Yoda: No more training do you require. Already know you, that which you need.
Tim and Linda: Then we are the Jenkii?
Yoda: No. Not yet. One thing remains. I-95. You must confront I-95. Then, only then, Jenkii will you be. And confront it you will.
We painted in the rain. We mulched in the rain. We removed windows in the rain. We packed in the rain. When the time came to drive up the East Coast to Salem, Massachusetts from Midlothian, Virginia, the rain had stopped. We pulled out of the driveway about 11:00 in the morning, headed for Mystic, Connecticut to spend the night with Tim’s Mom. We’d driven this route up I-95 countless times over the past eight years. What could possibly go wrong?
You know that Klondike commercial? The one that asks, “What would you do for a Klondike Bar?” We kinda felt like that. We were prepared to drive ginormous Penske trucks 600 miles — twice — to get back to Salem, our friends and the amazing community that we had left behind in 2005 for an adventure in Central Virginia.
So there we were in the first truck (the next one goes up at the end of June), everything going pretty smoothly (except for the eight miles to a gallon that the 26-foot truck got) until about 9:30 at night. We were just into Connecticut and the road was being paved. Badly, it turns out. With an average five-inch height difference between the lanes, our truck body was swaying a bit too much for comfort. Tim pulled over and checked to see if we had a flat or something. No. So we took off again and it almost seemed worse. Swaying. In the dark. On I-95. Two tired people in the truck cab. Not good.
We called Penske roadside assistance and they said they’d have somebody come out. In less than an hour, a Peterbilt wrecker showed up and had a look around. It was too dark to really ascertain what had gone wrong, but he decided that the truck was undriveable and offered to tow us up to Mystic, where we could spend the night and they’d send somebody out in the morning. Deal. Tim rode in the dangerous truck as it was being towed and I rode with the driver in the wrecker. The Millenium Falcon has nothing on a Peterbilt, people. We pulled into the Big Y parking lot around 11:30 and disengaged the truck from the wrecker. Tim’s Mom picked us up and we went to her house, leaving most of our earthly possessions behind on the truck. At least (we thought) they didn’t offer to send another truck out to I-95 so that we could repack everything into the new truck!
At 5:30 the next morning, Penske called us to say that another truck and driver were on their way and we
should meet them in the parking lot. Tim drove over and, when the driver, James, had a chance to look at the truck in the daylight, he saw that most of the U-bolts holding the cab to the chassis had failed, and the L-bolts weren’t doing so well, either. A very dangerous situation. He did a little fixing and he and Tim drove everything over to Mom’s house for a little repacking. We took off together from there, James following us in the wrecker.
We got out to I-95 and I turned pale. It still didn’t seem right and James must have seen something, too, because suddenly he pulled in front of us and beckoned us to the shoulder. He hitched us up and we were towed all the way from Mystic to Salem – a two-and-a-half-hour drive — with all three of us in the two bucket seats in the huge Peterbilt wrecker. When we got close to the Pickering House, our new digs, Tim asked if the truck had a horn. James said yes and blew it enthusiastically as we turned the corner. It sounded like a ship entering the harbor – what an entrance!
So we show up with a huge truck full of stuff and the floors in the house are still wet on the first floor from being redone. Everything was put in the basement and garage, to be unpacked when we get up there at the end of the month. No matter. We made our entrance. The Jenkii are back. Penske was great. We survived I-95. May the Force be with us all!