OH, IL, NJ

We continued our way Eastward,  going through Ohio but unable to stop yet again to see my family. But I became especially interested in old barns as they flanked the interstate around us.

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There is just something so fascinating about the life cycle of structures such as barns and farmhouses. Growing up I loved watching movies that took place in towns that were small, surrounded by farm working families. I dreamed about owning a home with a wrap around porch and large property of lush green grass and maybe some small crops. I love the dynamic of characters in movies and television shows where everyone knows each other and says “hello” and “how do you do?” when passing on the street. As we traveled through Ohio I could almost see my very own movie plot in my mind. As for the structures themselves; I like to think of what it must have been like during the building process and how those barns and homes with fresh coats of paint shined and held such liveliness inside. Over time they have become forgotten about, I wonder what was the reason they were abandoned? The paint starts to peel and fade and the bones begin to break with the elements and soon, all that is left is the strongest pieces.

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As we made our way through Illinois, we got a change in load assignment. We had thought we were heading to New Hampshire but got rerouted to New Jersey again.

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We took advantage of the opportunity to meet up with James’ Aunt, Cindy. It was 4th of July weekend coming up and most of our drop locations decided to close on Friday and all were closed on Saturday. There is only one Love’s location in all of New Jersey and everyone seemed to be at it. We had stayed there Friday night and on Saturday needed to run to Walmart to pick up a prescription. The people at the Walmart we went to were so friendly. We have never encountered shoppers that smiled when we passed by or said “excuse me”. The people that worked there also greeted us with smiles and seemed to enjoy their job. We returned to the truck stop after and found only one space available due to some construction equipment being in the way for drivers to back in. James tried to fit in the space but we did not succeed, another driver saw our predicamentand offered to trade places with us since he was only bobtailing and could fit just fine.

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That afternoon, Cindy came to pick us up and take us to lunch. We went next door to the Petro where there was a sit down restaurant. We had a great time telling Cindy all about our life on the truck and I enjoyed hearing stories from her and James about Grandma Conley and other family members. She took us back to the Love’s afterward and left us with a canvas bag filled with goodies. I was so taken aback by her gesture and also by what she put in the bag; a journal with a special message inside, a book of fun facts, card game,  snacks,  hand sanitizer and wipes as well as New Jersey keychains she wrote special messages on. She put so much thought into our gift and with each item we discovered, James and I couldn’t believe how perfect they were for life in the truck.

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We truly enjoyed our time with Cindy and hope we get to see her again soon and maybe some of James’ cousins as well.

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