family life Feed

Please, Help Me Raise Money for My High School English Class!

Dear Friends,

This week I am in Chickasha at my old house to celebrate Father's Day and have a yard sale. We are getting rid of everything Vince has outgrown, and all of the stuff we no longer need (like a huge collection of traveling gear dating back to 1983).

As you know, I have to spend some of my own money to create a classroom environment fit for my students. Last year I was in training, and all of this year I taught as a substitute. That means I haven't had time to shop for all of the neat teacher things I will need: books, binders, file storage, classroom literature sets, games for my students, software, bookshelves, and a variety of reading materials.

We haven't completely decided what days to have our yard sale...maybe Thursday and Friday. I have to be back in Houston for a "Positive Behaviors" conference that begins early next week, so I want to go back Saturday night or Sunday morning.

Anyway, I will let all of you know more as I work it out.

At any rate, I am extremely excited and pleased with my new position, and my students deserve the best of everything. I know none of you thought you would ever hear me say this, "But I can't wait for school to start!"

Last, but not least, I want to thank at least three outstanding men who have really helped me along this year...you know who you are, and all three of you are excellent fathers. Without your guidance, help, and thoughtful words, I could never have made this drastic career change. Because of your kind support I have more to offer to my students and my family. Angels ARE everywhere :-)

So, as we celebrate Father's Day, I am going to thank my late dad for giving me the strength to survive the ridiculous...no wonder he chose to live his life out on a small Pacific island...no wonder! :-)

 


Today I Feel Sorry for....

Today I feel sorry for the unemployed and disenfranchised,

sitting at the television watching dreams they cannot join in.

The pitiful soldier returning home to nothing, lied to and used for the monetary gain

of the Neiman Marcus, Saks crowd, still believing his sacrifice was to protect Americans.

Working class men and women are now working much harder for less...they should be grateful

some greedy business owner can throw them a job, like throwing a dog a scrap from the table of

broken

dreams.

I feel for the ridiculous follly of the young and uneducated, wasting valuable time, having babies (want and ignorance) hiding in society's robes.

Unable to earn, they will simply soon take....what they have no right to possess. Or do they?

All around us, and in our own family, we look upon the self entitled twits of everyday judgement.

The curtain calls.

 


Trucking Soliloquy on All Souls

Today the children are studying The Outsiders, a novel written by prominent Oklahoma author S.E. Hinton. In chapter 5 the main characters hop a train, and the young imaginations around the room ponder the possible destinations as if they themselves were fleeing authority on a ride into the unknown.

A bit bored by the hour after hour repetition, my own mind begins a bit of independent wandering. I am thinking about my bad luck with people.

I would drive my truck all around the country then return home; sadly, my journeys were always more about the people and less about the places.

Bitterly jealous relatives without any understanding of human decency, busily judging my life, like squawking vultures perched upon my shoulder sharing my view of the highway constantly pick, pick, picking away.

I grew so tired of their ridiculous questions, unfloundering ignorance, and snide suspicions. Most of them possessing no knowledge at all of where their food and clothes hail from, the endless ports of call around the continent, our massive transportation hubs, distribution centers, or the miracles performed each day by hardworking truckers.

Our transportation system, the finest in the world, and completely misunderstood by the general public, is the only industry preventing us from slipping into third-world status.

I think about the parade of former supervisors. The one with the pistol in his desk, the dopey, the cheap fraud, the guy with the wall behind his desk covered with continuing education certificates for trivial things like air brake safety and log book training, several cowards, and especially the men who encouraged me, and now applaud my achievements. As I stand on the brink of success or failure, the people who care about me are merely amused by the two-faced liars clinging to their misguided beliefs.

Whatever becomes of me, my child, my home, my image—the dishonest collection of thieving, petty, jealous relatives, and meaningless acquaintances, will surely fade into the tracks of proverbial nothingness, forgotten by the world, like snow simply drifting from the road.

But I have done something first—not once, but twice. And later, after all of this, I will find something else. And, once again, I will do it first, and I will not be forgotten. For this, I will suffer the vitriol, for, it is basically worth it.


The Politics of the Insecure Male

Working for most of my life in the trucking business has given me the opportunity to deal on a personal basis with all kinds of men. Some of them are complete angels, and not put off, nor a bit threatened, by little old me--the lady driver. These are men of great competence, and secure in their station of life. They have nothing to prove, and they are instantly aware of their lesser counterparts: the insecure male.

The insecure male has a great deal to prove. He is an incessant whiner, and two-faced in all respects. You will often hear him say, "Ain't NO WOMAN gonna tell ME what to do!" Not only that, women will always be held to a higher standard. For example, a male driver can get sick, freeze his load, or run over something, and he will always be excused. Making modifications, accidentally, or on purpose, to other people's property is always a right. Chronically in competition, he will fabricate lies to rid himself of any noticable female threat.

I am now dealing with a group of insecure males. I feel sorry for them because their efforts are so painfully noticable and pathetic. One of them, whom I usually refer to in my thoughts as "idiot," has a long history of drug abuse. Whatever it is he sniffs, has surely affected his brain cells. He really believes his pretense of humility is convincing to the masses. His charade is comical. We have seen this character so high he is literally walking on the clouds, but he isn't fooling me.

I relish with even more enthusiasm my latest, most notable, 'insecure male.' This guy is truly teetering on the edge of a full blown personal disaster because his politics are about to bite him in the rear. Arrogance is the norm, and he has convinced himself he owns the rights to works not his own. He will almost always overstep boundaries. He has forgotten he is simply an employee of a much larger enterprise, of which I am very familiar. He overvalues himself, by A LOT. You will often hear him try to sugarcoat the obvious...he will usually say, "Well, I was just trying to find out." In reality, he is on a mission to find fault with little old me.

Pondering the consequences of facing down my insecure males has lead me to believe I have nothing to lose. Truth is my friend, and I can prove I have been treated with outrageous disrespect, and constantly inconvenienced. The chances of me letting them reach their goal is nill at best. My advice to them would be to simply back off before they get screwed in a manner not typical for them.

I am such a likable and laid back character. I never bother anyone; but, for some mysterious reason, these insecure males have decided to target me. I hope they know what they are getting into :-)

Always remember, if my little tirade against the "insecure male" is making you uncomfortable, it is all just "tongue in cheek."


In the middle of my block, the Cowan Home

The Cowan home, beautiful for its time,was inhabited by a Catholic family. Dad was the high school principal, mom was the neighborhood angel, the teenagers were funny, and the yard was always full of cars. My childhood playmate would sit at night on the hood of a car in his neat little shorts, and we would look up into the sky together, and wonder why we were born. He would always put up a great fight, or argument, over any subject. In our own special way we were bosses over the block. At night, we moved around freely, and our parents called for us from front porches decorated with shrubs, southern flowers, and painted swings. On 12th street, lived another huge family. Our friend Linda occupied a small shotgun house with three brothers and sisters, and a huge yard. I was safe and happy living between my childhood friends.

By the time we all started school, everyone had moved into other places. Jimmy and I were separated by a year; but Linda and I were torn by a divorce. She moved to a country school, and Jimmy started to hang with the guys. Later, the Cowan house was empty, and I started to see it as I do now: lonely, unkempt, and completely gutted.

Sometimes I go to the picture window and I look inside. I can still see the fabulous Christmas tree, the huge dining room table, and Mary at her housework. But in reality, nothing is left of the Cowan home. No one has lived on the property for at least 20 years. The house is infested with mold, and the structure is unsafe. Most of the time the grass is never mowed. The people in my neighborhood have politely suggested it be demolished. We have sent one code enforcement officer after another into the Cowan place, yet nothing is ever resolved. Several people have taken on the challenge of rebuilding what was once a great family home, only to abandon the project. Now it is nothing but a magnet for crime, and a drag on property values. Yet, the city of Chickasha does nothing.

At Linda's old house, a family moved in. This year we painted the home for the people who live there. It means a lot to us to have beauty in our neighborhood. We are disappointed by the officials who do nothing for our part of town.

The fascinating history of Chickasha, Oklahoma, is in the Westhill neighborhood. The Ross family, among many others, made their money, and raised their children, in this older area. Our family operated a small business. Linda's mom worked for Safeway just down the street. West School, only one block from our home, was highly respected. Before the apartment buildings, and duplexes, along Minnesota, we enjoyed the convenience of a small grocery store on 12th, owned by Pastor Long, a respected clergyman. The Oklahoma College for Women, and later OCLA, was attended by many of our older siblings. Many of us have graduated from that same school, now known as The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

With all of this fascinating history, these family stories, and strong connections between us, it is almost horrific to suffer the disrespect of the City of Chickasha Code Enforcement. I know that everyone who owns, or has a historic and emotional attachment to the city's older neighborhoods, would like to see a more interested council. Because the University is in our neighborhood, and because our history is so complex, many eyes are upon the old Westhill neighborhood.

Maybe it is time to clean up downtown.


Casey Anthony and other assorted Liars

Frightening how many people will lie, and the lengths they will go to in order to twist facts and alter conclusions, but nothing lives longer than the truth. You can obscure the truth and hide it behind words, comments, and confusion; inevitably it lives longer than life itself. The truth is not one thing to someone, and another thing to someone else. The truth is the fact of any given situation. It is powered with physical and verbal evidence; it simply is.

Eye witness testimony has been responsible for the downfall of many an innocent victim. When the police want to convict someone for reasons beyond our understanding, then they foster the word of one who is willing to lie, fabricate, or otherwise manipulate the truth. The police will cherry pick their witnesses in order to slant a critical fact. The problem is, these liars come in all cloths, and we can never know for sure when one is willing to sell his/her soul. Most often it is someone with an otherwise failed life: an underachieving clerical worker, jailbird, or an attention seeker; sometimes, people lie for money.

Casey Anthony is simply a pathological liar. How do you get to that point? Maybe it starts with your parents, and maybe it is something she does for gain. Whatever the case, I believe we are primarily fascinated with her outrageously morbid lies. Her mouth outstages her actions somehow; it is so grossly false.

The lies the American public has recently witnessed are truly frightening in their scope and depth: Governor Arnold, Casey, her parents, Weiner....and on, and on! They are not generic, run of the mill fibs uttered from fear, or for cover. They are full blown horrific lies with severe consequences. In fact, these are the kinds of lies that ruin lives by the score.

My own life has been deeply affected by the lies told against me. I wish I could change the aspersions, the misconceptions, stereotype, and the completely false statements, cruel, and unconscionable people have wielded against my name. Maybe I still can. I am happy I have never falsely accused anyone.

In the meantime, I sit here horrified and fascinated, perplexed by the enormity of the lies around me. I wonder why, when the truth is so simple and clean, armored with its own physical evidence...the way it is. Casey Anthony, and others like her, will eventually realize the truth is never as elusive as they believe. It is in every corner of the mind...it lives forever. The evidence is undeniable. I am mystified.


Thoughts on Fatherhood: the war with wayward moms

My mother wanted me to denounce my father, but I never could. He probably deserved her anger; after all, he drank, traveled globally, and was opportunistic with women outside his family. But none of that mattered to me, and it still doesn't. I absolutely loved who he was, and I missed him. He left on a plane when I was only a seven year old girl; yet, he was still my boss, the voice in my head, the questions I raised. He was Godlike in my opinion, and unattainable.

She rallied against him on one day, and then sang his praises on the next. She wanted me to hate him…she wanted me to write him a hateful letter; I look back on those days with guilt and shame. And like most employees with an absentee boss, I made horrendous mistakes while meandering through my early life. I could not, and never will, blame my glorious father. My mother relentlessly punished me for my loyalty.

Dad tried to keep us all in some kind of family setting. He started a business he didn't want, purchased yet another house, and suffered through my mother's angry, and justified, tantrums. After twenty-seven years of tense negotiations, they dissolved their affiliation, and my mother quickly moved on. My stepfather was very good to me, and I respected him. After a few years, my mother moved on again, and I respected my new stepfather; his two children came to live with us. We fought over clothes, chili dogs, and pets, but we loved each other. Something happened between them, and it was all over.

My mother continued her tirades against Dad. I refused to utter one negative word against my father. Once in a while, I would receive a beautiful package, or a nicely written detailed letter. Twice, my dad telephoned from overseas—I was thrilled. I hung on to my beliefs, and I never criticized my father's choices. They were his, and he had reasons beyond my wisdom for what he was doing. My heart was blissfully pure, as long as I refused to tote her baggage.

I feel sorry for children who attack their fathers, and I understand that some men are not worth giving the time of day. However, I have watched perfectly fine, and attainable, fathers suffer their ex wife's wrath via their children. The manipulations, verbal and physical, are difficult for unprepared family members to resist. There is no respect, or any boundaries, just an all out unmitigated hatred, and the fatherly role is diminished to nothing in the midst of mental warfare.

Because my own father was so far away, and there was no internet, or even very reliable international mail, and I could not just pick up the phone and call him up, our separation was complete. I couldn't send him my report card, or ask him for help with my homework. I didn't have his friends, or any access to his relatives. There wasn't any stepmother for me to blame, or cast aspersions upon. And now when I look back into the angry, dark, abyss of my mother's heart, I am thankful she was unable to taint my beliefs.

All of this life experience makes it incredibly hard for me to understand why a child would throw a perfectly good father away, or not fight for him. I am also puzzled by the self righteous hatred steaming off of women who hold the false belief that some war against a child's father will benefit the family in some practical manner, or that it will convince others her mistakes are justified.

Towards the end of my mother's life, she would spend hours at the table looking at photographs and discuss her regrets. She wanted our father to come back stateside, but he had already passed away by then. I will never allow history to repeat itself. My own child understands he is not allowed to question the decisions me and his dad make. He believes in the perfection found only in Jesus Christ; our child will always forgive us in order to find peace in his own heart. He accepts our way of life, friends, and family values.

Any parent that alienates a child from its other parent is simply extracting from that child's self esteem. Wayward mothers who expect their children to tote their angry baggage packed with regret, and jealously, are selfish. Not only that, fathers who are forced to restart their lives should receive everyone's respect, space, and right to privacy.


No Time to Write

My life is just a blur of highway and work. I have one of the lowest quality existences known to humanity. I feel overwhelmed today, and angry, at all the lies I have been told. I am disgusted with the people who have lied about me. I am frustrated because I have no time to write.

I am irritated with Typepad and Google. Typepad for the service I have not received, and Google for messing up my email account.

When I want to start a new paragraph these days, my cursor gets stuck....so I have to keep pushing the enter key until suddenly the cursor drops about 15 lines, and then I have to backspace it into place. I am SICK of that. It is a Typepad issue, I want them to fix it.

I am in a Starbuck's Coffee shack thinking of the long day ahead...a day in which I will run for free. I have hundreds of miles to cover.

With no time to write, I can't organize my thoughts, nothing is in perspective, and valuable ideas just slip away.

If not for the wretched and jealous small minded hateful bitches around me, I could be doing something else. I could be home at night, with time to write, enjoying my child, in a real home. Maybe soon...


Trucking: the onions are making me cry!

Today we are in Stockton, California, enjoying the cool weather. I drove out here from Utah over the weekend, stopping in Nevada for a night with the slot machines, breathing cigarette smoke, and sleeping peacefully until Sunday morning. We woke up to a hot breakfast, a friendly waitress, and coffee steaming out of an old chipped cup.

At the local discount store, I bought my son a jacket for one buck, sweat pants for two, and a microwave chicken dinner. We headed over to Donner's Pass and I told him the story about settlers cannabalizing each other, and my own nightmares at Gold Run. The snow was still deep around Tahoe, and the chilly rain followed us into Sacramento.

We are waiting on onions and cherries now...sitting in the driveway, listening to the weed eater. The sun is finally shining, and our gloomy weekend is over. Soon, we will be back in hot, steamy, Houston chatting about how wonderful and cool it was "up northwest."

Until then my child will read his books on the KIndle, play his little Nintendo game, and watch his movies on the flat screen. Everyday we take a nice walk, eat one restaurant dinner, and think about the days ahead when camp starts, then school, then fall break, then Christmas....