Saturday, July 12, 2014

Glad That Chapter's Over

I got off around nine fifteen, it was really slow at the airport but still walked with over a hundred dollars. Not bad!

I'm pacing myself again, another seven day work week is looming ahead of me.

Now that I.m settling into this new job and all the new things that go with it (the commute, MARTA, security, working in a huge airport) it's starting to sink in.

That horribly long chapter in my life seems to be coming to an end.

I get my first full paycheck tomorrow, actually being deposited at midnight into my bank account and can pay another mortgage payment tomorrow. It will be the second one this week and we'll be caught up for the first time in quite a while.

God shut a door on us but opened a window and it's to Him I owe the greatest thanks.

I owe my parents the next "Thank you" for being amazing and for not raising a quitter. I lost them both way too soon but as they say "It is better to have loved and lost than have never loved at all."

They left me in good hands, a sister and brother who have continued to raise and support me all throughout the years.

Without these two sibs, I certainly wouldn't have made it, especially these past few years. I owe them both so much will take my lifetime to repay them and then some. I can honestly say I have never asked them for help and been turned down, and over the past five years have had to go to them more often than I'd like.

We grew up in a middle class family, weren't wealthy but blessed beyond belief. We never wanted for anything as kids but then again weren't raised to be selfish.

I met and married Tim and we raised three kids together.

We've been together now for almost twenty seven years and the first twenty two were pretty great. We started without much but finally settled into a six figure lifestyle and were doing okay.

When the bottom dropped out it was devastating... financially, mentally and emotionally.

As bad as it was (and got really bad) whenever we felt all was lost and nothing could go right, something always did.

When I first lost my job at The Western Sizzler, some great friends helped us out. Tim had been searching for work and was working two part time jobs.

Out septic tank backed up and my sister's Sunday School class paid to have it pumped.

People who knew me from high school, people I worked with at the elementary school for a while when the kids were younger gave us gift cards. Some people came by and stocked our bare kitchen shelves.

People who read my blog sent us cash to help.

These people got us through when we were close to being destitute.

My boxer, Ham went totally blind from juvenile cataracts and people overwhelmed us with support. They paid for his visit to a vet ophthalmologist and when diagnosed with heart worms, keeping him out of the running for surgery, paid for his heartworm treatment. Without them, he'd be dead by now.

I got a new job and new friends.

We were still broke but learned to work the "Being Broke" system. They would come to cut our electricity off, I would wait for them to hang a cut off notice on our front door then run out to the truck and give them a bad check. So what the check bounced? It was a twenty five dollar fee for a bounced check but a fifty dollar fee to have the electricity reconnected. They carried the check around with them all day in the truck which gave me another twenty four hours to try and make it good.

My new boss, Barb loaned me money pretty much every week. Sometimes I paid her back in a few days, sometimes in a couple of weeks.

For four years this cycle continued and started to lose my mind.

I was borrowing from Peter to pay Paul and to make it worse was a woman in her fifties!

When this new job came open  was immediately apprehensive. I don't like stepping out of my comfort zone and was perfectly happy at Mama Lucia's. The problem was the bills were piling up again and if this new job would over double my salary how in the world could I turn it down?

Here's one reason. I didn't even have a car to get there and it was twenty five miles away from home.

Enter  "Friend I barely knew."

A woman who used to work at Mama Lucia's reads my blog (didn't even know she did) and offered me a spare car for a week. It was her car that got me to the airport for my initial interview and back for my FBI background check.

Whadda ya know? They hired me on the spot.

This time six weeks ago I didn't even feel like getting out of bed or even trying but simply did it anyway.

Six weeks later my life has done a complete one eighty.

Desperate times call for desperate measures and I took a leap of faith. I won't say it was easy because it wasn't.  I'm still borrowing a vehicle from my neighbors to get back and forth from work but have my car almost paid off and should have it this next week.

It's not a castle but is now ours to keep and will be paid off in less than four years. That's the reason Hells Fargo wouldn't help us modify our loan. They wanted it to sell a huge profit.

Guess we showed them!

I'm still a ninety five pound bag of bones, wrinkles and gray hair but the relief I feel is so immense it makes me feel like a giant.

All thanks to God, family and friends too many to name. You've all lived the fight with me and not only inspired me but urged me on.

By now this blog has covered several days.

I got up this morning after working a double shift yesterday here in Newnan and trekked out of the house , across the yard to my neighbor's and climbed in his little truck and headed out at seven this morning for the airport again.

I got to the MARTA train station thirty seconds late and missed it. I sat for twenty minutes waiting on the next one.

I got to the airport and headed for the Sardine Shuttle which takes me to the international terminal. There were at least forty passengers waiting to be shuttled and knew it would be a forty minute wait. I turned around went back inside, went through security and rode the dreaded Plane Train out to concourse F. I got to work seven minutes late and still beat the other servers by fifteen minutes.

The whole airport was a mad house. I should have known. When I left this morning the full moon was still bright in the sky. I got to work and before the doors even opened had people trying to get in.

Around two the bottom fell out and was busier than I have ever seen it. My last table came in around three. Nine people going to Amsterdam on a family vacation. The tab ended up being a little over $300 and the added gratuity was $60. The man left me eighty bucks extra.

Cha CHING!!!!!!!!!

Transporting myself to bed and doing it all again tomorrow!

Til next time, an extremely grateful COTTON

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