Monday, December 1, 2014

Still Learning New Tricks

So we had a wonderful Thanksgiving at my sister's house yesterday with very little thanks to me. My sister did all the cooking for a house full of people. I made two pies and brought a crock pot of green beans.

It's the first year since 1977 that I haven't done at least half the work with her and felt kind of guilty about it but didn't have any days off until Thanksgiving morning and took my sister up on her offer.

My brother provided a very full bar.

It was the most relaxing day I've had in years, especially after the first bloody mary.

We hadn't even been there five minutes when I posed for the above picture. My sister owns a somewhat seemingly special needs  but adorable boxer who is afraid of everything including her own fart.

My sister's husband bought Zola (yes that was my grandmother's name as well) a new dog bed but the dog wouldn't go near it. The cat liked it so guess Zola thought he had claimed it like cats seem to demand and claim anything they want.

I told my sister Zola just didn't know how great the new bed was and this was the way to show her. My sister snapped the pic with her phone and turned to the others in the kitchen and said "And she hasn't even had one drink yet!"

That's pretty much me in a nut shell.

I like being a goof ball. It makes me still feel like a kid at heart.

It's been a long couple of years but finally feel like my (old) self again. I've even managed to learn quite a few new tricks.

I still actually can't believe I managed to not only get my new job but end up being pretty good at it in a few (or seven) quick months. It's a job where  I can learn and grow as a server and continue to do just that on a daily basis. I like it!

I have a great family, great dogs and a great job. Who could ask or want for more?

Not this goofball.

The noose I felt around my neck for so long is gone,  replaced by the lasso I now hold in my hand ready to capture life and propel myself forward hanging on for the ride.

Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

Christmas is less than four weeks away and don't have a care in the world about stressing over the holiday.

I've decided on one nice (hundred dollar range) gift for each of my three kids and will be something they need, like but not necessarily ask for.

I thought long and hard about family and have come up with a great idea for nieces, nephews and their significant others. It has thought, love and something they cherish. That's the real reason for the season if you ask me.

I had two really slow shifts at the airport over the Thanksgiving holiday but picked right up again once travelers began their journey home.

Our executive chef cooked Thanksgiving dinner for all the employees on our concourse working Thanksgiving day complete with turkey and dressing. Everyone else brought side dishes or desserts and heard it was fabulous.

Today the other sous chefs made us all turkey paninis with the left overs and were delicious! They treat the employees great where I work and can't imagine working anywhere else in the entire terminal, domestic or international. I never thought I would work for a corporate restaurant again after the Western Sizzler (not really the name) treated me so shabbily but find myself liking this new job more each and every day.

I rode MARTA for almost six months with my employee pass and free parking but have finally reached a point where I can drop the MARTA pass and simply park at international every day for twelve dollars, be through security and clocked in at the restaurant  five minutes later. The twelve dollars I'll pay to park closer means I can leave the house forty five minutes later for work each day and be home forty five  minutes sooner each night. I'd say that's worth six bucks each way. No more Sardine Shuttle, no more being put off the shuttle to make room for passengers and have to wait for the next one. No more scrounging for a parking space at the MARTA lot and no more thirty minute trips back to my car after my shift. No more worrying about whether MARTA  will run on time.

I think I've earned at least this concession! I bet some women spend a lot more than that on new shoes and a manicure. I'd rather have old shoes and nubby nails I do myself and  have almost two extra hours back in each work day for myself.

I've finally earned full time status , eligible for benefits and eagerly awaiting my enrollment forms in the  (snail) mail.

For fifty dollars a week now I'll have medical, dental, vision and life insurance for Massey and myself. My unlimited MARTA pass was $47 a month which means my insurance will seem even less out of my paycheck. I also have the option to add Zach to the plan and just let him pay me his twenty five bucks a week and have the same coverage. I'll also be enrolled in a 401 K plan again.


As dumb as it may sound will kinda miss all the nuts and even nice peeps I've encountered during my seven month experience relying on public transportation five days a week.

God Bless the Commuter. It ain't easy... by a long stretch. Been there, done that.

I think the night I finally decided to give in and park at international was the really cold night some dude was wondering around on the train wearing ten feet of blue plastic tarp wrapped around each foot with electrical cords.

Yep, I'm one of the lucky ones and think about it each and every day.

Oh yes I'm a lucky person. If I die tomorrow, I'd still have been lucky.

I have had it so much better than millions and millions and millions of others I should feel ashamed but instead feel eternally grateful.

I'm an old dog who had to learn new tricks.

It was hard, not gonna say it wasn't and still is but if you force yourself to put one foot in front of the other every day as soon as you step out of bed, keep on keeping on and never forget who's not only helping you get there but cheering you on as well will realize

you're a lucky and loved person and the past few years were simply a kick in the butt to make you realize exactly that, scars and all.

Smile at someone when others would look away. Never judge, because you may not know the whole story. Try to be an example not a statistic.

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say...

For the first time in a number of years can say am excited about  Christmas.

It's not about fancy gifts bought and wrapped up in a box... it's about receiving the gift of life and making the most of it no matter what happens.

If you wake up on this side of the's a lucky day.

Til next time...COTTON

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