"Your words have no power to alter the truth. Your perception does not affect any reality but your own... it is your words and deeds that cast your reflection. "

~Luna Jade, musician

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

More Peck Rd memories

The first year here was hard. Neither of us was used to checking tanks to make sure we had enough fuel to do things. One of his other chores besides keeping the litter clean and taking out the trash was to keep an eye on the fuel tanks and make sure to order a shipment in enough time. When the colder weather hit, I reminded him that we'd be going through the propane faster so he needed to keep a real good eye on it. Of course, I came across as a nag and a half. I simply didnt want to be cold at anytime during the winter, is that too much to ask? And NO...I wasnt the one who insisted on running the heat at 80 degrees in the winter. In fact, I was quite the opposite. I didnt want to be cold, but I also didnt want to roast to death. When I'd get cleaning in the house, I would have the heat nearly off in the dead of winter (and I'd only be in a tank, shorts and barefeet). He'd come home and bitch because the trailor was freezing. He'd crank the heat up to 80 and damned if it didnt climb 5 degrees and it'd be too hot for me to want to do anything....then he'd bitch because I refused to do anything else. Well excuse me, I'd been cleaning all damn day and do you THINK he'd notice the walls were waxed and everything polished nicely? Nope, just the fact the sofa was in the middle of the livingroom and the tv was unhooked. *shakes head*. Oh and NO he wouldnt pitch in to help finish the last little bit of cleaning up.

This first Christmas, I had asked him not the week before to make sure we had enough propane as the tank had only been half full when we rented the place. There had been some really cold weather this particular week. What do I get but the "We just moved in a month or so ago and there was half a tank, we'll be fine". MMhhmm. Well..Christmas Eve came up and I'd been cooking all day to bring stuff to one of his sisters' house for supper the next day. I'd had the oven going from noon til 10pm making cookies and a pie. As such we'd had the heat turned down because the trailor was cozy. When I was done around 10pm or so, we stayed up another hour or so. The trailor was so warm it never dawned on us that the heat didnt kick in later. We crawled into bed that night and I asked him, "did you turn the heat on at all?" It was getting quite cold in there. He couldnt remember and said maybe I should check. We wont go into the fact that the bed was against the wall and he was on the outer edge so he should have checked....ohh no...make me get out of the warm bed after working all day at the oven. I had to climb out of the covers and down to the foot of the bed to get out and then he had the nerve to bitch because I let the cold air in the bed. Stupid shit. I went out to check and turned the heat up to 90 just to get it to kick in.....it didnt kick in. Not at all. We were out of kerosene on Christmas Eve because someone hadnt done a chore. We hadnt noticed it because I'd been running the oven (propane) all day and it had managed to heat the trailor nicely. Of course, somehow, I was to blame for this (not one bit of it was his fault).

I remember taking up painting plaster pieces sometime while we were in the trailor. I know it wasnt the first year as we were still in the bedroom located in the middle of the trailor and not the big one in back. It must have been the summer of '93. We'd gone to Ames (kind of like a KMart or WalMart) for something or other and I'd seen these 2 plaster pieces that were absolutely adorable. They came as a kit... piece, paint brushes and paints. I had bought a house with Santa and his reindeer on the roof called Santa's Last Stop and another with like 7 Santas in various versions of the Old English Santa costuming. The last one was called Ho, Ho, Ho, Ho, Ho, Ho and Ho. These two pieces brought me such delight as I would sit on the edge of our bed with the pieces on a folding table and paint for hours. I found I would relax a bit as I painted as my mind had to be on the instructions and not worrying about other stuff, otherwise I'd make a mistake. The pieces were big enough that once I finished one color I could move to the next as the first color was dry enough to handle. I also learned an appreciation for Yanni about this time as I could play his music while I painted and it wouldnt be distracting like some of the other stuff I'd listen to (cant really sing to Yanni...just hum...no words to distract). The first couple days I chose to paint, he was good and left me alone. Day three though brought him wandering back every few minutes to "check on me". Yeah, like I was going to get in trouble sitting there quietly painting. It's because he no longer had an audience...I know this.

It seemed that our whole time together we got challenged. When an opportunity became available for one, an equal opportunity would come for the other. Never were they things that would go hand in hand. So we would always sit down and decide which opportunity would be the better one to follow. Nine times out of ten, mine would be that untaken road. It was always one thing or another....not enough money, or he was in school and I needed a certain schedule so I could work...whatever. While we were in the trailor, WalMart opened a store nearer to where we were living. I needed a certain schedule due to his schooling because of trasportation issues. If I had known alot of my friends were headed that way, I certainly would have applied for a position over in that store because any one of them would have given me a ride. Thankfully, the opportunity presented itself again a few months later when the girl who had the position I was wanting was leaving the company. I told Jim I was going to go for it. It would at least save us on gas. He wasnt fond of this turn of events but when I came out of the interview not only with the job, but a raise to boot, he had no arguement there. This raise didnt help us much as he still wasnt teaching and was only pulling parttime jobs...not even attempting to get fulltime work ("because he wanted to be available in case a school called for him to sub" *ugh*).

While I was at this store, he decided that he was going to go through this company he'd read about in one of his Christian magazines. The company was called InterChristo and what they did was match you up with a list of Christian organizations that would fit with your profile. You'd then take your list and send them your resume and see if you could get a job with them. Ok, it was a bit pricey but well worth the money considering they gave you a packet of several pages of leads. We (yes I said we as we all know WHO wrote the letters and sent the resumes) sent out to nearly every school on his list. At this point I was becoming miserable at WalMart. We'd had some management changes *again* and I was tired of showing them who boss of the backroom was (and it wasnt them). Between that and Jim moping and making my homelife miserable, I was considering a change of job myself. I had a lead over at the local Home Depot and was considering heading that way as it would have meant an extra $2/hr just to start...as a cashier mind you. The day I decided that I wanted to go for it, I talked to Jim on the way home and let him know what I knew about the position and he agreed that maybe the change would be good. The minute we got home all that changed as there was a message on the answering machine. At first we thought it was the ole lady (the ole lady was a ghost in the trailor...she was harmless thank goodness and settled down when I told her firmly it was my place now, dammit. She was welcome to stay as long as she left me and my stuff alone) playing around again as she'd taken to messing with that machine regularly. Surprise surprise there was a hit from one of the schools in Louisiana. The headmaster wanted to talk to Jim and left us a school number and home number. Jim said he'd "call tomorrow". I told him hell no...this man left a HOME number, obviously he wants to talk to you NOW. God Jim could be so damn thick. Anyhow he called and talked to the headmaster and the guy wanted to set up an interview. So now we had a decision, again. I had to take a 2 week vacation because idiotboy didnt want to go alone...he was afraid of getting lost. Ugh...that's what a map and directions are for. Not that it matters as I dont drive and even if I did he'd need the car to get there. Although there were friends at the store that would have dropped me off home.

When we got down to Louisiana the first time, we stayed with the headmaster and his wife for 3 days. They were so kind as to allow us the the master suite because there was a bathroom attached and we'd have some privacy. Jim pretty much had the job when he walked in the front doors to the school. He'd shown his commitment just by coming clear across the country to make this meeting. So it fell on me to find us a place to live....while he went out and schmoozed with the headmaster. All I wanted to say was priorities guys!! You'll have all this time to go fishing n stuff later. Surprisingly enough, I found us a place to live that would allow us to bring all our cats (we had 4 at the time). It was going to cost an arm and leg per month, but the lease was only for a year and I'd still be with WalMart. At least that is what the plan was....


ChicagoLady said...

That must have been really hard, not having any heat on Christmas Eve into Christmas Day. Were you finally able to get some on the 26th? I hope it wasn't too cold outside. I too don't like roasting to death when I'm cleaning.

Do you still find painting the plaster pieces as relaxing as you did then? Do you still listen to Yanni when painting?

So many questions...

LadyStyx said...

Christmas Day wasnt too bad as we had gone to his sister's house. Thankfully her hubby had a portable kerosene heater that we could move to where we needed it. There were no deliveries Christmas Day and the place that delivered was booked solid until the following Monday with other deliveries. So we were stuck with the little heater for several days. Thank God for work is all I can say. It was in the single digits that year...in a single wide trailor with little if no insulation....

I hear ya on that roasting. Considering I haul around 2 people worth of weight (I have for a good part of my life), I tend to overheat fast. Even in the winter, I can be found running around the house dressed in less than Richard Simmons (just cuter :D). I go without the shoes and socks too...my heels hate it but if I wear footwear the rest of me feels overly warm...I even stick my feet outside the covers at night!).

The rest of the questions will go in the main blog as an entry.