Massey and her friend drove down to Orlando on June 29 to start her much deserved eight day vacation with her dad and Uncle. Zachary and I drove down early on the third of July for a four day stay as well. My sister and her husband drove down the same day and arrived a few hours after us.
My brother has an awesome house on Lake Mary Jane and is a most excellent host. There were eight of us staying with him and had the red carpet rolled out for us all.
Boat rides in the sunshine and tubing for the younger ones. Tim's wary of the gators but Zachary jumped right in to go tubing. We stopped one day off a small island called Bird Island and anchored in four foot water and cooled off. Tim was the last one to get in but with the scorching sun and seven other people for possible bait finally joined us.
That night our oldest son who now also lives in Orlando came over for dinner with his fiancee' and their two young daughters. Zach, our younger son cooked for all of us and did a knock out job. He even bought all the groceries for the meal and was a wonderful fun filled night.
I got to spend time with our new grand daughter who recently turned one and is cute as a button.
I think she already knows I'm crazy but that's okay, just means she's smart!
My sister hasn't spent much time around her either but we had a ball getting to know her together.
I don't think I've seen Tim (ole Jed) as happy for over half a decade. It felt good to see him genuinely happy...and he should be. He has rocked his new job out of the park and in two years has been promoted three times. His latest promotion was a pretty big one and what will allow us the opportunity to live in comfort when the rest of us join him in early September and purchase our new home.
I took the above pic of him on the plane train at the airport the day I took him to leave for his flight to Texas and his first promotion. This is the picture of a man doing what he had to do for his family, move a thousand miles away for almost two years to provide for us.
I have a pretty awesome husband, although has taken me a solid three years for it to finally register.
It was a hard nine year struggle and had a lot more arguments than we had fun. Sometimes I felt like giving up. Sometimes I wondered if I still even liked or loved him?
It took me more than a minute but remembered what the preacher had said to us on that hot day in September back in 2000 out by the pool at Tim's parent's house when we married.
"For better or worse, richer or poorer."
Besides that, who am I to walk away from a challenge?
I still had two of our three kids at home, three dogs to take care of and a house which needed all kind of repair and upkeep, not to mention was now in charge of paying all bills except insurance and mortgage.
Once comfortable and finding the groove at my new job, it was pretty easy. For some reason actually having the money to pay bills makes it a no brainer.
This past weekend in Orlando was the first visit we've had since this whole debacle began which never involved ugly words or finger pointing (mostly...maybe mainly on my part) but was so relaxing and totally enjoyable.
It's nice to be in love with your husband again.
Zach and I drove home, straight shot with one five minutes stop for gas.
Massey stayed in Florida a few days longer but Zach and I both went straight back to work the next day before noon. He left around ten and I left around twelve thirty.
I did the usual dog swap gig, we're used to it now.
Ziggy and Ham don't get along anymore now that Ham is totally blind. Ziggy's personality is more than buoyant, much like me... and Ham is totally my husband, "Ole Jed". Charlie, our white bulldog is Switzerland, neutral either way.
I had the house pretty cleaned up, packed my lunch box and scooted out the door, no minutes to spare. Zach would probably be home around six to check on the dogs anyway.
Even Massey's room looked pretty good, I'd asked her to clean it before she left last week.
It was busy at work and didn't get off until after ten. Got a text from Zach "You left Ham locked in Massey's room".
Zach ended up staying late at work and didn't get home until ten.
Took me two hours and four garbage bags to clean up. The ole boy went NUTS. I felt worse because it was my fault.
Almost ten hours alone in a room, knew we were all gone and couldn't see one inch from his useless eyes.
What if he had to protect our house? Wonder if they were hurt and needed a lick? Wonder if they remember they left me locked in this room?
I promised Ham, who looked awfully tired when I got home that it would never happen again.
So tomorrow is one of my favorite co worker's last day at the job. Actually, she's the one who got me my job.
She's moving to Idaho and beginning her new adventure with her own family of four, plus two dogs and a cat.
I think this job has afforded many of us many opportunities we'd otherwise never had and for that will be eternally grateful.
So I am dropping Massey off for her mid shift tomorrow at one and meeting up with Tia (above) and another fellow heifer from work for a going away lunch before our last shift together.
When you work at the airport, what better place to go fuel up than...
the Barbeque Kitchen.
Sweet iced tea with a lime wedge and anything your heart could desire to eat, especially if you're from the south.
Then after a good meal and last 'Gab-fest' for quite a while or maybe even ever will all head to the Crazy House for one last shift together. No worries, I'm packing leftover spaghetti, garlic bread and blueberry cobbler in my trusty lunch box for an after shift farewell meal.
The Last Dinner. OUR last dinner. It was a fantastic two and a half year ride.
They call me "Snax" at work.
I've been called a lot worse.
I like being the 'Go To'.
I always have medicine, snacks, gum, mints, bleach pens even finger cots or a sewing kit. I also carry stamps for peeps flying out of the country needing one and always have a few dollars to spare if someone else needs a hand up.
The people I work with and for, including the ones I meet along the way to and from genuinely seem to love me and love them all in return.
They were all part of my journey.
I came to this job a smoldering pile of ashes and almost out. One more tear drop could have extinguished us.
But it didn't.
I'm planning on the last (way over) half of my life being the greatest ever and going to spend it with my family finally all in the same place. I'll miss the people I know here but know if they love me will stay in touch. It literally chokes me up to think of leaving the greatest job I've ever had but has also inspired me to realize the potential a person can have.
If you are a good person, you are loved.
If you try your best, the best will happen...maybe not on your time schedule but eventually.
Never expect something you're not willing to give of yourself.
Karma is a big fat bitch with a terrific memory.
This world is in a scary place in time. Take a step back and breathe. Think of what you can do to make things right instead of shaking your head at all the the things wrong.
Don't exclude but include.
You could easily be that other person no one will help. There are millions and millions of them out there, just as there are also millions and millions of them sucking the system dry. Be assured (the sucker's) life will never be as full and freeing for them as it will be for me.
As this latest chapter in my life ends, another will begin.
And it will be great!
I held on for a most excellent reason.
You simply have to if you want to get anywhere.
I got this...
Til next time, COTTON