It seemed to happen overnight.
We had to start all over again in Georgia, but did and succeeded quite nicely with help from many and hard work on our part.
Then "I" had to start all over again here in Orlando, from top to bottom.
New tiny temp rental house. Had to learn how to navigate a new town. Had to learn a new job.
It was exhausting at best, and worst.
When I started my new job, knew how to get only four places in Orlando without having to pull over for directions. My brother's house, the grocery store, my house and work.
I realized yesterday, have been at my new job four months now.
That was the turning point for me.
It took me four months at Ecco (my last job) to feel confident and comfortable about what I was doing.
Same here in Orlando.
Guess it's true what they say "It's hard for old dogs (bitch, in my case) to learn new tricks."
It seemed to happen overnight...in just sixteen short (not) weeks!
Last night was crazy busy, balls to the wall at work but a piece of delicious cake for me. I was in the zone.
I knew exactly what to do and how to do it. I timed everything perfectly, hit every step of service and even had time left over to help other servers.
I may be a slow learner because am (number one) old as dirt...but (number two) learn it right the first time and focus on doing it right every time.
I connected with each and every table. I made friends with all my guests. I made them want to come back and have dinner with me.
It was exhilarating and extremely profitable.
It was also exhausting...but in a good way.
Mama got her MoJo back!
I finally have faith in myself again as a server.
Sounds silly to anyone who has never waited tables, but the most necessary tool for being a successful server.
That pay cut I took when leaving my airport job in Atlanta is getting smaller and smaller.
If hadn't had the whole job transfer debacle when first moving here, would be back on top. Instead, I am moving forward and propelling my own self up.
Serving is finally fun for me again, and the thing I love most about doing it.
I am a waitress.
At work and at home.
Call me crazy (you'd be right and certainly not the first to) but I just get a kick out of allowing others to experience joy when out and spending hard earned bucks.
Working for Fifth Group Restaurants was the greatest thing to ever happen to me as a server. Their concept and values kicked me into the big leagues.
I was a nervous wreck when starting my new job with FGR and once again a nervous wreck when starting with Tavistock, who owns my current restaurant.
Yep, I'm old and may take me a while to learn new tricks but when I do...learn them the right way, always do them the right way, every time, which always leads to success for me and my employer.
I was a beat up old girl after arriving in Orlando.
I wanted to move to Orlando but I didn't want to leave my airport job or my sister. (not in that specific order)
I thought I had a job waiting for me here.
Which threw my life into an emotional, financial and personal big ass tizzy...and then some.
My momma didn't raise no quitter. (as we say in the south)
And by the way, the above photo is one of my favorite pics of them together at 2545 Bayard Street.
It was taken with (and by) my older sister and her Polaroid camera called (hot item at the time)'The Swinger'.
It was still the happiest place in the world to grow up, and lucky for me the photo of me sitting on John was lost over the years.
Those curtains on that door and window, which opened to the screened in back porch. That checked wall paper, those iron hens and rooster trivets hanging on the wall to his left and her right. The one framed white long one was a verse given to my parents by our former youth minister, Vaughn Beeman (will never forget that) and can remember every part, wall, book case and section of hard wood floor which creaked when stepped on.
That house was my young life and was a kid's Nirvana.
Over my Diddy's left shoulder is the crank to ring to call phone like they had in the first season of "The Andy Griffith Show". Yeah it was fake but we all loved it.
My daughter and I actually went to see my old home place when someone bought, totally remodeled, renovated and put it up for sell last year.
It took me more than a minute. It actually took me a quarter of a year, but us Leach kids have done pretty well for ourselves
My (then)goofy looking, buck toothed tom boy older sister turned out to be the high school Homecoming Queen, Valentine Queen and a person who hands down is loved by every one she comes into contact with, and with good reason. She has a heart of gold, which is deep and wide.
My brother moved away from both us sisters , once our parents died (he's the smart one). He came to visit on Thanksgiving and Christmas and special occasions but found his new home in Orlando and loves it there.
He torments me almost as much as he loves me but simply feel grateful to just have his love.
He doesn't need to know every detail of every day of our lives. That's the sister's jobs.
And do it well, if you ask me.
It's easy to realize blessings when things are going your way.
Realizing you've always been blessed, especially in the dark times... takes a bit more thinking process.
I almost think God took both our parents away too early to make us love each other more.
And it worked.
My sister and brother have believed in and supported me...through thick and thin.
That, my friends...is the power of love.
Case in point:
Yep, am an idiot (like being one) and usually find something amusing about any situation.
I call it my 'coping mechanism' and has worked for almost sixty years.
But had the most awesome thing happen to me at work tonight, now last night.
I went into work tonight to just work a banquet. It was great. Worked with two other servers who are top notch and knocked it out of the park. Easy money, less than three hours of work and ran like clockwork.
After all was said and done, went into the kitchen to retrieve my trusty lunch box from my locker and go home with my fist full of dollars.
One of the dishwashers, a kid younger than my own youngest came up to me and said "Ms. Kelly, I want you to know you're my favorite, and not just because you always have chocolate and candy for me. It's because you're a good person."
Number one: Dishwashers are the ones who keep an entire entire restaurant running. If you don't have a clean dish to serve it on or a clean glass to serve it in, you're pretty much screwed.
Dish washers are highly under rated and more often than not, under appreciated.
What this young kid said to me, was the hugest compliment I've had in quite a while.
I told him "Thank you so much for the compliment" and added "There are way too many bad people on this planet. I just try and be one of the good ones."
If a dish washer at work loves and respects you, you're doing life right.
My life has been up, way up... and has been down, way down.
I've been through battles but somehow, someway have survived and flourished... even as I type this blog post.
A few things to remember...
Hold a door open for someone.
Let someone go first in line if you're gonna be the one holding them up with your buggy full when they just want a gallon of milk.
Always say 'Thank You' when someone does something for you.
Really old people have nothing but time left. Don't rush them, instead take time and listen to them.They're relishing what little time they have left and most always are really interesting people.
That will be you one day,and something you can't opt out of...even with an app.
Never be a hater.
As bad as your life may seem and often times might be ...it always beats the alternative.
It's a personal but more than that, a mental choice.
Don't worry, doesn't help.
Til next time...COTTON