Christmas on I-90
It’s hard to believe that we’re in the last month of the year and will soon be trucking into 2020. The spirit of Christmas is all around us. We must appreciate the homes and yards adorned with beautiful Christmas lights and decorations that we enjoy seeing as we travel our nation’s highways and byways. Big trucks with a wreath on the grill and lights in the windows really make you feel the holiday season! Sirius XM is playing Christmas songs 24 hours a day; who could be grumpy this time of year?!
During this time of year, it seems that more people are willing to talk to one another, and you get to meet some very interesting people. This brings to mind a very nice and interesting driver I met in December of 1999, just a few days before Christmas. I loaded in Mt. Vernon, WA with 42,000 pounds of potatoes, bound for Atlanta, GA just days before Christmas. The snow was coming down hard as I waited for my trailer to be loaded. It’s 5:45pm and I’m finally able to pull away from the dock and wind my way along the two lane road that leads back to I-5 to head south.
While going through Seattle’s rush hour traffic on I-5, I hear a voice calling out over the CB asking, “That black large car, you got your ears on?” I answered “Yes, go ahead.” He begins to make small chatter about the snow and traffic and asks if I’m heading home for Christmas. I told him yes - Atlanta bound. His reply, “I’ll be heading east across 90 too, if you’d like to run together. They call me Santa Claus. You wanna know why they call me Santa Claus?” Of course, you have to ask “why” after a hint like that. “They call me Santa Clause cause I look just like Santa. “Besides looking like Santa, each year I give the gift of helping a young driver get home to be
with his family. I get joy in making someone else happy; it’s the season for giving."
YES! I was happy to accept his offer to run across I-90 together!
We stopped at a small truck stop just east of Snoqualmie Pass that Santa recommended for dinner. After meeting him face to face, I could very well see why he went by the handle of Santa Claus. He was round and jolly with a long white beard and was full of joy and laughter - a happy truck driver! We talked and told tales while eating dinner and even brought the waitress and other drivers into our conversation. We didn’t want to leave as we were having so much fun, but as we watched the snow continue to fall, we figured - it’s either now, or never. I’d already promised my family that I’d be home for Christmas.
Santa Claus and I continued to run east across I-90 and I enjoyed our conversations the entire time! I learned that he didn’t have a family but was thankful for so many other things like, his job, his health and for the season. Santa Claus told me that during his home time, he volunteers at the local nursing home, playing cards, checkers and putting a smile on the faces of the residents. He never told me his name, but that didn’t matter. What did matter is that Santa Claus made a lasting impression on me.
As we go through this wonderful holiday season, try to make someone’s day. Pass along the Christmas spirit and be a lasting positive impression on someone. Reach out to see who you can bless with your words, your kindness and your gestures during this holiday season and the new year ahead!
Merry Christmas everyone!!!