Monday, February 28, 2011

Scoping Out The Neighbors

Scout and Colt's friends used to hang out around here all the time. One time I was cooking dinner when I looked out the carport window and saw the boys and their friends on the carport. I saw, to my shock and horror, a rifle with a scope on it, poking through the fence,  pointed at the church parking lot across the street. People were in the parking lot. One of Scout's stupid friends was pointing Scout's rifle towards the people at the church.

God, I thought, what if somebody at the church sees that barrel and thinks we're a sniper and calls the law! I ran outside and started yelling at them. Scout said they were looking through the scope trying to see something. I realized that the gun had the gun lock on it so it wasn't able to be fired but I still wasn't satisfied. Scout said that they were trying to see if there was anybody on the hill in the woods behind the church. He said Tom* and John* had been chased through the woods beside the church.

Scout and Colt's friends, Tom and John, walked through the woods to get to our house. They said that they had been chased by some men riding four wheelers, wearing camo, and carrying crossbows. They stumbled on a camp in the woods and ran away scared. They said they saw a camp set up and there was a van or box truck in the woods they had been living in. They said the men were Mexican. The more they talked, the more Mexicans there were, and the wilder the story became. It went from two to three, to ten or twenty. The number kept growing and growing.

They kept pointing the rifle, looking towards the hill. Tom tried to point out people he could see in the trees. He kept saying that they were so still that they nearly blended into the background but if you looked real hard you could see them. John kept insisting he saw them, too.

I kept asking the boys questions to see if they were high or something but they looked normal. Well, as normal as you can look when you're telling some outrageous tale. They finally said there were probably 80 Mexicans in the woods. I wasn't buying it.

I went inside and told Donny about the boys and their outlandish tale. I thought the boys were nuts but Donny came outside and tried to see if he could see anything. Tom kept standing next to Donny, patting him on the shoulder, and pointing which way to look and Donny was looking through the scope. I kept asking everybody if anybody else saw anything in the woods but nobody paid attention to me.

We got out the binoculars and tried to see something but we couldn't make out a thing. Donny got it in his mind that somebody should call the sheriff and report the incident. I told him that he could call them if he wanted to but I wasn't. He went inside to call 911. When he came back outside he said that they were going to send someone to check it out.

Donny and the boys went across the street to the church parking lot when the sheriff's cars came. He told the sheriff's deputies that he didn't actually see anything but John and Tom did. The deputies asked them some questions and finally sent one  fat deputy up the hill to see if he could see anything. Tom pointed to a scraggly little pine tree and said they were hiding behind that. The deputy just shook his head in disgust and started back down the hill. He said there wasn't anything up there. Of course, he didn't go very far, either. Scout snickered because they sent the cop who was the most out of shape.

After the deputies left, the boys came back to the house to talk about their strange experience. More details came out.

Tom and John swore that they really saw a bunch of Mexicans in the woods and they were really chased. When everything calmed down Scout and I talked about what would become known as the "80 Mexicans in the woods incident." 

We began to piece things together. I heard things that he didn't hear, and he heard things that I didn't hear. What I thought was initially a few men dressed in camouflage with bows became a major encampment.

As we swapped information we realized that the story was much bigger than we thought it was. Tom told Scout that the Mexicans had beat on the backdoor at their trailer and yelled for them to come outside. Tom said he and John ran out the backdoor and through the woods, trying to get away from them. Then he told Scout about the camp they found and about being chased through the woods by men on four wheelers.

The story was so intense that Scout believed him until Tom kept telling Scout that there was a Mexican in top of a pine tree wearing a white t-shirt and a red cap. He kept saying, "Don't you see him? He's right there." Tom told him that one Mexican was wiping the hood of the church bus with a rag after the deputies left. That's when Scout was sure they were seeing things. He said they had been up all night the night before and were probably hallucinating.

Come to find out they had gotten their friend Sabrina* in trouble the night before when they were riding around and caused Sabrina to have an accident. Their lack of sleep and the paranoia they were feeling from the trouble they had the night before must have caught up with them and caused them to flip out.

Donny was lucky the deputies didn't arrest him for filing a false report. He was just reacting to the excitement around him. The boys were lucky they weren't arrested for making a false statement. They had to take a breathalyzer test before the deputies let them go. I was lucky because I got to see all the excitement right here. I love Resaca. There's never a dull moment.

We have a new rule at our house. Don't call the law unless somebody's dead.

But of course I have a few things to add, lol. That was a crazy night. And I will say even though the guys got me put in jail and my car impounded, I still love them all to death. You forgot to add that I was hiding at your house while everyone was across the street, I had had my feel of officers for one 24 hour period. It was hard to sit back knowing what was going on, but being the girl I was ignored and it all happened so fast I had no time to pull you and scout off to the side to tell you they were not in the right mind state. It took me 3 days to convince Tom that there was not 80 Mexicans in the woods. I eventually had to go into the woods with him so that he could see for himself that there was nothing there. I will never forget the pain in my heart when I saw his face drop and him realizing that he had imagined it all. It is all pretty funny now, but at the moment it was pretty serious. It is funny how things can change in 24 hours, going from having a good day to fighting with people you had never seen to having a wreck and your friends take off only to leave you to go to jail. Then when you get out they are tripping so bad that they have the whole county looking for rouge Mexicans. It was a lesson I hope I have totally learned from. Love all you guys! You keep my life interesting!


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Old Friends

Melissa and Debbie and I were good friends while we were in school. After we graduated we went our separate ways. Debbie and I saw each other sometimes but we lost touch with Melissa until we started having class reunions. Debbie and Melissa have been encouraging me to have a girls night out once a month. I reluctantly go even though I don't like driving after dark. God, I feel old. We are trying to get to know each other again


Debbie and I have a lot in common. We are "only children" so we have always felt a special bond. People never seem to understand that just because you don't have any brothers or sisters, it doesn't make being an only child wonderful. I've actually heard people say, "You are so lucky you don't have a brother," (or sister, or both). Yeah, right. Who do you think your parents are going to blame when something happens? You can't say, "I didn't do it." because they know it has to be YOU. You can't hide anything when you are an only child. I know.
                                                     Now that Debbie and Melissa and I are older we are trying to rebuild our relationship and build a bond with old friends who know who we were before we became who we are today. Melissa and Debbie are kind and non-judgmental and supportive. It's nice to have old friends come back into your life.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Chia Obama


My Christmas present from Kim.

I've been passing time waiting for spring trying to get my chia pet to grow. I can't get him looking all full and pretty like chia pets look on TV so I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I'm going to try again soon.

No matter how you feel about politics you've got to love the Obama chia pet. I'm having about as hard of a time trying to grow my chia pet as Obama is having trying to grow the economy. I hope the new economy doesn't send us all to debtors prison. I don't look good in stripes. Smile, yall, things will get better. They always do.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

More Excitement in Resaca

Today Scout and I were standing on the carport when we noticed a car pull into the church parking lot at the Resaca Church of God. A man got out of his car, talking on his cell phone. He started walking away from his car swiftly. When I looked back at his vehicle again, it was on fire. There was fire all on the ground underneath the front of the car.

Donny and Scout took an old fire extinguisher over to the church and tried to put out the fire. The fire extinguisher ran out of foam too quick so they weren't able to put it out.

A Georgia State Patrol saw the fire as he was riding by so he called the fire department. He didn't offer to get out of his car to help or get out his fire extinguisher to put out the fire. He used his intercom to announce that he had contacted someone.

Two fire trucks came to put out the fire and they doused out the flames all around the car. They flooded the dash with water, too.

I talked to the gentleman who was driving the vehicle. His name is Josh Freeman. He said that he threw out a rod and then the car caught on fire. I didn't know that your vehicle could catch on fire from throwing a rod.

Thanks to Colt for helping me download my pictures.

It's always something!


Friday, February 11, 2011

Only The Lonely

Valentine's Day seems like the only holiday that makes single people feel sad and lonely. It seems like everywhere you look there are lovers. People are kissing and cooing and being all syrupy and sickening. Or, it feels that way when you're single. I know because I used to feel that way when I was single. I longed for the romance and adoration of a lover who would ply me with sweet Valentine cards and candy. I dreamed of having a romantic candle-light dinner for two at a fancy restaurant. I wanted to be loved and adored. Who wouldn't?

One year around Valentine's Day I was lonely and blue. My boyfriend and I had broken up and I was down in the dumps about it. Valentine's Day only seemed to add insult to injury. I told my aunt that I was sad because I didn't have a boyfriend for Valentine's Day. She gave me a piece of advice I'll pass along to you.

"Why don't you order some flowers and have them delivered to yourself? You can sign the card 'Your Secret Admirer', or something. That way, if anyone sees the flowers, they will think that you have a boyfriend. You won't have to tell them you sent the flowers to yourself."

I thought about it and decided she had a good idea. I went to a flower shop and paid for a bouquet of red roses and filled out a card. I asked them to send them to my apartment. I went home and waited anxiously for my delivery.

When the florist pulled up in front of my apartment I waited excitedly by the front door. I opened the door but I didn't see anyone else around. Darn! I put on an act for the delivery man and gushed over my flowers. After he left, I felt let down because my performance had been for naught. Without anyone else to see the flowers what good did it do?

Over the next few days I had some visitors but nobody seemed interested in my flowers. Nobody asked where they came from. My ex-boyfriend came by, eventually, to harass me but he didn't even mention the flowers. I doubt he even noticed them. He certainly didn't give me any flowers or candy or anything for Valentine's Day. Oh well.

If you don't think anyone will send you anything for Valentine's Day you can always treat yourself. Just be sure to send the flowers to your job. If you live alone you won't be able to impress anyone and you might come out looking like a loser. Lots of luck. I never did get my candle-light dinner.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Little Debbie's Tall Tale

I was sixteen years old when my parents bought me a car for my birthday. It was a used light green '67 Camaro. I was so proud to have my own car. I liked to load up the car with my cousins or my friends and cruise around downtown Dalton.

The summer I got my car, my two cousin's named Debbie got to come visit my grandmother. My cousin Debbie B and I were very close, because we were two of my grandmother's granddaughters. My other cousin Debbie G was our second cousin, my grandmother's neice. We weren't around her very often so we used that vacation to get to know each other better. She lived in Michigan. Both girls were fourteen years old.

Every time we would go some place Debbie and Debbie would argue about who should sit in the front bucket seat beside me. My cousin Donna went to the store or riding around with us, too, but they didn't let her sit up front. This went on for a while until I finally told them that Donna could start sitting up front because they never let her. The poor girls had to sit in the back seat of the Camaro. Those were not comfortable seats. Donna got to sit up front and could actually see what was happening. She was nine years old and wasn't very tall. She was so happy to have her turn.

We had a wonderful time together talking and visiting. Debbie G was a Catholic so my cousin Debbie B and I would ask her questions about being a Catholic. She taught us how to make the sign of the cross like Catholics. I had been doing it all wrong. She was fascinating, to me, partly because she was a yankee but partly because she was so talented. I also thought her accent was adorable.

Debbie G could sing like an angel. She sang one song so beautifully that I always got goosebumps listening to her. She sang "Why Does The World Go On Turning?". I think Skeeter Davis sang the original song. She would listen to the record over and over and over again, playing it on her little record player until she because perfect at singing it. She also listened to songs to learn to play the guitar. She was very talented.  Any time company came to Beulah's and PawPaw's, PawPaw made Debbie sing for them. She was a natural.

Debbie G told me she liked to sing because she wanted to make her daddy proud. She said that he wanted her to go to Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry someday. I couldn't imagine having such a big dream but I knew that Debbie G had enough talent to make it if she wanted to.

My grandmother let us sleep upstairs in her front bedroom. I can remember talking until dawn and the early morning mist rose dancing across the neighbor's lawn as daylight creeped in gradually. I remember talking about our lives and our loves and our dreams. I remember the hot, suffocating heat mixed with the smell of cedar, and a slight musty smell from all the quilts and bedding that hadn't been aired out for a long time. The upstairs at Beulah's was a treasure chest. There was no telling what you might discover in some nook or cranny. We were free to play and clean and snoop in drawers and chests and attic closets with endless dark spaces. We could play house or anything our minds could imagine.

One thing I remember clearly about one night was a confession Debbie G made to Debbie and me. She told us about her boyfriend, Butch, who was a soldier in Viet Nam. Butch was about five years older than she was. She said that when he got out of the army she wanted them to move to Georgia and live. She said she loved it here. Debbie told Beulah and anyone who would listen that she and Butch were engaged.

My grandmother had a habit of promising people in the family some land to build a house on. Beulah told Debbie G that she would give her and Butch an acre of land to build a house on when they got married. Debbie really believed her. Over the years, Beulah promised a lot of people land. She even told people she babysat for that she wanted them to live near her and would like to give them some land. I don't know why my grandmother said those things but people believed her. She never did give the land to anyone but her own children.

During that summer visit Debbie G opened up to Debbie B and me about her relationship with Butch. She told us that she and Butch were so much in love that they had eloped before he was shipped out to Viet Nam. She said they had gone to a justice of the peace and gotten married. She asked us not to tell anybody about it until after Butch got out of the army and came back home.

I couldn't believe that Debbie G was really married. How could somebody marry someone so young? I thought that Debbie G was making up stories. Although Debbie B and I questioned Debbie over and over again she stuck to her story.

Debbie G's father came back to pick her up and take her home. Debbie B and I didn't see her again for a very long time. I never told anyone in the family about Debbie G's claim because I thought she was lying and I didn't want to look like an ass because I believed her, which I didn't.

We learned that Butch was killed in Viet Nam when the truth came out. Debbie G's parents told my grandmother that two soldiers came to their house looking for Debbie G after Butch died. Debbie G had been the beneficiary on Butch's insurance and they came to give her the check. They said that she was the legal beneficiary because she and Butch had gotten married. That was when her parents found out about Debbie's marriage.

Although Debbie G was very young and only a child herself she proved herself to be very mature and honorable. Her parents told Beulah that Debbie G refused to accept Butch's life insurance and asked them to give the money to his parents instead. As incredible as Debbie's story was, it was true. Although she loved Butch with all her heart she showed more maturity and an open heart than anyone I can think of because she thought of his family instead of herself. That's amazing when you think about it.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ronnie and Donnie

My mother used to tell me stories about when she lived in Louisiana for a while when she was young. She lived with her cousin's family and helped babysit. They had twin boys that looked alike but their personalities were as different at night and day. Moma told me about Ronnie and Donnie running around and playing when she took them to the university to fly kites. She also told me how cute they were when they got tricycles for Christmas. Ronnie would immediately jump on his trike to ride but Donnie would flip his trike over and try to take it apart. Maybe it's the other way around.  I'm not sure.

I hated Ronnie and Donnie, and I didn't even know them. I was jealous of them for knowing my momma when she was young and fun. I don't remember momma running around flying kites and playing with me. Since Ronnie and Donnie were such a thorn in my side it seems odd to me that my life has led along those paths.

My first official boyfriend was a boy I met when I started to school at Valley Point. We rode the school bus together. I remember watching him talk and laugh and flash his big beautiful smile and I was smitten. He liked me. He talked to me and was so sweet and funny that I couldn't help falling for him.

When Moma got wind of my little crush, she made a big deal about it. I don't remember if I wanted to give Ronnie a present for Christmas or Valentine, or if Moma suggested it, but I started giving Ronnie presents. I became so predictable that Ronnie started giving me cards and small gifts in return. This went on for two years and some kids began to tease me for having a crush on Ronnie. I realized that I was being silly and nobody else was giving people gifts like that. I quit giving Ronnie gifts and tried to hide my feelings. I started wondering if Ronnie really wanted to give me those gifts or if his mother was making him give me something so I wouldn't get my feelings hurt. I didn't want a pity gift.

By the time we were in high school, Ronnie appeared to have forgotten about me, but I didn't forget about him. I watched him and saw that he was growing up to be a handsome and friendly young man. Although I had many other crushes in between I still had a soft spot in my heart for him because he was so sweet. When he started dating a classmate, I thought she wasn't worthy of him.  

My second crush was Joel, the fleet-foot runner. We were in the first grade together. I didn't give him presents but I did like to sit close to him and talk to him. Moma said she came to pick me up from class one day and looked in the little window in the door. She said I was sitting in a tiny little wooden chair leaning it back and talking up a storm to my classmates. She said my panties were shining. So much for modesty. And, so much for thinking I was shy in the first grade. It sounds like I was the class tease.

I usually tried to keep my feelings to myself but I would develop these huge crushes every spring. By the time I was in the third grade I developed a huge crush on a friend named Chris. He was cute with big dark eyes and dark hair. He lived near my cousin's and I got to see him when I visited them. He was a couple of days older than me and we started competing with one another.

One time we decide to have a foot race. Since we were in town we had paved streets to run on. My  cousins lived on Jones street but there was a little used road that went up a hill nearby. Chris and I were going to race each other down the paved road. Donna and Butch were supposed to judge the winner.

We started running down the hill, picking up speed, and couldn't slow down. Suddenly, a car came up Jones street and saw us kids racing into the road. Instead of slamming on his breaks, he swerved towards us and stopped in the middle of the road. Chris swerved one way, and I swerved the other. I ran into the undergrowth at the corner of the road and grabbed the concrete street sign. (Remember those?)

I was huffing and puffing and my heart was beating like a drum. I looked at the man in the car and he smiled at me, then reversed his car, and drove on up the road. He scared the crap out of us to teach us a lesson, I guess. Chris and I were lucky we weren't run over. Chris and I liked each other until I went to camp that summer. When I came back he told he that he met a girl at the swimming pool and she was skinny. Thanks for that little zing. I wasn't fat. I was just, sort of, chubby.

When you're young you can't imagine where your life will lead. Along the way I've had lots of bumps and bruises but my life has led me in a circle. I ended up with a Donnie, after all. My Donnie is a sweetie, too. He may be getting old and crotchety sometimes but he can't hold a candle to me. Bless his heart, he has to put up with me. That would make anybody crotchety.

I have a good and kind husband who thinks I am crazy sometimes but he still loves me. I know because he told me so. That counts for something. Half the time he doesn't have a clue what I am talking about, and the other half of the time he can't hear what I am saying. He's always worked around machinery and his hearing isn't real good. Either that, or he's just ignoring me. Hey! Men. You have to watch them.

As Always


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Brass Balls

Where do people get the nerve? That's what I'd like          to know. Over the years we have had several strange people who want to impose on us. I don't know why, but they do and it's not even people that we know. I don't know their names or know where they live and, like Rhett Butler, "frankly, my dear I don't give a damn." Strangers would come knocking on our door and ask to use our telephone.

We have had numerous people come to our door expecting me to let them use the telephone. It was really creepy to let strangers into my home when I was alone. I finally bought a cordless telephone so I wouldn't have to let these strangers into my house.

Every time anyone asked to use the phone they have said it was because they were having some trouble and needed to call someone. Well hell, pardon my French, but if they are having trouble in their homes I sure don't need them bringing it over here. I've got troubles of my own and I sure as heck don't go running around the neighborhood when I am in a crisis trying to get my neighbors to help me. They probably wouldn't anyway.

My family was in the living room watching TV and I was in the kitchen when we heard somebody knocking on the outside door of the house one time. Our friends know to come on into the porch and knock on the inside door. That was my first clue. I turned on the outside light and looked out to see who was out there. I saw a stranger.

A young woman stood outside. She asked me to let her use the telephone. I scowled at her and reluctantly growled, "Well, okay." I turned to go get the phone to take to the porch but she followed me into the living room and took the phone from my hand. She said the line was busy and she asked if she could stay here until the line wasn't busy. She told me she had been throwing up and some guy had been putting the make on her while she was puking. Can you imagine? Anyway, she said that she had been having trouble and needed to call someone for a ride. I think she had been drinking or something. She might have been one of the neighborhood crack hos. I don't know.

I was really pissed. I told her that I really didn't want her waiting around to use the telephone. I said "I'd like to know why everybody seemed to think this was some kind of open house where they could stop in and use the phone and ask for a drink of water." I said that because she had the nerve to ask me to pour her a glass of water while she was standing there. I told her "I might as well since everybody in the world seemed to think this was some kind of restaurant or something." She kept talking about being sick until I finally told her, sarcastically, that really made me want to let her use my phone. I told her that it looks like strangers who didn't even know us but who thought it was perfectly fine to come by wanting to borrow something ought to have the decency to come by when they weren't wanting something to meet me and my family and maybe buy honey from us. We sold honey and had a great big old sign by the road when we had honey for sale. She finally handed me the glass and the telephone and said she would leave. She never did answer my question.

Oh yeah, I don't want to forget to mention that she came by that same summer while Donny and I were struggling to lift and carry the huge storm windows off of the windows so that I could clean them and put them back up. She came up to the door and asked to use the phone. Donny gave the phone to her and she stood out front, in our way, while she was trying to call somebody. She could see we were very busy. I was on the makeshift scaffold cleaning the windows when she asked me for a glass of water. I got her a glass of water but I was pissed to think that some kook would be bothering me when it was obvious that I was busy and didn't need to have her here. I'm just too nice, I guess. I was more pissed that I didn't run her off.

I'd like to know why everybody seems to think that anything we've got we should share with them. I wouldn't mind so much if it was friends or relatives but these people are crazy. God knows what they are into. There are lots of loonies around here. I did help friends and neighbors sometimes but they didn't usually bother the crap out of me, either. They knew better. "Neither a borrower, nor a lender, be." I remember Daddy and PawPaw shared tools but PawPaw had most of the tools and Daddy did most of the work on the farm. It was communal living because we lived by my grandparents and my aunts. We never borrowed from the neighbors, though, because they weren't kin. That would be presumptuous and rude.

One time I got so tired of strangers coming and asking to use the telephone that I put a sign on the door that said "Phone Calls $5 - Emergency Only" and people quit coming for a while. That worked okay until God finally blew the storm door off the hinges! Honest. A real strong storm came up and blew the storm door off the hinges. I was amazed. It was a flimsy door but it shouldn't have blown off the porch. I figured it was God's way of telling me to be nice. I didn't put the sign back up again. I don't want God to blow the porch away next time.

I don't mind helping anybody who honestly needs help. There is always somebody who's car breaks down and they pull over near the church across the street. I can see that people like that are probably on the up and up. That's when I don't mind lending my cordless phone. But I don't want to get into some no-account neighbor's problems, who may be sick and breathing germs on my phone, exposing my family to god knows what. They can go bother someone else. I truly believe that we meet angels, unaware, but I don't like being taken advantage of and I don't have to put up with it.


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