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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bathing Under The Water Hose

As I turn the hot water on I had a flash back to the moment of horror when I stepped into the shower on 6th Ave and it was freezing cold! I adjusted the nozzle and readjusted and then... started screaming for Kenny and of course he took every opportunity to "join" me in the shower, of course to help me! What we didn't know was we had just ran out of gas. Our power was on but our hot water ran off of city gas and at this time we were living off of coupons of buy get one free. I sat on the floor of the tub and cried and said God what else, now not even a hot bath. Even those on state aid get a hot bath, so I sat and felt pity for myself and got up and went and laid in bed and thought God I can't do this anymore. I am done I can not go on. The children and I had already came to North Carolina and it was summer, we had scrapped enough money together to get to Tallahassee, my Dad had put the new, and third motor in the Bronco (the one which came
with the truck had blown, then an old NC mechanic installed a used one and it blew on his test drive) and we had an extraordinary string of events which gave us just enough money to get to Tallahassee, headed to New Port Richey, Fl. to pick her up. We where going to Tallahassee!! We loaded up and headed to what we remembered as home, and to where Kenny was. What you have to know is, it was not home as we had known it, we had no furniture there but mine and kennys bed, our flat screen over the fireplace, and the boys' bunk beds. Emma's apartment size frig and her microwave. From the outside Kenny had kept the yards and it looked so nice and manicured when I pulled up my heart leaped and then I felt darkness fill my soul as I realized the truth. Kenny greeted us and reached out and held me as I buried my face in his neck I felt as if i could melt into his flesh I felt weak and spent and old and used and utterly out of sorts. I felt as though we had both faced an army of giants' but I had faced them with no down time , no reprieve, but I had to maintain a balance for the children, because they were with me and they drew strength from me. They looked to me for security, and I hate to say it, but I resented Kenny for that. As I stood there catching my composure I felt equally angry for feeling "all" those things, because I had never been a weak person. I felt angry and weak. As I entered my home, the home I had painted every inch of, it's bare walls and bare floors Kenny had cleaned and dusted, trying to ease the pain he knew I would face, which I truly appreciated. I prayed, "God please help me not ruin what time we will have together by being a boiling pot of emotion and help me have a good attitude while we are here." As I laid there thinking I considered one positive is that we do have air conditioning and, remember, this is Florida. All the struggles of that month and I could take a month and tell you of the miraculous way that monies and food and entertainment appeared on our doorstep, but I don't have the time, however I will share the hot water story. After I ask forgiveness for my bad attitude, collected myself, and came out of the bedroom, we went to the park then shared a "buy a big mac get one free" and a 99 cent sundae, we where hot and sweaty and I asked, "How would yall like to get in your bathing suits and take the water hose and wet Dad and Mom?! Well what do you think?" They had a blast and it was the hit until we left, almost a week later. Later that night, as the kids watched tv, I said, "Kenny I need to wash my hair but I am a little afraid to go outside in the dark by myself, would you like to go outside and bath with me?" Well, running out of gas was the best thing that ever happened to Kenny Dyer!!!" You know we had alot of days living on the edge with no food, no gas, almost no lights, but we never failed to have closeness as the kids made their palettes on the floor and Kenny and I reconnected in the back yard under the water hose. Ironically, Dad had not finished the Bronco and we were not able to go down and pick it up. Our money was gone and we
were nearly insane with worry, just at that time we had a highly unusual and extraordinary turn of events. We had about $25.00 and no sign of work coming when we had a call and by the next day we had over $1,000.00 and
it was just enough to get us back to NC, and have a little to hold us for another two weeks, and, of course, as is somewhat obvious, we did, indeed, not die!! The point is, our attitude made all the difference and when we allowed God to change it, we all had a much closer, and much, much happier, time together.

A Whisper From The Mountains

Mom runs out of the house in a panic toward the road, if she had given it any thought she would have known right where I was. I was just making my way up the back steps to my Granny's back door as my Grandpa scooped me up, "Poop deck!" (a nick-name from my Grandpa) I am thrilled, I giggled with joy! As he would start to drink, he would pick up his old guitar and
begin to sing. It was then he would yell out, "Poop-deck, come sing with Grandpaw!" Mom was, surely, relieved with my safety. My grandparents had a special attachment to me, because, one; we lived 2 houses down and, two; there was a dynamic in my own home of secrecy and deceit. We always seem to cater to, or pay the extra attention to, the child who needs us the most, as with my Mother. I also had very black hair, just like my grandfather, and I loved the biter greens of the gardens, as he did, and would sit for hours and listens to him sing and just loved his very being as he did mine. And every chance I got I would slip away and go straight to his house! He not only bought me my first Easter dress, but, also, the very first bike I got he made payments on and bought, which was a HUGE sacrifice, partially because, he and my Grandmother still had children at home. The day of his funeral they had to remove me because I wanted to be in the casket with him, I had a deep love for him. And that love, as well, for my Granny continued through the years. In these early years my Granny told my Mother she had a premonition my destiny would be to help and serve others. I must have been 5 or 6 when, at a traveling fair, I came upon a trainer beating an elephant, as I was passing going to the next ride. I had skipped ahead of Mom and don't remember exactly where Dad was. As he raised his hand to strike again something in me did not care about my own safety or how small I was all I cared about was how helpless and defenceless and trapped that elephant was! I ran and stood between them and bowed up and said "Don't you hit him again!" Well, the man was not so happy and, let's just say, he quickly asked me to move, which was when my father suddenly appeared, a talent of his, HE DID not LIKE his tone with me; it turned bad quickly! Another talent of his-don't mess with little girl or there will be trouble. I have never been able to stand by and see the person in the room who is alone or trapped or is odd or looks different be picked on or humiliated or not be befriended. It is just not in my nature. I felt a draw to humanity from a small age and it continued throughout my life and up until I met and married Kenny. Everything we did we based on that premise. So here I am 45 yrs old, in one of the most remote parts of country (the mountains and hollows of western North Carolina), a small town, hardly more than a village, no larger city within 40 miles, hardly any cell signal, and with the stigma of an outsider. God how have I found myself here? How effective can I be? I have no voice. I have fallen off the face of the earth. Who can I serve. My very nature is of no good. I invite people to dinner, a free meal, I serve you, we visit, coffee, dessert! (I promise it was not a Amway party!!) Can't even get people to show up. It baffles me? Have you ever questioned your given talents and skills? We all have them. We all recognize them if we look for them. Do you see them but question sometimes God, "how will I ever use them?" I reflect on that Denali and I said I would explain why that truck meant so much more than just a truck. It was means by which alot of people who had NO ONE got to the doctor, social services, immigrations, grocery store, a meal at our house, church. I remember, as we detailed it to return it, I thought we may be broke, but we still have our dignity, I thought about those people and how they would make their way around town. We would be alright, because, no matter what we lost, Kenny and I could fit in just about in any situation, these people fit in no where. It made me sad. So today I am grateful for the these mountains and isolation and I am grateful for my voice, because I am able to share my story and use what God has called me to do and that is serve.