Monday, September 29, 2014

Hump Day

Woke up feeling pretty good. I got tons done around the house last night. Bathrooms were scrubbed sparkling clean, all the laundry got finished and put away and got the kitchen in tip top shape before soaking in a hot tub and tumbling into a freshly made up bed with clean sheets.

Only hit the snooze button twice this morning and even had time for some toast and OJ before leaving thirty minutes early for work.

It was gonna be a fabulous day!

Rolled into the MARTA lot and spent fifteen minutes looking for a spot to park. Not a good sign. I even drove to the back of the lot since was early but had no luck there either. It was raining anyway so just decided to cut my losses and drive around Loop Rd. to park at the International Terminal for $12. It's almost worth the money because once you park your car are through security and on the job site in five minutes. The shuttle taking us to the drop off only had four on it and all were employees. I spotted a penny on the floor between the seats. I had to put my peepers on to see if it was on heads before picking it up. It was, so stuffed it in my shoe for good luck and a good shift. One of the employees on the shuttle had on a uniform just like the little Asian lady who I've encountered on my commute who talks to herself loudly and obviously has OCD. As we got off the shuttle together I asked her if she knew a tiny little Asian woman who talked to herself? She immediately said "You talking about Hong Kong?" Guess she knew her and now I kinda even knew her name.

It's so much more convenient parking at International but twelve dollars is a lot to someone like me and twelve dollars was all I currently had to my name. Payday is Wednesday at midnight and would be flush but was just squeaking by until then by the seat of my tiny size one pants.

Good thing I'm used to it.

It was slow when I got there and quickly got all my opening stuff done. It was still slow so decided to take my break and walk across the food court to eat for free so I'd be all fueled up and ready to go.

The perks of my new job are great. I got two chili steaks, fries and a large coke from the Varsity and ate while keeping an eye on the front door of the restaurant making sure it was still slow and wasn't missing anything.

Literally the minute I walked back in the restaurant and clocked in, we began to fill up. We had a nice little pop with  two big Amsterdam and Paris flights departing. Things settled down after that and when was in the back bringing up some plates the sous chef while talking with the pastry chef, said to me "I need to tell you something later".

I'm feeling much better about my life but the minute anyone says something that like to me still get that panicked feeling, thinking yet another shoe is dropping. I immediately stopped and said "Is it bad?"

 He waved his hand, said it wasn't with a pleasant look on his face and  felt that penny in my shoe doing it's job!

He came up to me later and said had wanted to tell me he had met my little buddy, now known as Hong Kong on the MARTA train on his way into work. Just like me had first thought she was talking on a blue tooth but noticed when she turned her head didn't have one, or even a cell phone. He  said she talked loudly the entire ride with no one in particular (well actually no one) but seemed really intent on getting her point across.

When things slowed down I showed him the video of her the day she rode with me and had her purse zipping episode.

I think the thing I admire about her most is she is obviously living in a foreign country with no language skills but still manages to have and navigate her way to and from a job five days a week.

That's why we are the greatest country in the world. You wanna work? America will hire you and get you get a job. It may not be the best job but will be light years ahead of where you came from and how you not only lived but were treated.

The other thing I love about this job is the fascinating people I get to wait on. I had a couple tonight leaving for Africa. They were going to a conservatory for orphaned lions and taking care of four cubs whose mother had been shot and killed. They would also have baby gorillas and elephants there under the same circumstances.

How cool is that?

That's MY kind of ultimate vacation!

I had another couple leaving for Paris. They were from Switzerland and after talking with them learned about their Maine Coon cats.

You have got to kidding  me. This is a house cat?

The couple I waited on from Switzerland had five of them!

Every day is a new adventure at the International Terminal. I'm meeting people from all over the world and learning their stories. It absolutely fascinates me.

Got home tonight early, was pretty slow at work but still walked out making over two hundred dollars. I was surfing the net and came across this comment from someone on Trip Adviser about the restaurant where I work.

5 of 5 starsReviewed September 24, 2014NEW
We had some time waiting for our flight and Ecco was recommended. Nice wine list. cured meats and cheeses. Fried goat cheese with honey and black pepper.. Braised beef stuffed piquello pepper (TJs recommendation). What a way to start a vacation...with TJ!
  • Visited September 2014
    • 5 of 5 starsValue
    • 5 of 5 starsAtmosphere
    • 5 of 5 starsService
    • 5 of 5 starsFood
Was this review helpful?Yes

 I thought this was pretty awesome. Not only was it good for the  restaurant but was good to see TJ making his mark too.

Tumbling into those fresh sheets again, getting up at six thirty AM, battling the commute but will be off by six PM at the latest. Cooking a home cooked meal if my stove hasn't gone on strike from lack of use and doing it one more time. Then have two days off, all to myself and even in a row.

How did I get so lucky?

My life is great!

Til next time...COTTON

Saturday, September 27, 2014

I'm Not a Double Fan

Took this selfie while waiting on the shuttle bus back to the parking deck tonight after work. I clocked in at 8:15 this morning and worked non stop until I clocked out at 10:23. Got home a little after eleven thirty, limping like Fetus from Gunsmoke. I wanted to take a break and could have, but simply can't bring myself to do it when peeps are still rolling those suitcases into the restaurant to eat before a flight. If I do take a break I eat at one of the places nearby in the food court so can keep a watch on the door. If business starts to pick up back at work, I cram whatever food I have left into my mouth and scurry back to work before I miss anymore tables.

I ate breakfast in the food court this morning with some co workers before we opened. I just got a sausage biscuit and a fresh banana. The banana was pretty tasty but my biscuit looked like it needed another ten minutes in the oven or either they cooked it in a Suzy Homemaker oven with a really old 60 watt light bulb.  I pulled the sausage out and ate it but have never liked dumplings so didn't touch the snow white doughy biscuit.  I thought about going back over and complaining but since it was free ninety nine felt pretty lame about griping.

A manager from the place walked by us and asked how everything was? One of my co workers who knows him pointed to my under cooked dumpling/biscuit...although hers wasn't much better and the guy was extremely nice about it. He told me to take it back but said that was okay, the sausage was good. He told me next time I ate there he'd make sure everything was great.

Heck, they're feeding me for free and hate to complain. People that complain a lot really get on my nerves. So what my biscuit was under cooked? I wasn't dying of cancer (that I know of) the meal was free,  had a great job which was helping feed my OWN family and the guy made an earnest attempt to make it right.

I was satisfied with that...albeit still kinda hungry when three PM rolled around. I was due for another break and could have taken one, eaten another $9.75 of free grub but at this point in our financial recovery still count every penny and hate to take thirty minutes off and miss the opportunity to make fifty bucks.

For thirty years I worked double shifts and liked them. At almost fifty five, I dread them. This was a special case. TJ had wanted to pick up a shift on Tuesday and no one wanted off so gave him my shift and picked up a double for another co worker on Saturday.

Won't happen again for a while. I get home and have to be up again at six thirty for another opening shift.

On the up side, just grateful to have my awesome new job which has helped propel us into the black for the first time in over six years.

Tumbling into bed and doing it again on Sunday. It'll be hard to rise and shine at six thirty but will feel great to be off by five and home by six.

Thank the Lord I got highlights in my hair last night because feel those gray hairs sprouting again.

Til next time...COTTON

Friday, September 26, 2014

Changing Colors In Fall

After what my "Hurr" dresser said yesterday decided to go ahead and let my sister highlight my hair tonight. What the heck, Fall is the season of changing colors!

So this is how we started...two old blind dogs, both with gray hair. I just got home and none of the dogs seem to notice anything except the smell of Zola, my sister's boxer on my clothes. Aren't dogs color blind anyway? At any rate, they're all males anyway. Tim never notices when I change my hair.

I was a little nervous at first when Cin kept saying how she wasn't really a pro and barely knew what she was doing. YIKES! Somebody get me a glass of wine.

She did just fine, she has done her own for years and is cute as a button.

Wait a minute, that's the wrong picture!

Here's the right one! This is also the look she will have when seeing I posted the picture of her the year she won "Miss Harris Street." (that was the name of our elementary school)

I'm a pretty low maintenance about how I look. I never wear make up unless working or going somewhere like court or a funeral.

I've never in my life had a manicure, pedicure or massage. I've never paid to have my hair colored and the most I pay for a hair cut is $12.99. I buy what ever shampoo is the cheapest  (White Rain or Suave) and the same with make up. Actually I don't even wear "make up" just Banana Boat self tanning cream ($6.97) on my face and the cheapest eye shadow I can find.(Rimmel) I do splurge on Maybelline  mascara but can get it for $2.99 at Dollar General. My only other name brand waste is Sally Hansen nail polish. (quick dry of course)

I told Cin tonight not to worry about not being a pro, I'm (obviously) not that worried about how I look. I just don't like all the gray hair I've been sprouting after less than two weeks after a hair cut. Twelve ninety nine doesn't grow on trees, ya know.

Let's see if semi blonds have more fun too! I forget about it til I walk past a mirror in the house but think I like it. It was nice spending a couple of hours with my sister though, haven't seen her in a few weeks and that's a really long time for us.

I certainly looked different than I did in my smock, hat and peepers when arrived at my sister's house for my "Hurr" coloring.

I think it takes away from my frown and worry lines, don't you?

I've had the past two days off and got so much done ran out of things to do. That's a first1

Ironing a work shirt for tomorrow. Kinda nervous, my first big weekend double. I'll scream into the MARTA station at seven fifty, half jog half run to the train platform for the eight o'clock train, ride the Sardine Shuttle to international,begin at eight thirty and trudge out again by midnight with hopefully over three Ben's in my pocket.

Cha Ching!

Till next time...COTTON

Thursday, September 25, 2014

I Refuse To Wake Up

It didn't hit me until today. For six years we've been broke as jokes. We went through our savings and 401K,  borrowed from Peter to pay Paul and without the help of friends and family simply never would have survived, but did.

I didn't have to leave the house today until noon and stayed in bed til almost eleven. Around ten thirty the power went off. I heard the TV cut off and noticed the ceiling fan slowly stop spinning.

About five seconds later my son hollered "Mom?" Called back to him that I knew the power was off but pretty sure it would be back on soon.

He hollered back "Did you pay the bill?"

Until about four months ago I would have thought the same thing. Been there, done that. I knew we were current on mortgage and utilities. I owed the Verizon giants and had the money, just like to make them beg.

Then out of habit called back to Zach "Check out the window to see if a truck is in our driveway."

No truck.

Five minutes later the power came back on.


I was kinda nervous...knee jerk reaction.

Over the past six years we have had the cable, electricity, gas, trash service and water all cut off at one time or another.

Not fun.

We've been threatened with foreclosure (don't even get me started on how much I despise Hells Fargo) and often been out of a vehicle all together but somehow fumbled, stumbled and were helped to continue on.

And we did.

A little over four months ago got sick of feeling sick to my stomach every morning wondering how we would make it another day.

I was an over middle aged waitress with a kid in college. My best qualification was I was a hard worker.

Thinking that should count for something, applied for a job so over my head I couldn't even see it with binoculars. (or an FBI background check)

I was an absolute nervous wreck the entire first month. To begin with was like getting into the Pentagon for work the day after "Nine Eleven" and it was your first day on the job, with an even harder commute to and from... considering I didn't even own a car.

 Don't even get me started on how much I had to learn how to fake until could absorb the tons of things these people expected Granny Clampett to learn in fourteen days.

But I did.

Four short months later we are current on all the bills, Tim has a new job thanks to a good friend of mine (Love you long time, Vicki)  and have even been able to begin to repay all the people who so generously helped us limp along.

Yes it was a hard few years but that's what makes it even sweeter.

We made it!

Sometimes we got discouraged and knocked down more times than I care to count but we never gave up. Oh we all felt like giving up at one point or another but just kept on keeping on, knowing God would provide.

And He did.

Life is so enjoyable now. I actually have two days off a week and some much needed "me" time. The house is cleaner, little things that simply didn't matter when you didn't even know if you'd be keeping your house. If they were gonna take it from us, I'd leave them a dump to sell four years from our pay off date. "Take THAT one to the bank"

Now that the dump was ours, I had a lot of catching up to do. For almost four months I worked six sometimes seven days a week and wasn't even home enough to let it bother me. Now that I have two days off it's like a new lease on life.

I cleaned the half inch of dust off every surface, even the base boards. I vacuumed up enough dog hair to make a full body toupee for a hairless Irish Wolfhound, if there IS such a breed.

I organized closets and tossed tons of junk they had been hiding. I mean, did we really NEED Tim's old corduroy jacket with the elbow patches or coats the kids wore in elementary school? Goodwill needed them more. Well maybe they didn't need them, but they got them!

Organized my junk drawer(s). Boy was that (in my case those) aptly named! Did I really need the stupid "Flair" pins  Western Sizzler had given me during my almost thirteen year stint?

Did I really need that huge basket of unmatched socks? Some of them had been waiting to be reunited with their partners for seven years. I hate to tell them, but I don't think they're coming back.

Two dear friends, known as Aunt Dellen came by around noon to bring Massey a pillowtop mattress with box springs for her bedroom...if she ever comes back.

We hauled them both into our garage and Del commented "The only clean spot to leave them is by the couch."


I resembled that remark and told her so.

Tim's car leaks oil all over the place and I have huge pieces of card board on the floor to semi absorb the problem.

We propped them up and they gave me a DVR and bag of movies to give her as well. I thought it was movies they didn't want anymore, but turned out to be about fifteen brand new videos. Massey is loved.

I left to run errands. Needed "muh hur did" and had a two dollar coupon. I checked in online at Great Clips but went by the post office first. We had a notice in our mailbox for a certified letter, from the IRS.

HOORAY! (not)

Picked it up at the post office. The woman asked me for identification as if they were fixing to hand me an envelope with a million dollar check in it. I said "Who else wants to pick up a certified letter from the IRS...really?"

Didn't even open it. Know it's not good news but if Hells Fargo can't kick us out of our house, good luck to the IRS.

Got to Great Clips and only had to wait five minutes. There are only two women who I let cut my hair and got my (now formerly) fave today.

We were chatting while she cut my hair and  mentioned I was thinking about frosting my hair like my sister does. Just to give it a kick of blonde and take away from the fast advancing gray.

She was whacking away on my hair and said "That might be nice...maybe a little sunshine in your hair won't make you look so washed out."

Dang! That was harsh... almost as bad as the time I went in for a hair cut and the chick trimming behind my ears with a razor ran it across my cheeks like I was growing a beard. At least they are thinking about (or talking about me).

So I'm washed out looking?

She pegged me right. I have almost killed myself just waiting for it to happen, but it did. Tim's working insane hours but making mucho over time doing something totally out of his league.

We survived and are finally moving ahead. Nobody said it would be easy but if you are a good person and give it your all, God's got your back.

My family has made it. We have made it. I have made it. Tim and I romantically suffered the worst blow but you know what?

We have the rest of our lives together...and he's still the one.

If this is a dream, I refuse to wake up.

 By the way, why did Orleans have strippers in the background of this video? The eighties were the bomb dot com!

Til next time..COTTON

Monday, September 22, 2014

Dang I'm Tarred

I like working the day-shift because am home by dark and still make over two hundred dollars. I work day-shift on Saturday and Sunday, don't battle traffic from work day commuters going into downtown ATL and the MARTA lot is always empty.

I don't like it all that much when the alarm goes off at six thirty but am getting used to it. I've always been a night owl, always will but have learned that when you get up at six thirty with adrenaline pumping and no spare minutes left, drive twenty five miles to work and battle another twenty five minutes just getting to the computer to even clock in, you get tired a lot earlier.

I got so much done around the house the last couple of days, I kinda want unexpected company to ring the door bell so I can actually let them "In" and not see a mortified look on their face.

I tumbled into bed before midnight feeling pretty good about all I had accomplished. I woke up before two and had left the TV on.  Everybody Loves Raymond  was on. I gave it some notice. Fell asleep again by three and woke up to The Brady Bunch. That Cindy was spoiled rotten and not all that cute. Take away the pig tails and lisp, she was just a brat.

I'm slap dab in my mid fifties and saw all the Brady Brunch shows the first time around in the seventies but stayed awake for another hour hoping the "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia" episode would come on next. It didn't.

How sad am I?

My alarm was  set to go off  in just one hour as Cindy had yet another crisis. Must have been about mis matched hair bows, I had my back to her and was really feeling that pillow against my face.

The alarm went off at six thirty and rolled over. Just ten more minutes.  Maybe Alice, the house maid will wake me up.

Long day at work, felt whooped by five but was once again amazed at how much this job is helping us out.

Now that I'm down to just the one job, it's like life got 200% easier and much more enjoyable.

My house had started to get really bad. It was all I could do to make it to both jobs six and for a while seven days a week. Housework was at the very bottom of my list, right below shaving my legs.

The first couple of weeks of having just the one job I still felt tired as the past four months all caught up with me. Slept most of both my days off.

This past week  I woke up on my first of two consecutive days off and felt twenty years younger. I felt like putting on some leggings, boots and finding that cool jean jacket I know is still somewhere out in the garage!

Instead I put on some short cotton boxers and a tank top and got all crazy with the vacuum, broom, mop and lots of of Murphy's Oil Soap and Mr. Clean.

It's not a palace but at least looks respectable and smells pretty stinking good. (small dog pun intended)

The pups followed me from room to room and from one side of the room to the other. They all looked like they were amazed I still knew how to run the vacuum.

I did the real deal clean. I actually moved things to clean under instead of simply cleaning around them leaving them in their exact same spot so it's harder to notice you did a slack job.

It took me two full days and a few adult beverages but boy does it look better!

I started with Zach's room. Yes he's twenty two and still lives at home but has done a lot to help me out around the house and since he was at work thought I'd surprise him. Trust me, this is a HUGE improvement.

Massey's room was easy, not much left there. It's now almost empty, just a shell she emerged and flew away from after eighteen years. "Go Gettum Kid!"

The above may be my greatest accomplishment...our laundry room. I never even THINK to clean it. (heck, it's where we take stuff "TO" be cleaned)

 I bet I picked up twenty used dryer sheets from various baskets, the floor, between the machines and behind them. I swept up all the lint and moved the dirty clothes tub into Massey's old room right by the laundry room. I informed Zach and Tim I didn't want any more dirty clothes in the laundry room, just clean ones. Unfortunately I live with all males and none of them are gay (except Charlie and Ziggy).

Men tend to throw wash in and forget about it if they don't immediately need it. They put clothes in the dryer and do the same. Then when they "Do" need it, leave everything else and pull out what they need and dry or put it on. The rest is left either in the washer or hanging out of the dryer or better yet thrown into a basket on the floor, which they continue to throw peeled off dirty clothes on top of and eventually EVERYTHING needs to be washed again.

Not anymore!

The living room took a little longer.

We wear out a living room.

 I cleaned every piece of furniture, upholstery and all. I scrubbed the carpets with Windex and Oil Soaped every table, chair, window sill and fireplace.

The kitchen was easy, my sister and one of my best friends recently gave it a complete make over and the boys know I'm picky about them mucking it up. Granted cleaning up after cooking to them usually just means putting dishes in the dishwasher or if "God forbid" the dishwasher is clean, full and the three minutes it would take to unload is just too much, pile them in the sink.

This is a shot of the far side of the kitchen, without the sink. I'll go the extra mile but doing their dishes isn't one of them.

I'm in my mid fifties and have been shaped and reformed more times than you could or I would want to count.

I think just maybe, I've finally hit my stride.

Six years ago I thought maybe life would be better if I wasn't even here at all and sure didn't feel like climbing any staircase.

Today I'm at the top of the stairs and the view out that door is absolutely incredible and so inviting.

I'm not who I used to be...I'm a lot older but a smarter kind of older.

I had to step up and out, and did.

I was nervous and scared but had so many people I can't even count helping and encouraging me, it was almost easy. Sometimes you have to step out on a limb, grab something or someone for support and take a leap of faith.

After all we've been and fumbled through finally know for sure we are some pretty lucky people and feel bad for ever doubting the fact.

I switched shifts and have ANOTHER day off tomorrow, picked up a PM shift on Saturday instead. 

Guess I can watch the Brady Bunch all night.

We are a "not rich but making it" family which to me makes us winners, thanks to God and many others.

Trust me, I'll Pay It Forward and with great pleasure.

The sigh of relief I feel is an emotion as huge as a tidal wave. It washed over me and I came up kicking.

Til next time...COTTON

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Just Another Day At The Office

Now I work in an office where literally thousands and thousands and thousands of people pass through on a daily basis, seven days a week and three hundred sixty five days a year.
It certainly keeps things lively and turning out to be right up my alley!
Each and every single day you encounter something or someone amusing, astounding (in a good OR bad way) and sometimes even heart warming. It may happen on your lengthy commute to or from the trek out to concourse F, the last on the farthest end away from the terminal. It may happen while you are working or it  may happen on break...but trust me, It'll happen!
I was a nervous wreck starting this new venture and still have a lot to learn but feel am starting to grasp the gist of it all and think I'll turn out to be pretty good at it. (At least  hope so)
Just the other happened twice.
I was at the host stand with the young host staff. The stand sits right out in the atrium on the outside of the restaurant. it faces an elevator that takes you downstairs if you have a stroller, wheelchair or simply not able to take the escalator beside it.
The elevator had been acting funky all day. People were getting off when the doors opened but if you walked up and pushed the down button for it to come up on its own, you'd literally be waiting all wasn't working. There were two women in their late sixties, each  waiting with a small rolling suitcase. I started to ask the hostesses if they had told the women it wasn't working when they gave up and walked away. Both seemed able bodied and spry walking over to the escalator about ten feet away. They let five or six people go in front of them while they intently watched the others go down.  The one woman seemed ready to go but became quite apparent the other was at the VERY least extremely uncomfortable about boarding the slow moving stairs with two sturdy hand rails and descend slow as turtles down to the first floor where flights boarded. Finally the apprehensive lady asked a man behind her to hold her suitcase. She stepped up to touch the hand rails and quickly removed her hands. She stepped up again and tried a foot out on the moving step but pulled it back and moved away. Her friend finally stepped up and boarded the escalator, bag in tow and descended. Her friend at the top (now holding up the man holding HER bag) took a breath and leaned as far out as she could, missed the first step but caught the second one which pretty much propelled herself forward as she reached out to each side to find the hand rails and began to slowly white knuckle her way down behind her friend.
I was talking with the Sous Chef later on telling him about the episode and said had witnessed the same type thing on the way UP the escalator that morning on his way into work. He said a man in front of him was flailing around at the bottom of the escalator like he was having some issues and started to ask the man if he needed assistance? He said then the man finally sat his luggage on the first step and it began up all alone.  Said the man's bag was over half way to the top when the man lurched forward, grabbed the hand rails and propelled himself onto the moving stairs in much the same fashion as the woman I saw had. He was still thinking the man must be disabled but then suddenly the man started walking up the escalator stairs like it was nothing, trying to catch up with his bag.
So let me get this right.
You are frightened to step on to slow moving steps with two sturdy rails which also move along with you at a snail's pace but have no qualms about climbing aboard a hollow metal cylinder loaded with jet fuel and travel six hundred MPH  at 35,000 feet across the Atlantic or Pacific ocean with up to almost four hundred people you've never met, including the dude (or dudette) at the controls flying it?

Go figure THAT one out.

 Just last week I had two women at my table waiting to board the Barcelona flight. Neither spoke English and was a lot of pointing done by all three of us. They were extremely nice and I at least knew the words "Cerveza" and "Vino."  Once they had their beers we started with the food portion of pointing.  One of the women pointed to our signature dish with braised pork and pasta. I told them it was "Muy bueno" but tried to explain it was pork. (in case they didn't eat pork)  I finally drew a little pig on my order pad like this:

I could tell they had no clue what I was saying so excused myself for thirty seconds with the universally known held up forefinger sign "Just a second" and went back to confer with the dishwasher, who was Latino. I told Albertina I needed to ask how to say this word (pointing at my pig drawing) in English? She peered thoughtfully at my pad and promptly said "Gato!" I just looked at her and said, "It's not a cat."

Guess I also needed improve my drawing skills.

I shook my head no and pointed again at the tiny fat nose and curly tail.

"Aye" she nodded quickly and said "Puerco!"

Back to the table I went (with me new learnt word) and told the women "Puerco" as I pointed to the dish on the menu.

They both nodded, ordered and loved it!

My manager later told me there was a translation app on my iPhone you could download and the person could speak into my phone and would translate into English.

Here's my problem with that. It took THIS dummy  until a few weeks ago to learn how to use the alarm clock on my phone, still screw it up (has made me  late more than once) and still have no idea how to use Pandora or about ten other things on my iPhone. I don't know how to snap chat or instagram and have never even put out the first tweet. I'm lucky I know how to make a call, answer one, text and take a picture.

My tutor abandoned me moved away to college.

Every time I go see Massey to visit, she teaches me something new. Before you know it, this Wilma Flintstone will be making Jane Jetson look like she's scared of that robot maid of hers. I'm not very techno savvy but don't mind attempting new things and usually do pick it up after much trial and many errors. least I'm not scared to get on an escalator, and can even text while poking along up OR down the fancy electric stairs. I don't even hold the hand rails!

I think the most heart warming thing I've witnessed was on the plane train one day. It's the underground train which goes all the way from ground transportation at the main entrance, ten miles out to concourse F where I work. I got on one day and an airport employee was taking a man in a wheelchair to another concourse. They have people who's only job is to push people from one destination to another in wheelchairs and hopefully assist them in any way. For the most part they are extremely courteous but some talk with their charge more than others.

This very nice employee who happened to be African American was pushing a rather elderly Latino man who was obviously distraught. She had her hand on his shoulder from behind and soothingly patted his shoulder as he tried to wheel himself off every time the plane train stopped and the doors opened. She'd say sweetly "No honey, not yet...your family is waiting for you at the A gates. We got three more to go , just hang in there."

He had gotten separated from his family and she had been assigned to return him to the proper gate where his familia all waited.

I wished my Latino co worker had been with me, she could have told him what was happening but the woman was so sweet to him it made my heart sing.

When the doors opened next and he tried to get off I said "Uno momento solamente uno mas." I technically said " Minute one, more one only" (or something to that effect) but meant "Hang on pops, we only got one more to go and you'll be just fine".

My oldest boxer suffered from juvenile cataracts and totally blind before he was seven. I'd know those milky white eyes anywhere, I look at them daily. This older man was totally blind, in a foreign country in the worlds's busiest airport, separated from his family, likely missing a flight and didn't speak the language.

Now THAT'S something to be scared of.

Ham, our boxer is fine because we take care of, love him and don't rearrange the furniture or back yard hammock.

I'm fine because I had these two people for parents. They always loved me, raised me right (as we say in the south) and sometimes gave me a whoopin to teach me right from wrong when I did something which not only they but "I" knew wasn't right and taught me early on the value of love, answering for your bad choices... accepting the consequences and learning from those mistakes.


There's life in a nut shell for ya!

The two people above are nuts, let's just get that out there, but have never met more dysfunctional or better people. They helped save me when at a low point and allowed me to learn, grow and finally have the skills to land a phenomenal new job which paid a two month behind mortgage in a matter of three weeks.

Thank you Barb and Len!

I have the best sister and brother...and I really mean that. (and to think we thought that used station waggy was boss)

Then we lost our momma. She was in her forties. Everybody loved my momma. If you think I'm a dynamo you should have known her.

Pretty from the jump. Small pun intended for our oldest sibling.

She grew up dirt poor. Her father was a bum, guess it's okay to say that now. Her mother raised a boy and girl in immediate post depression times by herself. My father once told me he never even met his father in law until he was laid out in a casket.

Huge kudos for my momma going to his funeral gig.

That's the kind of woman she was.

This young boy, who joined the Navy at seventeen with papers forged by a bribed younger brother served his duty and came home to find this, pretty quickly!

Three kids, a mortgage,  blue collar job but a wife who could sew, paint or do anything... usually did and loved her like crazy to boot!

That my friends, is true love and not only makes my heart sing but inspires me.

Now it's just us knuckle heads left. Thank God they turned out better than me and have never once mentioned or brought that fact into play.

They simply love me, with all my flaws and only the occasional humorous comment.

Through it all, and has been over five years... have helped, sometimes paid for and pulled us through the darkest times we've ever encountered, and acted like it was nothing.

For the first time in almost half a decade we are not only making it but actually moving ahead.

I used to feel like this...

Now thanks to family, friends and even strangers feel like this...

I'm so thankful it isn't funny, even for me.

Every day I wake up (number one blessing) and think about the peeps (number two blessing) who not only "brung" me to the dance but stayed with me until they had to leave early and not only left me in excellent hands but taught me right from wrong, ethics and the true meaning of life.

It's an easy and relatively self explanatory concept. Just wish more people got it.

No worries, I'm out there banging it into peeps every day!

We should all do that... it's something that could and CAN change the world, and who's not for that?

til next time...COTTON