Friday, February 19, 2016

Back To Normality (as we perceive it)

Finally had my glorious and much anticipated day off yesterday. Knew I really needed it after taking the above Selfie (after makeup may I add) so spent the entire day doing exactly and only what "I" wanted to do.

I had paid all the bills on line and had some cash left over. Payday was only another day away so went a little crazy. In other words, I went to the Goodwill Emporium and Michael's. I buy my reading peepers at Michael's in the stitchery dept for $2.99 a pop, often on sale for $1.99. I picked up five new pair of 250  strength. They're very trendy looking but light weight and break easily with me taking them off constantly and putting them back on at work. I need them to read or see the computer but throw me off balance if wear them while I'm walking. One of my first days working  at the airport was checking my email on the shuttle bus as the driver announced to be careful stepping off (as she came to a stop by the curb in front of the doors). I gathered my things and went to step down off the bus with my glasses still on and fell onto both knees. The man behind me tried to help me up as the driver stepped out to see if I was okay. I could feel blood already running down both my shins and had ripped both knees of my jeans. I jumped up smiling (through the pain) said I was just fine and halfway ran into the terminal, embarrassed and really ticked about my new jeans. Lesson well learned!

Next stop was the Goodwill Emporium. With all the rain we've had and three big dogs mucking up the back yard, needed some boots to wear when working on the yard.

BAM!! Only one pair, leather and just my size for less than six dollars. Massey picked up a really nice trench coat for ten bucks and got a cute little shelf for over her bed. I picked up a small porcelain dish for the kids bathroom to serve as a soap dish in their shower so the bar of soap doesn't sit wet and deteriorating where they usually leave it.

We were on the way home when Massey mentioned she  passed a man building wooden dog houses by his trailer (more like a camper with the wheels off) about half a mile away from our house while on her way to school.

It's one of four sad little trailers stuck in the woods by the road behind a large subdivision they built a few years back. The owner should have sold the property to the subdivision being but probably held out for more money and now owns a little skid row behind really nice houses. Thank goodness there's a buffer of woods behind the "trailerhood."

We pulled into the driveway, more like a semi circle leading from the first to last trailer and back out to the road and stopped. The man was building a fourth dog house when we stopped. They were made out of scrap pressure treated wood but had roofs with shingles nailed on top and looked nice and pretty sturdy. Oh he went on and on about how he couldn't make them fast enough and already had the three finished ones sold for a hundred bucks apiece. He said one guy was supposed to come today and pick up two but if I wanted one of them would sell it to me for eighty.

It wasn't a dream dog house but big enough for two if not all three pups at once. I can say this man was most probably pretty hard up for money and have been there myself. The igloo dog house we have (was given to us) costs about $199 brand new and only fits one dog at a time. Winter is crazy in the south and usually have a late pop of freezing temps and frozen precipitation late in March and sometimes even April. With me, both kids working and Massey also still in college are all often gone at the same time and needed a place for the pups to be snug and warm on days when all of us were gone for long periods of time. Plus, I wanted to help this man out. Eighty bucks is a lot of money when you're living in a camper without wheels on the side of a road. A few years ago that could've been us.

I told the man I'd have to get my son to come pick it up in his truck when he got off work.

Zach got home from work around five and soon as he walked in the door, hit him with the news I needed a favor. That went over like a ton of bricks. He had been at work since early that morning and wanted to take a shower. I told him I would ride with but needed him to help load the two hundred pound doghouse into the truck.

It took maybe five minutes to get there, and as soon as we pulled into the man's driveway Zach started complaining before we even got out of the truck.

"Mom, I could build you a doghouse better than that...easy!"

Well here's my thing. We've had three dogs for over almost five years and Zach has been talking about building that doghouse since the day we brought Ziggy home. I love Zach but is the biggest procrastinator to ever come out of my body.

Case in point:

This beast sat under our basketball goal, undriven for well over a year. When he parked it there said he was going to flip that car and make triple his investment. I finally sold it myself on Craigslist and Zach only lost a hundred bucks.

Sounds about right.

Don't get me wrong, for about six months he worked on the car every single night, for hours and hours. Then he hit a stumbling block with the o2 sensor and the car sat...and sat and sat. It was the longest time he'd ever put into a project so gave him six more months to either fix or sell it.

When we gave Zach the old Ford  Ranger Tim had driven out to Texas and over a year later down to Orlando then back here to Georgia, I knew the thrill was gone for Zach's project and had to take over car removal duty of the "Thug-mobile" so I did.

Back to my doghouse... you know, the one Zach could build better. (right)

I finally convinced Zach the money would mean a lot to this man and a lot more to me to be able and help him out while also easing the burden of Zach having to build a better one for me by that night.

So Zach ended up being kinda right. (huge momma sigh)

After shoving the beast into the back of the Ranger and driving home slowly, pulled into our driveway to discover half the shingles had blown off. This was after one of the boards split when the man and Zach tried to lift it into the back of the truck.

Okay, so  I'm a sap.

The man went and got some nails and pounded it back together. I still say it was a good deal.Two of Zach's buddies had to come over and help get it out of the truck, the nails held and I had me a big ole pup condo for eighty bucks!

I left in my own car to go to Tractor Supply for a huge bag of  cedar shavings for the new condo. I asked if they sold shingles, it was a negative.

On the way home,  thought about the subdivision around the corner from me where they had started building more new houses. I lurked around the subdivision until found a house being built and at the roofing stage.


I didn't even have to climb in the huge dumpster (trust me I would have) and found just enough shingles to cover the half that blew off and even picked up some spares.

For literally years I had to make up excuses. From borrowing from Peter to pay Paul, to kiting checks simply to keep the utilities on because NFS fees were cheaper than having them shut off and re connected. I posted dated checks and sometimes fed the dogs a day late.

You know what? I can't remember one time that any of my kids complained.

I'm sure we all complained silently and prayed for life to get better...

And it did.

We made it through with help from too many to name. Tim made the sacrifice of starting over at the bottom of a huge company but moved up quickly then moved a thousand miles away from his family to move up even further. I took a leap of faith, stepped out of my own comfort zone (which started to feel uncomfortable) and realized my true potential as a professional server.

It's been a long journey, but one which made me stronger and more confident of my own ability to change what I thought was simply destined to be.

I was a rat with a helmet, sniffing that cheese with my mouth watering and wanting it really bad.

I've also learned the more you pay forward, the further you'll go.

Yes I'm tired and worn out, but in a most excellent and exuberating way. Nobody ever said life would be easy and if your life is (trust me) you're doing it wrong.

I'm not normal, never have been and wouldn't want it any other way!

If we all worked together instead of insisting to point fingers, could be a much greater world.

Call me crazy, I consider it a compliment!

Til next time...


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