So apparently, I have a trucker handle now. It’s “cinnabuns,” although I haven’t had the opportunity to use it yet. 🙂
A couple of weeks ago, while I was stationed in Wrigley, I got the crazy idea to make a batch of cinnamon buns and sell them to the truckers headed north on the winter road. Then I decided that selling them was silly — I must have caught a whiff of greed there! — and that it would be much nicer to just give them away. I don’t really need the money anyway. I knew there’d be quite a few truckers at the chain-up area, waiting for the road to open. You see, when it starts to warm up in spring, the GNWT has to close the road to heavy traffic during the day to keep it from getting too soft too fast. So, there were a bunch of tractor-trailers waiting for 10 pm to hit the road north (literally).
It was a Friday, so I went for a quick snowshoe on the river after work and then got down to the business of making cinnamon buns. I’ve made them lots of times, and even had cinnamon bun capers before. One time, in my friend Lonnie’s impossibly small kitchen, I made 4 dozen and then took them to the Centre for Spiritual Living as a surprise. That was fun, but this was even better.
The buns came out of the oven a little after 9 pm. I had made a dozen in muffin tins and a dozen in a rectangular glass pan where they all smoosh together. I put them in a cardboard box, brought some saran wrap along, and headed out. It was just twilight, around 9:30 pm, when I approached the first truck.
“Good evening!” I started out with.
“Good evening to you,” the trucker replied.
“What can I say, I have a soft spot for truckers. So, I decided to make a batch of cinnamon buns after work today. Would you like one?”
“Are you serious?! Of course!” the man exclaimed. “I’d love one.”
“Well, there you go. Just go ahead and grab one.”
I went to the second truck, where another incredulous trucker happily took a cinnamon bun. I continued on, driving to the main chain-up area, going door to door (truck to truck). It was awesome! I had so much fun. Some guys were so surprised, they couldn’t believe I had made cinnamon buns for them. One guy looked like he might cry. I think they started talking about me on their radios after I went to 4 or 5 trucks, because they weren’t quite as surprised later on. I asked them where they were headed — almost all were going to Norman Wells, and I chatted briefly with each one. A couple guys gave me money and wouldn’t take no for an answer. A few trucks were empty, or the drivers were hidden behind curtains in their sleepers. Most trucks were empty flat beds (low-boys), headed north to pick up equipment that had been working in the Wells or wherever. Truck after truck, I stepped up to their windows and delivered my sticky-sweet treats.
I got a few different reactions to my cinnamon buns. Almost everyone took one. One man was allergic to cinnamon, and one to wheat. A couple of men in a pick-up quickly refused, and I couldn’t help but think that these poor guys were unable to accept anything nice or good in their lives. They had a self-piteous vibe to them. A few men were sort of stunned — they politely declined the cinnamon bun, but I couldn’t quite tell why. After the first 6 or so buns were gone, they started freezing to the muffin tin, so the guys had to work a bit to get them out of the pan. We’d joke while they did that. I met one young guy who had never been on a winter road before, so I offered him the only advice I could think of — take your time. Follow the more experienced guys and don’t rush it. This coming from me, the gal who had only ever walked on the winter road — I never had a reason to drive it — but I figured that was good advice in general. A few guys asked me what on earth I was doing in Wrigley, and what I did for work. How did I like it? What did I do in my spare time?
Before I could get to every truck, 10 o’clock came around, so the rest of them pulled out. I broadcast over the radio that anyone who wanted a cinnamon bun could stop at the blue suburban and get one. Only one guy stopped — the road was calling the rest and they waved and shouted unintelligible things out their windows as they drove by, smiling and gearing up.
I’m so pleased about how the whole caper went over! It was a bit like going door to door collecting for the food bank, but this time, I was giving food away. It was a little ways outside my comfort zone, a bit like one of Steve Pavlina’s power exercises, and it was so worth it. I gave away 22 cinnamon buns and got to encourage about 30 truckers that night (or more… there were 40 trucks waiting in total, but some drivers slept through it all). Truckers work hard, and the ones I met that night were lovely people.
You know, people talk about doing things on their bucket list. Well, this caper was one of the highlights of my life, but I never would have put it on a list or planned it out ahead of time. It was the perfect opportunity, I grabbed it, and what fun I had!
Here’s to you: Dad, and my trucker friend Shannon, and all those other guys and gals who work so hard moving things around this great big country of ours. 🙂