Monthly Archives: June 2014

Gas Thief

Image

I reckon now I’ve been a victim of yet another way to scam those who are ‘slower’ (handicapped, old folks, etc.) & I AM ANGRY!!!!

While she slept late on her day off, I thought I’d be nice & put some gas in my daughter’s truck and get it back home quickly before she’d even notice that we were gone. But all 12 of the gas pumps at the nearest station were occupied so I waited and patiently waited. Finally it was my turn, I pulled the vehicle into position, got outa the car & slowly (with my walker) made my way into the store. You see, for me this isn’t a simple or a quick task. It takes me awhile to get the walker out of the back seat and unfold it, so I dare not look around and make ‘eye contact’ with other folks that may be also waiting for gas. I do have sympathy for the person that decided to get in line behind me, tho, because he/she had the misfortune of awaiting a ‘slowpoke’ PLUS I do not use credit cards so I also needed to go into the convenience store and pre-pay with cash first. That also required a wait in another line inside the store because there were only 2 cash registers and 1 of the cashiers was being trained.

I gave the ‘new guy’ $40, told him $35 was for gas on pump 10….he completed that task. Then I handed him my lotto playslip, it was his 1st time using the lottery machine so the manager was teaching him. He asked me to look at it to make sure it’s right and it was. We thanked each other and I made the journey back to my car. I noticed that the pump said $5.57. Hmmm, I figured it hadn’t re-set from the previous customer so I put in the gas…..only $5.57!

So I made my way back into the store & I was PIS#*D! There happened to be to older guys outside that’d been just sitting on the ground talking, they heard me ranting so they came into the store and told us that whilst I was inside the store, 2 scooters came & quickly stole my gas & took off….so the $5.57 was what they didn’t need! I’d been the victim of a Gas Thief!! GRRRR! I tried to get restitution from the store. Guess what I was told? That there’s a sign on the door of the store (which there is) that clearly states that they’ll gladly assist the handicapped.So when I went back out 2 my car (I’m surprised the gas station didn’t blow up ‘coz there were probably flames coming outa my ears by now!), I noticed there’s also a ‘call for help’ button on the pump too. So guess what? From now on, I WILL go back to that same gas station, but I am surely going to wait till it’s DURING BUSY TIME. Then you had better believe that I WILL LAY ON that button & they can come out & do it for me!!!!

Advertisements

Favorite Lighthouse

Image

My daughter took me on a mini-vacation. She was supposed to be going westward for a couple of weeks with my brother and niece (her uncle and youngest cousin) but those plans fell through almost at the last minute. So instead of Disneyland & Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Death Valley, New Mexico, Arizona and the Grand Canyon….my daughter ended up staying home. She was able to ‘give back’ some of her vacation days but most had already been scheduled so she’s been having what she calls a ‘staycation’! We’ve been wandering around central Florida, doing too much shopping and not enough housework! But last night we got home from a little trip that culminated in what is ALWAYS a treat for me: a quick visit to my all-time very FAVORITE LIGHTHOUSE: in St. Augustine Beach!

We decided to get away from the theme parks for awhile and go to the beach. This is not uncommon for those folks whose jobs are at the local amusement parks! So we went to the Daytona Flea Market, which is only open on the 3 weekend days. We had our shopping goals in mind and did find exactly what we intended to buy. Then we stayed at a cutesy hotel in Daytona Beach Shores. We swam in their pool which, surprisingly, was identical to our own pool in our backyard except that ours is deeper & hasn’t quite the fancy filtering system (we wish it did!). We ate at some off-the-beaten-path & quaint and/or quirky restaurants because that’s what I like to do, especially while on vacation. I’m thinking that vacation means that my palate also oughta have a vacation from the normal restaurants, too. That usually means no fast-food and no restaurant chains. Mom-and-Pop diners, seafood places, waterfront pubs….these are what I am seeking!

When we left Daytona and headed north, driving along highway A1A, we didn’t get very far before my daughter wanted to stop alongside the road and walk along the beach again! So we stopped for an hour in Ormond Beach (we usually do!) for a walk. I had fun watching 8 seabirds skimming the surface, fishing. The synchronicity of their aerial acrobatics was awesome. My daughter totally missed it because she was engrossed in watching the bean-clams scurrying into the sand between each succession of waves coming ashore. She has been doing this for as long as I can remember (she’ll be 30 next month) and this makes me wish that my sons were with us too and that I could turn back the calendar approximately 2 decades! Soooo many of our best memories as a family with 3 young children are/were upon the Hawaiian and Floridian beaches!!!

We took a tour of the Whetstone chocolate factory in St. Augustine. That was a first for me, I’ve been on many tours (I am a Travel Agent, after all) but that was my first chocolate factory! It was interesting and they certainly DID give out free samples! (and I most certainly DIDN’T take my blood sugar reading last night!) We drove around the old part of town, like we always do. It’s fun to imagine how folks lived there when things were originally built and there weren’t any cars. The architecture is just so amazing that it’s difficult to look at everything at once while in a car; that’s why the walking tours really are the best idea if it’s your first time to visit. We used to live nearby, in Jacksonville Beach, so we’ve visited St. Augustine numerous times but every time we visit there’s something else that we choose for ‘next time’! Yesterday, my daughter exclaimed that her ‘next time’ visit will include the Pirate Museum. She doesn’t remember visiting when she was very young.

I enjoy lighthouses and try to visit every lighthouse I’m close to on any of my travels. However, the St. Augustine Light is the one that I’ve been to so many times that I’ve lost track! It’s very pretty. Lotsa folks confuse it with the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in North Carolina because of the striping design but the base and lightkeeper’s homes are not the same. There’s a small marina here also, and dozens of gnarly, crooked trees that my children always enjoyed. We used to bring our lunches and eat at the picnic area. I have good memories there. Even if we were passing through the area at night, we’d stop by (even tho it’s closed, of course) just to look. It’s great to see the light from that lighthouse sending out it’s beam from miles away, just as it’s supposed to. I know it’s ‘job’ is to warn the boats to stay away so that they won’t get too close….but it’s light also draws me to it, but then again I’m ON land! One night when we stopped at the lighthouse for a few minutes….we’d been at the theme parks in Orlando and were heading home to Jax Beach….I walked up to the fence as close to the lighthouse as I could get and looked up and I saw a girl in a white dress standing in the window. I was shocked! Who should I call? Somebody got locked in the lighthouse after closing! Oh my gosh! When I looked again, she wasn’t there. I kept looking and looking and didn’t see her anymore so we finally left, with me not knowing if I was seeing things or if the moon was somehow reflecting on something or what. A few years ago, I saw an episode of a TV show called ‘Ghosthunters’ and supposedly that lighthouse is the most haunted lighthouse that there is. It even scared those dudes on the TV show and I got a kick outa that! So the little girl in the white dress was a ghost, huh? Mystery solved! St. Augustine is the oldest town so there’s surely ghosts wandering around! Oh well, the St. Augustine Light is still my very very very FAVORITE LIGHTHOUSE and it was a great ending to our little vacation, thanks to my sweetie daughter!

Missing Daddy

ImageI’m sitting home by myself on Father’s Day, just reminiscing and MISSING DADDY. I had the best Daddio possible. I know that lotsa folks say that and I’m happy for them. I’m proud to call myself a ‘Daddy’s Girl’….always have been, always will be….even though 6 years ago my Daddy went to Heaven to live with the Lord and with his own parents.

I can hear a lawnmower outside. I hope that it’s not a father doing the work because this ought to be his special day! It reminds me of times that Daddy and my brother Alan would mow our 2-acre yard. I wasn’t allowed to use the riding lawnmower so I had to do the trimming with the clippers (and get the blisters!) just because of the ONE TIME that I actually did learn to use that mower, I accidentally lost control of the machine and shredded ALL of the bedsheets which were hanging on the clothesline! Oh well, my job took less time plus I got to plant and care for 16 rose bushes that I was very proud of!

I am the firstborn. The photo above is probably my very favorite because it shows the love in Daddy’s eyes so clearly. You see, in my father’s family there just weren’t many girl babies. They were few-and-far-between. Daddy had a bunch of brothers and just 1 sister that he barely remembered because he was 2 when she died. But she did have a son that’s a couple of years older than Daddy so he’s been kinda like another brother to him throughout his lifetime. My only girl cousin, at the time, was nearly 20 years older than me. My parents were sooooo sure that I was going to be a boy that they didn’t even have a name chosen for me! I got named after an actress that was on the cover of that particular week’s TV Guide, Jean Simmons!

Daddy and I didn’t always agree on things, he was stubborn and so am I. But now I see that my stubbornness mostly came from him. He was also wise, although at the time I didn’t usually think so. As time goes by, I find that somewhere along the way my own wisdom has increased with age. Surprisingly, it very much matches that of my father’s so long ago. He had also mellowed in his thinking by the time he was at the age that I am now, and I honestly do think that I am ‘still’ following in his footsteps. Come to think of it, so are my brothers. I reckon that’s what is meant by the word LEGACY! Rather large footprints to fill, but we each have also had our personal small adjustments to make along our own paths too. Daddy’s and Mama’s influences, however!

Whenever I have a problem or am worried about some issue, I often can search the old memory bank and come up with some scenario in the past that fits the situation and can recall how my Daddy handled it. That helps me now. Lotsa folks came to my father for help, whether it be for advice or for financial assistance, and he was willing to lend his guidance or whatever was needed for their particular need. I know that he got that compassion from HIS father, who was probably and quite possibly the KINDEST man that I ever knew. My Grandpa Harry had the largest funeral the town had ever had by that time, and folks regaled me with story after story after story of how he’d helped them during his lifetime even though he knew that he more-than-likely would never be repaid. I also learned that NOT ONE PERSON EVER heard my Grandfather gossip or say an unkind or bad word about anybody. To me, that’s amazing and I wish I could make that claim myself but I know that I fall short. Grandpa and Daddy were the very best male role models that a little girl could have had and I was extremely lucky that they were MINE! When I was young, it was fun to get to ride my bike down to Grandpa’s house to invite him for supper. He lived nearby and ate with us nearly every evening so Grandpa and Daddy were the 2 Heads-of-our-table! That’s the way it was at our house and I loved it!

So today, even though I am MISSING DADDY and Grandpa….I am feeling overwhelmingly blessed! I am fortunate that my Daddy loved me and that I was his first child. After all, I got to know him the longest! I just wish I could have some more hugs. Or better yet, to be able to climb up onto his lap like I did when I was a little girl and rest my head against his shoulder while Mama was in the kitchen and we were awaiting supper….oh my, I can almost smell those delicious aromas of Mama’s cooking now!

Silly Hats

Image

 

Hats! Hats! Hats! It seems that my family certainly enjoys hats. Myself, as I’m getting older, I find that I’m having fun with SILLY HATS. Some of them are downright corny! I have so many hats that my walk-in closet has a wall entirely of hooks and that still isn’t enough for my ballcaps. I also have cowboy hats, straw hats, sun hats, fedoras, berets, Mickey Mouse ears, etc., etc.

I’m not quite sure when I began wearing hats but I’d guess that the reason ‘why’ is because I was always fair-skinned and my folks were possibly attempting to protect as much of my face and neck from sunburn as the hat could. Being an outdoor kid in farm-country, my reason was probably fairly similiar to that of my parents: I didn’t want any more freckles! My brothers and I didn’t really have a large collection of hats long ago, we just grabbed whatever cap was hanging by the back door on our way out to do our chores or to play or whatever.

Times have indeed changed now! One of my brothers rarely wears hats but the older one is almost always seen with a ballcap. He was the sports jock of the family. Nowadays, his photos usually show him sporting a cap with either Chicago Bears or Cubs or Bulls or Indiana Pacers or Indianapolis Colts logos. My youngest son doesn’t like to wear hats unless it’s absolutely necessary but my daughter and my oldest son almost always are wearing a cap, just like their Mama….and their Uncle….and their Grandpa before!

As a college student in Honolulu, ballcaps once again made sense, especially to keep the sun out of my eyes while surfing and my thigh-length braid fit perfectly through the hole in the back while also helping to hold the cap onto my head. Besides, my family in Indiana had fun sending me ‘care packages from home’, and these often included caps proclaiming that I was a ‘Hoosier’ or from ‘Indiana’, as if I’d forget! A decade later when my three children were small and the U.S. Air Force moved us to Oahu, my fair-skinned kiddies wore lotsa hats plus sunscreen and sunglasses. I didn’t even realize the vast assortment of hats that we’d accumulated until it was time to move on to our next assignment (in Ft. Walton Beach, FL) and I started packing ALL THOSE HATS!

Ten years ago, my children and I moved to central Florida ‘just for the summer’ to become Castmembers at DisneyWorld; we’re still here! I don’t know if it has something to do with the quirkiness of the Guests that visit here from around the world, or if it’s the genuine cheerfulness of everyday life here in this area….but I’ve found that this area truly is a very HAPPY place and I really do like living around tourists and all of these asorted cultures! The older I get, the bolder and more eccentric I’m getting too. So now I have some hats that I would not have ever dreamed of wearing when I was younger! Such fun it is to put on these SILLY HATS and see what kind of reactions I can get outa my adult kids now!