Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'

Contests and

Dream Vacation Sweepstakes

10 weeks. 10 amazing trips. Seize your chance to win!
See official rules. 


most popular



She Gets Her Dream of Truckin'

Florida woman, 82, travels cross-country in 18-wheeler

Margarette Sherman Kirsch is an 82-year-old, 5-foot-6, 130-pound dynamo. And her lifelong dream has been to ride cross-country in an 18-wheeler.

Finally, it was happening.

On a warm, sunny morning in early June in Dublin, Pa., Kirsch posed for photographers with the staff of the Twilight Wish Foundation, a nonprofit whose mission is to honor and enrich the lives of deserving seniors by granting wishes, and the sponsors who made her trip possible.

See also: Nonprofit makes dreams come true.

Margarette Kirsch always admired truck drivers.  Today, with the help of Twilight Wish Foundation and volunteer driver Annabelle Wood, Margarette will achieve her goal - driving cross country in a tractor trailer.

Margarette Kirsch in front of the truck she took cross country. — Photo by: Jason Arthurs

"She's always wanted to do that," Kirsch's husband, Jack, 83, said of the cross-country trip. "I bought her a motorcycle to try to calm her down, but that didn't work."

Kirsch climbed up in the rig unassisted. She sat in the driver's seat and blew the horn, but that was just for show.

Annabella Wood, a 30-year veteran trucker, would be doing the driving. Her dog, Quark, would tag along with them on the trip.

Twilight Wish found the 52-year-old Wood through a newsletter of a local faith organization, and the trucker volunteered to drive Kirsch to California and back to her Merritt Island, Fla., home, a trip that would take more than two weeks.

At first glance, Wood appeared as introverted as Kirsch was extroverted.

But at the send-off party they traded roles.

Wood, a country singer and songwriter who also has a degree in quantum physics from Bryn Mawr College, was at ease in front of the audience. She played her guitar and belted out a song that, although she had written it years before she ever met Kirsch, was particularly appropriate for the occasion — "Truck Drivin' Mama."

When asked for her reaction to being granted her wish, Kirsch said in her Georgia accent: "I talk all the time, but right now I am speechless."

A passion for trucks

Although they were born decades apart, Kirsch and Wood discovered on their trip that they have much in common.

"We are very similar in that we both have the wanderlust," said Wood. "We love sleeping in a different bed each night. We love trucks — everything about them, the fueling, the bumping down the road.

"It's something we're born with. This thing, it comes from the inside out."

At one stop, Kirsch asked Wood to make a U-turn with the truck while Kirsch watched from the parking lot.

After Wood did, Kirsch said, "I just love watching this truck move."

Next: Kirsch's wish set several records at the foundation. >>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

Norwegian Cruise Lines

Norwegian Cruise Line offers 5% off on select cruises, plus other special offers.

Tanger Outlets

Members receive a free Tanger Coupon Book including up to 20% discount offers.

Life insurance: you are covered rain or shine

Members can convert their assets into guaranteed income for life with AARP Lifetime Income Program from New York Life.

Member Benefits

Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change. Join Today


5 Weeks to a New Life

How do you resolve differences in a relationship — without fighting? Share your tips in our online community and be eligible to win prizes. Discuss

The Reinvention Group

The Reinvention Group

Ask questions, find support and share information about changing gears in your 50+ years. Discuss


The Coffee Shop

Kick back and enjoy lighthearted conversation among Online Community locals. Discuss