He called her Beauty

BeautyShe was so black she looked like she was shining in the sun when she sweated. She stood five and a half feet tall to the shoulder which was more than half a foot taller than I was at 13 years old. Everyone loved her, she was the most gentle, fastest and best horse anyone could ride and he let me ride her.  I had ridden many horses by then but none as special as her. Beauty belonged to Gramps and Gramps was just everyone’s favorite person. He always had a story to tell and if you were feeling a little down he would listen just as well and give you a little advice if he thought you needed it or would listen.

The trail ride started out at the beer joint by the bayou and would around back roads to lake Houston and then to Kickapoo creek before it was over on Sunday. Now, my memory finds it humorous that someone thought it would be a bright idea to get someone to let them use the local ice cream truck to follow along the route and hand out beer and soda’s to the riders while playing radio music along the way. The funniest thing I had ever seen and at the time the song “dead skunk in the middle of the road” must have been very popular because I heard it at least 10 times in one day and laughed each time.

My good friend Dianne was riding her own horse, Buckeye. She called him that because he was a cream color with a big dark brown circle around his right eye. Dianne was a very good rider and had been on a horse most of her life. I was not as lucky and just rode anyone’s horse that nobody else was riding. Even though Buckeye was a good horse, he was a little spirited and would try to “dance” around and walk sideways if he got nervous about the traffic or some other horse he didn’t like.  Every horse has its own temperament and interesting name that sort of goes with either the horse or the owner. Billy had a big black stallion with a white patch on his side and he called him Blacky. Chick (Billy’s wife) had a blonde little horse that had a platinum mane and she called her Honey so, on and on it goes. At one point I was riding Honey because Billy got too drunk to ride and Blacky didn’t like anyone riding him that he didn’t know. Chick was tough and didn’t put up with either Blacky or Billy’s crap so, she made her husband get on the ice cream truck and let me ride Honey, I was so proud to be given a chance to ride her.

Everyone got settled into the park before dark and all the kids got to go swimming and run around acting like kids for a while. The adults who were still sober started making hot dogs and sandwiches for everyone while the horses and vehicles were getting taken care of. All the horses got to go to the lake for water and back in their trailers for the night. A person wouldn’t think that riding a horse all day would be very tiring but take it from me, your behind is wore out. Swimming and riding and running around pretty much ensures that all the kids are sleeping not too long after dark.

Adults keep partying way later than the kids are able and not quite as eager to jump up out of the tents in the morning. Loaded up and back on the road to the last stop, Kickapoo Creek.  Ice cream truck playing Bill Bailey wont you please come home, passing out beers and the hot Texas sun pretty soon looking up the line of horses, there is one out of line and the rider was hanging on sideways already passed out.  Gramps had one foot still in the stirrup and if it were not for Beauty being such a great horse he would have cracked his punkin on that road and that would have been it for him. Beauty was great, she just slowed down and took a few steps every once in a while till someone started yelling out “Get a rider, get a rider for Beauty” .. oh my gosh .. oh my gosh .. what are they going to do, next thing I know someone in a truck came around and got me off the back of the wagon and we were hell for leather up the line. What the heck, is going on. They got Gramps off the horse and asked him if I could ride her into camp, he looked over and smiled and said .. Hell yea that girl can ride her, she can do it.

Riding down the black top road on Beauty, oh my gosh that was amazing. She was so tall and proud and her backside just swayed like a porch swing. I don’t recall being more proud to ride any animal. Pretty soon, here comes Dianne and Buckeye sidling up on the outside of the line, she leaned over and said “want to have some fun”, well of course but you never knew what you were gonna get because she was as wild as all my cousins put together.

Whatch thinking? .. Well, she said .. when we get to the dirt road to Kickapoo .. I will race ya to the lake. Looking over at Buckeye, I knew Beauty could take him but, could I handle getting her to beat Dianne. Not to be outdone, I said hell yea and you are gonna get your ass beat, to which she laughed so hard I thought she was going to choke.

Fear set in as I saw the road come up and the line turning. She looked over at me and I nodded, she went left and I went right. Beauty must have know what was up because one slap of the reigns on her neck and she was flying aroung the slow horses on the side of the road and kicking up dirt. I looked over and didnt see Buckeye or any sign of Dianne so I stood up in the stirrups and popped Beauty on the side hard. Leaning forward she shot out of the line and we were off and racing.

On the dirt road both Buckeye and Beauty were kicking up dirt and everyone was screaming for us to stop before we killed ourself. My heart was racing and I could just hang on and try to breathe. I didnt know what to do so I just hung on and tried to remember to just lean in and hold the hell on. There is nothing else that makes a sound like a horse runing for everything it has on a dirt road, its like that is what they wait all their life to get a chance to do.

The road started curving to the left and the lake appeared in front of us and we both knew the only way to stop this was the lake. Pulling hard to the left Beauty decided to go for the lake about the time Buckey shot around us. She wasnt having any of that and took off anew after Dianne and Buckeye. We hit the lake about the same time and neither horse stopped until they were neck deep in the water and our asses were in the drink.

By the time we got the horses out of the lake, there was a crowd of people around and I was getting told to put Beauty up and find my parents fast because I was about to get killed. Even though I suffered greatly, Gramps said I did a hell of a job beating Buckeyes young self and the whipping was bound to have been worth it. Well, I am not sure if it was from the riding, the racing of the beathing but my butt and legs were black for weeks afterward and every time I sat down I still felt great about winning.

 

 

 

About Me, what my heart craves

I have had my critics regarding the work I have recently done, and I am reminded of a thought I had when I was young and felt very wise. If we allow ourselves to be governed by our critics, we will never find the success that our heart craves. Many times in my life I have been that person who sought approval, I am however seeking my way through the corners of my memory to find that which My heart craves.

Unless you know me personally, the stories that I share may seem a bit off, or not quite what you think a normal generic type story might be. I am a person who loves words and telling stories, I have a genuine affection for the written word. I have worked professionally as a writer on several occasions. Most of the work that I have published I really like but what I am doing here is what I truly LOVE.

My childhood growing up was not what normal, TV families look like. Mine was more like what you would see in a scary movie setting. You will notice that I use terms for people in my stories that don’t actually tell you who I am referring to, I do this on purpose as to not subject myself to lawsuits.

I have family that I do not deal with because they might be in jail or not, looking for a lawsuit or payoff, being sought by the authorities or any number of other things that make them people who I really don’t want to have to deal with. Some of my family are wonderful people and others yet are the people who I have decided to be my family. This is why I don’t always use people’s factual names even though the events are factual to my memory.

Conroe was and might still be the county seat for Montgomery County, being a child with time on your hands in Conroe, my hometown was a kids paradise. We could ride our bikes anywhere in town and pick up coke bottles along the way to the little store down the street and have enough money to buy a soda and a candy. Gather up enough bottles through the week and it would be Saturday movie at the “picture show” downtown. Several times in our life we lived across the street or down the street from our cousins and aunts and uncles and it just seemed like we had a great life going to each other’s house and getting chased by our brothers and cousins until we ran out of breath or ground to run on and had to climb a tree to get away from a possible beating, or at least that is what we thought at the time.

A childhood memory is just that, a memory. It is for a reason that they are not always good or bad, just our brain’s way to protect us from the ugly truth and allow us to dream about that which our heart craves.

 

A Way Out

A Life Imagined

The room seemed too hot today. It was always hot in a ten foot wide room surrounded in aluminum. A rented trailer with four rooms for seven people just doesn’t get cool, ever. August of 1975 was just hot no matter where you were in South Texas but being in a ten by fifty-two foot trailer with six other people who expected a lot from a fifteen year old girl made matters worse. Everything you touch was sticky. Grease from the little stove in the kitchen area that served as a dining area that also was an open area to the living room, floated around freely when you cooked. Everything you cooked had grease on it because that is what you had to cook with, grease. Dry air from outside brought in the dust when the cars and big trucks rumbled by and that would stick to everything else. It’s no…

View original post 268 more words

America, you are still the best

Some might say that America is going down the toilet pretty fast. This is nothing new to hear, it has been said for many years. Our grandparents said it, our parents and everyone in their generation. We will probably say the same thing ourselves. The irony is that if you were forced to choose somewhere else to live, wouldn’t you consider a place that has all the conveniences that we have here?  Can you get good cell phone coverage? Are there public transit or good roads, will you be able to get a job easier? Are there doctors there who actually went to school, will you be able to get your medication? Lest we forget, what is the crime situation? Will men and women have the same rights, can a woman drive a car without a man present?

All the scenario’s run through your head and when you settle yourself down with a moment of peace you realize, the choice to leave this great country of AMERICA is not an easy one, because what ever you choose, you will be sacrificing something.

Until You Knew

Many of you can think of a time in your life that changed the way you thought about a person or a thing or even a situation. Sometimes the person did not live up to your expectations and until you …

Source: Until You Knew

Until You Knew

Many of you can think of a time in your life that changed the way you thought about a person or a thing or even a situation. Sometimes the person did not live up to your expectations and until you knew more about them, you made assumptions based on the interactions that you had with this person. Then some change occurred and you then knew, and you ask yourself for a moment if this is who you thought they were after all. Did this change just because you had some piece of information or feeling about this person, probably. More important for you to think about is, would there have been this change had you not known?

Looking into the mirror we see a certain person that does not exist, until we look into our own reflection and examine what we know about our self. The person other people react or fail to react to may not be the person we see in the mirror. We wonder sometimes how this happens, well let me just explain a bit. Until you knew what others believed of you, or created in their dealing with you to be, you simply thought of yourself in terms of what you might or might not have accomplished, whether you were happy in your perception of yourself based upon other peoples reactions to you and your outward projection of yourself.

Further imagine if you will, being of a certain age and catching a glance of yourself in the mirror and wondering who that person is .. just for a second not knowing it is your own reflection. It doesnt seem to be you, because they may seem more stooped with age, more wrinkled and grey but it is you all the same. You don’t feel like that person in the mirror but now that you know the reflection is indeed you, how do you imagine you will feel?

If you had stayed

Your hands were so strong, I thought that you could put two rocks in your fist like acorns and crack them open to reveal a magical surprise. Placing your hand on my cheek to get my attention showed me, just how kind and soft your grip could actually be.

You can tell a lot about a person from their hands, and I have really studied yours. I know mine look nothing like yours, but they are strong and kind because you let me see that I could be that person when I was young enough to adapt to your sensibilities.

Your hand over your heart, staring at the flag made me so proud and to this day I honor your vigilance in keeping our country free and sacrificing so very much of yourself in the process. If you had stayed here, with us on earth I believe I would have learned more and been a different person but, that was not meant to be.

Your tears are mine, your sorrow is shared in the secular dissimulation of our family. I shudder to imagine if you had stayed what it would be like for the ones who set out to destroy what you held so dear in your heart.

I really cant say if anyone would repeat that I was a “daddy’s girl”, but as I get older I find comfort in thinking that I was. You made me feel safe, loved and normal in comparison to the crazy life we led.

So much of the time the things that remind me of what might have been had you been here a lot longer are your Great grandchildren. You have a grandson who could really benefit from your wisdom. I would love for him to be able to go to the river with you and learn how to walk through the woods without making a sound. He has your focus in so many great ways, but it is not directed in any certain direction.  As a young man growing up without his own father, you would have been such a breath of fresh air for him, to be able to share his heart and learn from yours. Loyalty is another aspect of your soul that just touches me deeply. When friends or family turn their backs or just are not there for me when I think they should be, I am reminded of the times that your family turned away from us and you still loved them and were patient and when they were ready to be a part of our life, you would just act as is nothing ever changed and it might as well be last weekend we saw each other at the park, when in actuality it may have been months. You were loyal to all of us. You loved us no matter our faults.

If you had stayed would you love the family that I have created for myself just as much as I do, would your eyes light up when the love of my life enters the room just as mine do. If you had stayed you would have one of the most adorable great granddaughters you could imagine and boy, let me tell you something .. that girl would love you to the end of the solar system. She has that BIG LOVE, just like you do.

If you had stayed you would know the friends that are in my life that make me a better person were part of the grand design, and I am sure that you have had your hand in the making of some of these relationships.

The friends who keep me calm and cool when all I want to do is act a fool and yell at people are the ones that step in with their quiet, healing love and just settle my soul. I am sure you would smile pretty big to see that happen, heck you already do from your side of the rainbow I am sure.

So many times I feel like I hardly knew you, that you left way too soon and there was so much more that I was suppose to learn from your experiences.

When you were part of my life, my world I was most happy and there are days now that I am so ashamed to feel that you would not be happy with the way that I am ill, or out of shape and do not fulfill enough of my own expectations to be able to make you proud. I wonder how you could be proud of me, sick and not able to get better. Then I remember that I gave up the one thing that had the most to do with your departure, alcohol does not control me the way that it had for a very long time. I gave up drinking when you left and it was over ten years before I decided a few things for myself about alcohol. The first thing I had to understand was that when I was drinking, alcohol controlled me. I stopped drinking and alcohol still controlled my life.

For me to have my life back, I knew that I had to control what I did and what I did not do, so now I am in control. There are many people who will say that once it has you under its control you are never able to get the life back that you had. Well, I am here to tell you that all that it appears to be in your group may not be the truth in my group.

A Way Out

The room seemed too hot today. It was always hot in a ten foot wide room surrounded in aluminum. A rented trailer with four rooms for seven people just doesn’t get cool, ever. August of 1975 was just hot no matter where you were in South Texas but being in a ten by fifty-two foot trailer with six other people who expected a lot from a fifteen year old girl made matters worse. Everything you touch was sticky. Grease from the little stove in the kitchen area that served as a dining area that also was an open area to the living room, floated around freely when you cooked. Everything you cooked had grease on it because that is what you had to cook with, grease. Dry air from outside brought in the dust when the cars and big trucks rumbled by and that would stick to everything else. It’s no wonder everyone was pissed off all the time. Daddy wasn’t working much because he had broken ribs, from when momma tried to throw him out of the car so there wasn’t much money. This was just a mess and I sure didn’t know how they managed to get us into this place. I couldn’t even find a library to get a book to read. Well at least there was school when they didn’t have something for me to do, I had a good English teacher and she was really helping me with understanding poetry. If it would just cool off a little or a breeze would pop up I could go out to the picnic bench and read this book I got from my teacher.

Changing clothes in gym class wasn’t a big deal anymore. Sometimes it was the only sure way to have a shower. Wearing the clothes that came from the lost and found, because we couldn’t afford a gym outfit like the other kids was another matter. The crisp white shorts and shirts that the other girls wore was an obvious difference from the kind of greyish tone the ones the gym teacher handed out to me. The difference was noticed by the other girls. You either were new and hadn’t got your gym clothes yet, or you were one of the kind of kids who always wore the hand out clothes. They never quite smelled right, even after I took them home and washed them out in the sink with a bar of soap. Somehow they always smelled like other people’s sweat and dirt.

These Shoes are not just for traveling

GuadalupeFootwear, perfectly acceptable to cover the foot and keep the toes and pads of said feet dry and out of harm’s way when walking in stickers and across stones. However, if not merely intended to travel and protect what they are, if not to impress someone. That someone, could very well be our self, as we catch a glimpse in the mirrored window or doorway. In that moment our head turns it is brief, but very important is the snap. That snap to attention that says “Bam” you look good.
When you look good, you feel confident in yourself and in the way that you walk. That confidence takes over the way you present yourself and your words to others. Pretty soon it’s the whole Cinderella syndrome and the right pair of shoes can and does change your life.
I have been in a room with all different types of people and the self-confidence might be a little low or kind of lurking around. It might be one of those days where I am just trying to figure out if I should just hang back and be an observer. Sometimes that is just what I am supposed to be, an observer because I learn best when I am in the middle of the room not the middle of the spotlight.
Behold, I wore the “look at me” shoes. On that day women, men and even children come up and start talking to me for no particular reason. One of the first things they say though is “I just love your shoes”. Now you know you have a great shoes when a man or a child will compliment your shoe choices.
Cinderella had her dreams and her Imagination for sure, think about it for a moment. Those little mice needed to have her help creating the perfect dress and that pumpkin carriage. Becoming a Princess without imagination means she would have still been her step sister’s slave forever. She dreamed though. She imagined that she could go places she had never ever seen. She imagined there were things for her outside of the attic, in which he was hiding away in.

Shoes, no .. They are not just for travelling. They are for living, and imagination.

Where Imagination Begins

When I was a little kid, things were not so easy for me. I grew up in a situation most people don’t want to think about. One of the ways I would take myself out of the hard times was to imagine where I would be when I grew up. Some of the scenes that played out in my world created just for me, were from television shows like The Mary Tyler Moore show, being a journalist or a writer for a magazine like Marlo Thomas. Yes, I am very much telling my age. I would live in an apartment with a door man like Rhoda and Mary and nobody could come in without my permission to harm me or take away my thoughts and dreams.

The only way this kind of dream or Imagined world could happen though was if I became very talented at using words and putting them together to make people see what I imagined or what I would see, and wanted them to see through my eyes.

An education was the only way out but that was not easy when it is not encouraged, so reading and writing on anything you can find becomes your best friend. Your worlds collide and what you imagine is what you work the hardest to achieve. Even through deprivation, depression, whippings, having your belongings taken away or left behind it doesn’t matter. What matters is the dream of not being in the moment of being whipped or cursed at for your dreams. What matters is learning new words and what they mean and how they sound when they roll off of your tongue and how they look in a sentence.

Other dreams come into your life when the dream of being in a faraway place never materialize, like having a job that pays well and gives you good benefits and lets you learn something that you never thought you would be able to learn before.

I dreamed of being able to live in one place for longer than a whole year, then longer than two years but that was not to happen for a long time.

A life imagined can take to great places and teach you strange and unusual things. This way of living can show you that you are made of more than you were brought into this world believing you could ever be, if you only imagine that you can see yourself in a better place than you are at that very moment.

A life of imagining more, for yourself and what you can do for others was not what I thought of as a young child. I only thought of myself and escape. My how it has changed not only my dreams but my life, imagined.