Monthly Archives: March 2012

Per Request, a Re-posting

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United States Supreme Court building in Washin...

United States Supreme Court building in Washington D.C., USA. Front facade. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was asked to re-post my first blog concerning Obama Care and the status of our healthcare system in this country. Today I’m re-posting from January of this year.  Please stop by and leave your comments.  We need to get more dialogs going about this issue. If you are a Christian, as I am, lets pray that the right answer comes from the Supreme Court for this country and all the people, not just a few.   Blessings to all.

Let’s Talk Obama Care

As a retired RN who has worked in many areas of health care I have seen and experienced our broken health care system.  I have seen and experienced waiting in an emergency roomfor hours because it is being used like a clinic because lower-income people can’t afford medical care for themselves or their children.

I feel we are being held hostage by the insurance companieswho can dictate what our doctors can and can’t do.  Since they have to control their costs and make money, people are denied treatments that can save their life.  I feel every citizen in this country is entitled to medical care and I think the changes that will and have been started by Obama Careis a  good thing.  Why is it wrong for people to help buy insurance in a government-run program?  The citizens of this country have been paying for all of the care given to the poor to start with.  I feel in the long run this can save us money.  I can’t see a problem with them getting supplemented insurance at all. Obama Care will also help decrease the Medicare fraud that is perpetuated by the system in place now.  Wouldn’t that save us a vast amount of money?

I for one applaud the president for taking the initiative to change our health care system.  It is something that should’ve been done long ago.  Politics in this country tries to portray this plan as bad or good.  As I said, it is a new start.  I am not afraid of a new beginning with health care but I know many people are.

I am attaching a Bill Moyer’s video talking about medical lobbyist in Washington. It explains why so much propaganda is spread about anything affecting medicine or drugs.

http://youtu.be/GsIcS7egnyw

It’s My Opinion on Obama Care, Again.

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Barack Obama at the University of Nevada, Las ...

Barack Obama at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Presidential Health Care Forum, March 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today I am writing the blog giving my opinion about the politics around what the Supreme Court is going to be deciding in June. Obama care as it has come to be called is now before the biggest court in the land and has the task of determining if the Healthcare mandate is constitutional.

Even in the highest court in the land politics continues to overpower.  You hear what the Republicans want their five appointed judges to do and how much the program is in trouble. As an American I would like the judges to rule on what is fair and right for the people of this country.  I do know what ever way each judge votes, someone else will be unhappy. It is a fact of life you can’t make everyone happy.

I have stated before on this blog that I think the healthcare program is a good thing for the people of this country.  With the insurance company‘s running the doctors and hospitals a lot of people are not getting the care they should be getting. We are already paying out the wazoo for the uninsured to receive care  with the high costs of medical care and deaths that could have been prevented.  If the mandatory insurance makes people get insurance who would otherwise just think they can use the ER as an Emergency Room with no thought to how they are tying up the system or the cost to all of us.  I think it is a good thing to make everyone responsible for something that might help reshape our medical and insurance system. It is something everyone uses at one time or another.

I do not think only the rich should be entitled to medical procedures which can save and improve lives.  As an RN I am not in favor of prolonging life just because it can be.  A life needs quality, not just quantity. I think this will give a good start to equal access.

I know how I want this debate to go, but I also know it’s in God’s hands.  As an American and a Christian I will live with the final outcome. Either way it will be tough on all of us.

That’s my two-cents once again on healthcare.  Let me know what you think and why you feel the way you do. I look forward to hearing from you.  A healthy discussion is always good.

To Each His Own (Short Story)

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I missed my deadline yesterday, but I have a good excuse. I was painting all day.  I’m painting a house I’m moving out of in a couple of months.  We just bought a new home in Sapulpa and it is gorgeous.  Out in the country with a cellar on the back porch.  Anyway, I thought I would post a short story today that’s not really that short.  I hope you like it.  Enjoy the read and let me know what you think.

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She walked to the edge of a small lake. She didn’t notice the color of the water, or that it didn’t reflect the blue sky above her. Her mind focused on how she and Bill spoke to each other the last time she saw him. She didn’t feel upset, or unhappy, just very content. I should talk to him and let him know why I left. His life wasn’t for me.

Bill was so handsome. He stood six-foot tall in his stocking feet, almost platinum hair with striking blue eyes.  Her inner core melted every time he gave her one of his sultry looks. His eyebrows were soft brown with long brown eyelashes. Between his eyebrows, platinum hair and his Jesus eyes, she knew he was always going to have girls chasing after him, and she would have to deal with it.

He’d been born and raised on a farm about five miles outside of Harvestonville, Nebraska and Joanie was a city girl from Chicago. She met him in Chicago fresh off the farm. He was attending the Cattlemen’s National Convention as a delegate from Nebraska. Joanie worked as a cleaning maid in the hotel where he stayed. A smile touched her lips for a second, as she remembered their first meeting.

“Excuse me sir, I didn’t know you had returned. I’ll be out of here in just a minute. I’m almost done.”

“You don’t have to hurry on my account. What ‘s your name?”

“My name is Joan, but my friends call me Joanie.”

“All right, Joanie, you can count me as one of your friends. Would you like to get a cup of coffee or a drink when you get off work?”

“You want me to have coffee, with you?”

“Yep, I sure do. Will you join me? What time do you get off?”

“I get off at 3:00 PM, but I’m afraid I’ll have to pass on the invitation. My mom is picking me up today, so I can’t stay late. How about a rain check?”

“I’m leaving day after tomorrow”, Bill said. “Let’s plan on having coffee tomorrow.”

Joanie thought for a minute about how nice it would be to have coffee with such a handsome man. “Okay, I’ll meet you in the coffee shop on 5th floor at 3:15.” She gathered up her cleaning supplies and headed out the door.

“Good-by Joanie, I’ll see you tomorrow.” Bill yelled as she shut the door behind her.

That was the beginning. One cup of coffee and Joanie’s world was never the same again.

***

Bill left Joanie, the day after their coffee date, which went on for fourteen hours. He had to catch his flight to return home. Joan didn’t think she would ever see him again. As soon as Bill’s plane landed, he called to tell Joanie how much their coffee date meant to him.

“I miss you, and I’ll find a way for us to be together. That is, if that is what you want to Joanie. I felt as if I had met the person holding my heart.”

“Bill, I’m in Chicago and you live in Nebraska. A relationship won’t work long distance, and you know that as well as I do. We talked about it and we both agreed it wouldn’t work.”

“I’ve changed my mind. I’m going to find a way to make it work, Joanie. Give me a few days and I’ll come up with a plan.”

Joanie went through her days as usual, but Bill was always on her mind. She’d wonder what he was doing or what kind of a plan he’d come up with. She’d already made up her mind she would do whatever he planned. What kind of life do I have? I’m thirty-four years old, living with my mother, with no bright prospects for my future. 

Thirty days passed without a word from Bill. Joanie thought he’d changed his mind. I knew it was too good to be true. I’m never going to leave this hotel and mama. I thought the Lord had finally sent something good into my life.

After enough time passed, she kept Bill out of her thinking most of the time. The hardest part was at night after she went to bed. Her mind was full of questions and she couldn’t shut it down. She’d finally reach for her Bible and start reading. Once she started reading it was as if God reached into her mind and calmed it, letting her sleep.

The following Saturday morning, Joanie was doing the dishes. Looking out the kitchen window, she watched the cardinals, and bright yellow finches at the bird feeders. It gave her peace to watch the bright colors flit around and hear them sing their songs as they wait for space at the feed ports.

The doorbell rang a couple of times. I wonder who that is, she thought. Her mom had gone to see her Aunt Jerry so she knew she’d have to get the door. She dried her hands on the dish towel and went to the door. When she opened the door, she couldn’t move or speak for a few seconds.

“Bill, what are you doing here?”

“I told you the last time we talked I’d figure out a way for us to be together.”

Yes you did, but I haven’t heard a word from you since that conversation. I’d given up on you ever contacting me, much less showing up at my door”.

“Are you going to ask me inside?”

“I’m sorry, please come in.” She opened the door wide enough for him to come in. He bent down and kissed her on the cheek as he stepped by her.

“Come into the living room and have a seat. Would you like something to drink?”

“Do you have any coffee made?”

“No, but it won’t take me a minute to get you a cup. We’ve got one of those Krups coffee makers that does one cup at a time.”

Joanie went to the kitchen and made his coffee. She put it on a tray and carried it back into the room. “Here’s your coffee, Bill, just the way you like it, with cream and sugar.”

A smile spread across Joanie’s face as she thought about how they had the love of coffee in common.

“Remember I told you I had my own cattle ranch in the country.”

“Yes, I remember.”

“I want you to come back to Nebraska with me and share my home with me.”

“Bill, are you asking me to marry you?”

“Yah, I guess I am. We’ll get you back there and settled, and then we’ll talk about a wedding. What do you think?”

“I think you’ve made me the happiest woman in Chicago. The only down side is telling my mother. Maybe we could tell her together this evening.”

“I think you should tell her yourself tonight, without having someone she doesn’t know around. I have me a room at a hotel not too far from here to stay. Can we leave tomorrow?”

“You want me to leave tomorrow. What about my job?”
“Honey, don’t worry about your job. You’re not going to be needing the job. You won’t ever need a job again. Just call someone and tell them you won’t be back.”

“All right Bill, I’ll leave with you tomorrow. I’m so excited to see my new home, and for us to start our life together.”

Joanie and Bill sat and talked about an hour making their plans. Bill got up and said he needed to go to the hotel so he could check in. They would be leaving about six in the morning, so Joanie had a lot to do before then. They walked to the door hand in hand, and Bill bent down and softly kissed Joanie’s lips. She thought she would explode with happiness, but she kept everything in check. Bill left and she headed for the attic to get her trunk and a couple of suitcases.

She was so busy packing her belongings she didn’t hear Mom come through the front door. Her mother stood at her bedroom door watching her pack her things in the trunk.

“What are you doing, Joanie?”

“Oh Mom, I didn’t hear you come in.”

“What are you doing?”

“I’m packing my things.”

“I can see that, but why?”

“I’m going to Nebraska with Bill in the morning. He came back for me Mama and I’m going. This is a chance for me to make a wonderful life for him and me.”

“Don’t do this, Joanie. You haven’t known this man long enough to know what kind of a man he is.”

Her mom began to cry. Joanie went to her, put her arms around her, and kissed her cheek. “Please don’t worry mom, I’m going to be fine. Bill and I have talked for many hours and we both want the same things out of life. He’s a Christian and he told me he’d be right beside me in church every Sunday. He’s a decent man mama. I feel so lucky to have finally found someone to love, and who loves me back. I just know God sent him to me.

“Please, honey, I’m begging you not to leave with this man.”

“Mama, I’m going and that’s final. Please don’t make this harder on both of us than it has to be. You know I love you and nothing will ever change that.”

“Don’t you think it’s funny he hasn’t made an attempt to meet your mother or other family members?”

“He’s just shy mama, but you will get to meet him in the morning before we leave. I know you’re going to like him.”

Joanie’s mother opened her mouth to say something, but turned around and left the bedroom. Her heart was heavy with sadness, but she was angry with Joanie for being so naive. She went into the kitchen to fix herself a cup of coffee. Her agitation kept her walking the kitchen in circles. She felt like a wild animal pacing around a cage. I have to think of something to stop her from leaving with that man. I know something isn’t right, but what can I do.

Joanie’s mother’s bedroom door closed with a bang. Joanie thought, I know she’s upset with me, but at least she has gone to bed. Maybe in the morning she’ll feel better about me leaving with Bill. I think a mother should be happy her daughter has found happiness. Joanie kept herself busy for another hour getting her things together. She placed everything in the dining room for easy access to the front door. She didn’t want anything to delay the departure in the morning.

Walking back to her room, Joanie thought she would look in at her mother. Usually her snoring was shaking the rafters of the house, but she didn’t hear a sound. She opened her mother’s door a crack where she could see her mother’s form turned on her side away from the door. I hope she rests well. Maybe I can get her to come to Nebraska after we get settled. That way she won’t be alone for very long. Joanie pulled the door closed and walked back to her room and climbed in bed.

She had a tough time going to sleep because she was excited about the morning. She was ready to get on with her new life. When her eyes finally closed, she slept soundly and peaceful. The night went by very fast. It seems as if she just closed her eyes and the alarm was sounding. She jumped from her bed and hurriedly took a shower and got dressed.

She needed some coffee. She knew her mother would want to see her off so she went to her mother’s door and knocked. She listened and didn’t hear a response, so she knocked louder. She finally opened the door and looked in. Her mother was still on her right side, facing away from the door. Joanie walked over and touched her mother’s shoulder, or what she thought was her shoulder. What is going on? Where are you mom? The bed was empty except for some rolled pillows to make it look as if someone was asleep in the bed.

***

Joanie’s mother, Irene, decided she would handle this situation. She fixed her bed so it looked as if she was there sound asleep. She exited her room through the double doors to the deck in her back yard. It’s a good thing Joanie told me he was staying close by because there is only one hotel that is close. I’m going to have a talk with that fellow.

Irene walked to the hotel, a couple of blocks from her house. She walked with determination in each step and thought about what she was going to say. She’d brought her checkbook, just in case money was needed.

“Can I help you?” The desk clerk asked.

“Yes, sir, you certainly can. I need the room number of a Mr. Bill Douglas.”

“I’m sorry; we are not allowed to give out room numbers without permission from the guest. I can call his room and see if he would like to see you.”

“Ok, go ahead and give him a call. Just tell him Joanie’s mother is here to see him.”

The desk clerk called Bill’s number. Bill picked up the phone on the first ring. “Hello” who did you say was here? Sure, let her come up. Thanks.”

“Ma’am, he’s in room 702. The elevator is to your left and behind the screen wall.”

“Thank you.” Irene turned and made her way to the elevator, while she continued bolstering her courage with each step she took. Arriving at Bill’s room, she found him standing in the door waiting on her arrival.

“So you’re Joanie’s mother.”

“Yes, I’m Irene Jackson. Can we talk for a few minutes?”

“Sure, come on in and take a seat in that desk chair. I’m going to lie back on the bed and take it easy while were having our little talk. You start since you made the trip here to see me.”

“Fair enough. First off, Joanie doesn’t know I’m here. I needed to talk to you and I don’t want Joanie involved.”

“Excuse me, but I think she’s already involved. We are supposed to leave here in a few hours headed back to Nebraska.”

“That’s why I’m here. I don’t want Joanie going with you. She belongs here in Chicago with her family. She has never been out of this city and to take off to live in another state, on a ranch, in the middle of nowhere won’t make her happy.”

“What makes you think you know what will make Joanie happy?”

“Look, I’m her mother and I know her better than any other human on this earth, especially you. You’ve only spent a few hours with her. I’ve been with her, her entire life. What will it take for you to leave her in the morning and not come by my house?”

“Are you trying to bribe me lady?” Bill laughed while looking straight into Irene’s eyes. There’s something about his eyes that bothered her. She couldn’t stand to look him straight in the eye. How much are you willing to give me to leave your daughter alone.”

“I’ll give you everything I’ve got in the bank. Will you leave her alone for $100,000.00? Irene took her checkbook out and wrote the check for entire amount. She got up and walked towards the bed.”

“Wait a minute; I never said I wanted your money. I want Joanie to go with me tomorrow. I have big plans for her and me.”

“I’m going to do everything I can to stop you from leaving with my daughter. So don’t be surprised if you are detained a bit.”

“You can’t stop me.”

“Just watch me. I’ll have you so tangled up with the police, I guarantee you will be held in jail for a while. I have friends and I can pull in a few favors.” Irene looked at Bill’s face and saw a menacing smile on his lips. She had a chill run up her spine.

“You’ll have to excuse me a couple of minutes. I have to pause for the cause.” Bill got off the bed and walked into the bathroom. Irene sat with her back to the bathroom door, looking out the big picture window at the bright lights of Chicago. She heard Bill come out of the bathroom. The next thing she knew there was a small rope around her neck cutting off her air. Her last thought was of her love for her daughter.

At 6 AM, standing by the front door, waiting on Bill to arrive. Joanie kept wondering why her mother left during the night. She rationalized she left because she didn’t want to say goodbye to me. That note I left for her might help ease her pain a little. I’ll be sure and call just as soon as I get to the ranch.

Bill pulled up and Joanie threw the door open and ran out to meet Bill on the front walk. “I’m so glad to see you here. I have my things ready, but there is one small thing.”

“What’s that”, Bill asked

“My mom left last night and hasn’t returned home. I wanted to say goodbye to her.”

“Honey, she probably left because she couldn’t stand the thought of saying goodbye. I wouldn’t worry about her. I’m sure she is in a cozy spot, dealing with your leaving, the best way she can. Let’s get your stuff loaded and get on the road.”

“Ok, I know you’re right, but it’s just hard-driving off without seeing her. I’ll be fine and I’ll call her as soon as we get to the farm.”

Bill was quiet during the trip back to Nebraska. Joanie would try to engage him in conversation but he would just smile and not say anything.  “Bill, why won’t you talk to me? Tell me about the ranch?”

“I don’t talk much and as far as the ranch goes, you’ll see it when we get there.”

Joanie gave Bill a long look, but he didn’t react to her stare. She finally gave up, and laid her head back on the seat to take a nap.

 ***

“Wake up, Joan, we’re here. You had a long nap. Take a look at your new home.”

Joan woke easily but remained groggy. “I didn’t think we were that close when I went to sleep.” Joan looked around for her new house. “Where’s the house?”

“You see that mound over there next to the big oak tree.”

“Yes, I see it.”

“That’s our house. It’s a dug out. We won’t have to stay in it but a couple of years. By then I should have us a house built.”

“Bill, you didn’t tell me I would be living in a hole in the ground.”

“I told you from the very beginning when we talked, I was a naturalist. We’ll grow what we are going to eat and live like my ancestors did when they first came here from Germany.”

“I don’t know that I can do this.”

“Sure, you can. I’ll teach you how to be a real pioneering woman. There is a community of us here.  Down the road about three miles is the store and gas station. We’re in the process of building the combination school/church house now. On Sundays, we go to a different place each week for services. This next Sunday you can meet all the neighbors. I didn’t tell any of them about you, so you will be a big surprise.”

Joanie got out of the truck and walked to her new home. What have I gotten myself into? He didn’t tell me anything about all this. I guess I made an assumption I shouldn’t have.” The land was beautiful, with big pecan trees all around. There was a barn built about a city block away. The water well was in front of the dugout. There was a large area, off to the right, where the ground was broken up. It was away from the trees, and was partially fenced.

Bill hurried past Joanie and opened the wood slat door that let the light into the dugout. Joanie couldn’t believe her eyes. There were five stone steps leading down to a plank floor. There was a small wood stove sitting in the middle of the room with a stove-pipe running from the stove through the roof. As far as furnishing went, there was a full size bed and one chair and no table. There were stacked plastic crates containing a few dishes, Bill’s clothes and supplies.

“Welcome to your new home, Joanie. Isn’t this great. It won’t take you long to love it as much as I do.”

“Where is the nearest large town?”

“Well, let me think. Norfolk is about fifty miles north of us. I guess it is the biggest.”

“Is there a hotel there?”

“Sure, why?”

“I can’t live like this. I’m not like you. Please take me to the hotel and I’ll go back home.”

“You said you loved me and wanted to be with me. Where we live shouldn’t matter.”

“It does matter, Bill. I haven’t been out of Chicago and this is 1992, not 1842. This isn’t the life I want. This is my fault not yours. I made some assumptions about our life together, and I shouldn’t have. Please forgive me, and take me to Norfolk.”

“I’m not taking you anywhere. You’re staying here with me.” Bill glaringly looked at Joanie and set the suitcases out-of-the-way. “Are you coming inside with me?”

“No, I’m not. Please take me to Norfolk, or I’ll walk.”

“You don’t even know where you are, how can you walk?”

“I’ll put two feet on that dirt road and take off.”

“You are going to leave me before you spend one night here.”

“Yes, I am. As I said before, I can’t live this kind of life. You may like it but I don’t.”

Bill walked around behind Joanie; she didn’t turn to see what he was doing. He put a small rope around her throat and started cutting off her air. “No one will miss you Joan. I told you no one here knew you were coming, and your mother will be waiting on you when you get to where you’re going.”

***

Joanie heard footsteps behind her. She turned knowing it wouldn’t be Bill, but she wasn’t afraid. A man in a long robe and sandals, with a pleasant smile on his face and the clearest blue eyes, stood before her. “Are you ready to go?”

“Where am I going?”

“You’re going to see your mama, and the rest of your family. There will be many there to greet you upon your arrival. You do remember what happened don’t you.”

“Yes, I remember but it doesn’t matter now. I feel too good for anything to matter.”

“You made some poor choices in your life on earth, but you lived a good life loving our Father and trusting him. Now you are going to live with him, as he promised you.”

“What about Bill?”

“Bill will answer to our Father in his own time. I’m surprised he even crossed your mind. Take hold of my hand. Your new home waits.

Keep Talking, Andy…..

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I started a new book yesterday.  Now every time my mind is not specifically thinking about something else, plots and scenes keep running through my brain.  I find the creative process very interesting.  My muse, (I’m going to call him Andy,) works overtime when I’m writing.  Most of the time it is a very good thing, but sometimes I would like for Andy to stop talking to me.  I like being quiet at times, but not Andy. I can safely call him a motor mouth.

I have an advantage this go around that I didn’t have before.  I know my main characters very well since they were in The Tower.  Sam (shortened from Samantha ,) has a twin brother, Allan.  They share a psychic connection and are very close.  Sam works for Allan at IDEA (International Diagnostic Environmental Agency). Allan’s company investigates and recommends fixes for any environmental problem that affects people anywhere in the world.

Right now Andy is helping me to decide on what kind of character I want my protagonist to be. It is being said today that publishers are not only wanting a book with good, strong characters and strong plots but they also want a story with a hook (Whatever that means.) I will have to do some reading and find out more about that hook business.

I want to write the best book I can,  which means Andy and I will be spending a lot of time together of the next few months. Hopefully he will continue to talk to me as much as he does now because if he doesn’t, I may be in trouble. I may gripe about his constant talking but I know I need him to help me accomplish what I want to do.

It’s Short Story Day (The Red Shoes)

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This short story is nonfiction, and I didn’t write it for sympathy. I wrote it because I wanted to share a taste of what it’s like to live with the disease of alcoholism. It affects millions every day all over the world.  It’s been around since man began making wine many thousands years ago.

Alcohol is as addictive as the meth being manufactured today, except it’s legal. We all know prohibition didn’t work and as far as I can tell the war on drugs isn’t working either.  What is the answer?

I hope you like my story of  The Red Shoes.

I had reached my limit. Leaving was the only option I had. Standing up from the chair, I looked at mama and walked into my bedroom. Retrieving my coat from the closet, a headscarf and the new pair of red loafers mama bought me when we went to town that morning. I didn’t know what to do, but I couldn’t stay at the house any longer. I may have only been twelve years old, but I knew he would hurt me if I stayed.

There was snow and ice on the back steps. When I stepped out, down I went to the ground. Luckily, I wasn’t hurt in the fall. Picking myself up, I began walking down the road. Where could I go? If I went to Bob and Eva’s, he might find me there. I decided to go to my Uncle Charles’s house, on the mountain. It was about four miles north west of where we lived, up in the hills.

We lived fifteen miles west of McAlester on Highway 270 at a community called Cabiness. We ran a small country grocery store and Texaco gas station, called Blevins Grocery. My parents purchased the place before we left California. Returning to the area where mom and dad were born and raised was important, especially for my mother.

The one room store was actually the front room of the house. It had been converted to a store long before my parents bought it. The house now had one bedroom and kitchen, living room and a closed in back porch with a large window that pulled out and up, and hooked to the ceiling. That’s where mom and dad slept. My room was in the middle of the house without windows. It had two doors, one going to the living room and the other to the back porch.

There was a well and pump house sitting on the west side of the house. That water well was the catalyst for my problem. The well was terrible. The water smelled like sulphur, and tasted rotten. It didn’t furnish enough water to run the household. If you did the dishes, you couldn’t take a shower, or if you flushed the commode you couldn’t do the dishes. It was a constant struggle. I would usually go to Bob and Eva’s house to take my bath and do my homework. I would spend the night there at least once a week.

The store and station opened at 6 am and closed at 9 pm. This particular evening we were slow closing. Dad just returned home from spending time at a bar in McAlester. He was in the living room sitting on the piano bench watching me like a hawk. My cousin rang the bell to let us know someone needed gas. I went out and pumped the gas, and while I was talking to Eva, we decided I would ask mom if I could go home with them to spend the night. I asked mom if I could go home with Bob and Eva, and she agreed. I began to gather my clothes and schoolbooks.

”What are you doing, Shirley”? My dad yelled.

I walked into the living room and told him “I am getting my stuff together to go spend the night with Bob and Eva so I can do my homework and take a bath”.

“You sit down in that chair because you’re not going anywhere.”

“Daddy, mama told me I could go”.

“I don’t give a damn what your mother said, you are not going. You go tell them to go on and then get your butt back in here.”

I walked out to their truck and told them daddy wasn’t going to let me go with them. I was angry, but I knew not to say anything more to dad. When I walked back into the living room, he told me to sit down in the chair. I was angry and hurt. I sat very still and quit, while he tried to pick a fight with me. When I didn’t respond he started yelling at me. There was a pair of pliers sitting on the piano I’d left there earlier in the day from doing something that I don’t remember now. The next thing I knew he picked up the pliers and threw them at my head. God was protecting me because he missed by about one and a half inches, knocking a hole in the wall. That’s when I knew I had to get away from him.

Since I decided to go to my uncle’s house, I began walking down the dirt road behind our house. It would take me up the mountain. I had my headscarf wrapped around my head, and was wearing jeans and a long sleeve shirt. I never wore socks, and I didn’t even think about my feet when I left the house. I’d walked about two miles when I stepped in an ice covered hole of water. I knew my feet would freeze if I didn’t do something. I took off my headscarf and using my teeth to start a tear, I managed to rip the scarf in two. I put a half in each one of my new, red shoes to help keep my feet warm. I continued walking down the middle of the road. If a car came down the road, I ran into the woods and hid until it passed. I wasn’t going to let him find me. I didn’t have any intention of ever returning to that house.

I finally made it to the top of the mountain. It was after 11:00 when I knocked on Charles’s door. My Aunt Jerry opened the door after I identified myself.

“What are you doing here this late? Where’s your mama?” Jerry asked.

I told her the story while I sat wrapped in a warm blanket drinking a cup of hot tea. “Jerry, where is Charles? I can’t live there anymore. I want to stay here.”

“Charles hasn’t come in from town. I guess he had a date tonight, but I know you will be able to stay here as long as you need to.”

We heard the truck drive up to the front of the house. Jerry told me to go to the barn and hide in the hay. I took off out the back door towards the barn. I was almost there when Jerry yelled, telling me it wasn’t daddy, and to come back to the house.

When I got back in the house, there sat mama with a neighbor of ours, Donnie Elliott. Mama began to cry. “I tracked you in the snow. I knew you would either come here or go to Bob’s house. I want you to come home.”

“I’m not coming back to that house. I hate him; he is not going to hurt me. I’ve begged you to make him leave, and you wouldn’t, so now I’ve left and I’m not going back. I’m going to stay here, and if I can’t stay here then I’m going to go back to California and stay with Jim and Bobbie.”

“Please, honey, come back home. I promise you, it will be different, and he won’t be there. Come with me now and spend the night with Donnie. You can stay with her until he leaves the house tomorrow.”

Donnie sat there nodding her head up and down as mama talked. I loved my mama, and I couldn’t bear watching her cry and listening to her begging me to come back home.

“All right, mama, I’ll come home if he’s not there.” I got my coat and put on my new red, now wet and covered in mud, shoes. Jerry had given me a pair of socks, so my feet wouldn’t freeze off. Donnie lived about a half mile from us on the dirt road behind the store building. Mama promised me again that daddy would be gone the next morning.

She kept her word, and he was gone. I came home, and I was happy with my life for once. I could bring a girlfriend to the house and not be afraid of what dad would say or do. It was a peaceful time for me. Mom didn’t do so well, but that is another story.

Alcoholism is a terrible, terrible disease. It doesn’t just destroy the one drinking, but his or her family as well. It took many years for me to forgive my father, but I did. He is 85 years old now, and mama is gone. He doesn’t remember a thing about the trauma he caused his family. He and mom reconciled a year later after he had stopped drinking. That lasted a year and then it started over. That doesn’t matter now. He is a good man with a good heart and I can say I love him very much. He is and always will be my daddy. I survived and so did he.

Speaking My Mind

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Sacred Heart Catholic Church

Sacred Heart Catholic Church (Photo credit: enkrates)

When I clicked on  a story in the National Memo this morning, the story  lead-in was, ” Why Catholics don’t like Little Ricky.”

First I did not read one word about Catholics not caring about the Hispanics, secondly as a Oklahoma Catholic, that is not the case. The Catholic Church is championing the cause of the illegal and legal Hispanics in this country. We term it as social justice. When I lived in California and Texas it was the same thing there.

This nation was built with the help of immigrants from all over the world. I agree there needs to be some changes in our immigration laws, but I think we should be treating everyone as we would want to be treated. We have big problems in the justice  and immigration systems in this country. They will have to answer for what they do, as will each one of us.

I believe that amnesty should be given to all who are in this country now and a way to be found to stop the flow into the country. I know that’s easier said than done.  I also believe we should take care of our own but also help others in need.

No matter what political party someone belongs to, tolerance of something different has to become the norm. This country has done a very bad job at tolerance, but it is improving from what it was 40-50 years ago. I am better than my parents and my children are better than I am in accepting differences.  My hopes and prayer is that improvement will continue to take place in the future.

Nagging Voice

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For the past several days I’ve had this nagging voice in my head telling me to write a story. I push it away and it returns a short time later. I woke up this morning thinking about it, one more time. I am beginning to think someone is trying to tell me something. Have any of you ever had a head voice nagging you about something? If so what did you do? Did you continue to push it away or finally give into it and do what it was telling you to do.

Today, I am going to write that short story called The Red Shoes and post it on my website shirley-mclain.com. I’m going to stop that little nagging voice. It is a non-fiction story dealing with the trauma of alcoholism.

I think dealing with any issue in your life is better than pushing it aside time after time. My little voice may only be talking about writing a story, but even if it was pushing me to something outside my comfort zone, I think I would follow my voice. Of course, if your voice is telling you something you know is wrong or could hurt someone then that is a totally different thing.

Bottom line is deal with whatever your inner voice is saying to you. I truly believe there is a reason we have that little voice inside of us prompting us to do what needs to be done.

Would you have what it takes?

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I ran across this wonderful YouTube video about life as a pioneer,(it’s posted at the bottom) and it added further to the respect I have for the courage of my forefathers in settling this land.

In the book I’m writing, ”The Dobyns Chronicles,” I follow one branch of my family starting in Virginia. They migrate from Virginia in the 1700′s settling in Ohio and Indiana. My Great-Great Grandfather then migrated with his family to Texas, living in the Sherman/Denison area, on the Red River. (The cover picture is of my great grandfather and his family. The little girl is my grandmother).

Everyone has stories of their family. Have you ever stopped and thought about how they managed to accomplish what they did. It is mind-boggling when you consider the obstacles they had to overcome in order to settle a new land. The hardships they must have endured day after day. The things we take for
granted today.

I was very fortunate having a mother who loved family history, and wanted to talk about it. I grew up listening to the stories about how life was lived when her Grandfather was a boy, and living through the depression. She taught my sister and I how to survive. I have her Grandmother’s lye soap recipe. I truly hope it never gets to a point I have to make my own soap, but I know how, if I need it. I can live without electricity and running water if I have to. I know how to plant a garden and preserve food. This is where I am very grateful for the life I have today. I don’t have to do what was common place to the pioneering families of yesteryear.

How many people today could make it across the miles and miles of plains, not seeing a soul, or cross a mountain range? I know I couldn’t do it. I use to live in Wyoming many years ago, and looked at the wagon ruts cutting across the country. The canyons, wagons would have to be lowered into with ropes and then lifted up the other side. The small cemeteries, containing loved one’s that could go no further. Between Rawlins and Casper, Wyoming there is a large granite rock. The pioneers who traveled by this rock on the way to California and Oregon would chisel their name and the year into the rock. They wanted it known, they were there. They wanted to be remembered.

Do you let life interfere?

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I have been terrible at blogging this past week. I have let life interfere with what I love to do, and that is writing and blogging. I also seem to be spending more time than I like with the social networking. I do love people and communication. Those sites let me talk to people all over the word. I consider that a blessing from my Lord.

This week I have been running around like a chicken with its head cut off. In case you don’t know what that cliché means, it is a country girls way of saying, I was going so many directions, I didn’t get anywhere. I did manage to get my granddaughters prom dress and of course she looks lovely in it. I’m also looking a houses so my husband and I can pick out our retirement home. I was also the caretaker for my adopted mom while she had a doctor visit and found out she has to have surgery. All in all it was a full week, but I let my blogging and writing go. How do you handle what life throws at you? Share some tips with me on how you make time for everything. My goal is to continue writing and sharing through my blog, but I have found that is sometimes very hard to do.

Better Than Sex Cake and a Guest

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OK, let me start out by saying this is my second attempt at posting for today. I’m not sure what happened to the first one but I think it’s floating around in cyberspace somewhere in a few hundred pieces. I’m not one that gives up easily so I’m doing it again.

Today I feel like a cook and I want to share one of my favorite dessert recipes with you. It is mouth-watering good and easy to put together. I gave this recipe to a friend of mine in California and she now makes it every Easter for her family.

Just to let you know, I did not name this cake. You will have to make your own judgements about the title. The ingredients you will need are: 1 yellow pudding cake mix, 1 large box of french vanilla pudding mix, a large can of pineapple, 1 cup of sugar and whipping cream.

Bake the cake according to package directions. I bake mine in a mall aluminum turkey roaster for the high sides. Punch holes over the top of it and let it cool. While the cake is cooling place the sugar and pineapple in a saucepan and heat until all of the sugar has melted and you have a thin syrup. Pour this over the top of your cake. Let it cool. I put mine in the freezer to chill it down quickly. The trick is not to forget it. Mix up your pudding and spread it over the cooled cake. At this point you can sprinkle anything you want on top of the pudding. I use coconut and pecans but it’s entirely up to you what you use. Mix up a bowl of whip cream and put it on top of the pudding. You can sprinkle what you want on top. That’s all there is to it and you have a super moist melt in your mouth cake. Be sure any left overs are refrigerated.

Changing subjects completely, I want to remind you to enter the 100 word flash fiction contest. You can find the instructions in the previous post. I am also posting for Mark Lee, from the Masqueradecrew blog spot, Click HEREHe is wanting to tell you about a contest the crew is doing.

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We’re hosting a short story writing competition. The prompt is being emailed to early responders right now, and it will become public on our website March 15th.

But we need more than just submissions, although we’ll take as many as would like to enter. There’s lots of other things people can do to help us out, however. For instance, we need judges or readers. We’ll also need people to help us edit the winning entries.

Last but not least, as is being done here, we need people to spread the word, tweeting on Twitter about it or hosting a guest post from us. Whatever you would like to do. We would like to get the word out now, but also during the competition. In exchange, we’ll promote you and/or accept guest posts from you.

Interested in helping, let Mark know.

http://masqueradecrew.blogspot.com/2012/02/interested-in-sponsoring-judging-or.html

I wish you well until the next time.
Shirley