Girls Without Shoes

December 4, 2009

Another Year, Another Turkey

I will admit I have been a bitter turkey baker these last few years.  If you know me, you know that.  If you have read my stories, you know that.

Each year after the meal, I say bitterly, “Why did I bother?”  The meal lasts 5 minutes, then my mother goes and lays down, then complains later, while my husband just watches football and continues to make mess after mess in the kitchen throughout the rest of the day and night.  My married son has dinner with his in-laws and their huge family.  My daughter is in and out.

I am usually left with a huge mess, an exhausted check book, and extremely sore feet.  Exhaustion of my body sets in from the pre-holiday stress of shopping, worrying, cleaning, etc.  I usually feel a little “ruined”  for a couple of days afterward.

Each year, I put myself through all of this mind crap about how on Thanksgiving, all families except mine, look and feel like the smiling Norman Rockwell paintings. 

All families, other than mine, are surrounded by loving, laughing, fun family and friends, who share in the preparation and cooking of this huge meal. 

All families, other than my own, play board games, or go play in the snow together after the big meal, then decorate the outside of the house for Christmas, then sit in front of a nice warm fireplace and drink hot cocoa, or spiked eggnog together, talking and laughing. 

This year, I told my husband we are going out for dinner.  He did not want to.  I was determined, but then a turkey appeared, and I eventually decided, I would cook.

I had most of the dinner items by the weekend before, so my shopping was minimal.  When I got home on Thanksgiving Eve after a second round of shopping, I was looking forward to cooking a meal for my family. 

My husband had helped out tremendously by vacuuming and mopping the floors, thus eliminating big piles of dog hair.  I really dislike cooking with dog hair on the floor, (we have a long-haired retriever).

I prepared as much of the food as possible the night before and got to bed at a decent hour, rising to finish the rest of the meal in the morning.  It was the easiest time I had ever had fixing a Thanksgiving feast. 

It was only the 3 of us at dinner, and though a little sadness always creeps in as you remember your parents and/or other family members who aren’t there and long for times past, you realize that you actually enjoyed making this dinner for the people you love.

My husband tried to dive in without the blessing having been said, and I stopped him.   “Hey you, wait a minute!”  I tell him.  Though we don’t daily say a blessing before we eat, there are a few holidays that I insist on it. 

 I look at my husband and mother and say, “Well guys, they are dropping like flies around here, it’s just us.”  and we ask God to bless our food, family and friends and thank Him for all He has provided. 

I realize that I would indeed miss this feast of thanks if I canceled Thanksgiving.

November 11, 2009

A Dad Is A Dad

Filed under: non-fiction,short pieces,Uncategorized — girlswithoutshoes @ 9:57 pm

Your Dad is just your Dad, when you are young and don’t really have any thoughts or worries about the future.   If he is a good Dad, he takes care of your, nutures you and protects you, raising you into the person he wants and hopes that you will become some day.  He plays with you and goes to all of your Little League Games or Piano Recitals.  He trys to talk with you about Politics.  He encourages you to speak Spanish.

On the weekends, he fills a mop bucket with Pinesol and announces that it is time for you and your brother to get up out of bed and get your rooms cleaned.  The drill sergeant in him comes out of hiding.

If you are caught saying a bad word, watch it, the bottle of hot sauce finds it’s way on your tongue!  Just a drop or two.   Effective.   Occasionally a spanking happens.  The old fashioned way.  Not the abusive way spoken  of today.  You are no worse the wear for it.

You and your Bro are lined up to take a spoon full of honey each night just before bedtime, as it is said to help curtail bed wetting.  It doesn’t work.  It is your Dad’s fault anyway, the hereditary gene comes from him.

You play in the yard with your dog while he gardens.  When he mows the lawn, you walk behind him with your palms on his levi back pockets, fascinated by the way his butt cheeks move as he walks.  (You are about 2 or 3 years of age at this point. )

When watching a Saturday afternoon movie on t.v. with him, a heavy love scene comes on and he turns the channel mumbling that children don’t need to be watching that crap.  Protecting you.

When he goes overseas for a while year at a time, you are devastated and miss him so much.  A year is an unfathomable amount of time for a child.

When your mom has a nervous breakdown, he comes back from overseas and makes arrangements for relatives to take care of you for the rest of the year.  You are well taken care of, in a fun place with cousins you love, but the sadness and missing your parents leave a hole in your belly like none other.

He builds you a bedroom from the garage and paints it “apple blossom pink”  and he is your hero.  Your black piano looks very nice against those extremely pale pink walls.

When nightmares cause you to wake screaming, “Daddy!”  He comes running and says everything is alright.

He kills bugs for you.

He teaches you to drive.

He worries about you and searches for you and calls the police when you run away for a night just to keep your best friend from having an adventure on her own.

He smacks you with a flyswatter when you smart mouth him and his best friend at 15 years old.  Very humiliating

You don’t realize the importance of his having served in the Army Air Corp in World War II as a bombadier until after he has passed from this life and you are grown.  You don’t appreciate the stories of his having “bailed out over France ” into German territory and how terrifying it must have been. You don’t realize the sacrafices he made for you, or your country,even if he wasn’t perfect. 

You do realize the gaping hole in your heart as you are with him on the day of his death, and the excruciating pain you feel in the loss. 

You do still feel some sadness and the emptiness when you go to the Veteran’s Cemetery and his is just one decorated patch of grass among so many nameless. 

As you gaze across the vast greeness and the sea of red, white and blue flags, you feel proud and sense the proudness he felt in serving his country.

Thanks Dad.

October 25, 2009

Thar’s a Junk Car Out Thar ……….

Filed under: Humor,non-fiction,short pieces,Uncategorized — girlswithoutshoes @ 4:58 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Oh no, there is now a junk car out in front of my house.  It is my Husband’s car.  Will this madness never end?  He once had a ’69 Mustang Mach- 1 about  30 years ago that he did not or could not fix.  It sat and it sat and it sat at his parents’ house.  One day to appease his Dad, he moved it out to his Sister’s house in the country where  it sat, and sat, and sat.  From time to time somebody would spot it and stop and ask if it was for sale, but no it was not for sale.  This used to drive me nuts.  Actually, still does.

The Mustang sat for about 5 years before he sold it along with the  bee’s nests etc. inside.  He got very little money for it.  I never understood the neglect and stubbornness in this regard and am  still not sure I do.

After years of frustration and brain paining thoughts on the subject, the only thing  I could figure out was/is:

  • No. 1,  my Husband is the biggest procrastinator I have ever met.
  • No. 2 ,my Husband will not admit when he does not know how to fix something.  It must be a man thing.
  • No. 3 , my Husband will let something sit and rot before getting rid of it.   He loved that car so much that he would rather see  it sit            there and rot before selling it to someone.

What bizarre behavior in this man beast, that I again, love-hate.    Now, if duct tape could have been used to fix that car, I am sure you would have witnessed the first ever duct-tape covered 1969 Mustang Mach 1 with a 351 engine strapped or wired  to it’s underbelly rumbling down the streets.

He loved this car so much that he never got over it.  He still looks at Mustangs to this day,  which really pisses me off.

He actually did buy a second one  later on, a sleek beauty from 1972 and  I thought,  he has  nerve.  I told him, “Don’t let this one sit and rot please.”

He has never listened to me a day in his life and wasn’t about to start now.  Of course, he hot rodded it around town, thinking he was a cool  40 year old guy,  listening to cassette tapes so loud it was embarrassing.  I hated the second Mustang.  To me it represented his “mid-life”  crisis. I envisioned him with his ears laid back as he drove maddening speeds with maddeningly loud rock and roll that was a little after “our time”, hoping some cute chicks would not be able to resist his savoir faire .

We needed a family car, our children were still at home then, and he gets another hot rod.  For Pete’s Sake.

Well, it didn’t get any better.  The car went to his head.  He became that car as he went on a spree, an 8 month runner of partying with his buddies, doing God knows what.  I had made him leave after the first month of this crap, needless to say.

After 8 months, he talked me into letting him come back home.  Actually, he just came over and wouldn’t leave.  He is still here and it is 15 years later.

The junk car that is sitting in front of our house is not a Mustang, nor anything lovely.  It is just an old family car that is no longer worth keeping.  We will sell it for $50.00 to a young guy who has been “jonesin'” for it.  The young man will have a party with his buddies and beat the car up and run it over with trucks with huge tires, so he is excited about it.

Maybe if I throw in an extra $50.00 I can talk him into taking the Hubby for a ride too.


June 5, 2009

Waiting To Hear ………

Filed under: non-fiction,short pieces — girlswithoutshoes @ 4:08 am

I wait to hear the news, how everything ends up.  God, I hope and pray everything will be okay for them.  It is devastating to them, I am sure.

I have not known these folks long, but yet it seems like I always have.  I just can’t stand the helpless feeling.  Unable to help them, unable to console, or give hugs out.  Still helpless , at a loss for words, I hang up the phone as I know not what to say.  There is nothing to do, they are too many miles away.

I do hear later on that their puppy and cat are okay, thank God for that.  I do hear that some amazing firemen grab a precious guitar or two and a laptop full of thoughts, emotions and life.  I am glad for that.  Glad for them, that they are at least safe and unhurt.

Lord, please comfort them tonight, give them peace and rest.    Strengthen them for the days to come and meet their needs.   Thank you that these friends are safe.  Send them my love………….

May 29, 2009

Coffee In A Hick Town

Filed under: Humor,short pieces — girlswithoutshoes @ 5:18 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

I had a short career at waitressing and actually loved it.  I worked at a little Mom and Pop Cafe in a tiny little hick town.  The best place to be, I say is a “small town”.  Love the small town life, most of the time.

There was a particular elderly trio of friends whom I had waited on a few times and I remember thinking how cute these senior customers were.  It was a little gentleman in a suit accompanied by two very prim and proper ladies.  The ladies wore blazers and skirts  in tasteful colors with their hair done just so, along with pearls etc.   At first I  was a little intimidated by them as they seemed awfully, “hoity toity” to me.

Each time they would come into the cafe, they would ask for coffee and pie, and they would split the pie 3 ways.   When their coffee got halfway down in the cup, they would motion me over again saying, “More coffee please dear”.   Their manners were impeccable, the ladies acting as if they were having high tea with the Queen, actually lovely to behold.

Once after refilling their cups, one of the ladies took a sip of the hot brew and looked up at me and almost growled out in the most dignified way, “Aw, but that’s damned good coffee”.   Surprised, I laughed and agreed thinking these folks were the cutest I had ever met.

I also love small town cafes and well, any good old coffee diner will do.  I love to sit and drink coffee and shoot the breeze with my friend, or read the newspaper, just chill out and relax.  Until recently, I had forgotten just how much I loved it.

I hold my friend somewhat responsible for this coffee diner-cafe fetish thing, though, actually I probably should blame my Mom first.  She was a coffee cafe kind of girl herself, now that I think of it.

A memorable time for me that I shared with my Mother, when I was a kid, was a trip to the local cafe for my first real hot fudge sundae.   I am not talking about the kind you can get at a drive through now a- days, but the good old fashioned kind.    I watched as the waitress grabbed for a pretty glass dessert dish,  swirling that ebony wonderful smelling goo around the inside of the dish then adding hand scooped vanilla ice cream.   Another ladle  of the fudge followed.  I had never seen a sundae before, and was practically salivating as she swooshed on the spray whipped cream, followed by chopped nuts and a maraschino cherry on top.    She sat it down before me with a flourish saying, “There you go young lady” and just as I had expected, it was love at first bite.   As I sat there downing the decadent masterpiece, swinging my legs  from the stool and half twirling this way and then that, I could not understand how my Mother could only drink black coffee as she smiled at me eating this delicious concoction.

Later, I fell in love with the whole soda fountain, coffee shop type atmosphere, but it definitely got worse when my daughter was small and I was a stay at home mom.  I did not drive either so when my friend came along and said, “Let’s go for coffee”,  we would grab little Salli-o by the hand and haul her off to the local cafe, where we would drink countless cups of black coffee and smoke the heck out of our cigarettes and gab, gab, gab.   We would get interrupted seven thousand times by my daughter, and would get sidetracked trying to keep her from sneak drinking the little creamers.  She’d sneak one and just giggle.  Sigh, she didn’t really need the extra calories at that time either, as she was a pudgy little girl.

This became a favorite past time of ours often annoying our husbands as they thought we should be home doing women stuff.  This also became a time when my friend and I got to know each other very well and gained each other’s trust.  Seventeen years later  we still try to go for coffee now and then.  Not as much as we used to as our lives seem busier in some ways now.

Salli-O has grown up, (though she still would like to drink the creamers, I know her weak spots).   I am  now a grandmother and  care for my elderly Mom.  My friend is planning a wedding and we are both growing a little older, (we are sure we are still cute though).   Our coffee times have become scarcer than they were and somehow more precious.

Yes, our lives have changed, we have been through much and will go through more, but from time to time we get together to drink  coffee and ask for more.   I am almost always reminded of those dear elderly friends and look up at my friend as I say, “Aw, that is some damned good coffee”.  We smile and laugh and talk some more hoping that we will be doing this many times more even when we reach their age.

May 14, 2009

I Am Not Kiddin’

I am an angry woman.  Bitter I tell ya.  My husband is a dysfunctional man whom is a cross between Fred Flintstone and Archie Bunker.  I could go on and on.  Yes I love- hate him

First I am mad at him because he thinks he knows more than a veterinarian, who has advised us that our dog should not eat animal products other than his dog food as he had an inflamed pancreas.   This Fred- Bunker man whom I love-hate decides to bring spareribs home for the dog.  I tell him “No no, he cannot have that.”  My husband responds intelligently to this with “Aw B.S.!”, literally.

Thus is my life with this man.  I then go out to the back porch and proceed to throw my body across the top of my washing machine to keep it from being off balance as nothing else seems to work.

It sounds like it is full of bricks and is going into a wild orbit which will lead it down my back steps.  Oops! I almost forgot , don’t have a back step either, just a decrepit ramp.  When griping to my friend on the phone , she queries, “What is that God- awful noise ?”,  so I explain.

She then tells me “You know they have little feet on them to level the thing.”   I tell her that I have heard such stories, but no one ever does that here.

Then I ask if she remembers the refrigerator that sat in my yard for way, way too long.  One day I got so upset at that thing and at  Mr. Bunker man that I love- hate for it still being there.

I began to plot and voiced out loud how I was going to push that thing, with the strength of a maniac into the road, and fire on it with a double barreled shotgun, that I do not own, but would get somehow.  My husband’s friend looked at me in alarm.  I just secretly smiled.

Thank God it never came to that.  It seems like I have to loose total control and go ape- shit for someone to get it through their head, over and over and over, that I do not want to live with appliances or junk cars in my yard.  No brother in laws either p-lueez…….. or cousins staying in the garage or the camper.

Sigh……….. Please God take me away………………..

April 13, 2009

She’s Only 22………

She’s only 22 and has 3 children under the age of 5.   Her Mother is raising them and has given up hope for her, well, almost.  She sent her back home to her family for help, for more rehab.  The 5th time she has been in a rehabilitation unit.  This time she walked away from it, didn’t even give it a chance, just detoxed and left.

I guess it had been at least 6 years since I saw her.  She was then a teenager with long dark hair, long legs and beautiful olive skin.  She was troubled looking casting her eyes downward when spoken to.   Her aversion to looking you in the eye was a by product of her years of abuse by her stepfather.

It all made perfect sense later when we found out the ugly, awful truth.  The quiet somewhat shy girl, who later could not look anyone in the eye even stopped laughing or smiling like she used to.  There was something about her, a feeling you got that you could not quite put your finger on.  A gut feeling that should have been paid closer attention to……… all of us.

When her stepfather started keeping her contact with anyone outside of their home to a minimum it really made you wonder.  It was not long after that he was found out and subsequently sent to prison.  Good riddance you say and rightly so, however……….

The physical abuse stopped and she and her family moved away to another state.  Years later, her stepfather is back out in the world doing God only knows what while her life is in shambles………..still.

The promiscuity that followed seemed ironic to me,  yet I believe that may be  typical.  I am no expert on abuse and the aftermath, but from what I have witnessed, self- abuse stays on inside the victim.

The heavy drug addiction that followed should probably not have been a surprise, yet it was.  Why you wonder?  You get rid of the bastard, put him away and she is free to live her life.  Free to recover and heal and move on to the life that she deserves.  But, it does not happen that way.

She has ulcers on her arms, and scars on her once lovely face.  You can see the beauty that was there only a few short years ago.  Her teeth look like they are on their way out also.

It was quite shocking to see her.  I wanted to hug her and say what happened to you and why?      But instead I just hugged her and said, “Hey there, what are you doing? ”  I did not have to ask how, I could see how she was doing.

I knew what had happened without being in her life all of those years.  I did not want to be close to her, did not really want to hug her until I saw her.   Afraid of her addiction touching my life, as it was already touched by another family member’s addiction, there was no room for more.

But, when I saw her I felt like crying, the sadness weighs heavily on me now, even as I write this.

I realize that the abuser has served his time and is free, while the victim, my once sweet little niece has a destroyed life.  Her children do not have a mother that is whole.  All are affected.

It is sad that punishing the abuser does not change things, but there can never be justice for something of this nature.  It is just not possible.

Maybe she would have become a junkie anyway, even with a normal childhood.  I will never know the answer.

I do believe that there is a point where she has a choice,  to either nurture or punish herself, but it still angers me to my core.  This chain of events that he has set off.  This ruination of a life or her offspring’s lives.

It angers me that he is free while she may never be………………………………….

April 9, 2009

Please Tell My Jeans That I Am Not Fat, Only That They Shrunk


Put them on. This is sometimes easier said than done and may require lying on your back and wiggling into the things.


Make sure you can breathe and give them the squat test. If you squat down and the button flies off or they immediately rip, you may want to go a size up. If not, proceed to the next step.


Look in the mirror. Be honest. If you have love handles spilling over the waistband or your butt looks like stuffed sausage, you may want to pick a different pair of pants.


Pick the right shoes. Tight jeans with stilettos can be sleazy. Tight jeans with riding boots, combat boots, thick clunky sandals or flats can look cool.


Top them off with the proper top. Since the jeans are so tight, you may want to wear a looser blouse or longer top. It can still be sexy, but don’t make it skintight, have massive cleavage or otherwise make a giant statement. Your jeans are making statement enough.



I found the above post on e, LOL>

April 4, 2009

Steaming up the Kitchen

I just want to know why when it is 100 degrees outside, why oh why, would John-Wayne want me to cook for him instead of going to dinner? It was hotter than the hubs of hell outside and if I cooked dinner it would be hell inside the house also. Hell for me, I can’t take the heat anyway. Our old house had a crazy old swamp cooler in the living room that worked great for that room. It was basically a fan with hay around it and a garden hose screwed into the side. The cool air never reached the kitchen area. So on this particular day, after a day’s work, no I did not want to cook, with a passion. It was against my law, against my being, against all of my beliefs.

Like I said before, I did not drive in those days, so just jumping in the car and taking myself and the kids to dinner was not an option. Damned John-Wayne, he just wanted to sit in front of the cooler, in his boxers, drinkin’ a beer and watchin’ the t.v. and have me serve him. How could he be so cruel? Did he not know that it would kill me to cook tonight? I told him. He just wanted me to cook. Damn.

I really did not think he cared about me, he surely could not love me. There was no brutality required here. I was a princess, darn him, did he not realize that? Maybe I would get my princess crown out and remind him of that fact. I mean geez, I was once Miss Tomato Queen in my teen years. Well that was an idea, why not? Maybe he would realize just what a prize for a wife he had and then he would take me to dinner.

I went up stairs to the hot bedroom and rummaged around in the back of my closet finding what I was looking for. Ah, there it was, the Tomato Queen dress and banner, along with the crown I kept in a box on the top shelf. I put on the dress made of red taffeta and green lace. It still fit, though barely. The skirt was so short, right up to my behind. Geez, it did not seem so short in my Tomato Queen years. The bodice was low cut showing cleavage. That’s alright, I thought, I still got it, why not shake it? I slipped the green satin banner across my shoulder and under my arm. The crown went on my head. I looked in the mirror, not bad for a twenty something wife and mother. On went the red high heels and down the stairs I pranced, sweating all the way.

J.W. just laughed and said, “Hey look at Ma”. Sally-O chirped, “You look pretty Mama”. I went and paraded in front of John-Wayne and the cooler to see the effect it had on him. “Well?”, I asked him. “It is such a shame to have to go cook dinner in this outfit, but off I go!” John-Wayne’s eyes got big and his mouth dropped open and he said, “hey baby”, but I just sashayed into the kitchen to begin the stupid dinner he wanted, thinking he might just stop me . Revenge is sweet sometimes. Even revenge on a big jack-ass like John-Wayne.

I pulled out pots and pans, sweating more and cursing under my breath, but trying to look and sound sweet, like the princess I knew I was. I began by filling up a big pan full of water and setting it to boil on the stove for iced tea. Next followed 2 more pans with water set to boiling for hot dogs and macaroni and cheese. I’d show that S.O.B., he could make me cook, but he would be miserable right along with me. Soon, the pans of water broke into a boil.

Steam filled the air as I added tea bags, hot dogs and macaroni, making a green salad on the side, ( I had to eat something cool didn’t I?}. I boiled that dinner at the highest levels possible, sweating like a porker as I was cooking, sweating all down the front and back of my Tomato Queen dress. At least the skirt being short was cool there, but that was it. The taffeta was sticking to my body. What an ass I was, thinking that the princess crown would make John-Wayne see me in a different light. All he wanted was a full belly, a beer, an cool area to watch his favorite shows, and maybe a little fun under the Tomato Queen’s skirt. He did not really care that I was killing myself in the kitchen with the steam and all.

Well if I was gonna be miserable, then so would he, though I felt sorry for the kids, none of this was their fault. Oh well, they were kids, they could handle it. It must have been 150 degrees in that blazing inferno of a kitchen, as I set the table. The ice in the tea glasses was melting faster than I could fill them. I slapped the sugar bowl down and went into the living room and announced sweetly, “dinner is served”. I would give him what he wanted, an obedient lovely wife. Haaa!

They all came in to fill their plates, the kids sitting down at the table while I helped them. I put some food on my plate, and turned to hand John-Wayne his iced tea. He said, “hey that looks good baby, but I don’t know why you wanna do them kids that way, making the kitchen so hot and all.” Instead of sitting down at the table, he turned and walked back to his swamp cooled couch with his plate of food, leaving me with my mouth hanging open and on fire at the kitchen table.

That is when I learned what passive-aggressive behavior was. I also learned that the revenge was wasted on John-Wayne, all it did was make me and my kids miserable. I finished up the dishes and traipsed upstairs to take off the Tomato Queen outfit and take a cool shower, thinking that I had tried more than one way to steam up the kitchen and John-Wayne both, but I was the one who ended up being steamed.

March 30, 2009

Confessions of a Motel Maid

This is not what you think, not that kind of confession. Definitely not an X rated confession, don’t even get that idea goin’ round in your head, I’m not that kinda girl. I had a job for a few summers at the local R.V. park/Motel Cabin place in our little town. It was called Shady Acres and had quite a few R.V.’rs and year long fifth wheels there . They also had 12 little cabin type motel rooms. Very clean, very cute in a 1940’s kinda way.

Since we were a river town, lots of tourists came through, and other than the K.O.A. , there was Shady Acres. It was their busy time of year and the owners needed part time help cleaning the rooms. That’s where I come in.

My husband John-Wayne (yes John-Wayne) had been out of work for a little while. After we moved down to the town from his folks’ mountain home, he had to look for an everyday job, rather than doing the stuff mountain families do for a living. He was in between jobs and we had run out of money, so our water bill did not get paid. The water of course got shut off.

For a while John-Wayne hauled water in a big old tank he had on top of his Chevy truck. I would fill the bathtub with some, to use for flushing the toilet, and store the rest for other uses. It worked, but I hated it. Mountain girl I was and could do laundry by hand in my tub if I had to, but dang this was not the dark ages. Action was needed here.

I walked down to Shady Acres and talked myself right into a job. I got the water turned on after a few days work as the owner paid me cash each day. Cool, I was a career woman. My next door neighbor Mimmi, babysat my baby girl Sally-O each morning for 3 or 4 hours while I cleaned motel rooms.

Each morning after dropping my baby girl off at Mimm’s house, I rode my bicycle down the couple of miles to Shady Acres to do the rooms with the owner’s wife Margie.

Margie showed me how to make the beds, tucking in the sheets and folding them down over the blankets so they looked nice. We did not always have to change the bedspread unless it was dirty, but sheets always. Nice to know that in case you ever stayed there, huh?

There was a certain way Margie cleaned the rooms, quickly and efficiently. She showed me her tricks, down to folding the end of the toilet paper in a little triangle. It made me feel that I was doing a little something extra and luxurious for people, kind of like putting the little mints on pillows. I should have made way more in tips than I did, as I put my heart into the job wanting everything to look perfect. Maybe the tourists thought that Shady Acres was not a tippin’ kind of motel. I mean there were no bell hops or room service, though we brought clean towels daily, made beds, and carried the trash out.

Margie and I would stop once in a while for a smoke outside of the laundry house. As we got to know each other, I liked Margie more and more. She was in charge of the motel rooms. Her husband Freddy was in charge of the R.V. Park. Every couple of months Margie would re-do one of the rooms. She would paint and change the curtains etc.. She always managed to keep the rooms fresh and cute with each one having a different color and sort of theme. I think No. 9 was my favorite, as it overlooked the river. I really liked the painting in that room also. It was of a huge pink flower. Later on I took No. 9’s painting home in my bounty of furnishings from their yard sale. I bartered by working for the furniture that I got from their sale. Me and John-Wayne slept on that old motel bed for about 10 years without a frame, right down on the ground. When we finally upgraded to a pillow-top mattress and frame we felt like we were sleeping up so high that we giggled about it. We had a lot of class John-Wayne and I.

Once when Margie and I grew tired of waiting for people to leave No. 8 cabin, she finally knocked really loudly on the door. The woman did not want to be disturbed. Margie finally knocked and used her key and later told me “that was really weird, she is so strange, I went in there and she was hanging upside down just like a bat”. I asked how in the heck she did that and Margie said she had a special kind of boots that made her do that for her health. I was just glad she wasn’t a vampire. The woman left behind a jug of Aloe Vera Juice and I took it to John-Wayne’s Uncle thinking maybe if he drank it his shingles would go away. All that happened was a bad case of diarrhea.

Still, there were some interesting things left from time to time in the rooms. Usually I was afraid I would find something gross or nasty like a condom. Thank God, not on my watch. One day someone checked out and left a brand new bottle of Mescal Tequila straight from Mexico. You know the kind with the worm in the bottle. Gross. I threw it in the dumpster, even though it had not been opened. John-Wayne and his brother Jiggs made me go back and fish it out. We all got drunker than a bunch of monkeys on that stuff. I can’t remember who ate the worm, I know it was not me though. Man those Mexicans made some dangerous booze. John-Wayne said it was ‘cuz they peed in it. I did not believe him.

Freddy and Margie had a little golf cart that I drove around from room to room with my cleaning supplies and linens and such. I loved driving that stupid thing as I did not have a driver’s license. I had driving phobia. Scared to death to drive a car. The one time I did drive, I got in an accident and got a suspended license. I did not drive for 13 years after that. I did like that little golf cart though. I would zoom around from room to room, cleaning, making beds, then hauling the dirty laundry up the hill in the cart.

One day when doing my rounds with the golf cart, the throttle got stuck. I don’t know why, it just stuck. I was zipping along one minute and then found I could not stop the darned thing. I went flying by the office yelling for Fred . “Help the brakes went out!” Luckily I pried the throttle up by leaning down with my hand and yanking it. I was very careful after that to not go so fast just in case.

Once in a while Margie would have a special job for me. Good chance to make extra cash. There was this long, older silver trailer. It needed cleaning badly. I got my friend to help me and we split the money. Margie forgot to mention that this trailer was from hell. The man that had lived there had chain smoked inside for 20 years and never once cleaned his oven. It took us days to finish. What a nightmare. Kenja and I could never look at one of those silver trailers again in the same way.

When we were done for the day, Margie would bring out a popsicle. She said it would cool us down. We’d talk a little more, have a smoke and I would head for home and my little girl. I’d pick up Sally-o at Mimmy’s house, pay her a couple of bucks and go fix Sally-O and myself some lunch. Then it was naptime. I always lay down with my baby girl. I would sing her songs and we’d both nod off. Ahhhhh, being a career woman could sure wear a person out.

Next Page »

Blog at