I spent most of the winter of 2005 – 2006 in Chicago. I figured none of the competitors, most of whom were in California, would do anything as crazy as to make calls on plumbing wholesalers in Chicago during the winter. So, I figured I had a good four months on them.
It was so cold that even with a long winter coat, leotards, and long pants, I still ended up with wind burns.
My Mercedes sprinter van was full of electric and gas tankless water heaters, on display, and my office was the back end of that truck. Not long after I took the truck on the road, I realized I had to replace the tires because the tires that came with the truck were useless.
You could feel that the truck did not have traction. In high winds, it felt like the truck was being lifted off the road and moved partially into the next lane. Driving across the Chicago Skyway bridge got real exciting.
One cold Sunday morning, probably late winter, I left downtown Chicago at around 4 a.m., driving the Sprinter van back to Ohio. I make it a habit to be prepared not to stop until I am around Mishawaka, Indiana. But this morning I had to stop at the first rest area only to see my competition sleeping in a small van. I ran into the rest area, felt sorry for the competitors sleeping in the truck, and got back on the road.
On my way across Indiana, the sun was coming up in the east. A beautiful freezing fog was above the highway, maybe about 5 or 6 feet high and a foot or so off the road.
The fog ran north and south across the fields. Incredibly beautiful. My best friend in those days was XM Radio; I was young enough that I would drive early in the morning and late at night, which was not too smart in retrospect.
At that point, a Rock instrumental of How Great Thou Art came on “XM Radio.”
I searched for that version for years after that morning.
I gave thanks for the beautiful morning and the freedom I had to experience the road and all the lovely people I met along the way. Music speaks to me.
Almost all of my experiences and memories include music.
Now for the “Back Story”
Now, here is the back story. I woke up at 2 a.m., turned on the shower, no hot water….and I am in the hot water business. I called the desk, and no one answered. The water was still on when I went six stories down to the front desk and woke somebody up. He said I would have to wait until the maintenance man came in at 6 a.m. The day before the only place I could find to park, the sprinter van was two blocks away from the hotel. The hotel would not valet the truck. So, at 3:30 a.m. I had to walk two blocks to get the truck. Never got a shower. Andy said it was a good thing I was driving by myself. Kids, don’t do this at home.
So, my morning was not starting out very well, and my goal was to be home by noon.
Now, What to Write About?
Think of songs that came on the radio at a significant time?
What songs are tied to a special memory?