Candy Smooshers.

Nevertheless, I’m out of that trauma and into a new trauma: conforming to a Midwest suburban apartment lifestyle. I’m sure it will be horrifying, but at least we moved in the summer where it’s too hot to think and the humidity makes the heat more fun.