Monday, November 26, 2007

I have reason to give Thanks!

Thanksgiving could have turned terrible quite quickly. Wednesday morning I received a phone, on my way to work. My husband called to tell me that my Mom was in the hospital with symptoms of a stroke. We planned on heading to Fallon for Thanksgiving later that day, and we kept our plans. An hour later my husband calls to tell me that Mom is being Careflighted to Reno, their hospital has a Neurologist on hand. And, Mom was having a mini-stroke while being examined. We reached Fallon at 9pm and we got word that Mom was admitted but no real cause for the strokes, except an especially high BP of 225/135 and blood sugar levels of 223!!! They also found a small clot in her neck. Thankfully, they were able to control the strokes with medicines and she was released on Thanksgiving day, at 2:30 pm we arrived back home and we all felt so greatful and thankful that Mom was there. She still isn't 100%, but we are praying for a full recovery.

That day I got to meet my beautiful new niece for the first time. Rebeckah is absolutely gorgeous and I fell in love! Boy did she bring out those maternal instincts in me!

The following night, 2 of my sisters, their husbands and Doug and I went out dancing! I was designated driver!!! We had a blast! The music was all hip hop and dance music that we definitely not into. But we didn't care, we cut loose and had some fun.

Saturday was an emotional day, but a happy one! Something happened that I NEVER thought I would see. My father and mother both got baptised. My FATHER, who drank heavily, cursed, and was an angry man, is now this soft spoken Christian. Ever since my younger sister Betty passed away, he has been torn down. He asked Jesus to help him and this is where we are at today. They were baptised in a horse trough, fitting enough! LOL!!

We left Sunday, and it was so emotional. I hate leaving home. I miss them all so much! In Vegas I have nothing except my mother in law, who I love so much, and my best girlfriend Dede. Doug has the career and friends, plus his mom. All my family is in Fallon. I miss my family so much! And, I wish I could raise my kids in the small town atmosphere instead of this damned big, dirty, crime ridden City. I wish we could all be together in one place. But I am so Thankful for the big family that I have, for my husband and my kids, I am thankful for both my Mom's being in good health, for the one true Friend that I do have. I am extremely Thankful for my parents getting baptised and God touching their hearts. If there ever were a walking testament to what God can do in one's life, talk to my dad. He's not the same man I had growing up, that's for sure.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Chapter One of yet Untitled Story

Chapter 1

Olivia Margaret Kennedy woke up from her deep safe sleep with her little brother, Cullen, curling up next to her. His breath, deep and steady, and not too pleasant to the smell, breathed heavily on Olivia’s cheek. Olivia tried to move slowly, as to not to wake him. She slowly rolled to the left and moved the hot blankets off of her, exposing her tattered stained green dress that she had worn the day before. The dress was covered in mud and food and hardly bared the resemblance of being green.

Olivia stepped down onto the bare hardwood floor. She could feel the gritty dust of the dirty floor under her bare feet. Looking back over her shoulder, she was satisfied that she hadn’t disturbed her four year old brother, still curled as if she were still lying next to him. Olivia made her way to the corner of the bedroom that she shared with not only her brother Cullen, but also shared with her newborn twin sisters, Sheila and Suzanne. The babies just born 3 weeks before and nearly a month premature had been put in dresser drawers on the floor to sleep. She briefly kneeled down and checked the sleeping babies carefully to tuck the towel that acted as a blanket around the littler of the two, Suzanne.

Olivia quietly made her way down to the hall. She momentarily thought about going outside to the outhouse their neighbor Mr. McGilley had built for them. Mr. McGilley felt a pang of responsibility for the Kennedy family, as their father was always working. But, Olivia’s fear of the morning dawn and apprehension of feeling the cool air on her, she decided to stay in and start her morning routine.

She usually started her mornings by starting the fire in the stove. She expertly moved the cut wood that Mr. McGilley had given them into the black potbelly stove. And, with the same expertise, she started the fire with long wooden matches the church had donated. Then, Olivia grabbed the rusted coffee pot that she attempted to wash the night before and filled it with water from the pump and put the final 2 scoops of coffee in the metal filter. When the aroma of the coffee started to fill the room is when her mother would awake. During the time it took to heat the stove and make the coffee, Olivia started making bottles. Her mother was too sick to breast feed, so Olivia learned to mix canned milk with caro syrup, which she did this morning. Other mornings, when the canned milk was gone, she would use powdered milk. After she made the babies bottles did she decide that the need to use the outhouse overrode her fear of the dark. But when Olivia opened the door, she hadn’t expected how light it got so quickly.

Running at almost a full sprint to the outhouse she welcomed the safety of the small potty room. Olivia found potty time as escape time, even for a few brief moments, she could pretend a wild horse would find her and whisk her away or a rich man from town driving one of those cars that only he well to do drove and saw her to be the perfect little girl and wanted her to be his daughter to spoil and love. But her fantasies were always short-lived. Someone would have to interrupt and this time it was her mother screaming from the house, “Olivia Margaret, Momma needs you now, DAMMIT!” Olivia bolted out of he outhouse and quickly made her way down the grassy knoll that lead to the house. She skipped the stairs and made it into the house with one big hop. She paused only a moment to feel the splinter of wood dig into her heel.

Bernadette Kennedy was laying on the old couch she and daddy had found sitting on the side of the dirt road that lead to their property. Bernadette was only 28 years old but looked 10 years older. Her face was weather worn and streaks of gray were already running through the dulling auburn hair. Bernadette always wore her hair long and in a thick braid, it was a part of her Native American Heritage. But right now, all she cared about were her cigarettes and finding that damn girl! “Olivia Margaret Kennedy” but before her mother could spout out the full name, Olivia was on target at her mother’s feet lying off the end of the couch.

“Olivia”, her mother snorted through ragged breath that came from a chronic smoker, “where in the hell have you been? And have you seen my Pall Malls? What did you do with them, child?”

Olivia automatically walked to the butcher block next to the potbelly stove that held the matches and their eating utensils. In a 2nd drawer, Olivia pulled out the red packaged cigarettes and one of those long wooden matches. Turning to face her mother, who had instructed Olivia to put her Pall Malls in that very drawer so no one would take them, Olivia coyishly smiled as if she had some greater knowledge than her mother. Her mother quickly snatched the cigarettes out of her daughter’s hand and proceeded to light one up. All the while, Olivia was hastily pouring her mother a cup of coffee, with 2 sugars and a dash of canned milk. Olivia brought her mother the coffee in her mother’s favorite coffee cup, a large mug with a hand painted picture of an Indian Warrior on the side. Many of time Bernadette would stare at that picture and say, “life would have been better if I had stayed with my own people, instead of marry that Irish father of yours.”

“Momma, would you like some eggs today?” Olivia asked in hopes of changing her mother’s attitude. “What child, trying to make today special are you? Having a birthday means nothing but another year older child. One more year closer to dying!” Olivia stood at the black stove, stunned, she herself had forgotten! Today was her birthday! September 10, 1946! How could she have forgotten her own birthday? She was 7 years old today! No longer considered a baby.

With the thought of having a special day to herself, Olivia skipped down the hall toward the room where her brother and twin sisters slept. Looking down at the still sleeping twins, she hoped momma felt well enough to take care of the babies today. She decided that today she would put on a clean dress, just in case there was going to be a party, no, a great big celebration with horses and clowns ready to entertain! Olivia wondered if her Grandparents, her dad’s parents, from Nashville, would make a special trip to see her and bring her presents!

Olivia hadn’t seen her grandparent’s in several months. And, when they were there, Olivia noticed that her grandfather and her daddy had words and were arguing over money. Her grandparents want her daddy to move them back to Nashville, where he could find a better job. But daddy didn’t want to leave Birmingham with the impending delivery of the twins. The same twins he has nothing to do with because neither was a boy. The night that Bernadette gave birth after 38 hours of labor to the premature babies, the first thing out of Walter Craig Kennedy’s mouth was, “she didn’t even get one right”. He left the hospital and didn’t return until the twins were 2 weeks old and being released from the hospital. He hadn’t even bothered ask their names. He basically announced to Bernadette, “One is Sheila after my momma and the other is Suzanne, after my dead sister.” And his wife didn’t complain, she new better.

Olivia chose her Sunday dress. It was a white dress with small pink flowers along the trim. Yes, this dress would be wonderful for a birthday party! Olivia set off to wash her face and put pink ribbons in her hair. She pulled out her good Sunday shoes and slipped them on. Olivia noticed that her shoes were begging to get too tight. She had had the white Sunday Shoes for almost a year now. But she knew her family didn’t have the money to by new ones. Maybe she would mention it to daddy today during her birthday. She didn’t expect him to get too mad, and it was her birthday after all.

While in her bedroom, Olivia heard heaviness of the front door slamming and the heavy boots of her father’s feet. Daddy was home from working the night out in the onion fields. His first movement would be to grab himself a cup of coffee and then sit at the old wine barrel that substituted for a table, with his coffee and his paper that he could barely read. Olivia knew she had to make haste and get out to he and Momma. He would want breakfast.

As Olivia made her way down the small hall, she could smell the sweetness of the onions coming from her daddy’s clothes, mixed with the smell of moonshine. That smell, the smell she loved and hated. That smell was all too familiar these days. And what Olivia met in the living room, was also becoming all too familiar.

Starting a blog to save my sanity!

They, whomever "they" is, say that writing your feelings is a great outlet. I have always loved to write, whether it's whimsical short stories from real life events, or pouring my heart out in a long drawn out novel. I have started many of "novels" but my patience wears thin. I thank my kids for that.

I am the happily exhausted mother of 3. Where were my true friends when I said, "I really want to have a baby!" I wish someone would have loaned me their teen for a week.

My kids and my husband are a constant source of writing material for me. They can say and do some of the most ridiculous and wonderful things. Just now, I had to take a break from my first blog to argue with my 6 yr old that there were not 3 little monkeys in the song 12 Days of Christmas. "Yes there is mommy," and she bursts out in her sweet off key voice " 3 little monkyes, 2 turtle doves, and a porridge in a pear tree." I didn't bother to explain that it's a partridge. I ended up downloading the song and proving to her it's 3 french hens. Then, succumbing to defeat that it's not 3 little monkeys, she wanted to know what french hens were. I explained they were like chickens. Now she becomes obstinate and says, "Well, how come they sing about chickens and not monkeys?" I excused myself to use the restroom, came back and she has forgotten, thanks to Nick Jr. being on. I'm sure she will remember her question, probably while I'm driving her to school.

My darling husband, who is a Paramedic Supervisor, is off working. He loves his job, which is an awesome trait. He has been there for 18 yrs now. He has basically grown up at his job. This leaves me with kids almost all the time. But, tonight, the Gods saw how exhausted I am and blessed me with both of my older boys with sleep overs. And tonight the Wizard of Oz is on! Here I have the opportunity to watch a "grown up" show and I'm looking forward to the freaking Wizard of Oz that I have seen a billion times! What in the hell is wrong with me?

I have spent my evening playing Yard Sale with my daughter. She brought out her toys, clothes, her toothbrush, etc. I paid over $1,000 for all her crap and then she tells me that she wants her stuff back! Humpf! Indian Giver!!!

I also want to use this blog as a spot to "preview" a story/novel I'm trying to write. I would love honest opinions. So please, if you get bored and want to read tidbits that I put out there, I would loved feedback, good and bad. Maybe this will give me the incentive to complete it or ditch it.

Thanks for reading my first blog!

Many blessings,