Thursday, November 16, 2017

Five More Months

It was hard to move from this...

to this.

It's clean and tidy, just tiny. Our landlord has been great, I'm just ready to move into a bigger, permanent house and get the other three quarters of our furniture and things out of storage...and lounge by our own pool.

After living here for over a year, know now we'll never find a back yard like we had in Georgia but look forward to at least having some room for the pups to run in a straight line instead of around in circles.

We had some awesome next door neighbors but they moved a couple of months ago. We still stay in touch but sure miss them being steps away. The one other neighbor across the street is an okay old dude and we're on the same side of detesting all the other idiots living on this street. People park their cars wherever they want, including RV's, campers, car trailers and big ass boats.

Dang, and to think I thought we had some red necks in Georgia.

We finally got the payoff deed back to our old house and are set to go with financing for our new one. Then we have to make one more trip back to Newnan and pick up my Johnny Dear, all our tools, dining room hutch and china cabinet, large hammock and huge computer desk...along with all my Christmas decorations in the attic.

Will it ever end?

Speaking of that (huge segue) ...

When will this (my) country end all its bickering and moaning, not to mention finger pointing?

I'm simply curious as to why people think all their negative and demeaning comments, rants and posts will do any good for anything that is wrong...or concieved to be wrong with this nation... or world, for that matter?

       My Momma used to always tell me "You catch more flies with honey than vinegar."

Maybe we need to change our line of thinking... or maybe think more like The O'Jays did.

I'm not a fan of Trump, didn't vote for him and often find it hard to support him as my President, but will. The most negative thing I publicly have to say about the man is that he has horrible hair and desperately needs serious oratory coaching.

The thing which so many (most) don't seem to understand or grasp is just because you have a different view doesn't make another other persons' wrong.

It makes it theirs.

Not yours.

It's simply their view.

It's their opinion.

It's their right to have it, just like you have the right to have yours.

We need to grow up and realize not everyone in this country is going to agree about everything.

We need to learn and agree to disagree, in an adult and responsible way.

The entire world looks to us as a power house leader...they always have, with (formerly) good reason.

It would be a shame to let not only us down, but the rest of the planet as well.

Trust me, it's okay to have your own opinion but never dis someone else's. We simply need to find the common ground for a common good.

Imagine that.

Maybe I am a dreamer, but am certainly not the only one.

Love speaks volumes, hate silences us all.

Just saying.

Till next time...COTTON

Monday, November 13, 2017

Neighborhood Nazi...That's Me!

Our garage door opener is on the fritz and I'm too tiny to use the red cord pull handle. The landlord is sending someone over to fix it in the next day or two, so have just been parking on the street behind Tim's car. We let Massey park in the driveway because she is driving my brother's Mercedes while he puts a new convertible top on her Mustang.

The people in this neighborhood are parking idiots...true fact.

Nothing like a huge trailer and boat to make a home look all cozy and inviting. There's usually more cars than these at this particular house. Thank The Lord he lives about ten houses down from us and only have to drive by it instead of look at it out my living room window. It drives me nuts!

Our wonderful next door neighbors recently moved so the house next door to us is vacant, for now. The clowns who live next door to the vacant house are a household of three. Only two of them drive, but  have seven cars they park all over the place. Four in the driveway, squeezed together like sardines in a can and totally blocking the entire sidewalk. They park two others on the grass between the curb and sidewalk in front of their house and have been parking yet another behind Tims' car in front of our house.

When I had to start parking on the street, they didn't even leave me enough room to pull in behind Tim...and my car is ultra tiny. The first day I actually did manage to parallel park behind Tim and was about four inches away from the car behind me, thinking that would give the dude a hint to move.


I got home from work the other night and he was back behind Tim with no space left for me.

You know me...

I put a note on his windshield "Please park in front of your own house". The next day he moved the car into the driveway of the vacant house between our two houses.

The owner of the vacant house came over to pressure wash the (his) driveway, so the car was moved back onto the street behind Tim again when I got home from work the very next night.

I came home from the post office today and noticed one of the three clowns in the opened garage working on a gas grill. There's so much crap in their garage you couldn't even fit one person standing up in it, much less one car.

I went in our house and Tim was working on his lap top in the living room. I asked him if he thought there was anything wrong with me asking the dude to move his car back a few feet so I could park in front of my own house?

You know Jed (Tim)...

"I reckon you could."

So I did.

I was very polite about it. I simply told him our garage remote wasn't working and until we got it fixed needed to park on the street and would he mind moving his vehicle back a few feet so I could park behind my front of our house?

He asked if I was the one who had left the unsigned note on his car?

"Yes, that would be me."

I was kinda surprised he even had to ask; I mean he was parked in front of our house, two houses down from his own.

He said he'd have to go inside and wash his hands first before moving it, if that was okay.

I told him to take all the time he needed.

I went back inside our house feeling like a champ! I told Tim what had transpired.

He never even looked up at me, but said to our dog beside him on the couch, "Momma's probably gonna have four flat tires in the morning."

To add fuel to the fire, I also called code enforcement and reported the vehicles blocking the sidewalk.

When we first moved here, I was backed into our driveway to unload some things and left it there overnight, barely blocking the sidewalk. The next morning I had a ticket on my car.

This clown had the entire sidewalk blocked with two cars and had two more on the grass...another violation.

I guess I won't win neighbor of the month now.

The way these people park in this neighborhood is borderline redunkulous.

One guy down the street has a full size RV plugged in, running electricity, water and parked in his front yard. That guy lives next door to the guy who has a boat and car trailer in his own driveway.

Shoot me now...

                                       What in the world is wrong with these people??

Lucky for us, we'll be moving in about four months. I'm sure they'll all have a big ole street party after I'm gone...complete with huge fireworks on a school night, when it isn't a holiday even remotely associated with shooting fireworks. (remembering the huge fireworks on Halloween night being shot off in our hood while little kids Trick or Treated)

Our land lord has been good to us and the house was all we needed to get settled into town... temporarily.

Trust me, I'll scope out the next area where we move first.

We plan on it being home until we retire and move to the beach, in our wheel chairs.

I know its GOTTA drive at least some of the other neighbors nuts the way these people plop down crap in their front yards which are meant to be in a lake or on a camp ground.

To prove my point, will take pics tomorrow while Massey drives me through the hood and will post it here, updating this blog.

That is...if my car still has inflated tires.

Till next time...the Neighborhood Nazi aka COTTON

Friday, November 10, 2017

Ain't No Stopping Me Now

It took me (felt like) forever to get this new job down but can say with (pretty much) complete confidence, am pretty much knocking it out of the park these days.

The restaurant is fairly new but catching on a good way!

My sales and salary have steadily climbed each and every week. Every once in a while you have an off day as a goes with the job title.

Since moving to Orlando I miss quite a few things. I miss my younger son who turned around after  living here just three days and headed back to the only home he'd ever known. I miss my sister, my touchstone. I miss all the friends I met and had there.

And I missed my old job.

Not too many servers make the kind of money I made at the airport, and  sure missed making it. I had a bankroll when we moved here but was depleted quickly when my work transfer didn't go through.

In hindsight, was the greatest thing to ever happen to me.

I've made new friends, I've found a new wonderful job and am making it happen, for me and my family.

Tim has done the same, and between us both have found ourselves (almost) back on top.

With all the turmoil in this crazy world, we have both learned a very important lesson.

There are really (to us) no Democrats or Republicans. There are no Christians, Jews, Catholics, Muslims, Buddhists or Atheists. There's no Hollywood elite or  even illegals trying to ruin our country...or the world.

There are good people and bad people in this world we all live in, and can't be (shouldn't be) more simply stated....or believed.

Go ahead and take a head count... trust me, there are more of us good people in this world than bad.

Majority rules.

And while of course Dems, Repubs and all religions, races, nationalities, factions and sexual identities do exist in this world, what matters most in the long run is the core of your very being and existence on this planet.

What kind of person, what kind of human will you choose to be?

Our one common bond is humanity and is way too often overlooked.

Get on the Love Train.

Yeah I'm getting old, but still think I've got it right.

Love is all you need.

Till next time...COTTON

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Real Reasons For The Season

I met a young woman here in Orlando recently. I don't know her  very well, we've only spoken a few times. She's very quiet...unlike me. We spoke for a few minutes at length the other night and I found out she was working two jobs and seeking a third one. I could tell she had a lot on her mind. I asked if she had any kids? She has four. I asked if she was married? She is. She was worried about making her rent that month and was in jeopardy of losing her home. I asked if the husband was helping her? He wasn't. She quietly said she had asked him to leave, and seek help for his anger issues.

Long story short, he'd become abusive. Her older son is scared to be around him, after being hit by the coward. She told me she supposed she would have to go to the battered womens' shelter that night because she didn't have enough money to pay her rent.

I told her to wait just one more day and got her contact information, telling her I may be able to find her some help and would get back in touch with her.

That story broke my heart...and really ticked me off. To be abusive to your wife is bad enough but to pick on a child...your own child is beyond horrendous and more than cowardly.

I thought about it all night. I knew I didn't have enough money to give her for rent, having just paid my own car note and cell phone bill.

This young woman needed some help and needed it quickly. She was doing her best and had kicked the loser out, taking herself and her kids out of harms way.

After wracking my brain, I made the only phone call I could think of the very next day.

I called my brother and told him Tim and I had both decided what we wanted from him for Christmas this year if he felt like shopping early. He said he would be more than happy to have some ideas from us.

I told him this young womans' story and asked if he could help her pay the rent as a present to us both.

Of course he didn't hesitate for one second, immediately saying yes. Massey went by his office for me and picked up his check while I got ready for work. I called my new friend and asked if she could come by where I worked to pick up a check that night. She said she didn't get off work until late but certainly could if I'd still be there.

She was flat out flabbergasted. She thanked me over and over again, saying she couldn't believe how someone had agreed to help her after only recently meeting.

It is the best Christmas present my brother has ever given us and certainly the best present this young woman ever expected to get.

I did a little investigation work of my own before asking my brother for this gift, just to be safe since I was asking for such a huge favor.

I've always been a pretty good judge of character and turned out my instincts were indeed right.

All this did really, was give her a little breathing room and some time to regroup. Sometimes that's all it takes.

Her landlord couldn't believe it when she called the next day to say she had his rent money, in its entirety. He asked how she had managed that?

She told him, "because I was blessed."

You know, as bad as it got for me and Tim at times...was nothing in comparison to what this woman is going through. Tim has never raised a hand to me and certainly never to any of our kids. We worked through it together, as a team and as parents. Yes we argued and sometimes pointed fingers but was always in frustration rather than anger or violence.

On a side note...I have come up the bomb of all presents for my brother this Christmas. He's not easy to buy for but certainly deserves more than a shirt or golf balls this year.

My new friend called me to say she slept easy and peacefully that night for the first time in a long long time.

Of course you know me...the writer.

When I gave her the check I also gave her one of my nicer note cards with a pre stamped envelope and asked her to please write my brother a thank you note and would be all the thanks necessary.

True Fact.

Without our many blessings from God, family, friends and yes even complete strangers...Tim and I wouldn't be where are are today, and I will be forever grateful to and for them.

My next call will be to my sister, who has worked for and with battered women for years. She can tell me how to best help get this woman as much help as we possibly can.

All it takes... is to step out of your own comfortable life for a moment, realize how blessed you truly are and do whatever you can to pay those blessings forward.

Till next time...COTTON

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Extremely Thankful...And Then Some

I can't believe it's already November. Where has this year gone? I just hope I'm not aging as quickly as the year has, but pretty sure I am.

It still beats the alternative. If you're not aging, you're dying. I'll take growing older as long as I can.

If there's one thing our move to another state after fifty six years has taught me, it's to be grateful...for the good and the bad.

I was a coward when we first moved here. I readily admit it. I was more worried about what was going on with me instead of noticing what was going on for us.

My setback was a temporary one and should have realized that right off the bat. Instead I threw myself a big fat pity party and made everyone else miserable along with me.

Fast forward one year...

I'm living thirty minutes away from the beach, just where we've always wanted to live. In our retirement years, it will be on the beach.

Unwillingly, had to start over again in my chosen profession of Plate Slinger Extraordinaire.

That actually was one hard pill to swallow!

I beat myself up when starting a new job, always thinking I'm not getting it or catching on fast enough.

I still remember that first day they hired me. They offered me a job after finishing my first interview and asked if I wanted to come back later that afternoon to begin training and knock a day off my two week training period.

Yikes...I wasn't even over my own Pity Party!

I was an absolute nervous wreck when I returned a couple of hours later, wearing the required pair of gray slacks I'd just bought at Kohl's in the little boys' department. They were the only ones small enough fit me. That particular Kohl's didn't have a 'Karen Carpenter' section.

I just recently celebrated my one year anniversary working at Chroma.

I've settled in nicely after being a wreck the first four or five months...obviously it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks. I've doubled my salary in the past twelve months and firmly have my tootsie established in the door for hopefully many years to come.

It's nice to be back on top in my place of employment. I'd even venture to say I'm one of the top servers there and have proved myself to be a reliable and dependable asset to the company. I have steady made more money each and every week and look forward to once again making airport money without the hassle of actually working in an airport.

Been there, done that.

Yes I was lucky to have that job for almost three years, especially at a time when we desperately needed the extra money.

I'm now also lucky that we aren't desperate for money and can live comfortably live off Tim's income.

We struggled for almost a decade...and I mean struggled. We never gave up and our friends and family never gave up on us either.

We have always been blessed, sometimes it's just harder to realize it.

 The twenty years we lived just south of Atlanta were some pretty great times, even with the few bad times.

I still miss our old served us well and have very fond memories of raising the kids in it.

 This is from our very last Christmas living on Huntington Court.

Now we are quickly approaching our second Holiday Season in Orlando. We'll once again celebrate Thanksgiving here, at my brothers' house and go back to Georgia for Christmas day at my sisters'.

It's quite nice to feel normal again...well, as normal as it gets for someone like me.

Moving here, away from my home, friends and family after fifty six years was a wake up call. To cope with it, started doing what I (consider to) do best...write. I write and mail about twenty letters or cards a week. Just because I don't live near them anymore doesn't mean we can't stay in touch. Yeah, you can text or message or post on social media, but who doesn't like to open an envelope and see familiar handwriting?

I've written to childhood friends, high school and college friends, former neighbors, co workers, bosses and even mere acquaintances who meant something special to me. A few have even written back and is just as exciting for me to see their familiar handwriting.

Just because you move away from your old life doesn't mean you can't remain connected in your new one.

It never bothers me at all if they don't write back.

I selfishly do it more for me than them anyway, but just think (hope) to maybe put a smile on their face or brighten their day in some small insignificant way.

I still have the very first diary I started when just nine years old. I have about three hard back journals since filled and saved as well.

My Cray Cray life is well documented, along with the thousand or so photos I have stored in albums and boxes.

Call me a 'Life' hoarder.

Life is a road we all have to walk. What you make of your life, is the road you will ultimately follow.

Ours has taken us on detours and been re routed a couple of times but always gotten us there.

Life's a long and winding road, but well worth the journey and ours is getting better all the time.

Our road had some ruts in it along the way but love has gotten us through and over them.

Tramps like us? Baby we were born to run!

Till next time, an extremely grateful COTTON