Blue Lightning (A Very Special Guest Post)

WelcomeAboardMany bloggers have seen comments on their posts and on posts by others from an individual named “Paul” – his comments are often wittier than the posts they’re written on!  Some of us have been encouraging Paul to start his own blog, but he says he’s not ready yet.  We intend to change that.

I am honored that Paul has agreed to guest post for me today.  Please join me in encouraging him to post on a regular basis.

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BLUE LIGHTNING

By Paul Curran

PaulCurran

Many thanks to Cordelia’s Mom for this opportunity to guest post on her site. I was reading an article on lightning recently, and the following experience came rushing back that I would like to share. At the time, I owned and operated my own temperature controlled tractor-trailer hauling from Newfoundland, Canada to the United States. Typically we hauled frozen fish to the States and produce back. As you will see, this was a typical night … until the storm in the Wreckhouse.

DarkClouds

Pouring rain flooded the windshield of my Kenworth tractor, so much so that the windshield wipers were barely keeping up on high speed. The cleared sections sparkled with the white diamonds of light refracting from the yard lights of the approaching restaurant. The wind was howling with enough force to shake the truck. My 400 horsepower Cat engine could barely maintain 55 mph pulling the loaded trailer into the wind. I eased off the fuel and let the truck roll until I turned into the restaurant yard. Stephan’s cobalt blue Freightliner with his reefer (temperature controlled trailer) sat glimmering in the rain as I parked behind him. Pulling on the air powered parking brakes, I scanned the 22 gauges on the dash before flipping off the four light switches, turning off the key, grabbing my coat and jumping out of the cab. Struggling against the wind, I moved, doubled over, pushing my 225 pound, 6’3” bulk through to the restaurant doors. The air pressure slammed the door behind me as I stopped to wipe my glasses and check out who was already there.

The restaurant was empty at 2:00 am except for Stephan, who was sitting in front of a cup of coffee with 4 empty creamers on the table. I frowned a bit, and then walked over and sat across from him in the booth. With a sigh, I turned sideways on the bench and rested my legs on the seat. I greeted Stephan as a waitress ambled over and asked: “What can I get you tonight?” I just asked for a coffee and so did Stephan. The waitress went to get our order and Stephan’s eyes watched her walking away. She was aware of this and put a bit more wiggle in her stride.  (Stephan is the consummate playboy with a French facial structure, jet black hair carefully combed and a lithe figure to match. The ladies love him and vice versa.)

The waitress returned with the coffee, and Stephan and I both chose two creamers from the dish on the table. As he opened his creamers, my suspicions were confirmed that this was indeed his third coffee at 2:00 am in the morning when the weather in the Wreckhouse would be so bad as to be impassable. He was not intending to wait out the storm here, and yet we both knew that to continue would be suicide. I waited for the other shoe to drop.

♦♦

Stephan: So, how heavy are you Paul?

Me: About 92,000 pounds gross [we are paid by the weight loaded so it is a game to maximize our load – around 92 k lbs is the comfortable maximum], and you?

Stephan: 93,000 pounds [this with a smile – he wins tonight]

Me: What are you doing sitting here drinking coffee, when you know we can’t get through the Wreckhouse tonight?

♦♦

WreckhouseThe Wreckhouse is a 20 mile stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway just before Port aux Basques, Newfoundland where the ferry leaves for the mainland – our destination. It is a flat, scrub-covered plain with a mountain range on the East side of the plain and the ocean on the west. When the wind comes out of the southeast over the mountains, it picks up speed as it is sucked across the plain by the ocean. Wind speeds in the Wreckhouse are typically double the wind speeds where we were stopped, just outside the plain. So, that night, when the wind here was around 50-60 mph, the wind in the Wreckhouse would be between 100 and 140 mph. That is not navigable with any vehicle, and unsuspecting visitors often find themselves blown off the road. The trick is that as the wind hits the side of the vehicle, it goes both over the top and underneath. This provides lift, just like an airplane wing, and the vehicle – trucks too – will rise in the air off their wheels and then be blown into the ditch – seldom upright.

♦♦

Stephan: Wellll, I was waiting.

Me: Waiting for what?

Stephan: I was waiting for you. You’re right, I can’t make it through alone, but if we run the two loaded trucks side by side, the wind will have to lift twice as much weight to throw us off the road – 185,000 pounds. What do you think?

(I paused for a few moments of consideration. In theory, this would work. With the correct gap between the trucks, the wind would rush between them from bottom to top, reducing the lift – like an airplane wing split lengthwise. Also, as Stephan said, the wind would have to lift both trucks simultaneously.  I had heard this scenario spoken of before, but no one I had ever met had said: “I did that.”)

Me: OK, let’s do it. You want the inside or outside?

Stephan: I’ll take the outside. How much distance between us and what speed?

Me: I figure about 8 feet between us, the same distance as the width of the trucks. That way, we’ll present 8 feet of lift, 8 feet of open space and 8 feet of lift. And about 30 mph should be good.

♦♦

We paid, exited the restaurant, jumped into our trucks and pulled out onto the highway. As we cleared the turn at the entrance of the Wreckhouse, Stephan pulled into the left lane, and I slid up beside him. There was no chance of ever meeting anyone at 2:30 am in this wind – they would be blown off the road before they ever met us. Plus we had a long sight line and could move over to let someone by if it became necessary.

When our mirrors were opposite each other I slowed to Stephan’s pace, leaving about 8 feet between our trucks. At this point the lightning started – small cracks and flashes at first. The wind picked up, and the truck began to shake side to side. Rain still poured down, now appearing to fall horizontally at a furious rate. Even so, the road was awash and dimpled with drops hitting like bullets. The lightning began to come faster and faster with the thunder booming simultaneously – indicating that the lightning was right on top of us. Still the wind rose and the trucks vibrated like a giant fist had grasped and was shaking us. I glanced out the driver’s window and could only see Stephan’s dashlights behind his side window, glowing in the dark.  The mirrors were staying opposite each other, and we adjusted our speed in the wind as if we were communicating wordlessly.

My headlights started shining closer and closer to the front of the truck, and I realized my engine hood was starting to rise. The wind had gotten under the huge hood and was stretching the tie-downs so the hood was lifting on its front hinges, opening a gap in front of the windshield through which I could see the engine working. If the tie-downs snapped, the hood would crash forward and smash the headlights and block my view – not something I wanted to think about. Lightning was flashing almost non-stop now, and the roaring of the ever increasing wind drowned out the thunder. The two trucks were shuddering continuously, a sure sign that the air was travelling between them and keeping the upward pressure controlled. Hard to believe that the wind was shaking 185,000 pounds so violently. I was sure the wind now was over 140 mph and increasing, but at least it was almost steady and not changing directions.

lightening

Suddenly the sky lit up with blue sheet lightning from horizon to horizon. My engine glowed blue in the 18” gap where my hood was tilted forward. The world seemed to freeze in the midst of the tumult, each raindrop stopped in time while travelling at 140 mph. A continuous roar shook the trucks. The storm had done its very best to swallow us and had failed – letting out a giant scream of frustration. I blinked as the lightning dissolved and darkness once again moved in. The pounding rain and the howling wind were becoming common now, and the same scary effects we had first encountered now felt safer – we had not been even budged from the road. As we proceeded, the winds died and my hood settled back down on its mounts. Then Stephan accelerated and pulled ahead into the lane in front of me. We rounded the final corner and were clear of the Wreckhouse. The 60 mph winds and downpour now seemed pedestrian.

My CB startled me when it crackled and Stephan spoke: “Quite a ride, eh?” It took me a minute to answer: “Yeah, that was interesting.”

***

To this day, I can still feel the moment when the sheet lightning had stopped the world for a short time – a high moment like a cliff that then dropped off and left the blue flash and the memory suspended above in time while we continued along the highway.

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HISTORICAL NOTE BY PAUL CURRAN

How the Wreckhouse Got Its Name:   Close to the Port aux Basques end, there is a small old broken down house down over the bank beside the railroad track that used to run through the Wreckhouse. There haven’t been any trains in the area for decades (it all goes by road now), but the line was still there last time I visited. Anyway, the trains used to blow off the tracks too, so the railroad built this sturdy little house – more like a bunker – where the winds got high, and they stationed a flag man there. He had weather equipment and when the winds got too high, he used to go out to the tracks with a tether to hold him down, and wave down the trains. They would wait at the edge of the Wreckhouse until it was safe to go. Eventually the wind blew down the little house and its remains gave name to the stretch- Wreckhouse.

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Paul Curran and I love to hear from our readers.  You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook page, or email me at cordeliasmom2012@yahoo.com

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Images by: Cape Treasures, and Betty Carter, and Christoph Kummer, and Bernadette Morris, and National Geographic, respectively

This entry was posted in Guest Posters, Road Trips & Cars, That's Life and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

78 Responses to Blue Lightning (A Very Special Guest Post)

  1. Paul says:

    Thank you very much for the opportunity to guest post on your site CM. I am honored by your interest in my writing. Excellent formating – thank you. I hope you and your readers enjoy this piece as much as I did living it.

    Like

  2. Karen J says:

    Holy Shite, Paul!
    I’ve driven (my little 4-wheeler) through some real “car-wash rain”, and it’s an adventure, to be sure. I can’t even imagine (well, now I can – given your awesome story-telling!) driving a big rig through it…

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Ha! Thanks Karen! Yep that was a doozy, definitely sticks out of years of thunderstorms. It was about 40 minutes of my life that was pure adrenaline fueled and manged to get burned into my memory circuits forever. It still blows my mind that we were actually out there under conditions that no one else iin a vehicle ever survived unscathed – and made it completely untouched. Glad to see you here and thanks so much for dropping by wih a commen Karent.

      Like

  3. Doobster418 says:

    Paul! Great story and great story telling! You had me riveted. Of course, I knew the outcome…well, at least that you lived through it to tell the tale. Well done. You are a talented story-teller and I once again encourage you to start your own blog.

    Thanks, CM, for hosting this for Paul.

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Thanks Doob! This is actually the distillation of a 10 page short story that I wrote about the storm. It was never published so this is its the first public appearance. In a way the experience (the storm) was life changing. Once we started into the Wreckhouse, there was no stopping or we would have been blown over. It was too dark and the weather too bad to ever back out and it would not have been possible to walk or even crawl in winds that high. There is no shelter there as the wind only allows small plants to grow. Needless to say I tightened my seatbelt before we entered. It was only an intellectual concept that suggested it was survivable. Turns out the intellect can be trusted upon occassions. Ha! Anyway, thanks for the compliment and for dropping by Doob. I hope to do some more guest posting in the future.

      Like

    • I was very pleased that Paul agreed to guest post for me. Now that he’s gotten his feet wet, so to speak, perhaps he’ll reconsider starting up that blog.

      Like

  4. idiotwriter says:

    Thank you for a cool story Paul! And THANK YOU Cordeliasmom for hosting Paul 😀

    Like

  5. Paul, riveting story. I really am floored by the things you have lived to tell. They will have to all go in a book.

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    • Paul says:

      Thanks Diana! i really appreciate you dropping by to say hello. You know, it has occurred to me a number of times that I have felt Death whistle past my cheek too many times to count. After a while i started to be a bit more comfortable with it. I never took it for granted – always was aware – but allowed myself to just have adrenaline rather than eye popping fear. Ha! Some times after the fact, if it happens fast, there will be a bit of shivering but beyond that it adds to the interest in life. I was actually once instrumental in starting a small “riot” in Tiananmen square in Beijing, by mistake. I’ll write that story soon – you’ll be amused. That time the adrenaline came after the fact when I realized what could have happened and didn’t. I naively get into more trouble than you can imagine – Ha! I’ll write more – I kind of assumed that this sort of stuff happened to everyone, but I guess not – to each his/her own. 😀

      Thanks again for dropping by, I’ll see you over at your blog shortly.

      Like

      • I didn’t have much time when I wrote – just got back in. But I was impressed w/ the smarts you two exercised (saved you! I’ve always said it’s costly to be dumb) and marveled at what might’ve been if either of you didn’t have the other in those wee hours.

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        • Paul says:

          You know, good ideas often develop that way Diana. Someone else had originally thought about and discussed it as a possibility. Stephan had heard it and found himself with part of the equation. I came along and serendipity supplied him with the rest of the equation – another heavily loaded truck exactly when and where he needed it.. I had studied physics in university so I could do the math in my head of how the situation would unfold and agreed to participate. Et voila – it became the most knuckle whitening ride of my life (or at least in the top ten).

          That’s why I love reading blogs, like yours or Cordelia’s Mom. They are like bees, buzzing around the blogosphere spreading ideas, sharing works in progress, pollinating brains. It is so cool.

          As far as what would have happened if we hadn’t happened upon each other – we both had sleeper berths and would have had a nap until the wind subsided. But because our little dance with the storm succeeded, we caught the morning ferry (it was only twice daily) at 6am and no one else made it through behind us. That gained us a day in transit which meant we were empty and headed back from the States when we passed our colleagues who had not made it through, still heading south. And when you’re paid by the pound, every load increases your wages.

          Thanks again for taking the time to stop by – I know you’re busy with another series for us to all ponder and enjoy. I’m glad you liked the story. Thank You.

          Like

          • List of X says:

            Are you trying to say that you then went on a ferry in that same storm? 🙂

            Like

            • Paul says:

              Yep, it was much quieter once we hit Port aux Basques, the storm died down some. Also, I don’t know if you know that port at all but it has a huge breakwater facing southeast and is a sheltered harbor. The winds wouldn’t have been much more than 40 mph there when we loaded. The ships are huge on that run – it is 99 miles of rough ocean – and they subbed on another run to Argentia, which is much longer and pure North Atlantic. They can easy handle 40 mph winds. That is the really frustrating thing about the Wreckhouse – 20 miles of unreal weather that lies in the middle of just rough weather. Especially when you get stuck on one side or the other, knowing that if you were just 20 miles further along, you could be making miles=money.

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              • List of X says:

                I’m not familiar with that area at all – the closest I’ve been is Maine. But now, thanks to you, I’m googling the maps of eastern Canada 🙂

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                • Paul says:

                  Cool. On Google maps, take a look at Port aux Basques. (Newfoundland) You’ll see how sheltered the harbour is. That long thing that looks like a beak off Pike’s Island is a huge rock breakwater that provides even more protection. If you follow the #1 highway (the Trans- canada) sort of North west you’ll come to a small town called “Doyles” about 30 miles (50 km) from PoB. That’s where the restaurant is. You can see where the highway turns along the coast just south of Doyles, that’s where the Wreckhouse starts.and it ends right around Cheeseman park. You get into rock cuts and trees there and the wind is pretty much shot. In netween it is hell. it’s a pretty cool effect.

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  6. Aussa Lorens says:

    A very intense story, Paul! I like the mix of calculation and recklessness 😉

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  7. Hi Paul,
    Thanks for sending me over here. I’ve been eager to hear more about your OTR days and you did not disappoint! Wow! What a ride! I’ve been struck by lightning and lived to write about it. Seems like that’s story was written a
    right about the time you started following me. Crazy how life just stops in that moment and then crashes all around in an instant. Loved it! I want to keep seeing more from you 🙂

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Wow Mama, you’ve been struck by lighning? Whew! That’s amazing. That must be a heck of a story, have you blogged about it? That explains your “bright” nature. Ha! (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) It’s true, isn’t it, how everything seems to stop in time and remains etched into your memory. Yep, I’ve got a lot of stories from trucking days. Thanks for the compliment. There were some pretty intense moments over the years. I will, no doubt, be recounting many in the coming times. I’m glad you enjoy them. These are the types of stories that I write best. Thanks so much for coming by and leaving a comment.

      Like

  8. This was riveting… and reefer meant something different when I was a kid…

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    • Paul says:

      Ha! Hi Ya Art! Yep,,it was like learning a whole new language. When I was hauling fuel we hauled a lot of Low Sulpher Diesel – always refered to as “LSD”. I thought I’d explain that now for you in case I get into a story with a load of LSD, I don’t want you to get too excited. However, let it be known that we never hauled LSD in a reefer, although it is theoretically possible. There are huge rubber bladders, like they use to haul fuel in planes up north, that can be used to haul fuel in a reefer or van. In which case if you have too much LSD aboard, you have to empty your bladder. Ha! I can see how much fun this could be looking at the world through the eyes of Art. I literally grew grass in a reefer once by mistake – I’ll tell that story some day.

      Thanks for the compliment Art, it is good to know that the crack squirrels can be amused. 😀 And thanks so much for dropping by to say hello. Much appreciated.

      Like

  9. List of X says:

    Once again, Paul, you really should start a blog. 🙂
    Cordelia’s Mom, thank you for getting Paul half-way there 🙂

    Like

    • Paul says:

      It is my intention X. It’s a hardware problem – I have an old laptop running XP and IE8 and can’t upgrade the software without upgrading the hardware. I’ve tried to set up a blog on WordPress but my laptop keeps freezing up and I get warning messages from wordpress saying I have to upgrade. So, I’m saving my pennies and meantime I’am watching how the pros do it! 😀 Please forgive my blathering, I’ll be out of the way sooner or later.

      Like

    • I’m always happy if I can help out another [future] blogger. After all, I had help when I started. Based on the responses received on this post, I think it’s just a matter of time before Paul gets himself a new computer so he can strike off on his own. Meanwhile, he’ll be joining me here periodically.

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  11. You have “arrived” already, Paul – you’ve managed to tick off Not CM. Guess she wasn’t brave enough to actually leave a comment on your post (or else she [whoever she may be] couldn’t figure out how to do it and have the right gravatar show up!). Way to go!

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Awesome, I have my first troll. I’ll cherish this moment forever. Wait, let me get a camera and take a selfie so the moment can be memorialized.

      Like

  12. markbialczak says:

    Great storytelling, Paul. I felt like I was along on the trip with you. I didn’t know what to fear most, the wind, the road or the lightning. OK, it was the wind, clearly I was afraid to death of the wind. Wow, what a ride. I’m glad you shared it with the world. Bravo.

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Thank you so very much Mark. That is high praise coming from a professional writer. My head is swelling. Ha! I tell you it was one of the most memorable 40 minutes of my life. I kept telling myself that some of the shaking and vibration was due to the plan working – that is, the air rushing upwards between our trucks and thereby reducing the lift underneath. On another windy but not nearly as stormy day, I was loaded and driving through the Wreckhouse in a convoy and was behind an empty potato chip trailer(he had been warned by others that empty trailers were not safe that day, but wanted he was in a rush to get home). I couldn’t believe my eyes when his trailer started to lift up off the ground, straight up – just like magic. When the trailer wheels were easily high enough in the air to walk under, the wind subsided and it dropped back down and bounced until it settled. The driver skittered out of the Wreckhouse as fast as he could. That driver was George and he was nuts anyway. He used to get into the oddest predicaments.

      Anyway, I sort of knew how the wind reacted and figured we had it covered the night of the bad storm. Turns out I was right but scared shitless anyway. Ha!

      Thanks again for the comment, Mark. Greatly appreciated.

      Like

  13. What a story! Both fascinating and exciting — I was actually biting my fingernails at one point. This wind / distance / mile calculation thing is immensely interesting to me! And this blue sheet of lightening — I wish I could’ve seen it. I’ve seen a lightening show while on a stormy sea on the open deck of a ship (from Capri to Naples). It was magnificent.

    I’m a fan of the style, the control and the lean descriptions in this piece. Bravo, Mr. Curran. But then, I’m not the least bit surprised.

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Wow! Thank you for the high praise GG! This a style that I commonly use and enjoy when I’m writing for myself but have never published before. I am so glad that you enjoyed it. There are many other stories to come! I too have seen a few impressive lightning shows on water (I travelled on this ferry for 6 years a few times a week), but this one was without a doubt the most amazing display I’ve ever seen, bar none. It was mind blowing – so much power in such a short time.

      Thank you again for the compliments and I hope you’ll enjoy the coming posts as well. Thanks so much for dropping by! I am honored. 😀

      Like

  14. That was a very satisfying read. It had a cinematic quality to it. What kind of speed were you able to maintain through the worst of it? It sounded like a terrible idea to me. But the worst ideas make the best stories.

    It’s a good thing you provided a definition for ‘reefer.’ Something else came to mind.

    Paul, you have mad ninja commenting skills and it turns out you can post as well. Do you have any more like that? Were you to start your own blog, I’m sure we’d all pop over and hear what you have to say.

    Like

    • I’ll let Paul reply for himself, but I just want to let everyone in on a little secret: I happen to know that Paul has more stories he will be sharing soon, whether he has his own blog or not. Personally, I’ve been astounded at the response this first post has received – Paul is absolutely incredible!

      Like

    • Paul says:

      Thank You very very much Mark. Yep, I have a whole life time of stories like that. My life has been a bit odd, not sure why. I’ve not had the time to stop and look back or think about it until now. I’m definitely interested in posting more and will work at improving my writing. I have to upgrade my hardware to support a blog – which I will do as soon as I can.

      We maintained about 30 mph through the storm. The problem was that if we slowed down too much, the trucks became less stable – which I had expected. The wind going around the back of the trucks seemed to push them forward at a natural speed.It was a tricky balance, but I’ve had a lot of experience driving in high winds before (nothing even close to that, but still similar principles) and had an inkling what to expect. I was in my late 20’s there, I doubt I’d do the same today. Just a touch more sensitive about my mortality now. Plus reaction times are not as fast anymore. Ha!

      Thanks very much for your interest and for dropping by Mark. Cordelia’s Mom has been very kind to allow me to guest post here and I thank her for the opportunity. I look forward to seeing you around some more.

      Like

  15. Outlier Babe says:

    All was revealed in that last comment’s response of yours I just read: “I was in my late 20’s there…” I’ll say, Paul. Jeez! Bold much? I love that you and Stephan tried it and it worked, but of course it was insane, because good as your physics instincts were, it may NOT have worked, and with those loads in that wind…what a horrific and very different ending to the story.

    Oh, can you tell a story, boy! I visualized all the way through–yet you managed right from the start to get my mind off Van Damme between your rigs, which is saying something. Who knew a story about trucking (of all things–yes, I said it) could be so exciting?

    PLEASE don’t start a blog, Paul. For I’d not be able to resist Following you, and can’t keep up with the ones Followed now….

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  16. Paul says:

    Hahaha! Thanks OB for the great comment! I finally get someone who says to not start a blog! Ha! Oh, you of the reverse psychology, I’m onto you. Mmmm. some experiences get burned into your memory banks and are as fresh 30 years later as they were the day they happened. Have you ever noticed that memories seem to fall into two categories: 1) they stay fresh or grow stronger as time progresses or 2) they fade away as time progresses? I have a bunch of the first category that are just bursting to be told – they get too big for my head after a while – time to set them free.

    It is interesting how many folks really relate to trucks as long as you present it from a people point of view. Or even not. It wasn’t uncommon when my world overlapped those of greater means (i.e. ferrry to Newfoundland or delivery to a tourist area, etc.) to have doctors or lawyers or other professionals comeup and ask about the truck and what it was like to drive it. Pretty cool. It had it’s moments – trucking that is.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to drop by OB – I am honored to have you read my story. Please drop by again.

    Like

  17. rossmurray1 says:

    Great tale, but you’ve done noting to allay my fears of what truckers get up to on the road. Ha!

    Like

  18. Paul says:

    Ha! Welcome Ross. Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment, Oh ho, you’ll never know what we truckers got up to. Ha! I’ll cover a few in coming posts – hold onto your hat. Surviving was the first priority. Speaking of surviving, I hope you know that Ned over at Ned’s Blog today publically and in video challenged you to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.Ha! We are eagerly awaiting your video of yourself being soaked with a bucket of ice water – to raise funds of course for ALS. A good cause. As your Canadian cheerleaders, were are rooting for you to produce a better video than Ned did. Go, Ross, Go! Bwahahaha!

    Oh, hey, thanks for the visit and compliment. Hope you’ll drop by again.

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  19. ~ Sadie ~ says:

    Paul – I have been encouraging you to write a blog & you did not disappoint!! I was gritting my teeth a couple of times LOL! “The storm had done its very best to swallow us and had failed – letting out a giant scream of frustration.” – I could feel that & loved how you described it!! I have gathered from some of your comments that you have lived an interesting & adventurous life. I would absolutely LOVE to read more! Sorry it took me awhile to get to this, but know I was looking forward to it. I am also looking forward to reading more about your adventures and I always look forward to your comments on my posts, too 🙂
    Great storytelling, my friend!! You are more than welcome to guest blog on Just Something I Was Thinking About anytime. Thanks so much CM for getting Paul’s feet wet 🙂
    (Oh, & you have reconfirmed for me that truckers are a crazy bunch – but when logging miles pays the bills, I can understand.)
    Have a great week!! ☮

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  20. Paul says:

    Hi Sadie! It’s wonderful to have you drop by – I am honored.. Thank you very much for the compliments – my head is swelling – Ha! Thank you so much for offering a guest blog position. Again I am honored.

    Yes, trucking had ts moments of pure adrenaline interspersed with long, long miles of quiteness. Although the adrenaline bits make the best stories (and I have lots), the long thoughful times of almost Zen-like contemplation probably made just as much if not more of an impact on me.I always used to say that it took at least 200 miles for me to get comfortably settled in the seat. I ran long haul so some of the trips were gargantuan. It wasn’t unusual for me to log 11,000 + miles in a ound trip. I used to leave St. John’s Newfoundland after unloading produce, run empty to St. Anthony’s Nfld to load North Atlantic shrimp off a factory trawler (prepackaged for the shelf) to Los Angeles California, then up to Barstow for relaoding produce and back to St. John’s Newfoundlland to unload – 11,500 miles in 3 weeks. It takes a special tyoe of personality to do this (for better or for worse).

    Thank you again for your interest and for the read. I hope not to disappoint you in the future.

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  21. Mich-in-French says:

    Paul – at last we see your thoughts emblazoned on a post – Cordelia’s Mom – thank you for getting this writer out of the shadows!
    Paul – that was a sharp and exciting story – I could visualize the trucks and hear the rain, thunder and lightening – like a nail-biting scene from an edge-of-your-seat movie.
    You are a story teller extraordinaire! Thank you for sharing with us!

    Like

    • It’s been my pleasure, and I am happy to say that Paul will be guest posting again soon.

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    • Paul says:

      Mich! thank you so much for dropping by here and complimenting my post. I understand that parts of South Africa are very lightning prone.You must have seen some doozies. Yes, it was nail biting to live through too, believe me – but with no time to nail bite. In a way that was good because if I had had to pause and wait in the middle of all that i would have gone nuts. Ha! Adrenaline rush.

      Thanks again for the visit and please feel free to drop by anytime – CM is a very ggracious host.

      Like

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  23. LindaGHill says:

    Great story, Paul! You really should have your own blog, you know. 🙂

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    • Paul says:

      Thanks Linda! Someday I’ll get a blog – my problem is hardware – I use an old laptop that freezes whenever I try to start a blog. Saving up my pennies – Ha! You must have looked diligently to find this post. Thank you for that. There is another post coming up here on Thursday. – Red Stars. I think you’ll enjoy it. Please drop by to check it out and, of course, peruse CM’s work.

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      • *sigh* Paul needs to learn how to keep a secret.

        Actually, though, I’m enjoying the increased readership that Paul has brought me with his excellent first post. Who would’ve thunk it? I’ve already told him he can’t start his own blog because I so love having him write on mine!

        Be sure to join us again on Thursday for the now-not-so-secret second guest post.

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        • Paul says:

          Hey, no one told me it was secret! Sheesh. I was just putting out a teaser, to get our readers all excited. I think I’ll go sit under a bucket of ice water now (having out the damper on the situation). Sorry. Will you forgive me?

          Like

          • Of course you’re forgiven! Hope you didn’t do that ice-water thing – I would feel terrible it you got a cold because of it.

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            • Paul says:

              That ice water reference is to a charity raising program for ALS. Apparently people are being challenged to give $100 or produce a video of them selves having a bucket of ice water dumped on their heads – and then posting it on Youtube. Most are doing both and now there is a push back where others are complaining that it is being done for publicity purposes instead of charity. Big mess. Who cares? It is raising funds for a good cause.

              Oh CM, and we are safe, Linda can keep a secret – she won’ tell anyone, I’m sure.

              Like

              • And, of course, no one reads this blog, so the “secret” won’t get out. 🙂

                I know about the ice-bucket challenge – thankfully, no one has nominated me. I think I would go into shock as soon as the ice water hit me. I’m happy to donate what I can to good causes, but bodily trauma is not appealing to me at my age.

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        • LindaGHill says:

          I won’t tell anyone. Mum’s the word! 😀
          *writes “Paul’s Post” secretly on my calendar for THURSDAY!* Oops, did I say that out loud? Sorry. 😉

          Like

      • LindaGHill says:

        It DID take me a while to find you. In the end I resorted to Google, and lo and behold, there you were.
        Better hurry up and hand in those pennies before even the banks won’t take them anymore. I’ve got a few metric tonnes worth of the damned things. Haha! Looking forward to your next post – thanks for the teaser. 😉

        Like

  24. Pingback: RED STARS (Guest Post by Paul Curran) | Cordelia's Mom, Still

  25. HO-LY COW! You know, I think I understand why truckers display the need to swear. (Although, I do stand by my own post about being able to teach ’em a word or two).
    What a white knuckler of an experience, and to read.
    Everyone whose said so, so far, is right – you have a hell of a lot of good stories to tell! Glad I caught this one.

    Like

  26. Paul says:

    Hi Robyn! Thanks so, so much for dropping by. I am honored you could come. Yes, there were some hair raising experiences in that career. there were also long periods of just being alone and thinking, which I also enjoyed. tay tuned for more adventures, some in the truck and some not. The next installment is posted at https://cordeliasmomstill.com/2014/09/04/red-stars-guest-post-by-paul-curran/ – Red Stars. Drop on over for a gander. We’d love to have you as a visitor. Thanks again for the read and I hope you enjoy the upcoming posts. The next after Red Stars will be on Oct.02.

    Like

  27. Pingback: Hell Hath No Fury …. (Guest Post by Cordelia’s Mom) | Chronicle of a Wayward Son

  28. Pingback: BLACK HOLE (Guest Post by Paul Curran) | Cordelia's Mom, Still

  29. Pingback: Blogosphere in Mourning | Cordelia's Mom, Still

  30. Reblogged this on Cordelia's Mom, Still and commented:

    Because I was thinking about him today, I’ve decided to re-blog Paul Curran’s very first guest post on this site. Two years ago already! I was so honored to have him send stories for me to publish, and I miss him – every time I pass a large truck, I think of Paul Curran. I’ll bet you do, too.

    Like

  31. willowdot21 says:

    God bless Paul we miss you!xx

    Like

  32. Elyse says:

    Oh how I miss you and your stories, Paul. I couldn’t read the comments from last time — we lost so much when we lost him. (Thanks, CM!)

    Like

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