For weeks my truck driving instructor had said things like: "Stop fishin' for gears. C'mon, Annie, get that dang shifter in there," or, "You 'bout ran over that curb!"
Most times I'm more comfortable holding an artist's paint brush than a giant steering wheel in an eighteen-wheeler. But here I was, 58 years old, and a hundred and five pounds, learning to drive one.
I'd had an eight-year relationship with a truck driver. While I worked on my art, he hauled horses out of Golden Gate Fields all over the country. Other times he drove a rig delivering assorted freight. His life seemed adventurous and frankly, I was envious.
Sometimes he'd encourage me to get my Commercial Drivers License so we could be team drivers. But after an argument he called me from a truck stop and said, "I'm done." Emotionally devastated, I decided to go to truck driving school anyway. I needed to move on, even if it wasn't with him.
Truck driving school was a hoot. Over six weeks I learned to double clutch and shift a truck with thirteen gears. With an instructor I drove hundreds of miles up and down 101. I loved it.