Saturday, September 27, 2014

Not your ordinary lunch

I spent all day yesterday shopping for my grand daughter.  Her 3rd birthday is coming up and her momma told me she had no fall/winter clothes that fit her.  Well, I decided to remedy that by buying her everything I could afford.  After raising 3 boys, buying little girls clothing is actually a fun activity that involves a lot of "ooooh'ing" and "awwww'ing"... even when you are by yourself.  Needless to say I enjoyed spending my husbands hard earned money on tiny pink articles of material.

After buying out the store (haha) I realized that all that shopping had made me hungry.  I drove to Chic-Fil-A and ordered my usual meal.  It was such a beautiful day I thought it would be ideal to eat my lunch at the park instead of alone in the restaurant or by myself in my car. The short drive to the park was pleasant and only took a few minutes.  I resisted eating my freshly cooked waffle fries until I arrived at my destination.  Ok, truthfully I didn't fully resist but I did half heartedly try. I only had one or five.  When I arrived at the park I found the only open parking spot and wouldn't you know it, it's shaded.  I smiled because that was just the kind of day I was having, a good one.  I pulled into the spot, rolled down my windows and took in a deep breath of fresh air.  It was such a beautiful day.

I reached into my bag and stuffed a waffle fry in my mouth as I looked up to see the beauty of the creek before me.  I heard an out of place muffled noise and when I looked to my right to see what it was I realized the guy in a small green truck next to me also had his window down and he was apparently having a better lunch than I was.  All I could see was a head of dark brown hair bobbing up and down in Mr Green Trucks lap. 
Was I seeing what I thought I was seeing? 
No, surely not.  Not in the middle of the day at the park.
At this moment I realized that I was staring because the bobbing dark brown head of hair now had a brown eyeball that was now looking at me.
My mouth was obviously gaping open because my waffle fry fell out of my mouth and laded on my lap.  I quickly put my car in reverse and backed out of the parking spot.  Oddly enough, in my haste I nearly hit a school bus that was parked nearby.


Friday, September 26, 2014

I'm a dreamer

As far back as I can remember, I have always had very vivid dreams.  Sometimes I can even remember multiple dreams that I had during the night.  The dreams that I enjoy the most are the ones when my dad shows up.  Since his death in January 2013 he has appeared in my dreams multiple times.  When he shows up its like my regular dream gets put on hold and all my focus goes to him.  Last night was no exception.  I was having a dream where I was walking through a partially constructed home.  I turned a corner and walked almost directly into my father.  I hugged him and told him I loved him.  In a past dream he had actually gotten on to me for the way I acted when I saw him.  He had told me that I had to stop crying and holding on to him every time he appeared in my dreams.  So this time there was no crying but I couldn't help but hug him really tight.  He looked good.  He looked like the daddy I remembered before the cancer. 

He walked around a table and stood across from me.  We talked for a while. 
I asked him "What do you do all day?'
To which he replied in his typical Roger Allen style "stuff".
"What kind of stuff?" I looked at him as he just shrugged his shoulders and then replied "Just stuff."
He thought for a moment and then said "I gave up wifing."  (pronounced Wife+ing)
"Wifing?"  I asked
"Yeah, I don't have anyone else to take care of." 
His words sounded kind of sad.  Almost lonely.  And as if he could read my thoughts he continued with "I don't need to be around others.  It's different here.  It's as if I don't care. No, that's not the right word.  It's as if everything is less."
Somehow I understood what he meant.  "You don't have feelings or emotions in the afterlife?"
"Yes, well no.  I still have them they are just ..."  He was searching for the right word. "Diffused."
We could hear footsteps coming near us.  We both knew they belonged to my mother.  My father looked at me and said "I should go."
"No daddy wait.  Momma hasn't seen you in her dreams.  Just say hello to her."  I begged him.
He sighed and stopped walking toward the back door and came and stood next to me.  I grabbed his had and walked toward the sound of my mothers footsteps.  She saw me come around the corner and I said to her "Mom, guess who is here to say hello to you?"  Then daddy walked around the corner and she saw him.  She just stood there, frozen.  Not really knowing what to say.  "Momma, it's really him.  You can ask him anything." 
"Roger?!"  She said as she gazed upon him.  They just looked at each other and I could sense that they had a lot to talk about.  I wanted to leave them so they could have some privacy but I didn't want to go.
He looked at me and smiled "Yes Chantele"
"How come mommas never seen you before?"
He squeezed my hand a bit then said "We choose one person to connect with.  I chose you."  Then he turned to go talk to my mom and I woke up.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Life as I know it

Sometimes I wonder why I ever had children.  Then I remember, oh, yeah, I was only 16 when I found out I was pregnant.  I will never forget the day I told my parents the news.  The look of disappointment on my fathers face was too much for me to bare.  My mother was furious and started saying horribly mean things to me.  She called me a whore (amongst other things).  She instantly wanted me to have an abortion.  She thought that this unplanned pregnancy at such a young age was a discrace to the family and that I should end it before anyone found out.  She told me that I was an embarrassment to her and my father.  Within the next 24 hours she even made the appointment to have the pregnancy ended..  Her reasoning was that I was only a minor and therefore she could dictate any healthcare choices for me, whether I wanted them or not. I hadn't planned the pregnancy.  I didn't want a child.  I was only 16.

I refused to follow through with her intentions. I couldn't imagine killing the child just because I was too stupid to comprehend the true meaning behind the saying "If you play, you pay."   I left home the evening before the appointment and didn't come home until dinner the following night. My mother was mad at me but later agreed to respect my decision after I explained how the words "Thou shall not kill" kept ringing in my head and how strongly I felt the conviction in my heart that I simply will not murder this baby.

My mothers next mission was becoming insistent that I give the child up for adoption.  She pointed out that many people can't have a child of their own and would love to adopt my baby.  I refused.  I didn't plan this pregnancy.  I didn't want a child.  But yet, I didn't want to make another life decision that I knew I would regret for eternity.  She took it upon herself to make an appointment anyway.  This time she didn't inform me about it ahead of time.  When we arrived at the adoption agency I was completely surprised because she tricked me by asking me to go shopping with her instead.  I remember being taken into an office and told that there are many wonderful couples that I could choose from to give my baby too.  The lady behind the desk showed me pictures of them, told me all about their lives, and discussed the entire process with me. She was a very kind woman and was doing her darnedest to sell me on the idea.  She almost had me convinced it was the best possible option until she mentioned that "at birth adoptions" meant that as soon as I gave birth, the baby would be given to the adoptive parents and I would not be able to hold him or ever see him again.  She insisted that they have discovered that this method was actually easier on the birth mother in the long run.

I was only 16.  I didn't plan this pregnancy.  I didn't want a child.  But yet, the thought of never holding my baby, this little piece of me, was the definite deciding factor.  I politely told her I had no intentions of giving my baby up for adoption and I stood up and walked out of the office with my mother following angrily behind me.

Over the next few weeks my mother became accustomed to the fact that I was going to have a baby. 

I hid the pregnancy very well at school. I was only a  Junior in high school at the time.  No one knew I was pregnant until my sixth month.  I just woke up one morning and all of a sudden I couldn't hide that I was showing anymore.  I was a tiny little thing that only weighed 98 lbs prior to being with child.  By then end of my pregnancy my weight skyrocketed all the way up to 168 lbs.   My mother took me shopping for some maternity clothes because nothing I owned fit.  My feet were even swollen and I couldn't wear any of my shoes.  I'll never forget the look on the sales clerk face when my mother asked her where the maternity department was.  The clerk looked at me then at my mother then back at me.  The look of disgust on her face.  She said "For her?!  She looks 12!"  I guess it didn't help that I am only 4'11" and have always looked very young for my age.  My mother grabbed my hand and replied to the clerk "Well, she's not." Then she marched away and found the preggo clothes on her own. 

The type of reaction that the sales clerk gave us wasn't rare.  Every where I went, that was the type of treatment I received.  Even at school.  I had gone from having many friends and the ability to mingle with many different "clicks" to only having a select few friends that would still talk to me and even fewer that would be seen in my company.  It was 1992 and 16 and pregnant was not an every day occurrence in the TN school system.  The whispers and the giggles and the false rumors of guys I never knew existed being just a knotch on my bedpost were rampant.  I realized who my real friends were.  Oddly enough, it wasn't the ones I had expected.  I did my best to hold my head high and tried to keep my mouth shut.  Constantly hearing the words "Slut", "Whore", "Tramp" as I walked down the halls made both of those things very hard to do.  One afternoon  I was called into the office and was told that my pregnancy was a disturbance to the other students.  I was instructed to complete the school year out by being home schooled.  At first I was offended, then I was relived and thankful. 

During my last trimester my parents and I went on vacation in Florida.  Big mistake.  The ride down there was miserable.  The air conditioning in my daddys blazer quit working half way there.  Which is also why my parents from that point on started renting a car when they travel so they don't have to deal with costly repairs while away from home.  It was a particularly hot summer with temperatures into the 100's. I remember sticking my head out the window like a dog trying to cool off as we drove down the interstate.  It didn't help.  With temperatures that hot the wind was hot too.  It was like blowing a heater in my face instead.  We stopped in a nearby town so we could get the air fixed.  The story goes that the mechanic knew we were in a hurry to get it fixed and that we were traveling and when my dad asked him "How much will it cost?"  The mechanic said "How much do you have?"  My dad opened his wallet and the guy said "Yep, that'll do."  While they were working on it, we went over to a nearby Denny's to get something to eat.  When we walked in the hostess looked at me with a look of pure disgust on her face and asked if  I "would you like a childs menu?"  I'm not sure if my mothers maternal instinct kicked in, or if it was from the heat, or from spending all our spending money on the air conditioner but she went off on that woman.  I don't remember the exact words she used but I do remember that she put that woman in her place and I felt proud of her for sticking up for me even though I knew that I didn't deserve to be stood up for.

I tell you all this only to go back to why I began this post in the first place.  My son, who I fought to have and keep,  who is now a 22 year old adult male child aggravates me to no extent.  He got this hair-brained idea to move to California and start a career selling solar energy with a guy he met by playing video games with him online.  He calls me and says he wants to come home.  He's been there 3 months and he has been sleeping on other coworkers floors.  He hasn't even had a bed.  I ask him if he is sure he wants to come home because if he is, I'll fly out there and ride back with him so he won't have to make the cross country drive by himself.  He assures me that yes, he is sure.  I buy the plane ticket so I can fly there then ride back with him on following Tuesday (Tuesday is the cheapest day to fly).  Saturday night he calls and tells me that he has changed his mind, he isn't coming home.  He is going to stay and make it work there even after he had already quit his job.  He was offered a job at another company and he wants to stay and see if he can make it work in California.  He says he is afraid of being considered a quitter and wants to see this through. 

He is stubborn.  Like his momma.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Life goes on

A lot has happened since my last post. I landed a job that I loved but with a company that had no morals, I ended up leaving after only a year and a half. I've been home writing novels since then. I just submitted my first fantasy fiction novel to a literary agent. Cross your fingers and toes that I get published. I read somewhere that J.K. Rowling was turned down by dozens of agents and it took her over a year to get someone to publish her first Harry Potter book. I am keeping that in mind as I wait to hear a response from submitting for the very first time. I'm sure I will (eventually) post something here about when it finally happens.

2013 wasn't a good year for me. My father lost his battle with cancer and passed away at his home on January 16th. I was at work when I got the news and a huge part of me died that day. My dad was always the one person that I went to for wisdom and advice. Here it is 15 months later and I am crying as I merely mention his passing. I miss him so much. My dad and I were very close. My sisters were older then me and never wanted their baby sister to be in their room or playing with their stuff so I ended up hanging out with my dad instead. He always welcomed me to come sit on the couch with him or to assist him out in his shed or in the yard. I was my daddy's shadow. Where ever he went, I was right behind him. I can't count the number of times we went to junk yards and pulled parts off cars together. He taught me what every tool is called and what it's purpose is. My dad also taught me that a real man treats his family with love and respect. I never once heard him yell or lose his temper. He was always jolly and fun to be around. I miss him so much.

In October I lost my dog Sugar. She was 15 years old and loved me till her last hour. She was a loyal dog that I had since she was only a pup. We suspected that Rosco would probably follow in her footsteps and were saddened to discover we were right. In February 2014 he had a stroke and was buried in the yard next to Sugar. Losing him was harder than losing Sugar. I guess my grief meter was full and toppled over. I should learn how to write a country song because I think I have enough sorrow to fill one. Even my dogs are gone.

On a happier note, my youngest child, Tanner, graduated with honors from high school last May and is about to complete his freshman year at Middle Tennessee State University. He would like to become a college professor of mathematics. He has many years of school still ahead of him. He is one of the smartest people I know, I believe he will succeed.

On an even happier note, in July 2013 my husband and I went to Hawaii for 2 weeks to celebrate our 20th anniversary. While there we fell in love with the way of life, the people, the culture, the beauty of the island and have recently come to the decision to move there. I checked into the price of shipping our possessions over there and it was outrageous. We have decided to sell everything and start fresh in Hawaii. We want to live a simple life once we get there. We plan on living off grid with water catchment and solar energy. In order to make that dream a reality we will have to sell everything we own including cars, trucks, motorcycles, house, furniture, tools, crafts, artwork, electronics, dishes, appliances, clothes....EVERYTHING! We plan on only taking what we can fit in our luggage.

I was doing some research online and read that if you are going to sell everything you own that it's best to set up a blog to list the stuff on. I will also be creating Ebay listings with most things starting at $0.99 with no reserve because I have to sell everything so I will just let everything go for whatever it goes for. Whatever we make we will put towards our Hawaii Fund. I'm sure we will also have several yard sales through out the entire process too. Be on the lookout for more info.

Once everything is sold, including the house, we will live happily ever after in paradise.

You have not because you ask not.

If anyone has a kind heart and deep pockets, please feel free to aid in making our dream a reality.

- Chantele

Sunday, April 15, 2012


"Oh, the gift that God could give us to see ourselves as others see us." From my last few blog posts I can only assume the worst of what others may think of me. I am not usually a whiner. In fact, I try to be positive and upbeat most of the time but lately life just has been harsh and remaining positive has been nearly impossible. After dwelling on my circumstances (for far too long) I have decided to refuse to allow them to control me anymore. Oh, my problems aren't gone. In fact, they have unbearably gotten worse. I am now in a position where I truly have no idea what will come of me but at the same time, I have decided to not let it affect my outer persona any longer.

I am determined to help myself and by doing so the first thing I must do is start searching for employment. I had hoped this could have waited until my father was healthy again but unfortunately, life doesn't always go according to plan. I hate the idea of not always being there for him. I keep his spirits lifted and when I am gone for just one day, it shows in his demeanor. This is the part that bothers me the most because I know that he really needs me. I am not one to walk away from responsibilities but when looking at the cards I have been dealt, returning to work it the obvious next step even if it does mean not being there to help take care of him. I'm so sorry daddy.

One way or another things will work out, life always seems to find a way. It's just a matter of time and heartache along the way. I am stepping into unknown territory and even though the "who, what, when, and where" are not determined yet I have faith that I will be just fine. Although, it is hard to prepare for a journey especially when you are unsure of your destination.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." - Lao-tzu

I did it. I took the first step. FDR wasn't entirely accurate when he said "You have nothing to fear but fear itself." but I am strong and I know I WILL persevere, one way or another.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Hard decisions

Life isn't always fair or easy. This comes to no surprise to anyone as everyone has already learned this truth on their own. This is the one similarity that all of humanity shares with one another. Our bond that holds us together, so to speak.

The Road Not Taken

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

- Robert Frost

I find myself standing at a crossroad and wanting to walk in a new untrodden direction but discover I am afraid to move. Frozen, if you will. My fear of not only the unknown but also of the known. Every crossroad has choices. Every action has a reaction. Every decision has a consequence.

Life really does need an easy button.