Friday, December 26, 2008
As I began this story I must start out by saying that we have all done stupid stuff when we were 21. The title here could not be any more correct. But again this is in my dash so I will share. Thank God he forgives!!
Above is a birthday card that my brother got for me. He put $3 in it so I could legally by my first drink! I got a margarita on the rocks with salt, and I needed it as you will see…
I woke up to the sound of my dad singing me happy birthday that Saturday morning. I knew that we were going to a redneck country bar that evening called HOOTS to celebrate!! When we moved to Texas from Oklahoma in ‘94 our cousins friends became our friends. We had been to HOOTS several times. My mom loved going when they had karaoke! I had gotten to know the owners, and majority of the people who worked there. I also made friends there. Not friends that I still hang around with but nonetheless they had good intentions! HOOTS was not a very big place nor did it fit the mold as being the best example for accessibility! Every table that was in there was high. They only had room for one pool table, and a really small dance floor that pretty much was never used because the dart boards were there. Getting ready and dressed for that evening was something I did a little throughout the day. That was my normal routine because everything takes me to twice as long. I wore a blouse that my cousin Debby got me for my birthday. We were also celebrating my brother’s birthday as we are four days apart, from two years that is. A bunch of us meet there, and of course one of the guys brought his VHS camcorder! One of the things that I found really odd about Texas was the fact that you do not have to be 21 to get into a bar/club. You cannot drink, and you must have a guardian with you at all times. Maybe not everywhere in Texas, but for the most part I guess so. So a four-year-old girl was brought along. Everyone knew what was about to take place besides me! There was about 20 to 25 people to join my brother and I’s celebration. So we are all just talking and I had my back to the door. This country looking guy taps me on the shoulder and started speaking on loudly as though I was hard of hearing (Karaoke had not yet begun). He says, “Do you remember me?” I say no. So he said “You came up to me at the grocery store and touched my butt!” I knew exactly who he was but to be sarcastic I said, “You must have the wrong person I don’t go to the grocery store, if I need anything my dad goes for me!”
He proceeds to take me to the middle of the small dance floor and begins to start taking off his clothes. Meanwhile I am red in the face not even wanting to look knowing my parents are watching, and a little girl who is setting Indian style on the edge of the dance floor as though she is getting ready to watch a puppet show. He brought a little boombox and played a really cheesy song called Cotton eye Joe. He was a white boy so he was genetically lacked in the moves, but I give him an E for Effort! The friend who got the stripper for me (god love her) did not really know me very well because if she did she would have gotten me a fireman instead of boot scootin Cotton eyed Joe! Normally, all left the women would get in a circle around the stripper while hollering and tipping him. None of this happened for everyone was anxious to see the expression on my face. About that time an old man opened the door to come in. He was totally shocked to see Cowboy Billy Bob (that was really stripper name) shaking his moneymaker! The old man lost his dentures!! I have proof, it is on a VHS tape somewhere. At this point all eyes were on the old man. I was rolling!! That was the best icebreaker ever. After that I just let loose and tried to have fun. One of the best things that Cowboy Billy Bob did was not strip down to the banana hammock (G-string)!! There is nothing attractive about that at all, am I right ladies or am I right? As the song wound down he sang happy birthday to me and left getting no tips. The party did not end there, as I got presents. I got a half-dozen white chocolate twig and berries,ECKK!!!!!! People started pinning dollar bills on my blouse! I think I ended up with $25 (I made more than Cowboy Billy Bob, LOL)! When the karaoke began the guy who ran it was a very good singer and he sang the country song (of course) “Keeper of the Stars”! It was very sweet. We closed down HOOTS, but do not worry I could still drive my wheelchair in a straight line!
It was a 21st birthday I will not forget! HOOTS has moved to a bigger location now. I have been a few times but not in about 10 years.
So tell me about what went on at your 21st birthday? If you dare to tell, I did! Or any other memorable birthday?
Thanks for taking the time to read, MISS S
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Several hours later I was lying on a table in the emergency you room. I was not used to laying flat on my back so it bothered me. Which made my feet act up. My dad was trying his best to get them to relax by massaging them…GOD LOVE HIM! He felt so guilty that he promised to buy me some new glasses! If that’s all I had to do to get new glasses paid for, LOL! I was never so happy to retire those all over the face red Sally Jessie Raphael frames (for a pic of them checkem out in my previous post)! I did not feel a lot of pain and got seven stitches! You can hardly even tell that I ever had stitches above my right eyebrow. That doctor was good!
Below is a picture of my dad (far left), Frank (Dolphins T-shirt), and the 4 runners when I went to see them backstage at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth several months after getting dumped. I am also sportin my new glasses! A lot better, huh?
A couple of months later at my 21st birthday party some friends of my dad’s friends had gotten me a first aid kit as a present! They told me I was to keep it handy when my dad was pushing me, LOL!
Frank and I had become friends and he sent me some free CDs along with tickets to see 4 Runner and go backstage at Billy Bob’s. While there he just pulls out two tickets to go see Bon Jovi! I love them. After I saw them we went our separate ways about 10 years ago I tried to write and call him, but I was told he was no longer working for Arista records. He was a very nice guy and I hope he is doing well. As for 4 Runner, I don’t think they made it very far on to the country scene.
Of course it is something that we can all look back on and laugh? I have not spent a day without my seatbelt since. Got a crazy story that you can look back on and laugh? I would love to hear it.
Thank you for taking the time to read, Miss S
Saturday, August 23, 2008
We were going to drive there. They had a van. Not a new van, or an accessible van with a lift. Just a van that was probably purchased down by the river, LOL! They did have a VCR hooked up in the back so as we were riding we could watch some flics. So we loaded up the van with our luggage and necessities. Let’s not forget there are three FAers in the van. I used a wheelchair, Sarah used a walker, and Adam just used what ever was around to hold him up. I cannot remember how young Adam was at the time (maybe 10) but he reminded me of me walking around in my drunk days! It was around 9pm Thursday night when we left their driveway. We were set to arrive sometime Friday morning. The back seat’s were folded down like a big bed. Sarah and I laid back their and watched a movie. Adam was busy playing his Game Boy and listening to Green Day on his Walkman! Ray was driving and Cindy was reading the map. We began hearing these spluttering noises coming from the van about 2am.. We are in Bossier City Louisiana at this time. Ray pulls over to find that something was terribly wrong. We did not have cell phones at that time but they came prepared with CB’s. So Ray was able to get a hold of the police, and they informed him that there was no place open at that time of night to fix the van. So we would have to stay at a hotel until then. The earliest mechanic place opened at 8:00am. Everybody was tired and could not believe what was happening! We knew we had to stay somewhere for the time being so we were all escorted and our equipment (wc and walker) to Bates Motel (referring to the 1960 Hitchcock thriller “psycho”). The hotel door creaked open as we entered. We were so tired that we did not care what the rooms looked like we just saw the beds. There were two full-sized beds. Sarah and I shared one of them. As we climbed in it was no Sleep Number mattress, let me tell you! We were cold so we pulled up the blanket, but it was so paper thin we just left it at the foot of the bed. It was like someone had taken some paper towels and sewn them together! You can forget seeing chocolates on the pillow, there wasn’t even a Holy Bible on the nightstand! I happened to catch Sara trying to catch a few ZZZ’s in the photo below. As you can see there were brick walls. So you could try to huff and puff but you could not tear that hotel down! I think I may have slept 3 hours, and that was 3 hours too long as when I woke up I had a crick in my neck. Of course no one was even tempted to use the shower! It took about an hour and a half (and some major dough) to fix the van. So we got on the road again at about 9:30am. We could not get there quick enough. We finally arrived in the evening on Friday.
Due to the fact that Sarah was 4 1/2 years younger than me, and my best friend I decided to go with her to all of the event’s they were having for teenagers. It actually worked out well for I knew I would get the elementary school down low from Cindy about the meetings. I am not sure how many people were in attendance but I had never met so many people with Ataxia before (As of now, there are about 35 different forms of Ataxia and FA being the most common). I felt like one of the majority and I could relate with so many of them! It was awesome. I could not introduce myself quick enough for I was wanting to meet everyone. The hotel that we stayed in was next door to a Space Center where they had space camps. Everyone got to tour the Space Center on Friday night. It was really neat to get to see what all it takes to go into space. After the tour we had a meet and greet time.
Saturday was very laid-back for us and the adults were in little seminars throughout the day we had a lot of time to just hang out and visit. We went back to the Space center for some fun time in the afternoon! In this pic I used a contraption where you could tell what it was like to be in no gravity. I was one of the only Ataxin’s who was already in a wheelchair full-time. The majority of the teenagers (like I was) could still walk but of course needed help. So there was some of the simulators that I was unable to do, but that’s okay. That meant I got extra time to talk with the guide’s about stuff. One of the guides and I talked alot. He was really cute, but of course getting married the next weekend. That was just my luck!! He was going to Hawaii on his honeymoon and I jokingly told him to bring me back a postcard. He took down my addy, and all be J Lo and behlold if I didn't get one in the mail! I was shocked!! And never heard from him again.
Saturday night we had a party. In this pic we have Sarah and Jesse with myself trying to sneek in with my all over the face red Sally Jessie Raphael frames at the party! Sarah and I hung out a lot that weekend with Jesse. He had FA but, we also thought he was Keanu Reeve’s in the movie “Speed” cute!
This pic was taken on the day we parted ways. This was another one of our friends who had FA, Bridget, along with Sarah and I. I did not take tons of pics and it was just a throwaway camera! The few I chose were the best ones, and something freaky is going on with everyone’s eyes. So blame the camera and not the picture taker (except for the one with my eyes shut)!
That is a weekend I will never forget it. We made it home safely. The title of the post comes from a T-shirt I bought at the conference for my dad that has that saying on it. He still wears it!
Thanks for taking the time to read, Miss S
Saturday, July 05, 2008
A few weeks after that my counselor told me that the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) had a nonpaying three-month internship for people with disabilities. After the three months they would have a meeting to determine if the job was suitable for the person w/ the disability. They would at that time put you on the payroll. What an awesome opportunity, and I was excited to get started! I interviewed for the secretary in the human resource department position. In the interview was the human resource boss, a coworker (Yolanda), and the gentleman handling the hires for people with disabilities. All was fine. My duties would include data entry, mail outs, answering the phones, and directing people who would come in the office to where they needed to be. I asked to check out the bathroom (aka “the issue”), and told them that I would be needing some special bars in order to go independently in “the issue”. Of course, they would not agree to put in the special bars until after I was considered and on the payroll. However, Yolanda and the boss said there would be no problem for them to help me in “the issue”. I could breathe at that point thinking everything would be okay with the "the issue". The FAA was about 15 or so minutes away from my house. So my parents helped me to map out a back road route to go. My mom was not working at the time so she would follow me to work, while my dad followed me home the first couple of times just to make sure that everything was OK. I was working Monday through Thursday from nine to four.
MY FIRST DAY
I was nervous about my first day, and hoping I would get along with everyone. I wanted to look my best so I put on a dress and dress shoes. That morning everything went well. The too good for everybody boss (I do not even remember her name, which is no sweat off my back!) Showed me what I would be doing. She did seminars on how to treat people in the workplace. She would have me type up different articles from books that would be helpful. Stuff written by others to sound as she was the clever one. The HR Dept. was the first area you would come to as you would walk to the other offices so I would direct others on where to go. There were a lot more Dept. in the section I was in. Yolanda was not there on the first day. So it was time for lunch. They had a nice cafeteria in the building. I went to lunch by myself and was nervous about carrying any food that could spill on a tray in my lap while trying to push myself. I was too stubborn to ask for help. They had some nice meals with pretty prices! So I just got something small. I ate at a table by myself. After that I knew that would be a good time to go to "the issue". I knew that my too good for everybody boss was still in her office, but I could not bring myself to ask her. I was so embarrassed to ask, so I tried to do it my stubborn self. I could hear the drama/horror movie music going on in my head as I entered through the door! At least I was able to get my whole wheelchair in the stall and close the door. A lot of public restrooms have bars and stuff to make it handicapped accessible but nothing is wide enough for a wheelchair to get in. As long as some businesses meet ADA (America Disability Act) requirements with the bare minimum that’s all they care about, it is irritating! I am off my soapbox for now, and getting back to this story (thanks for listening to me vent). So I am staring at “the issue" knowing I am wearing a dress with dress shoes. Which is a scary thought! I got up okay using both hands to pull-up on the bar. Now I had to try to get my dress up so that it did not dip in the toilet. My dress shoes started to slide on the tile floor, and I flopped down on the toilet which made my dress dip anyway! It was awkward, but I got my business taking care of (for those of you who are concerned, no I did not pee on my dress!) I got back in my chair sitting on my wet dress. I was almost in tears, but told myself that it could've been worse because I could have fallen. So I left "the issue" behind me and headed for my too good for everyone boss to tell her I was back from lunch, and that I have gone to “the issue”. I rolled into her office with all smiles and saying that I was back. I told her I also went to “the issue” by myself, and she looked shocked. She asked me if I did okay, and I told her that I hated it and would not be trying it again by myself. She proceeds to tell me that when I get into the real world people will not be willing to help me in the restroom. WTH, this is the second smartass who has told me this!! Have I been living in a fake world?? Again, I do not handle confrontations very well. I did tell her that if someone does not want to help me in the restroom, that I do not want their help. I told her that I would not be asking for her help ever. I went back to my desk, and cried.
The next day Yolanda came to work. I told her about what went on the day before. She gave me a big hug, and told me not to worry. God love her!!! She helped me from that day forward with “the issues". After a while other women started getting to know me and me know them so they started helping with “the issue" but Yolanda was the main helper. I even made lots of friends who I would have lunch with.
Three months had went by, and I was anxiously awaiting to hear whether or not I was going to be put to on the payroll. Even though the too good for everything boss and I did not get along with one another I enjoyed working there, and knew I would be set if I had a government position. I could get off SSI (Social Security Income, get my own place, I could go on forever. The too good for everything boss was the only person I did not get along with. But she was not in the office all the time because she would be at seminars and such. So I went to the guy who helps people with disabilities get a job with the FAA to find out my fate. He proceeded to tell me that there was a hiring freeze and to hang on for a little while longer. That it looked promising for me. So I began to wait… Four months, five months, and six months. I went to him each month only to hear the same answer about a hiring freeze. I had asked him if I could get reimbursed for gas or if I could get my lunches paid for. He just shook his head and told me he was sorry. That is all he could do. I put up with it until the six-month mark. I could not afford to keep working for FREE. And I definitely was not going to keep working under the too good for everything boss for FREE! So I gave them a notice after six months of FREE labor. They had a little going away party for me with cake, and a certificate showing that I worked for the FAA (for FREE). I am sure and that was all Yolanda’s idea! After I left I never heard a word from FAA again. My chances were promising, my a**!
After that, I saw Yolanda a few times. She had a baby shower that I went to. In Oct. '95 when she had the baby girl, Tanisha, we went to Cracker Barrel for lunch to meet her. I was amazed by all of her hair! Our connection at that time was lost. I would love to see her again!
Due to the big deal that was made out of “the issue” it is still a big issue in my life. I stay close to home, watch my liquid intake, and sometimes hold it. I plan my day around “the issue”. I am very blessed to say that I have never had a bladder infection (knock on wood and thank you Lord!). Throughout my dash I will be talking about diff. probs I have concerning "the issue". Is there something in your life that has become “your issue”? If so, don’t hesitate sharing.
Thanks for taking the time to read, Miss S
Monday, June 30, 2008
Every morning for about six weeks Melissa would bring the puppies in a box. You could hear the little noises they would make all along what their paws scraping to get out of the box. Mom and I would each bottle feed 3 puppies a piece. They would use our fingers as pacifiers. They would grab a hold and not let go! During this time my Grangee (Dad’s Mom) came to visit from Oklahoma, and she also got to participate in feeding and playing with them. She was so cute with them, that as she got through feeding one of them she would put him onto his back and rub his tummy. And said that is how you would get him to burp! Now I am not a professional bottle feeder to dog’s and I am not aware if Grangee had any special training either, but it sounded good! Besides that she is a Mom, and you don’t question your Mom, right? A few weeks after total bottle feeding them we started giving them cereal. It looked like oatmeal. So Mom the lined them upon the linoleum floor in the kitchen with six plastic saucer bowls filled with the oatmeal, and let them have at it!! Their eyes were barely open and they were stepping all in the cereal:( Due to this they were not getting good traction on their little paws so they were slipping everywhere. They had more food up their nose than in their mouth! I was beginning to think they had FA!! It was the cutest mess I had ever seen! This was the only time I had ever seen my mom NOT frustrated in cleaning up someone else’s mess! She was in her total element:) It was a very fast six weeks and we had so much fun! They all survived!!
If I remember correctly Melissa ended up keeping two of the puppies and sold the rest. This was one of those things in my dash that might not seem like much. Thank you Melissa!! Have you ever done something that seemed so small but meant so much to you? I would love for you to share.
Thank you for taking the time to read, Miss S
Thursday, June 19, 2008
I so do apologize for the very long delay. I have had a lot going on lately. There just doesn't seem to be enough time in the day. I am currently writing the new post and it should be on here soon. Thank you to my regular readers to check in on me. Writing is very therapeutic for me. The longer I stall the more that will be at in my dash? LOL!!!
Thank you for the Patience, Miss S
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Here is a picture of Frank and I. I am not exactly sure when this photo was taken, but long ago.
Besides going to the Stockshow together we did a lot of things together. I will mention a couple of them for they are funny.
Sometime in March 1994 Frank called me to ask me if I would like to see the site's along with his brother and best friend from New York as they were in town. He said that his brother and best friend would be there to help push us in our chairs and stuff. They were going to Dallas and I had not been yet. I thought the world of Frank so I knew I would get along well with his brother and best friend. His brother Mike was a New York cop and so was his best friend Louie (who was also a volunteer fireman, woo hoo!) So when they came to pick me up I was of course a little intimidated to be around all these NY Cops. Louie drove Frank’s van while Frank sat in the passenger's seat while Mike and I sat in the back. It did not take long for me to warm up to these guys. They were cracking me up they were so funny. So we went to the Dallas West End and walk/rolled around there with all the shops and different places. We were all getting hungry at that point, so the guys decided they wanted to go to Hooters. I was outnumbered and not going to argue so I just had to grin and bear it!! I had the best hot ham and cheese sandwich I had ever eaten so I was not complaining. Since we left in the early afternoon I knew that I'd better go to the bathroom while I'm there. So I asked the waitress if she could show me where the restroom was. We went in the restroom, and I got a little nervous. There was nobody else in the restroom!! So ladies if you are ever out and about and need to go to the restroom really bad and want to go somewhere where you know there's no lines…Hooters is the place to go! The waitress was so nice, for at that time I did not need any assistance in the restroom but she said she would wait with me just in case I needed anything. That meant more to me than my awesome hot him and cheese sandwich! When I came back to the table Louie had spilled his drink and Frank and I just laughed and laughed saying how we should be the ones to spill the drink! From there we went to see the Dallas Stars hockey game. It was great! I only watch hockey when it is life for I love the excitement of the crowd. I spent the whole day with these guys and did not stop laughing.
It has been quite a while since I have seen Mike or Louie in anything other than pictures. The both of them were not harmed during 9/11, which is a big blessing! They both have family’s now and are doing great!
The other story I wanted to share with you happened in September of 1994. Frank and I were chatting on the phone when he mentioned that he had been trying all day to get Metallica tickets. I told him that I liked that group and they were the only heavy metal group I did like. He had a hard time believing that of me to even like any heavy metal group. So he called me back a little later to invite me a long to the concert with him and one of his friends. He probably thought I would gracefully bow down from taking the ticket, but I accepted! I was all excited. I did my best on trying to look older. When David and Frank arrived I got in the van, and off we went. The concert was at the Starplex in Dallas and the closer we got the more congested the traffic became. Even though we parked in a handicapped accessible parking place there was still aways to roll to get inside the stadium. David was trying to push Frank and I so that we you would be quicker! Poor guy, I am sure he worked up a sweat! As we reached the gate Frank told me he to open at my purse for the security. I was all taken back by that for that had never happened to me before. I felt a little violated, but did not blame them because of where we were. As we got to the stadium I felt like all of us crips had some of the best seating! We were sitting right behind the reserve seating. There was a ramp to get up to it, so we were taller than everybody else. It was awesome! But the only problem was that people would try to climb up on our turf to get to the reserve seating. There were security guards all up in our business trying to stop the squatters! ARGH! I know I got some second hand Mary Jane smoke if know what I'm saying!! There were several opening groups but we missed half of them and the other half I do not recall. When Metallica got on the stage it was like the whole floor was vibrating. There was no way I could talk to anybody not even between sets because my ears were ringing. I loved it. We left a couple of songs before they did their encore so we could try to get the heck outta Dodge before everyone else did. As we were leaving the parking lot we had our windows rolled down, and we could hear them playing "Enter Sandman". It was a experience and a half. And I was glad I got to experience it with Frank. Not only is he a funny guy but any time you get two people with FA together there will always be something to funny to talk about!
Around that time we also went see the movie "Forrest Gump" in the theater with our friend Marjorie. It is one of my favorite movies! And that's all I have to say about that:)
I still see Frank time to time. A year ago he got married to a wonderful and sweet woman named Jacqueline. I had the privilege of meeting her this weekend in their beautiful new home. The picture below was taken of us then. Look how much shorter I am compared to Frank! I know it is his power wheelchair for it is taller, but it makes me laugh.
He still has the same wonderful job that he did when I met him! I am very proud of Frank for several years ago he got his master's degree online. He is a very hard worker. Frank has had some health issues, but that has not slowed him down. He is no longer driving. Several years ago he was diagnosed with having diabetes. Diabetes is a common symptom for people with FA. It is under control, although he has to give himself shots of insulin twice a day and watch what he eats. He had a couple of other health issues. But it is all OK now. He is working all the time and has started back to riding his bike. He uses a Hoyer lift for most of his transfers now. Doing the same things it is not easy as they were before. And as he says if you don't use it you will lose it. I myself have proof of that!
Frank is a very special person in my life. There will never be anyone else like him. I know he has been through some hard times personally, emotionally, and physically. When I saw him this past weekend he told me that he has never been happier! I could not be more thrilled for him as he deserves it! He is still an inspiration to me!
Do you have someone in your life that has been a mentor, or someone you have looked up to that you would like to share? I would love to hear.
Thanks for taking the time to read, Miss S
Thursday, March 27, 2008
The Maynes had become my second family. My mom, dad, and I started attending the support group meetings, and then I gained even more friends w/ FA!! I was always spending time at their house. Sara and I began spending quit bit of time together. She reminded me a lot of myself and we could totally relate to one another. I would look at her and sometimes get sad because I knew the road ahead of her would be rough for my FA was more progressed. Although she was more of an introvert she had no problem with the boys!!! Cindy told me once that Sara said she felt like I was her sister. That brought tears to my eyes. Sara, Cindy, and I were always spending time together whether it would be shopping, going out to eat, or going to the movies. One day we surprised Sara at the movies by watching "With Honors" starring Brandon Fraiser. He could butter her popcorn anytime! It is a really good movie if you have not seen it I do recommend it! We shared so many laughs together. Sara was attending a Christian High School about five minutes away from my house. I had gone over there on several occasions to have lunch with her. I even sat in on a couple of her classes. She was so much smarter than I was for she was taking trigonometry which I never even took in College!! Not too long after she turned 16 she began driving. She also used hand controls like I did. One night we decided that we were bored and would take a trip to Blockbuster to rent a movie. Sarah drove her car and I sat in the passenger seat. She somehow managed to shove my wheelchair into the passenger side back seat, and then go around to the driver's side back seat to put her walker in there. Looking back on it all I just shake my head! When she graduated from high school she also walked across the stage to get her diploma! I cried, I was so happy. Soon after that she also became wheelchair-bound. Cindy passed away after a long battle with cancer in 1999:( That was very hard. Sara also graduated from college With Honors! She got married, which she tells me is still hard to believe that someone could love her because of her FA. (I definitely understand, as a single woman I struggle with that about any man all the time.) She always wanted two children and that is what she got. I was around when the first one was little. I do not know how she managed to care for him due to her FA while her husband worked, but she did it! There was nothing easy about it. I know she has a helper with the second one. They are both really cute kids. During one of our conversations Sarah and I said how cool it would be to be able to progress backwards with FA! There is still one more thing that I will share with you in a couple of posts that I did with them!
I am still close with Sara, although she now lives in Georgia with her husband and two children. Her children are showing no signs of FA at this point! The pic on the right was taken in Feb. of this year as they were on the train and headed to the circus:) This is one of my fave pics of them. Nathan is on the right and will be heading off to kindergarten in the Fall. I cannot believe it! He is so smart. Annie is 2, need I say more! She is a very content little girl. Sara’s brother Adam is attending college. Their dad is now remarried to a wonderful woman and doing well!
Thank you for taking the time to read, Miss S
Saturday, March 01, 2008
My family and I had known since the summer that there would be a big possibility that we would be moving to either Topeka Kansas or Ft. Worth Texas, because of my dad’s job transferring in the near future. We were all hoping for Ft. Worth Texas because of the weather, and the fact that we had cousins who lived in Ft. Worth that we would visit there every other year. So we were familiar with that area better. By the end of the summer we knew that Ft. Worth was going to be where we hung our hat! My dad started his job there in October while my Mom and I got things in order at our home in Tulsa. He stayed with our cousins during the week, and would make trips home on the weekends. Except for the times when Mom and him were house hunting. Some of my friends would tease me about going to Texas with the songs "She came from Ft. Worth" from Kathy Mattea (I was given this CD as a going away present) or "All my exes live in Texas" by George Strait.
Getting our house ready to sale was a chore and a half. My parents had lived there over 21 years so there was more then one junk drawer if you know what I'm saying! We had several paint parties. My Aunt made beautiful new curtains for our kitchen (w/a sewing machine), and a friend reposted a built in the kitchen area we had. Our house was looking nicer than it was before so I was saddened we were having to leave it! As Christmas time came we did not even bother getting out the tree or ornaments because we were packing them. I had to pack all of my belongings in to a suitcase, I was so sad. Where we lived at in Tulsa there was not a lot of opportunity there. You had to go across the river to get to a mall or anything. I was ready to see what was new, but at the same time this was all I ever knew.
My mom and dad went house hunting several times while they were there. They told us where they would to go in the houses, and see if the bathroom door could be enlarged. If not, they would look no further at that house. They finally came across a house where not only the bathroom door could be enlarged but that was able to easily get in the garage door. Of course we had to have the home close to my dad worked. We actually found a house close to just about everything. It was great. So, all in all I was excited for the fresh start to Ft. Worth. I was not going to be leaving anything bad behind just ready for the new possibilities.
As we were set to leave I just could not get in my last goodbye. It was very hard. My cousin, my brother, my grandmother, even my neighbors across the street. My Aunt had driven her truck with I in the passengers seat, my Uncle was driven the U-Haul truck., my Mom had driven her SUV, and my Dad had driven my car. It was so funny because my Aunt and I were behind the U-Haul truck that my Uncle was driven, and it hit the curb. My uncle was a professional truck driver. My Aunt and I had the biggest laugh about that. That started off the trip on a good note. It did not seem to take as long to get their. We got things unloaded in good time. One of our neighbors was from Muskogee. Small world and he helped us. Upon settling things in the first thing was getting the bathroom accessible for me. Our cousins who lived here had a neighbor who did construction work. So Paul came over to widen the bathroom door. Their daughter’s husband (still our cousin) knew of a person who could install & make bathroom bars in the shower and by the commode. Besides widening the bathroom door Paul also lowered the closet rail so that I could reach it. All of that was done in about two days. Things were beginning to look more homey than they had in the past couple of days.
I normally do not deal with change very well at all, and that was the thing that made me scared. Have you ever read the book, "Who Moved My Cheese?" By Spencer Johnson, M.D.? If not I highly recommend it as it shows an amazing way to deal with change in your life.
Thank you for taking the time to read, Miss S.
Friday, February 01, 2008
Throughout my teenage years my cousin Syl and I began to get close. She is six years older than I, and it just was not cool to hang out with the little one. Although she loved playing dress up with me as though I was her little doll. She would make me go downstairs, and show me off to the rest of the family at holidays! She still loved doing that. When we are together she is always doing my hair and makeup! Every time we are together something crazy happens! Check out my post in the February 2007 archives titled: Can you say embarrassing?
So the plan was to have a goodbye bash. One of our friends Lisa, and Syl decided to take me to their regular hangout at a heavy metal club called Windjammer (they shut down a couple of years after this) in Tulsa. It was 18 and over, so no problem right? We had this scheduled for a while. About a week before our venture the club decided to only cater to those 21 and over. What were we going to do? Lisa and Syl definitely passed, but my 19 year old butt would be left outside. After much deliberation we did what we knew how. First of all, Lisa (she knows everybody) knew the club owner, and asked him if it would be okay if she brought a friend who was in a wheelchair, but only had a birth certificate (BC) for ID. She also told him that I was moving away. So he not only said yes to me coming, but also said that he would buy my drinks all night! So we had that covered, now all we had to do is get a BC of someone who is at least 21! I do not know how, but Syl got her sister’s (thanks De!) BC from her Mom! The problem then was that De was 24. Even on my best day it was hard to look 16 let alone 24! Lisa and Syl came over to my house and gave me a head to toe makeover in an attempt to make me look legal!! (For those of you know me now it is hard to make me look legal at 33! I was still offered kiddy menus at 30!) Lisa and I were around the same size, and she brought me this black tight one-piece outfit that zipped up the middle to wear. Now I know what you are thinking, yes I could have very well been in the theatrical performance of Cats!! To spice things up a little I wore a pink flowered silky and black lacy bra. We unzipped the outfit just enough to show the bra and a little cleavage. We did not want to give everything away!! I wore black leather pumps that I had, as my shoe style did not matter because I would be sitting throughout the night and not walking. It is now time for my hair and makeup and Syl could do no wrong! With a little curl, tease, and lots of hairspray my hair was fabulous. Appearing older took a little more makeup than what I was used to wearing. My dad took one look at me, called me Jezebel, and politely asked me to take off the lipstick, LOL! I wish I had a picture to show everyone, but the mental one I'm sure is priceless!! They had come over to get me ready for the club early, but were going to pick me up at a indoor pro soccer game my parents and I were going to. It was closer to get to the club from there then coming to get me at my house. So I put on my leather jacket and zipped it up so that my cat suit would not be revealing. Thank goodness it was winter!! The game was awesome, and I was excited for Lisa and Syl to arrive. My dad's jaw dropped as Lisa and Syl came in to get me with their clubbing clothes on. To tell you a little bit about them they were both beautiful blondes who could definitely be models. Lisa had on a short white shirt where you saw her belly button ring, and a pair of stonewashed jeans that had slits in the back. Syl had on these jeans that were cut down the sides and had safety pins holding them together. She made them herself, and did not even use a sewing machine!! (Shout out to Jen on that comment, I had to!) We all looked ready to go! I memorized all of the important dates and stuff on the BC incase I was asked. As we got there I showed the bouncer the BC he did not question me, and just let me go on through. YES WE PULLED IT OFF! I met the owner and I do not think he cared less if I was a monkey for he was feeling pretty good if you know what im sayin’! So we all got some wine coolers (surprised to tell you that this was not the first time that alcohol had entered my body. How do you think I got the name drunk girl, J/K, LOL) and sat near the front so we could hear the band. We were afraid that they wouldn't sound loud enough! The name of the heavy medal band was UGLY!! And let me just tell you they could not have picked a better name! After banging our heads for a couple of songs we went over to this pool table, and began to play. We were beating people left and right. What was our strategy you wonder? Well Syl and I played partners. She played in pool tournaments and was on a team. So when I would screw up (which was often) she could clean up the mess! She made all the moves, and would angle my wheelchair where I needed to be. Holding on to the pool stick at the end to steady my shot she would tell me exactly where to hit the cue ball to put the ball in the pocket. It did not always work for me as I would usually either hit the cue ball too soft or too hard. But that is okay because Syl was that GOOD. So now guys are buying us drinks to try and prove that they are good sports and letting us win, and not just guys who got beat by the handicapped girl!! I would take a drink or two, and then pass it on to Syl or Lisa as they could hold their liquor better than I. Now if that was not enough excitement Lisa knew the band UGLY (I am telling you she knows everybody!) and told them it was my birthday. So they pulled me to the middle of the stage (and it was not a real big stage) and proceeded to sing and play happy birthday. The bass guitarist sat his guitar on my lap so I could feel the good vibrations, and sweet sensations, LOL! Shout out to Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch! He then presented me with a coupon for a free drink that I got from of his mouth, EWW I know! UGLY gave me a guitar pic (which I still have somewhere). Now people are buying me drinks because they think it is my birthday. I am not hurting for anything to drink let me tell you. If I had drank everything that was given to me that night I would have been living in the restroom! I knew that Syl and Lisa would take care of me. As the night ended at two in the morning we made our way to Denny's for breakfast and Pepsi’s. I had so much fun, and I know I would not have had such a good time if it wasn’t for Syl and Lisa. This was not the first or the last time that three of us were together. I could be exactly who I was around them, and I loved being around them for that. I may not get to visit with each of them as much as I would like now, but I am still in contact with them both. Love you guys!!
As I said before saying goodbye to my family and friends in Oklahoma was one of the hardest things about moving to Texas. 95% of my friends and family knew me before I became wheelchair-bound. So it was easier for them to see past the wheelchair to see who I really was. It was just a matter of getting past the FA for them. Now that I was leaving and going to be establishing new friends they not only had to see past the wheelchair, but also my FA. Acceptance was my fear. Right now I can honestly say that acceptance is no longer a fear of mine. Some will like me and some will not that’s just the way it goes. I don't lose any sleep over it!
Thank you for taking the time to read, Miss S
Next Post: THE BIG MOVE
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Soon after I graduated my dad moved to Ft. Worth Texas his job got transferred. I was not going to even try to get a job in Tulsa after the internship was up for I knew my Mom and I would be joining him soon. I will talk all about that transition period in the next several posts.
Thank you for taking the time to read, Miss S
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
For those of you who are not familiar with what they are, here is a picture of the very first PM figurine I received in October 1991 when I got homecoming queen. It was given to me from a former homecoming queen named Courtney. The figurine was titled, "Congratulations Princess!" I liked them even before that, but did not have one. But one was all it took for me to start getting bunches. I was not only getting figurines but anything and everything that had to do with PM’s. I was even in the collectors club. For Christmas my parents decided to give me a really pretty curio cabinet to display all of my PM's. It did not take long to fill that sucker up. We ended up having to move the cabinet into the spare bedroom for I was not able to keep it with all my junk in my room. I still love the figurines, but have not gotten one in quite a while. I stopped being in the collectors club about five years ago. My friend Jen is always giving me a PM ornament every year for Christmas. I thank her so much for keeping the PM collection alive for me. PM figurines are created by the artist Samuel J. Butcher. In 1978 Sam began making and selling the figurines to convey the message of God's love to everyone…
Back to the story... Edith and I both had a love and collection for PMs. In 1989 Sam made another dream of his come true by building the Precious Moments Chapel in Carthage Missouri. I had told Edith how I would really love to go there sometime. Edith had been there a couple of times. She told me that she wanted to take me there as a graduation gift! She wanted to go back anyway, and wanted to share the experience of going there with me. That was very thoughtful of her. I was so excited. So we picked a Saturday to drive, and got there okay in her little two-seater truck. (I have no pics:( ) We started off at a welcome building where we signed up for the tour of the chapel (from stained-glass windows to painted ceilings the detail was amazing!), and museum (showing us step-by-step how the figurines are made). They even had a garden area with big statues of PM's. It was breathtaking and undescribable to see it all. They have added so many different things since I have been there last. I would love to go there again, and if you haven't been there it is something to see. I highly recommend it! Just thinking about it gives me goosebumps! It is very wheelchair accessible! They also have a wedding chapel, and I have always said I would love to get married there. So if you are out there man of my dreams, LOL!
For more info about PMs u can go to http://www.preciousmoments.com/ Do you have a collection that you would like to share? Thank you for taking the time to read, MISS S
Saturday, January 05, 2008
I did not have a big desire to go on to college after high school. I knew it was really hard to get a good job just on a high school diploma. I was not pressured to go to college or anything. My parents made it clear that they would be proud of me no matter what I decide to do. So I signed up for a nine-month Business Technology training course at Tulsa Technology Center. I would start the day with my mom dropping me off in the mornings on her way to work. It was quite a ways from where we lived. I would usually eat breakfast there. That would consist of an Otis Spunkmeyer Banana Nut Muffin and, some Chocolate Milk! My mouth is watering just thinking about it, man how I love those muffins!! In our classes we would mostly do computer work, but would make time to study math and English. At that time computers were becoming the big thing. We learned WordPerfect as that was the new software being introduced. I picked it up very quickly, and absolutely loved it! Working from the computer always made me feel independent (still does) even though I was never a fast typer. Most of my other classmates were women (about 12), but there were some men (about 3) as well. One of the ladies who graduated with my brother at Webster was also in my class, so that was great. It felt good to know someone. I really did enjoy being there. I was even the historian for the Phi Beta Lamda, a little group they had. No, not Lamda Lamda Lamda you Revenge of the Nerd watchers!!! It was all day. And then my Dad would pick me up.
This was the first time I had gone where my wheelchair was a permanent fixture. So that made me extra nervous being around new people and being around new surroundings. I was not treated any differently from day one. I thought that men definitely would not be interested in me anymore (not like they were knocking down my door before!) because I was in a wheelchair. On Valentine's Day that year our little Phi Beta Lamda group sold carnations or a box of candy hearts with a message to send to someone. This guy that was taking heating and air classes gave me a pink carnation!! He came up to me that day to give me the flower, and to tell me that he thought I was very pretty. He sweeped me off my wheels!! I was speechless. We were friends, but nothing became of it. Another thing that happened regarding the fact that I was in a wheelchair was during a field trip that we took to Oklahoma City. I cannot remember the name of the place but it was something to do with learning about business and money. We took the big ‘ol yellow school bus. I assume I was carried on to the bus by a nice gentleman/friend. When we arrived in the city this one guy just jumps up and grabs me like a sack of potatoes and puts me in my wheelchair. I am shocked as he is merely an acquaintance to me and doesn't even know me or me him. It doesn't stop there though... This guy starts pushing my wheelchair really fast and popping wheelies. I was so mad and started screaming. I told the teachers he is not to come near me again. He stayed away for the next day at school him and I met with one of the principals. He never once apologized for getting all up in my (wheelchair) frame. I told him that I did not know him, and it was not appropriate to touch me even if it is only a wheelchair. The wheelchair is an extension of my frame, and that he wouldn't go and physically push some able-bodied girl's frame, and I am no different. Because of the fact that we did not know each other how would he know that he was not hurting me? Since he insisted he did no wrong and would not apologize I told him not to even look my way anymore. So he was instructed to stay away from me for the rest of the school year. He knew he better recognize from that point on and he did.
After 9 months I had the baby, LOL!! I crack myself up:0) But for reals tho I did graduate and get a certificate. That is about all I got! The computer skills have always been handy.
Thank you for taking the time to read, Miss S