Thursday, May 17, 2007

Both Sides Now

Once upon a time there was a triathlete that lived on a farm but her life changed. Now she's a waitress living in the ghetto! I didn't know where to start this entry so "J" said, start with "Once upon a time."

I guess I'll begin with "J". Who is J? He's a wonderful man. We've been together for a couple of months. He's my age. He has beautiful hands and eye lashes. We've both been through some hard knocks in life so we understand each other well. We spend most of our time talking, laughing, cooking and loving. If all goes well, we will be going to school together in the fall. He can cook some awesome enchiladas. Nights that I had to work late, I'd find dinner ready on the little table in the apartment. He'd iron my work pants and shirt for the next day. He's thoughtful and a great companion.

I'm not working two jobs anymore. I quit the night job because it was just too draining. I didn't feel like I was living, just working. I am much happier now probably because I am more rested. I have the time to buy and tend to hanging plants for the apartment porch. I even have a hummingbird feeder. It's amazing how the little things can bring so much joy. I spend a lot of time sitting on the porch in the evenings starting at the fuchias and petunias. I'm excited when a hummingbird buzzes past my head like a F-16. I bought a baby charcoal grill. I had never cooked with charcoal before, only gas. The first time I used it, I had to eat some extra crispy chicken that wasn't too tasty because it tasted like lighter fluid. I learned to wait until the coals completely ash over. I can cook some ribs now that will have people slobbering downstairs.

So, I live in the ghetto. I'm really not kidding. When I tell people about my apartment, if they know where it's located, they say, "What?? You live in the ghetto?" I have become more street smart. I learned to deadbolt my door when I saw someone use a credit card to open a doorknob lock. A couple weeks ago, J and I went strawberry picking. We carried the flat of berries upstairs and we were going to make strawberry daquiri's. I started the blender and I heard a knock at the door. It was Mama D. with a cup in hand, "What you got going on in there?". Mama D. is a friend for life now, especially after I shared some of my homemade collard and turnip greens. She paid someone to come and braid my hair that day. There is little Lulu. Lulu is 20 months old. The other evening while sitting on the porch, the police came and arrested someone. I heard Lulu downstairs questioning, "Who dat? Who dat? Is dat the po-po?" I love Lulu. I'll call down to her and she'll look up at my apartment and say, "Hi Shell." I'll pick some pansies and petunias from my pots and tell her to catch. She'll hold her little arms in the air while I drop flowers down to her. She'll carefully collect them all and run to her Mom, "Mama, look Mama! For you Mama!" I hope that Lulu will always have pansies and petunias raining on her pretty little head.

I have started using coupons and buying Food Lion brand grocery items. J and I even hung up a clothes line on some trees behind the apartment because drying the clothes costs almost $3.00 per load. I love the smell of clothes on the line. All day at work I can smell the air outside. Someone even told me I smelled like "Snuggle" the other day. There is a clothes line phenomenon. No matter how much fabric softener I use, the towels still are crunchy. I told J that it was natures way of exfoiliating after a shower. Once, I feel asleep and forgot about the clothes on the line. I went to work early the next morning and when I got home, Mama D. had taken my clothes off the line and folded them all so they didn't get rained on.

I have learned to forgive. I called Don the other day and thanked him for helping me experience some wonderful things. Without his help, I wouldn't have got to compete in eight triathlons last year. He helped me with farming and starting my soap making business. I also wrote my Dad a letter and forgave him too. My Dad and I have had a strained relationship for several years. It doesn't matter if they forgive me. I just feel better not having bitterness and anger in my heart. I made a copy of a song by Joni Mitchell and sent it to my Dad. I am still learning and growing and I can honestly see both sides now.


At 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, sounds like you are geting your sh@t together. you go girl!

At 12:05 PM, Blogger tarheeltri said...

Great post. I think one of the best years of my life was when I forgave my dad. I hope it is the same with you.

At 7:49 AM, Blogger finn said...

i hope you continue to write -- if not for us, than for yourself. this is a wonderful story.

At 8:23 AM, Blogger Wylee said...

Wow! I am so PROUD of you! It's always great to read your posts.

At 9:11 AM, Blogger Julia said...

A Mojo update, what a treat! It sounds like you're doing well. So happy for you.

At 11:55 AM, Blogger Brett said...

Glad you are doing well. We miss you at the races!

At 4:30 PM, Blogger Fe-lady said...

What beautiful pictures you paint with your words!
I can see you little apartment with enchiladas on the table and flowers hanging outside....yes, it's the little things appreciated that make a big heart. Glad to hear you are doing well.

At 3:55 PM, Blogger Bolder said...

great to hear!

At 11:02 AM, Blogger Siren said...

This is beautifully written. So wonderful to hear you're moving onward and upward.

At 12:16 PM, Blogger Papa Louie said...

So good to hear from you again. I knew we'd hear from you soon. Forgiving Don and your Dad is a great accomplishment in growing and maturing in the human life. To forgive brings peace to your heart and hopefully to others. Enjoy life!

At 10:16 PM, Blogger Robin said...

We're always building...good to hear from you.

At 6:53 PM, Blogger redfox said...

You can make a grown women tear up!Ilove how you look at life so genuine. i realy am so inspired from how you can make HELL seem like a candy shop. you really aprecate life so much from the farm to the getto I always said money doesnt make anyone happy only greedy struggling though life in reality eyes bills,gas for your car food in the fridge its no problem as long as you love or are loved that what happy is by the way be vey nice that redhead at work

At 6:05 PM, Blogger 21stCenturyMom said...

Boy am I glad to 'see' you again. Your blog isn't showing up in my bloglines.

I'm so happy to hear that things are going well for you.

Hooray for Mojo!

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