Monthly Archives: September 2021

Beard McBeardly

I never thought about growing a beard. It’s not that I like or dislike beards, it just never occurred to me.

For most of my life I’ve had some kind of facial hair whether it be a mustache, or a little chin thingy thing, or a Van Dyke, or simply the unshaved 5 o’clock shadow kinda hair on my face.

But then Covid19 burrowed into our lives and changed things. All of the sudden, just like that, trucking became an even lonelier profession than it had been. Companies that I delivered imports to, or picked up exports from, shut and locked their doors. Truckers were not allowed inside. Instead of a gate guard to chat with during a check-in process, phone numbers were posted and instructions were issued from afar.

I would be told where to dock my truck and to leave my paperwork inside the trailer. I would back up to a closed dock door and when I was loaded or unloaded, I’d get a phone call or text message telling me I could leave.

The Ports of Virginia became so automated that any interaction between truckers was impractical and unnecessary.

So I got lazy and stopped shaving. I mean, why bother?

And so, lo and behold, my beard grew.

And grew.

And grew.

At one point, Miss Carol and me were eating dinner and she looked at me and said- Are you ever going to trim that?

And I said- I dunno.

Much later on, Miss Carol asked- are you going to keep that thing all summer long?

And I said- I dunno.

Mostly because I didn’t know and for the most part, still don’t.

Having a beard is a strangely pleasant experience. And I think I like that it’s changed my whole look to the point where I’ll tell friends that I grew it just so Miss Carol can feel like she’s sleeping with someone different.


Over the weekend Miss Carol and me went to a Pig Pickin’. It’s an annual event to raise money for the all-volunteer rescue squads at where we live.

I’ve always figured it’s money well-spent ’cause you never know when you might need ’em.

Anyway, we’d had our fill of beers and pig and were headed to the exit gate when Miss Carol saw someone she hadn’t seen in a long while.

Sam!, she screeched and rushed to hug this old guy.

Miss Carol does this a lot. She’s always running into people she wants to talk to. And talk to. And talk to.

So I stood politely by, sipping my last and warmest beer wondering when we could leave, and then Miss Carol said that Sam looked great and asked how old he was now.

92, he said.

My head whipped around so fast I almost broke my neck.


I looked at Sam with new respect and wonderment. There he stood, slightly stooped with age, kinda grinning in that way old people do, looking old, but clasped in his gnarled hand was a stack of plastic cups from the beer truck.

I’m guessing he’d made five or six trips already.

Miss Carol hugged Sam again and asked how he did it.

Just keep movin’, he said, grinning his old guy grin.

Miss Carol hugged him again and I shook his hand and we moved on and left the party.

But much later, after Miss Carol had gone to bed, I found myself thinking about Sam and my perspective on life. For the last couple of years I’d resigned myself to the reality of me not getting any younger and the darker reality of being on the last lap of life.

It doesn’t really worry me, it’s just something I’d come to accept.

But then seeing Sam, it made me think- could I possibly go to another 30 years of Pig Pickin’s and beer drinking?

Maybe, just maybe.

I mean, a girl can hope, right?