Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

When truck safety visits the lake


Heading out before the sun sets.

As most of you know I volunteer for a nonprofit that works on truck safety issues. It’s made up of volunteers, most of which have either survived a crash with a large commercial truck or have had family or friends killed in a crash with a truck.

We get together in Washington D.C., usually to fight some piece of legislation that we feel will make our roads less safe than they are now. And every other year we meet there for a conference called Sorrow to Strength where we learn how to make change and where we spend days in meetings with our Members of Congress and the DOT and other agencies that make or enforce rules surrounding trucks.

It’s pretty stressful.

We’ve often talked about wanting to spend time with each other when we’re not working, not talking endlessly about our losses, not overcome with grief, not walking up and down Capitol Hill until our feet ache to match our hearts.

Lots of big puffy white clouds began to turn pink.

Three years ago some of us were able to meet in Maine. We had a wonderful time sitting around eating lobster and talking around a campfire until late into the evening.

Huge mounds of cloud build up to the South.

And this past weekend a few of the volunteers came here to Lake Martin. It felt good to be together in a less stressful place. It felt good to host them in Dad’s home. It was like having a big family reunion. In fact it was a family reunion, because these people are my truck safety family. They are people who know better than anyone what it’s like to get that call. What it’s like to be in the car.

What it’s like.

We ate too much and lazed around in the sun. We hung out together, thankful that we have each other while wishing we didn’t belong to the family at all.

And then they all turned pink.

Swimming, water skiing, just floating in the warm waters of the lake was so much fun. Even climbing the mountain and then the fire tower in the Alabama heat was fun. There were hugs and lots of laughter, and even a few tears when my sister played Amazing Grace on her bagpipes at sunset.

Headed back North the sky was entirely different.

We took pictures, of course, of us goofing off in the water, climbing the mountain and the fire tower, eating and laughing. But I need to maintain everyone’s privacy, so rather than show you those photos I’ve used last night’s sunset images throughout this post.

Floating in pink and gold.

I was out in my kayak and the sky was amazing. Sort of like spending the weekend with my truck safety family.

Simply amazing.

And then the moon came up.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

16 thoughts on “When truck safety visits the lake

  1. Such an incredible place to be with people who share a traumatic event. I imagine it helps to heal. Your line about being grateful “that we have each other while wishing we didn’t belong to the family at all” really struck me.


    • It was pretty special. Especially since it was Dad’s home, and dad was killed by a semi truck driven by a sleepy driver. Each of us, survivors and victim’s family would trade our friendships in a heartbeat to have our lives and our loved ones back.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You have a beautiful setting for a stress-free gathering of family – blood or otherwise. How nice to be able to spend some fun time together.


    • We really like each other, so it was nice to be together and not be working on hard stuff. Still…there is always that undercurrent whenever we’re together because we know WHY we know each other.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is so beautiful and poignant,…brought tears to my eyes. Blessings.

    I know I asked you before about the camera you are using, but I never looked back to see if you replied. Can you answer again if you already have. I am fully aware that it’s not the camera that makes the photographer, but I’m in the process of trying to sell my Canon 60D on ebay and looking for a lighter weight, but thoroughly efficient, camera. One that I don’t feel like I’m hauling around, but fits nicely in my hand. I used the 60D for weddings, senior photos, etc. and it worked fine then…but for travel photography, having it in the truck, etc…too heavy and bulky.


    • I have a Cannon too. Big and heavy. But these were taken by what I call my “little camera.” It’s an Olympus Tough 2m/6.6ft shockproof, 12m/40ft waterproof camera. F2.0.

      It has some zoom. It fits in a pocket. Definitely thicker than an iPhone but also shorter. I think it takes pretty good images. I flipped the kayak getting out once and landed in the water with it in my pocket and it was fine. Sometimes I travel with just it and don’t take the “big” camera. Sometimes I only take my phone.

      That said we are researching a new big camera with a longer lens.


  4. Thanks Dawn. What camera are you using when you shoot wildlife, especially the birds. I have a 300 lens, but for just out walking, it’s to heavy.


    • Wildlife and birds I use the cannon rebel T3i with a Tamron lens 18-270mm lens. Most bird pics are cropped before you see them. I’m probably going to be buying a new camera and longer lens sometime this fall. I like what I have but I’ve beaten the heck out of it and I’d also like to upgrade.


  5. Y’all have such gorgeous skies there, Dawn!


    • We do. Each afternoon tall thunderclouds gather because of the heat and some evenings those clouds just light up. Not always, in fact, not very often though. Most of the time the clouds are gone by the time the sun goes down.


  6. The work you and your follow volunteers do is so very important. But I can understand that it must be very stressful. All the better that you have the chance to come together for just social reasons every so often. Sounds like you had a great time – as well as emotionally touching.


  7. Sounds like some wonderful leisure time to take your minds of your task! Gorgeous shots!


  8. Such a get together in what is, in many ways, hallowed grounds. Gives me goose bumps for how proud of you your Dad must be. Never forget, never give up.

    Liked by 1 person

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