Memory Lane

So it's been seven days since I last updated and I said I would write everyday. Whoops!

Today I got A LOT accomplished! Ok, ever since I got that wall mural of the beach put up in my room and got my room all fixed cute, I have taken great pride in my room and kept it clean. My closet however...different story! My closet has always been a disaster. I don't think it's actually ever been clean...yeah I don't think it has actually functioned as a proper closet's been used as "storage". Try piled to the ceiling with junk! And this is no ordinary dinky closet either, it's a fair size. Not exactly walk in, but considering this house only has two bedrooms (which is why my room is so big-10 x 16) it better not be some dinky thing! Anyway, something possessed me today to CLEAN OUT MY CLOSET. And it actually wasn't THAT bad! There were 5 garbage bags of clothes in there that I had sorted through a while ago so I could donate them, and those took up most of the space. Once those were out, it wasn't too bad and there wasn't too much junk. Well, like 3 or 4 bags of trash and then 2 more bags of stuff to be donated. But all in all, in 6 hours, my closet was CLEANED! It took all day, but it's done! I can't even believe it, I'll actually be able to USE my closet. My closet will be able to be a closet! :)

Way back in the day when this room used to be my older sister's, her and our neighbor wrote all over the walls in that closet, so I'm going to paint the walls with this lime green paint that I have left over from something. Most of my room is decorated in lime green, yellow, and blue, to go along with my beach theme, so painting the inside of the closet lime green will match just fine.

While we were sorting through the junk in my closet (my mom helped me), I pulled out this big basket of papers and stuff that I knew was my mom's stuff because it had a bunch of her papers and stuff in it. It was this big laundry basket of stuff too! So we were looking through it, and there were a lot of pictures in it (my mom has taken a TON of pictures throughout the years), as well as stuff of my dad's. My dad passed away when I was 8, so I was interested to see some of his stuff. We found his birth certificate and some letters that some of his supervisors wrote about him when he was a teacher's aid. My dad was a teacher's aid for the special education classes because they needed someone strong who could control some of the kids because they could get aggressive. My dad was a very funny, cheery, and sensitive guy, but he wasn't puny, he was a strong guy. All the letters said what a great job he did and how he accepted all of his assignments cheerfully, even when the assignments were less than ideal. Even though he had to work with children that can be very hard to work with, he accomplished what he was supposed to, and did a great job! I've always heard my dad was a good guy and I knew it, but I liked seeing it on these papers from so long ago.

Actually, being a teacher's aid for special education students is how he met my mom, who is a special education teacher. She teachers the students with learning and emotional disabilities in grades kindergarten through 5th grade! My mom is a pretty strong person to be able to do that job for going on 27 years because that job will get on your last nerve, let me tell you. It requires INCREDIBLE amounts of patience, of which I have none! My mom should be able to retire next year, but she taught for 6 years in another state. See, in the education system, you have to have 28 years in the same state. She's been teaching for 27, but first taught 6 years in another state, where she met my dad, giving her only 22 years in our current state, which sucks!

Anyways, besides those letters about my dad, I also found a Safe Driving award, which he got for driving a school bus for 8 years without wrecking. That's where I got the good driving gene from! My dad lived in a small town, so he was the teacher's aid and the bus driver and everyone knew him and liked him! My favorite thing I found today though, was notes my dad had written my mom a long time ago before I was even born. My mom moved out of state before they were married, so went they got married, he moved too. Since he had moved, he had to get a new job and he became a truck driver. Now, a truck driver plus a teacher equals no money. Since my dad was a truck driver, he would be gone on long trips a lot or have to leave at weird hours, and my was a teacher so she went to work and came home on school hours. My mom had this old typewriter that my dad loved typing on for some reason, and whenever he didn't get the chance to see her, he would type her notes on the typewriter and leave them for her on the table when she would get home. His notes were so sweet! He truly loved my mom, it was obvious! He wrote about how he cleaned up the house for her, or washed the dishes and stuff. He always told her not to worry about the money situation because he would take care of her and that she just needs to relax and rest. But man were they poor! In one of the letters my dad said he took out ONE DOLLAR from their bank account to use on gas, and he said it hopes it takes him to and from wherever he was going. ONE DOLLAR! Back then our washing machine broke down, and he talked about how he had to wear dirty clothes to work once. After they got the washing machine fixed, the dryer broke. That was a really hard time for them! But my dad kept telling my mom not to worry, that he would figure it out. In one letter he even talked about how this is all a part of God's plan and that this is what He wants, and it'll work out in the end. On all of his letters, he always signed them your loving husband, or your loving husband forever and stuff like that. But one made me really sad, because he had signed it, "your loving husband until death". I sometimes wonder how things would be if he were still here. I wonder if I would be any different. I miss him a lot, and even though I was 8 when he passed away, I don't remember much. I've always loved those "true love" stories, but I never really realized that my parents were one of those stories. Even though my dad was married once before and had a daughter (my oldest sister) and my mom was married twice before (2nd oldest sister with 2nd husband) they were meant to be together and they truly loved each other.

My dad's parents (the only grandparents I've ever known) also had that true love. My grandparents met on a blind date way back in the day, and all my grandma did was do some of her home cooking, and my grandpa knew she was the one for him. They were together for 51 years until my grandma passed away in 2000. My grandparents were such good people! They were always so gracious and welcomed everyone into their home. They've always lived in a small town where everyone pretty much knows everyone, so they would keep their front door open and people would just stop by and come on in. My grandma was like the queen of the kitchen-she had this huge country-style kitchen, not like the dinky ones they make today-and she always had something on the table for you to eat if you stopped by. Her biscuits are a legend and I sure do miss them!

My grandparents were hardworking too. They both worked very long hours at the mill factory down the road from their house. My grandpa actually started working in the mill when he was 14 because his dad wanted to put him to work and lied and said he was 16. The factory people bought it too because my grandpa was tall and had broad shoulders for a 14 year old. When he was older, he repaired the heavy machinery. Then he served in WWII, and he was at Iowa Jima and was 200 yards away from the people raising the flag and everything, but the day he got back from the service, he went right back to work without even a day off. He said it was because he didn't want to get lazy. That is one hardworking man. He even worked long hours in the mill for 7 days a week for 7 years, without a single day off. My grandma worked long hard 12 hour shifts as well. All the while raising 4 children. My grandma and grandpa made sure they had alternating shifts at work so a parent would always be home with the kids. I've never known any other people like them.

Today, there just aren't people like that anymore. The time period they grew up in was way different from today. They were born in the mid to late 20s, so they grew up in the 30's and 40's.

12:30 a.m. - January 16, 2006


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