Well, I always wanted to try to make a living in the horse world. I’d been told many times it couldn’t be done. Turns out “they” were right, at least for right now. I consider myself totally “f’ed” when it comes to getting a job; I’m fat, fifty five and female. We live so far out, taking a job at minimum wage or slightly over, just isn’t worth it with the commute. So what does a teacher do after they leave teaching and have no intention of returning, even as a sub? Hard question.
Retraining is the answer. I think the seed got planted when I started transporting horses, grew a little when my friend Darcy Kublick mentioned the possibility of driving gravel truck at oil reclamation sites, and blossomed after I started doing a little hauling for Dwayne Harrish, DbarC Horse Transport. I could be a truck driver.
I was really after my class 1, so I could drive for Dwayne and see some of the famed U.S. horse country. But having the trailer behind me when shifting gears on the tractor unit was too intimidating for now. It was a lot of work and totally consumed July for me; my nerves tend to get the best of me and I think I probably am the longest running candidate for a class 3 license ever, but after 29 hours in the truck and 3 driving exam attempts, I have my class 3 license. Plan is now to get some experience and go upgrade it the goal of class 1.
But it is said God looks after fools and Englishmen (haven’t a drop of English blood in me). After returning from a driving lesson, I stopped to talk to the Manager and Assistant Manager of the road crew that is redoing our road. I asked what kind of training a person needed to drive the big equipment. The result was Charley said he might call me some day, if he was in a pinch. He called two days later; one of his packer operators walked off the job. So I am now employed by the County on a road crew. I’m having a ball!! But for someone who has only seen the 7 on the clock that happens in the evening, mornings are brutal, even though I just have to walk out my door. It’s a long 10 hour day and a lot of other stuff on the farm just isn’t getting done right now. But all the noise of road construction in front of the house has turned into the sound of money for me.
I’ve said I’d like to learn more of the machines, we’ll see what happens. Maybe in the winter I can put my training to use driving snow plows and gravel trucks.
I’ve been told its a waste of my education, but you know what? My education is not hard to carry around and I’m having fun.
I’m kind of heavy, so getting into heavy equipment just seemed like a natural choice.
It’s kind of like a post modern Jurassic Park, with the smell of damp earth and crushed vegetation and the working machines do look somewhat dinosaur like. I tell myself stories while I’m running my packer. Who knows, everyone says they see me as a writer. Maybe my stories will get written.