Posted by: Sue Spencer | July 28, 2008

The Lady Truck Driver

My life of leisure is drawing to a close. As of August 1, I am the Interim Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Danbury, Connecticut, located just north of the city center. I’m feeling rested and excited to begin work!

By coincidence – if there is such thing as coincidence – my new post is only a few miles from the Melrose convent. I won’t be free to visit the sisters, but I have made other friends in the area and so won’t be starting from scratch in getting settled.

Two weeks ago, I rented one of those yellow Penske trucks, a 12-footer, paid a young man in the neighborhood to load it with my worldly goods (such as they are), and drove alone from the Cape to Danbury.  Since I’ve rarely driven anything bigger than a Toyota Camry, the thought of driving a truck made me a bit apprehensive, even resulting in middle-of-the-night wakeups (“I’m going to do WHAT??!!).  But I psyched myself for the trip, visualizing a smooth, incident-free ride, and it turned out to be fine – even fun!

I started out about 6 a.m. The standard route to Danbury from the Cape involves several superhighways: I-495, the Mass Pike, and I-84. It’s fast, but not very direct. Only a few miles into it, I discovered that the truck tended to fishtail at 65 mph, so was happy to activate Plan B on slower roads. This involved taking U.S. 44 to Providence, then U.S. 6 to Manchester, CT – a pleasant and pretty drive – before picking up I-84 from Hartford to Danbury. Getting through Providence was a bit of a maze; it may be a blessing that I hit it during rush hour, since what would otherwise be split-second decisions could be made in slow motion.

My favorite moment of the trip came when I stopped for gas in Rhode Island, just short of the CT border. A pretty, middle-aged Hispanic woman was at the cash register. When I went to pay, and asked for Pump 3, her eyes widened: “With the truck?!?” Then, “Well, good for you! I like tough women – like me!!!”

Blessed in that way, I proceeded on, arriving at my new apartment at 12:30. I ate my picnic lunch on the lawn, and before long the congregation’s cheerful and capable Welcoming Team was there to help me unpack.

All in all, a good beginning!



  1. Great to read your reflections on your journey, Sue, and to have connected with you again at the Transitional Ministries training at BU. Glad to hear you are off to a good start. I leave Boston for New Jersey this Tuesday, the same day the movers come, and my first official day at work is Friday.
    Peace and joy,

  2. Hope things are going well in Danbury. Glad to hear you have come to your senses and moved to Ct.! Chuck did the same thing ! When Mom and Dad told me you were leaving CHS I was wondering if you would want the spoons back. I know you are not a very “material” person and gave them to us to keep in the family. I passed them right on to Renee and she loved the gesture and loves Redfern/Levesque family treasures. Good to know you are not far away and maybe we will see you some time. Cathy

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