Once upon a time we moved ourselves from the east side of Virginia to the west side of Virginia. It was 16 loads/trips.

We bought a big pretty two-story house in the town of Monterey. Our plan was to operate a Bed & Breakfast in the mountain town and live happily ever after. During our life together we always took our vacations in late September or early October. Our goal was to wait until school was back in session so Mom and Dad were back at work and the kiddies were back in school. Our favorite accommodations were always a B & B in rural areas in the fall. Many of them were for sale, but it looked like fun.

We eventually moved our furniture, clothes, her 66 shoes, the tractor, the old Willys pickup truck, and the animals. We were moving from a farmette in Suffolk, Virginia so we had four cats, a llama, a donkey and a goat.

We finally got around to meeting our neighbors and exchanging stories of how/why we moved to the mountains. Our neighbors were a married couple who both retired from UPS, and both were 18-wheel tractor trailer drivers. Both had many trucker stories of how many wrecks and near wrecks they had.

The one story she told that I remember best was her wreck in the mountains of Virginia. Her trailer was loaded, so it was heavy and the mountain roads were narrow and steep. Stopping on level ground in an emergency is tricky when the trailer is empty and the road is dry, but it seldom happens that way. On the night of this particular wreck, the road was wet and the trailer was full, leaving little or no margin for a safe quick stop.

The only thing missing was a little old lady in a green 1949 Studebaker with a failed inspection sticker because the wipers would not work.

Wheeling around the mountains requires caution in an automobile, but in a big truck pulling a heavy load every curve can be an emergency. Truckers learn to gear down to save the brakes and to hold the steering wheel and run over a deer if the other choice is to swerve into the trees. There is no one solution for every emergency, and split-second decisions determine if anyone dies. Many times it is the driver of the big rig.

So now we have a wet curvy descending road and a heavy truck that has geared down to 4th gear and is trying to watch the curves ahead and the cars behind. Suddenly the rear of a green 1949 Studebaker backs out of a blind driveway into her path. She locked the brakes in a panic effort to stop, but the whole rig seemed to accelerate. Now she could see the little old lady driver who was clinging to the steering wheel. Two choices flashed before her, die or kill the Studebaker driver. Without thinking, she swerved and took out the guard rail! The ride down the mountain side was bumpy as the big rig sheared pine trees and tumbled, knocking her unconscious.

She awoke to rain in her face. None of the truck windows had survived. She heard voices and tried to focus to see who they were.

One of the vehicles following her was a 16-passenger van carrying a choir wearing their robes. They were en-route to a prayer meeting at the Whispering Pines Baptist Church. They watched the wreck and now looking at her motionless body just assumed she was dead. As a tribute to her, they began to sing hymns. It was beautiful. Looking up and hearing the beautiful voices singing hymns, she just assumed she had died and gone to heaven. She was trapped and had to painfully watch as the rescue squad cut her favorite truck apart to get her out.

She was also disappointed that she was not in heaven because she had to work ten more years before she could retire, which gave her enough time to wreck two more trucks. The Insurance Company was probably disappointed too.

--Luddd Creef