Over the years I have learned that there will always be change in Linework. That was the hardest part for me to learn and I continue to learn every day. I am not one to love change. However, I knew that starting a life with my lineman was going to be nothing but change. My Lineman is a contractor and travels for work, it has brought us many challenges. We have learned how to communicate better, how to adapt quickly to situations that arise, explore some awesome places, meet some great people, and enjoy life. I am proud to be a Linewife and I find that I love it more and more every day.
That moment the phone rings, your day started as normal, but ends with unexpected change. You called your Lineman on his way to work to say good morning, be safe and have a good day. Later that day he calls to tell you things have changed. He is headed to another job, to make more money, and better workers. You support his decision or maybe even counter offer an idea that would work a little bit better. As soon as you hang up, you immediately start a search for campgrounds where he is headed or hotels. You look at food, laundry mats, and even the crime rate (ok maybe not all of us, but I sure do!). This is just the start of learning the journey of change with a Journeyman Lineman.
Let’s be honest, any relationship that is long distance or requires a lot of travel takes, communication, commitment, trust, honesty, forgiveness and unconditional love. It’s 5 p.m. California time and your Lineman is calling you. You are getting the kids ready for bed (It’s 8 p.m. Eastern time) and he is just getting off work. You are exhausted, the kids are whiny and he just wants to tell you about his day. You listen to what he is excited to say and try not to sound exhausted and sad because you miss him. Finally, after everyone is asleep and you crawl in bed you call your lineman. It’s 11 p.m. Eastern time and 8 p.m. his time. He wants to talk even more about all the cool things he has seen and the rest of his day. After accidently falling asleep on the phone a few times, you tell him you love him and you will call him in the morning. When you wake up in the morning, you tell him how much you appreciate him and all that he does for you and the kids. Because before you know it change comes again, and he is home again. Through the quick calls on storm, or crazy work schedules that require overnights, sharp words, and grouchy calls. It does take commitment to keep working at your relationship. Communication that is honest and up front helps build the foundation for a lasting relationship. Trust, when away from your loving family for so long. Forgiveness with unkind words because humans sometimes say some mean things, even when they don’t mean it. Unwavering unconditional love that grows from span to span of every year.
Ring, Ring, Ring, “Babe I need my storm bag packed. I am on my way home now. How fast can you have it ready? The storm is hitting tomorrow night and I need to be in New York by tomorrow morning.” You’re at the store grocery shopping, and it suddenly becomes a mad dash to the checkout, even though your half way through, and you had a great dinner planned for tonight. You hurry home get your Lineman’s storm bag packed. You do a quick run through your check list to make sure you have everything for him. He rushes through the door minutes after you complete your assembly of the storm bag and tools. He is out the door minutes later with a quick kiss goodbye and a promise to stay safe. And just like that he is gone. There is no estimate on how long or when you’ll be able to talk to him again. All that you can offer him is love, support and appreciation. You know his hours will be long and the work won’t be easy. The only thing that brings you peace is planning that huge welcome home meal.
Explorer should be added to most, Journeymen Linemen’s expertise. They get to see quaint forgotten places of states that few would even dream of seeing. I’ve gotten countless pictures of random animals that would make many of us shriek! It’s dead winter and your Lineman is working in a remote area of a state. He has you come drive up for the weekend to visit and enjoy it with him. He has booked a cabin in the woods on a stream. Only, it’s a surprise and he gives you “hints” on what to bring. Therefore, your half prepared for the weekend that is planned, but you make memories you wouldn’t have made had you been prepared. It’s night, and your sleeping together in a sleeping bag in the cabin (More rustic than you are picturing. I know you had this awesome cabin with heat, running water and a bathroom. Nope, this surprise was going to be roughing it.) You finally settle to sleep and you wake up at 2:30 a.m. You hear something but you’re not quite sure what it is. Then it hits you, you must use the restroom. It’s borderline freezing out now and this is the LAST thing you remotely want to do. You look over at your Lineman who just worked all day, snoring away happily. You get dressed, grab a flash light and head to the bathroom nearby. While using the bathroom you realize you hear something. Naturally, you hurry up and come out of the stall. Whatever “it” was has left now, leaving you spooked and rushing back to the cabin where your Lineman is now awake and inspecting the noise you heard before you left. Shortly thereafter he discovers rats in the attic and you both wake up the rest of the night every time you hear a noise. The next day is redeemed by homemade southern food and a canoe trip that was enjoyable and unexpectedly beautiful. Memories on the road make the most unexpected impressionable memories.
A Linewife tribe: A group of women married to Linemen who build each other up with positive uplifting encouragement. A group of women who support one another through tough times without judgment. The ones who have been where you are, the ones who walk you through the emotional mess you just melted into. They stand with you when the calls for storm come. They cry when you cry, they help you when you need it the most. Overall, I can say that without my Lineman doing what he does, I would not have met the strong woman who have entered my life. We are there to comfort each other and build each other up when we need it the most. We are the sisterhood, we are LINEWIVES.
Things that you never imagine would happen, eventually happen. Jobs move, friends and money come and go. Storms roll in and the crews roll out. The universe has an ebb and flow in life and we are slowly molded into who we are day by day. Time passes quickly, so enjoy those fleeting moments and memories while they last, you never know what tomorrow will bring. Find your happiness and it will last.
I really appreciated your blog. It hit many notes in my life and my heart. Thank you. Gretchen Spears
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