Christmas was awesome, and I’m glad it’s over. It’s such a huge event each year, all the hubbub that comes before it is enough to make you sick of it before it’s through. I really do feel kind of sorry for people who don’t celebrate for whatever reason. They not only miss out on getting presents, they don’t get to eat themselves into a coma and have dreams about evil elves and lemon chessboard pie. First world problems, I know, but enjoyable ones nonetheless.
My father-in-law (the dirt aficionado) is an incredibly talented potter. No, not pothead, potter. He makes beautiful things with clay, which is probably why he’s so fascinated with dirt in general. He made each family member a little trinket jar in the shape of an animal. Mine happened to be an elephant, and it’s probably the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. I immediately put it on my desk, and the elephant and I are now inseparable when I’m working. I’ve yet to call him anything other than “elephant,” but I’m sure a name will come to me one day while I’m staring at my elephant when I’m supposed to be writing something for Todd.
As far as the gift from a dead guy, ol’ Jerry Knoth was in the spotlight Christmas Eve, and he’s been dead for two months. Now before you go thinking we’re a bunch of weirdos who had Jerry stuffed or something, let me say he was in the spotlight in spirit, not body.
His daughter, Heather, is like a sister to us. When Jerry was sick, she’d read my articles to him and apparently he really got a kick out of what an idiot I am. She told me one of the last times he laughed out loud was at one of my articles, and that right there is enough to make me burst with pride.
But wait, there’s more. Heather still reads my articles (because she loves me, mostly — she really isn’t much interested in trucking but supports me and I love her for it). When she read the article about me not letting anyone take anything from me this year, she said she immediately knew what Jerry would have wanted me to have from him for Christmas. So I got a gift bag from Jerry with a Santa figurine in it that says, “Merry Christmas…to all..”
For the New Year I have Santa and the elephant to keep the evil monkey lamp on my desk company. This particular Santa will never see the storage shed. He will remain on my desk year-round to remind me that we have a lot of guardian angels up in heaven, watching out for us, and laughing their asses off when we do something stupid. Life is good, but heaven is probably better.
Affected tractors are equipped with an automated Eaton UltraShift Plus or Eaton Advantage Transmission with right hand stalk shifter. In the affected trucks, the display on the instrument panel can indicate “N” when the shifter is set into “D” or “R,” causing the truck not to move.