Thursday, August 15, 2013

I Don't Care What They Say, I Am Not Getting Rid Of My Truck

Is there anyone else out there, that no matter what it is, it never turns out right the first time? No matter how much you call yourself preparing. Getting all the necessary information. Making sure you have all the details that can possibly be provided so that NOTHING GOES WRONG. Well HELLO, I am that person.

I am alone this week at work. And if there is ever a time, when weird things happen, it will be, when the new girl is left alone. I get a call from my boss that a deposit needs to be made. Well alright, that sounds simple enough. That would have been the first time I would be wrong that afternoon.

My company currently banks with an establishment that no longer has a location in Quincy. To make this deposit I must go to Tallahassee. I must be there by four o'clock, because that is when they close. I leave at three o'clock to make sure I have plenty of time.

I miraculously find the bank. I say this because I am known to get lost in a paper bag. Now, for people who are not from around here, a lot of our roads are a tad "hilly". But the thing is, when you are riding down Monroe Street you don't realize you are on top of this hill situation. It's only when you turn right off of Monroe into a business establishment that you become aware. Aware of the CLIFF that you fall into, halfway into every parking lot on that side of the road.

I pull into the bank parking lot, drive down the hill and into the Commercial line of the drive thru window. I wait patiently in line for ten minutes. It's now my turn. I pull up to the window, put my deposit into the drawer, the girl pulls it towards her and I wait. Not for long though, because she comes right back to the window and says I must go inside. She is not authorized to take more than $25k per check. Really?? In the Commercial line?

So I pull out of the line, only to find there are no parking spaces on that side of the building. They are all full. So I keep moving forward, thinking I will just circle around. I remember seeing empty spaces on the other side when I drove in. Well now, you can't just "circle round'", oh have to get back out on Monroe. One of the busiest four lane roads in Tallahassee. And you guessed it, I HAVE TO TURN LEFT.

I make it out and back in without mayhem occurring, and I cruise down, trying to find an empty space. I see one and I swing in. I have put my truck in park, when I hear this loud honking. I'm looking around and I don't see anything. But the honking continues. I am getting out of my truck when I hear a guy bellowing from the right side of my vehicle that I am blocking him in. He can't get out of his car.

Well, I certainly was..blocking him. I mean a 40 pound child could not have squeezed out of that door in that space. I get back in my truck and begin to back out. Now I will not lie, I was REALLY, REALLY flustered by now and I was truly REALLY, REALLY close to his vehicle. I began to back out and I swear I could smell the inside of his car from my side of the vehicle. I was THAT CLOSE. He keeps sticking his head out, watching me, while I am sweating, because now not only do I have to avoid scraping up the side of his car I have to worry about whacking his blasted head off in the process as well.

I get about half way out of the space, and someone begins honking. Again. I look around. I can't see anyone. Then I start backing up again. And there goes the honking again. Suddenly I see it origin, it's UP the HILL behind me, which I could not initially see, because I am parked down in the CLIFF. I slam on the brakes, let them pass me, talking loudly to myself and everyone who cannot hear me and then I begin to back up. Again.

Now I was not stupid enough to try and nail that same space again. I spot three empty spaces further down the cliff. I figure I can straddle one or two of those, nobody will park near me, and I will be able to get back out without a problem.

Once  I parked, because of  how the parking lot took a dive, and it was even further down, it felt like my truck wanted to tip over sideways. On top of that, directly in front of me, there was another cliff that made my truck feel like the nose of it was just going to start rolling and never stop. So like the smart driver that I am, I remember to apply my emergency parking brake. I get out of my truck, begin walking towards the bank to go inside and FINALLY make this deposit.

It is now 3:45. And I am standing in line behind about ten people. Little by little everything goes along, people move along, the deposit gets made, and I am walking outside headed towards my truck.

I get in, and believe it or not, I DO remember that my parking brake is on. My husband also owns a Chevrolet truck and you release his brake by just tapping it. I never use mine. I don't know if that's how mine works or not. But I try it. I tap. Nothing. I push harder. Nothing happens.. Other than I'm jamming it tighter down. I start leaning down, fiddling with  my hands, trying to find it by feel. I can't. My mind is screaming "THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE",  as I am getting back OUT of the truck to look. My big behind is bent over and jacked up for all who pass by to see, so I can ram my head underneath my dash to find the release. Finally, I think I see it.

Now because I have jammed the brake VERY tightly with all this "extra" pushing trying to get it released, when I pull that release handle it sort of makes a loud POP! noise and takes a deep lunge forward all at the same time. Now my mind screams " MY VEHICLE IS ROLLING OFF THE CLIFF", when in actuality, it just lunged largely and popped from the pressure. However, since I don't know this in that instant, I jump my big behind back in the vehicle, slamming both feet on the brake as my body is shaking from head to toe. I sit there for about five minutes trying to calm myself. I crank up my truck and begin to back out of my totally isolated parking space.

I promise you, a horn begins to blow. Again. As I am even further down into the cliff, I cannot see worse  than I could not see before. I again, let the guy pass, except this time I have had enough and I lost it. I was flipping him off, flipping my truck off and flipping off the cliff in front of me. I get that out of my system, I drive out of the parking lot and head back to the exit that will take me back onto Monroe Street.

Finally, what seemed like 24 hours ago now, I had promised Zach I would stop and get him Chick Filet sandwich on the way home. It was only about two businesses down from where I was now. All I have to say, is that boy had better be dang glad I had turn right on Monroe. Because after all of that, a need to turn left would have gotten him PB&J for supper.

Midnight Is For Sleeping

Down here in the South, it’s hot. It’s like suffocating; take your breath away, hot. The last thing you want to do is anything that will possibly increase the heat level that is already a given. Nobody wants to run a 10 yard dash in milliseconds. Nobody wants to do push-ups with their faces pressed into the hot, steaming dirt. Nobody wants another human being slamming into them with such force that it boggles the mind and the body for minutes after it’s over. And nobody wants to be awake at midnight doing any of these things.

But that’s how we roll here in Florida. We wait until everyone is asleep and then, by the light of the moon, we begin. Well, except for the parents. The parents aren’t exactly asleep either. They’re sitting in their cars, nodding in and out, until it’s all finally over, awakened now and again by the bellowing of one of the leaders. But for the most part, they are just trying to catch some sleep because they have work tomorrow.

Two a days are here. Football season is here. And these boys know it’s about to get real. Scuffling and tackling each other in the dirt, trying to get a foothold with their cleats that no one can budge.  Sweat pouring from every orifice of their bodies, every single muscle burning as if lit on fire.  And still, there is a Coach in the background, hollering for more. Hollering for faster, harder, quicker, and more.  Hollering for perfection, guts and glory.  Hollering for boys to become men and men to become leaders. 

Because that’s what this game of Football is really all about. It’s about the courage to continue going when nothing is going right. The courage to keep going when you’re tired and beat down, and the courage to know you gave it everything you had. Left no cleat unturned and the field soaked with the sweat and soul of determination.

The game of football holds the secrets of real life. It teaches solidarity, trust, teamwork, pride and united we stand, divided we fall. It’s a brotherhood that will never be the same for the game they played.

So welcome to the season of High School Football 2013. Nap away Mom’s and Dad’s. While you sleep, your boys are making memories. While you sleep your boys are giving it all they’ve got. While you are sleeping, your boys are turning into men.

Friday, August 9, 2013

And The First Day Of School Tradition Continues...SMILE!

As I said all the year of 2012, it was going to be a long year for a lot of new first's. The year 2013 is going to be no different for me.
Last year was about a lot of endings. This year will be about not only how those new endings are affecting me now, but how the new beginnings that came after, are developing.

As I signed onto Face Book this morning I was over taken by the amount of pictures flooding my news feed. Not Happy Friday postings, or TGIF postings, or what are you doing this weekend postings, but picture postings. More specifically, the first day of school picture postings.

This will be the first time in 22 years I have not had a child standing in my doorway or on my sidewalk taking a first day of school picture. Standing there all smiles, or not, depending on the age of course. Ages five through twelve, you can pretty much count on a smile of some sort. Thirteen through eighteen, the growls begin. The frowns, the scowls, and the shoulders bowed, arms crossed stance. For boys anyway. Girls I have found are ALWAYS ready for a picture to be taken. Boys, not so much.

The new school year is about to begin. For the beginners it will be a year of learning to share, that you are not always first, how to be a part of maintaining order, to pick up what you got out, that circle/story time is a time for listening, and that nap times are for real in kindergarten. Some of these things may have already been learned at home or prior day cares by some, but not by all, and adjustments will be new and sometimes difficult at first.

For everyone else, it's about who your new teachers are, will you like them, how cool your book bag is, picking out your newest best outfit for the first day, finding your classes, remembering your locker combination, will all your old  friends still be at your school, who the new kids will be and will everybody like me. Am I pretty enough, funny enough, and smart enough.

For parents, it's another year of memories about to unfold. So many unknowns that are about to happen. For some, the endless homework assignments begin the first day. In this respect, it's back to school for Mom and Dad as well. The lists of school supplies comes home and the rush to Wal-Mart and Target begins. The enforcing ritual of homework and supper first, television last begins again. And the bedtime curfew rears it's ugly, argumentative head once more as well.

But all of this also brings structure back to everyone's lives. Now don't get me wrong, every single school year I was SO ready for summer. I was tried of fussing about homework, studying, projects and deadlines. Tired of finding out about everything at the last minute and racing to the nearest place in town to get a poster board and markers for a project due in 24 hours. But every Fall, I was also ready for school to return to our lives. The roaming at will stopped. Supper was at a regular hour for everyone to sit down together again. And once more everything seemed to have a schedule of sorts. And for the most part, even children like structure and are ready to get back to it. They carry on and whine a bit about it, but they're just as ready to get back to the business of life as we are, after all, school is sort of their 'job' if you will, until real life comes along.

So Happy First Days Of School to one and all. May it be the very best it can be for the all the children, and may the stories they bring home to their parents be bright and full of life and excitement for all there is to come. And for goodness sake, share your pictures and stories if you will, after all, I'm living through you now.