Saturday, March 29

More from the Autobiography.....

I lived in that house at 1805 Belle Terrace in Bakersfield California until I was 11 years old. Lots of things happened there. I ate orange sections with my Grandmother at night while we watched Gunsmoke. The police came one night when my Mother and Aunt were fighting and Moma threw a glass of Buttermilk and it got all over the police. I found all kinds of bugs and watched them up close. I had a Manx Cat named Bobbi who responded to you calling it like it was a dog. At one point I had two bantam chickens named Bonnie and Clyde. I saw my Aunt come in the house from a fight bloody. I got whippings with whatever my Grandma could grab at the time. I helped Grandma can vegetables and make chow chow. I went to Castro Lane Elementary School until I got tested and was placed in the “gifted” class in another school.
That house was spotlessly clean as my Grandmother was. We went to church on Sunday morning, Sunday nights and sometimes during the week. Just my Grandma Clara and me. I remember listening to Grandma cry out to God from behind her closed bedroom door, praying for her family that was unsaved or living else where. My Grandmother was strict, firm and hard workingwoman. There was little compromise in her, but she gave me a foundation as a child that I would return to as an adult, and I appreciate the way she raised me even though I NEVER showed it, nor probably never told her.
My mother lived in Grandma’s house from time to time. Occasionally she would live with a man elsewhere and that was fine. Mother was a waitress, she was pretty and men liked her. She didn’t always like herself though. Moma was addicted to pills and was an alcoholic, but her spells of bad and good would fluctuate. She had tried to commit suicide several times, she suffered from depression and seemed to get her greatest feelings of self worth when men were attracted to her, so naturally her break ups were always her worst time. I loved my Mother. She seemed so much more free and fun loving that my Grandmother to a youngster. She worked “graveyard” shift at the restaurant she worked at. She would be up drinking coffee and counting her tips in the morning when I woke up during the times she lived with Grandma, and I would help her stack the money for her to roll in paper rolls.
She gave me all her pennies and I started a bank account. I felt very grown up about that (smile). You know the funny thing is I had my account with Bank of America and that is the bank I use now 3,000 miles from my California upbringing.
When I got close to a hundred dollars, I went looking for a home for my mother and me. I found a small bungalow behind a big house that they wanted $75 a month for in the year 1971. It was perfect and I went to see it by self and let the landlady know I would take it. Right after I got my Grandma to give me my Penny Money.
They allowed me to rent the little place for us and my mother and I were back on our own. I guess she started getting welfare then, but I am really not sure. I do remember the commodities. The canned meat, hard peanut butter and big blocks of cheese. I know her drug addiction and alcoholism progressed rapidly during that time, and I remember sitting up one night with her while she either had DTs or just plain hallucinations from drugs. Poor Moma. Some folks are just not meant to raise children and she was just one of them.
I know she was seeing men, but I don’t remember them at all. I do remember walking into the bathroom one time seeing all the blood and a clothes hanger where she had given herself an abortion. Someone ended up burglarizing that little bungalow and stealing our little black and white TV and a roast we had in the freezer. I believe everyone assumed it was a man that mother had had a relationship with that had done it. We had to move after that, and we were able to rent a small house that sat on the alleyway at 2129 Verde St. I still dream of that house, although I know what in more recent years the house and property was purchased and a new house was built on the property more towards the street while the owner lived in the little house, and eventually the little house was torn down.

Thursday, March 13

Prayer. I pray like God is sitting next to me and I have some stuff to tell Him. I've never done a lot of formal praying. My prayers generally consist of thank God for individual things he has done in my and my families life, praying for folks (forgetting half or more of the ones that need the prayer), and praying to live in His will. I pray lots of times during the day as I think of things. Probably 10 times a day, a lot of which is "thank you Lord" type of thing or praying to have the right things to say to people.

I feel it's important to be more organized with my prayer. Like do a list and pray for folks. Also, my devotions. I saw where the Pastor's wife had written hers down and she had said she wrote down what the Lord said to her in that section of the Word. I like that idea, but if I do it on my own, I don't think I will stick to it.

Anyway...............I am not where I would like to be in these areas, I am okay, but is okay enough....................It probably would be for me alone, but God wants me to bring his Word to other folks, so I need to be in the right place with Him to bring the right Word.

In church last night, I got a kind of a revelation that if I wanted to know what God wanted me to do, I needed to study His word. Now that may not be significant to some folks, but it was a light bulb moment for me! It was like God was say, DUUUUHHH.

Wow...........I talk a lot.................Have a great day...........

Monday, March 10

Well, Lee Lee is out of school again today. The lice didn't quite get out, but I have done her hair again, and gotten tons of stuff done today! I got all my school things organized, Praise God! Plus I made folder for all the papers I need to have with me, like my YMCA schedules, stuff I am doing with church, To Do things, etc. Now I have to go deposit a check that my Dad gave Destiny for her Birthday and then transfer the money to Destiny's account, take some quick notes out of the library books I have and get them back to the library, go to the grocery store, get ready for aerobics class. Now that's not counting the 15 page claim for credit on Decision Making that I need to finish or my Autobiography which will probably take forever to do. I have the Women's prayer group at church tonight after aerobics. I wish we could combine the two!!! I do feel more organized though!

Friday, March 7

Lice Lice Lice. We have lice! Now when I was a kid only the "not good" folks got lice. Here in Florida, everyone who has a kid gets lice.

Just like the Gators that are in every puddle of water here. No one in California would believe that!

Sunday, March 2

More from the Autobiography is below
As I look back now, folks were doing a lot of moving around. I think that may be one of the reasons it was so important to me in my older life to become stable for my children and when I was younger it may have contributed to my restlessness and continued traveling. There are pros and cons to both situations, but I think it is more important to be as stable as possible.
From the time I was about 7 years old until I was 11 is the time I remember best in my childhood. The funny thing is that I only remembered negative aspects of that time until I worked the 12 Steps of a recovery program. I have really realized that was a great time in my life. Granted, there were some negative aspects, but overall life was pretty good.
I lived at 1805 Belle Terrace in Bakersfield California. Our phone number was 805-832-3299. The house was a old farm house, it was nice and we had about a quarter acre of land. You would walk into the front door and the house would be spotless. Straight ahead would be my grandmother’s recliner that she always had. The livingroom would veer to the left with a couch on each side of the room and a coffee table in the middle. One couch belonged to my Grandma Nicholson, my Grandma Clara’s mother. She had lived two house down and had watched me when we had lived in Lindsay. Grandma Nicky had taught me now to cut our paper dolls from newspaper and play “Button Button, who’s got the button”.
The large black and white TV sat at the far left on the center of the wall and it is where we watched shows like Bonanza and Gunsmoke. Directly to the right would be my grandmother’s room. It was a sunny room painted baby blue. Her furniture was white and everything would always be in it’s place. The floor’s were spotless and I recall that Grandmother only had to use a dust mop to get the dust out from under her bed. Today, in my house, with 5 children, I cannot imagine what it would be like to be able to keep my house as clean as my Grandmother kept hers. I strive for it every day, but it is just not possible.
You would have to walk around Grandmother’s chair a little to walk down the short hallway towards the kitchen. Off of the hallway were the restroom to the right and Grandma Nicky’s room to the left. Grandma Nicky always had a box of candy under her bed, and she would let me have a piece from time to time. My favorite was the almond roca. In the hallway ceiling was a large fan called a swamp fan. It sat on the roof and it is what cooled the house in the summer time. I small amount of water was used in a constant stream to keep the filters on all the sides damp and that is what cooled the house. There was swinging type of door before you walked into the kitchen that you could either close when you wanted to cooler primarily the front of the house or open to cool the kitchen as well.
The kitchen was huge! My Grandmother loved it, and she could truly worked magic in that kitchen. It was more than a kitchen of course. It was the gathering place for the family, it was the place we played penny ante poker, it was the room my Aunt Betty through the glass of buttermilk at the police in.
There was two more rooms in that house. Of f to the left was another bedroom and whoever happended to be there at the time stayed in that bedroom. Most of the time I did too, but if we had an extra grown up then I was designated to sleep on the couch. That didn’t seem to bother me at all. It was almost like having my own room.
Through the backdoor was a back porch which had been sealed in and in which my Poppa lived. To the right side was the washing machine, but to the left was Poppa’s room. Never in my life can I remember my Grandmother and Popa sleeping together nor any indication that they ever had sex.
I loved the floor in that room because Poppa had collected carpet scraps of every shape and color and had pieced them together like a giant jigsaw puzzle. It was great! The house had a large yard and two fruit trees in the back yard. An apricot tree and a plum tree. The apricot trees was easy to climb and I spent a lot of hours sitting in the tree.. There was also a large bar b que pit that looked like it was made to bar b que a whole steer in. We never used it, so I used it to play in and to keep my animals in if I had them.
In the far part of the back yard was an old shed and my Popa had a vegitable garden surrounding the shed. There were tomatoes, carrots, okara corn, green beand and ple beans, turnips, nad radishes, and eggplant among others. As I look back on that, I think that was a GREAT garden! What a great job they did on that and how much work must have went into it! I have attempted gardens here at my house but we don’t have a spot that suits it growing right, and it is SO expensive to grow your own veggies!

Funny the last time I posted was Feb. 11. That was the day the pit bull puppies were born down the street. We bought one today. They are selling them before they are weaned and we have to feed the baby with a bottle. His name is Luke. He has a white head, and a mix brindle and white body. He is just like a new born. Has to be fed all night and day. I guess I will have to take it to work with me tomorrow

We had great time in church last night. The Waynesboro Union Male Chorus was there! They are so good, Pastor's dad is one of them. We didn't make it to church this morning, but will go tonight.

I have been working in the yard all morning. Good exercise!