One Soul’s Evolution

When

The

Words

finally break through the walls of fear, and turn on the powers of Love

that a lifetime in guilt, lies, and shame have hidden from you, then the

silence

becomes

music.

You’re

free

to let

Faith

Hope

and

Love

infect

your

soul.

This was written for the Trifecta Week Sixty-Nine writing challenge.

(rules below)

INFECT
1: to contaminate with a disease-producing substance or agent (as bacteria)
2a : to communicate a pathogen or a disease to
b : of a pathogenic organism : to invade (an individual or organ) usually by penetration
c : of a computer virus : to become transmitted and copied to (as a computer)
3a : contaminate, corrupt <the inflated writing that infects such stories>  
b : to work upon or seize upon so as to induce sympathy, belief, or support <trying to infect their salespeople with their enthusiasm>

Please remember:
  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
  • Only one entry per writer.
  • If you know your post does not meet the requirements of the challenge, please leave your link in the comments section, not in the linkz.
  • Trifecta is open to everyone.  Please join us.
This week’s challenge is community-judged.
  • For the 12 hours following the close of the challenge, voting will be enabled on links.
  • In order to vote, return to this post where stars will appear next to each link.  To vote, simply click the star that corresponds with your favorite post.
  • You can vote for your top three favorite posts.
  • Voting is open to everyone. Encourage your friends to vote for you, if you wish, but please don’t tell them to vote on a number.  The numbering of the posts changes regularly, as authors have the ability to delete their own links at any time.
  • You have 12 hours to vote.  It’s not much time, so be diligent! We’ll send out reminders on Twitter and Facebook.

This week’s word is infect.

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The crazy world of Craigslist

The crazy world of Craigslist

Since my divorce I’ve not had the best luck when it comes to finding a job that suits me. Part of that is because my ex-husband slandered my name and ruined the career that I attended college for four years to get a bachelors degree and license for. But its also because I have no experience in doing anything. I was a stay at home mother for 17 years who occasionally worked at a fast food job to get away from the husband who made me feel worthless.

I’m not going to bash him.

Things being as they are, I’ve had to relearn how to do a lot of job skills, and scrape and dig in some strange places to find work and try to build my ‘resume’.

I’m from the 70’s and 80’s.  Back then, a resume was a joke. When I was a teenager in the 80’s, to get a job, you filled out a paper application, talked in person to a perspective employer, and shook hands. Now a days, you find a job online, pray its not a scam, fill out an application online, submit a resume, and then pray that someone will actually try to contact you. That doesn’t work for me. I’ve filled out 235 applications at various schools across three states (I’m still trying to be a teacher even though my ex ruined that for me. I believe God called me to teach so guess what, this southern girl isn’t giving up). In the mean time, I’ve also put in about 40 applications for various restaurant positions, factory jobs, receptionist jobs, and even responded to some whacked out modeling ads just to see if I can get anyone to answer my email.

I must be too ugly, old, and way to non-party animal-ish for the modeling ads to respond because I haven’t heard a peep – not even from the “foot modeling” ad.

But you have to do what you have to do in order to eat, and since my career is destroyed and I have no luck with work, I back owe on child support. Never mind the fact that I’ll be homeless and in the food pantry line soon, and I won’t be able to buy gas to go to work, all that matters is my child support is due.

Hey guys? You’ve been doing this for years – how do you do it?

Wait. Chances are you had a job for the duration of your marriage when it ended, so you had experience to put on your resume, and the last thing she wanted when you divorced was to make you lose your job, because after all she wanted your money. Someone give me one reason why I shouldn’t give up and die.

Right now. Because I know the reality of my predicament.

I would post my resume online, but all it shows is that I am a well educated, professionally inexperienced person who has a lot to offer any employer in the children’s education field. I am a writer, I can answer phones and run an office, even though I haven’t worked in one since that summer when I was 20 years old. I do have experience as a production technician, so I can work assembly – but I can’t work at lightning speed because my joints are swollen and reflexes are numbed by age.

I’ll just say this:

To the foot fetish ad (yeh, the whole world knows whats really going on there, so don’t be coy and advertise the need for a foot model whose face you don’t care about who agrees to being tickled for $50 an hour) – you missed out because I have beautiful feet. Size 11 women’s, bet you can’t handle that!

To the receptionist ad, I would’ve give you my total devotion and stayed for years,quite possibly until I reached an age when I couldn’t work anymore due to chronic illness. I have been answering phones and taking messages for three decades, emailing for 13 years, I’m an experienced SEO, and I can file and organize and restock a cabinet, I’ve been a MOTHER for half my life for crying out loud.

To the manufacturing ads who need an assembly tech to make 3 parts a minute:  Slow down bitches. You wonder why your employee turnaround is so high when your benefits are amazing and the pay you offer is great? That’s all I’m saying. The dollar you can make today will be there tomorrow, and you won’t lose a penny. I  believe in quality over quantity. You would’ve had a life long employee too if you weren’t so worried about my speed.

To the painting job that never even replied to me: I am the daughter of a house painter. I know how to operate, maintain and use a power sander, a spray painter, caulk, and sand by hand, and even clean the gunk from the windows of a house that lazy no good painters slop all over the sills because they come in before me to prime and don’t give a crap. I did it under the table for years, but you’ll never know how good I am because I’ve never worked at a recognized company.

To the writing gigs that never responded: I’m a published book author, not to mention more than one college professor asked for my permission to publish MY articles and student IEP specific curricula in THEIR portfolios.  It kind of makes me laugh to know that not even the gig wanting to pay me $1 a page hired me to write in their blog.  What a wonderful outlook on life you must have.

To the Hooters that didn’t want me because I am 43 years old and have a few grays and crows feet that I refuse to hide with make up and color. This Cougar has years of serving experience – hey, I even COOKED it before serving it, on time, every day, with a smile, when my husband got home from work.

To the schools who won’t give me a chance to fulfill a life long dream because of one slanderous letter given to you by my ex: I home schooled my children for years. It was the best time of my entire life. I may not have in-class experience,but I can teach you about diverse learning styles that you can’t learn about in Bloom’s Taxonomy.I would have taught my students to have a life long desire to learn, to investigate answers instead of taking what you tell them as gospel, and to work with their hands, because as I have discovered, earning a degree alone, will get them nowhere. I would’ve continued my education and gotten my Masters, or even my National Certification. BUT that will never happen now because you only hire “teachers with classroom experience”, and you say being an intern for a year was not enough.

And finally, to all the fake people making ads to scam, and the employers needing fake employees/robots/mindless sheep to “work” for them on Craigslist, my grandmother taught me to say one good thing about people like you.  Bless your pea pickin’ heart.

Happy job hunting folks! If you find an actual REAL place to find work, let me know! Leave a comment if you want to hire me too!

Healing through the camera lens

Since January 14th, I’ve been going through cycles of feeling stuck, and feeling happy to be alive.  Part of me is still in that river.  I don’t know what part that is quite yet…. Adam feels the same way.  I can see it in his eyes. He’s got that same drawn out look.  We’re waiting for whatever happens next, and at the same time, we’re not wasting a single moment – because we know how fast life and everything in it can be taken from you.

Through the last week, we’ve been witness to some amazing and spontaneous acts of grace.  A few people have gone out of their way to make sure we had what we needed not only to replace what was lost, but to make us feel safe and secure, and loved.  Our friends in another county, some sixty miles from us, welcomed us into their home and fed us, gave us clothes and shoes. The Red Cross dispatched someone to us from a hundred miles away, just to make sure we had enough food, gas, propane, clothing, and shelter.  Someone 250 miles away offered to help Adam replace any music or recording equipment we lost in the flood.  It’s been surreal.

Another thing I’ve realized as we have watched all of this unfold, is that for some reason, people who have close to nothing are more willing to give you (literally) the clothes off their backs than rich people are. Rich people tend to look at you with apprehension, not knowing what to say or how to act.  Just an FYI thing – for anyone out there who maybe in a position to help others who are in dire straights, the people who need help after a natural disaster, or something along those lines, won’t have the strength to even ask for it. When we were flooded out of our home and had only minutes to decide what to grab before we dove in the water, the future was the last thing on our minds.  Your numb after an event like that, and time stops for days. This was what amazed me the most. When we were unable to think or move, or know what to do next, that was when our truest friends, and the emergency services of the Red Cross, jumped in with us – and dragged us out, giving us hope and direction.

While we were retreating from the soaked earth, we stayed with our friends sixty miles away.  Their home, also known as Sunshine Stables, is a place filled wall to wall, and acre to acre, with love.  Even their animals love you, which is a simple reflection of the hearts of their “people”.  The beauty and the vibes of the place inspired me to start taking pictures.  Adam was up for it, so we started inside the house and made our way out to the barn.

roughcowboy_zps7471050d barnhotness_zps8ee1a871 hotamber_zps0f21f7fe imagejpeg_2-4_zps7cbf9d64 omghotchapspic_zps2463d4a0

rooftop_zpsfce1f5d7

If there’s one lesson we can walk away from this with, it’s that you can be gone before you have time to blink.

So live it now, and love it.

Before and After

The water has dried up now. I was cleaning up the house last night, so we could move back in, and as I was sorting through clothes, I happened to look up at our family photo on the entertainment center.  It was taken in August of 2011.  426646_3437833467732_1406520389_nWe had just been reunited after 20 years apart, and we were as giddy as we were when we were together as teenagers. Looking back now, it seems that we were so naive and innocent when it was taken. Oh, what a difference a little time can make!

This was taken on Saturday, 5 days after we survived the rising of the Little Pigeon River. imagejpeg_2-4_zps78983a94The look says it all!

BRING IT.

Roll, Black Water…..

cropped-cropped-dsci0366

Little Pigeon River, on a beautiful winter day not too long ago…

A new day changes everything.

Last night, we went to sleep to the patter-patter of raindrops on the roof.  The sky was blanketed with clouds, as heavy and ominous as any storm in a Stephen King novel.  The rain kept coming, but we didn’t think anything of it.  I mean, when you get down to it, it really wasn’t like any other major rain storm. Only difference for us was, two months ago, we moved to a place 20 feet from the shore of a river.

We got ready for bed.  We shared our normal routine. Watching a show on TV, sharing the goings on of our lives.  We both vented our stresses. Adam played a song.  I played a round of Facebook games.  I got in my PJ’s.  Neither of us wanted to lie down yet, and it was getting really late. It was 11 p.m. when we finally gave in to sleep.  11:05 the phone rang.  The campground caretaker was calling to say the river was rising. We needed to evacuate.

We had about an hour, she said, before the water was at our door.  Adam told me to stay inside, and he went out in the cold, in the water, which was up to his calves, and began the process of moving both of cars to higher ground.  Then he got the trailer ready to be hitched to the truck.  It had only been about half an hour, and he was hip-deep in the icy cold river.  The water was here.  It was rising much faster than expected.  The hitch was completely submersed by the time he could back the truck into it.    Adam kept trying until after he couldn’t feel his hands.  His legs and feet had been numb for a while.

He came inside and told me I had to grab the dog and make a break for it, get to higher ground. We would keep tabs on each other by cell phones, til they died. He would stay there and recuperate. I would see him at dawn.  We quickly stuffed every important ID and bank card, personal document and thumb drive we could think of into my purse, and I slipped it over my head, and then grabbed our little dog and stepped into the icy river.   It was still hip high.  I waded as fast as I could through the floating pieces of peoples campground belongings.  A huge rug.  Picnic tables.  I used the utility hook up posts as guides to the way out of the park – the length of a football field. It got more shallow the farther I got.  After only 10 minutes I was shivering, soaked to my bones and feeling the burning cold in my feet. How did Adam stand in this for an hour? I wondered.  I knew why he had stayed behind. He was exhausted from hypothermia and wading. I heard him urging me on til his voice faded into the rain. He’s gonna be OK – I knew it. And then I couldn’t really comprehend much. I was freezing. My brain was shutting down.  My subconscious mind took over. Go. Go. Go, as hard as you can. Get to the office of the park. 

I felt the river become less of a strain to wade through. The ground was getting higher. And higher. Then I started to think, and thaw, and immediately shiver, teeth chattering. I reviewed all the old survival skills I learned. Don’t take off my shoes and socks until I get rid of the bone chill.  Get to the car, get the sleeping bag, blankets. Cover my face so I am breathing warm air.  Cover my feet. Let them sweat.  Our Chihuahua was shivering.  I talked to him, told him it was going to be OK.  I got to the office, passed by it to get to the car. My legs felt like tree trunks, but I felt my feet.

I focused on Adam. I swear I felt him. He was cold, shivering,covered in a blanket, waiting for help, but he was OK down there. I had been praying from the moment he had first gone outside. Praying for him to stay safe, for our home to be spared, and then when my body hit the water, for me to not stop til I got to the end.  Til I opened the car door. Til I made sure the dog was safe inside. Til I got the blankets out of the trunk. Til I could stop and think.

I didn’t sleep….  All I thought about was Adam in the trailer. The river, rising. The patter-patter of rain on the car roof became the enemy.  God,make it stop…make the rain stop….I prayed. The rain didn’t stop for 5 more hours.

When it did, the water receded just two feet. Daylight had made its way to us, but there was no sunshine.  I parked the car as close to Adam as I could, and got out and shouted to him. He had contacted me one last time before the cell died and said he was climbing out, come Hell or high water.

Adam climbed out with his guitar thrown over his shoulders, made his way. I’ll never forget the look in his eyes as he came up towards me. Determined to beat the odds, to get to me, to keep going. Go. Go. Go, as hard as you can. Get to Carolyn.  And his feet touched the ground. And I knew that whatever else happened, everything was going to be OK.

January 14th I woke up worried about working enough hours to help pay the bills. I wanted to get on Facebook and play Words With Friends, Slingo, SongPop.  I was thinking about what to write to increase Adam’s music fan feedback or the outreach of my blog. I wanted the video I made on YouTube to go viral.

January 15th, I woke up thankful to just be alive. Nothing is important to me today,except Adam being OK. He has some frostbite on his toes from where he had been in the water for so long, but other than that is is OK. The clothes can be replaced. The music equipment that can’t be salvaged can be replaced.    The last thing I care about today is going on Facebook and reading what someone had for dinner, or keep up with my high score on a game.

flood1

This was taken after the water receded when Adam was making his way out. The waters have since risen back up to the door.

 

Adam and me are living in a motel at the moment. We are snuggled up together, warm, dry, and the dog is curled up between us.  The rain is still falling and the river is still up.  We hope that we go back to our home once this is over, but if we can’t, we will go to an emergency shelter until we can find out what to do next. Whatever happens, tomorrow will come, and then another tomorrow, and life will go on.

flood2

We’ve had some wonderful advice from a friend who has survived a natural disaster before. He actually gave us a guideline to follow. We have to register with FEMA. Our family and some very good friends have offered us emergency assistance.  We’re swallowing our pride and taking it.  It hurts to accept that its real. But it happened.

Take it from both of us – life is the people you love and who love you – it’s nothing else.