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And not in a good way!!! During the wee hours of the morning the alarm went off at our small country school here in Walthall County, Ms. Some young fool had managed to break in and set a few fires. Some young fool (possibly the same one who did such ridiculousness) had stated at school yesterday that he wanted to burn the place down. Some young fool will be deeply regretting his/her actions for the rest of their life. Setting fire to a school not only involved the local law, but the FBI. Lawdy have mercy!!!
Our youth are experiencing far too much in their young lives. They have faced the death of 2 teachers from natural causes, a young female teacher having sex with teen boys, deaths from wrecks, just recently the loss of a friend when his twin brother accidentally shot him, and now this-someone trying to burn the school down.
These incidents are tremendous stressors in their life. Then you add to that the fact that about half of them, at least, have family issues at home, plus it’s just hard being a kid –fitting in, finding your place, dealing with insecurities, raging hormones, and all the other stuff kids deal with just because they are kids.
T and I went to Vicksburg on Sunday, Dec. 31. We stayed overnight, got up Monday, shopped around and came home. Tuesday we got up and as we were cooking breakfast Shandi came in. She sat at the bar and Paw walked over to hug her and she (being Shandi) pushed him away. He went off on her telling her if she couldn’t change her attitude she could go back up the hill-he was going to leave. And he did. He finished frying the eggs and got his jacket and left, like a spoiled child. Given his truck is broken down and funds are tight and we are concerned about $ to fix it. True, he has health issues and at our age we really shouldn’t be raising younguns, but they are good kids.
Stacie of course is being Stacie. Sleeps all day, stays up all night, Acts weird when she comes around, like she’s on something. Tries to make the girls love her and socialize with her.
She went with Ana and I on Friday, Jan. 2 to Ana’s eval in Hattiesburg, she slouched in the chair while we waited, looking like a beached whale. She complained about the shopping Ana wanted to do and whined because she had to pay bills and so couldn’t buy her some shoes, all the while wearing a nice pair of high tops that she claimed were too big and that was why she was dragging her feet. Then she slept all the way home.
After we dropped her off at her house Ana says, “We just can’t take her anywhere, can we, Maw?”
Then on Friday evening we discovered her man friends truck hidden behind my grandma’s old house. This same man with whom she was with the days prior to her arrest. This same man who used to come out and bed her and her friend, Chantel. This same man who didn’t even ask about her while she was in jail and sick following that time. Hiding, as if we didn’t know whose truck it was. It isn’t the first time either.
Sunday, 4th of Jan, she comes down for breakfast, the first time in months. Before leaving she asked if she could have a few for later. As she gathered up her stuff I said, “Tell Bruce I hope he enjoys his pancakes.” Then I told her we knew he was there and that with all her bragging on taking care of her aging parents, the least she could do would be to not lie to them.
I make herbal tinctures and oils. Oils are herbs steeped in either Sunflower, Olive or other oil and tinctures are steeped in at least 80 proof alcohol. I also make jellies. Last week I bought the utility shelf seen in the background to put my inventory of jellies on. I had Shandi and Ana help me put it together (at least the bottom part). As we were working on figuring it out Ana says, “Maw, did you have to have the alcohol to put it together?”
For a moment I didn’t know what she meant, then I noticed I had left the bottle of vodka and oil sitting on the table from my last herbing.
Love that young’un.
Small town tragedies
Less than a week ago a tornado hit the outskirts of our neighboring town wrecking havoc. Lives lost, homes destroyed, business torn apart. Driving through there on Thursday as we went to the coast brought back visions of the coast following Katrina. Tin tossed into what remained of tree tops, notices on Facebook of pictures found on the other side of town, photos of the young girl who lost her life, leaving behind a young son and a grieving husband. These are images one shouldn’t have to see around the holidays, especially Christmas–that time of year we celebrate the birth of our Saviour, that time of year of giving and putting others first.
Then last night the prayer chain request came through-a young life had been snuffed out. Age 15, the son of a mother who had lost her life just a few years back in a fatal car accident. This young boy was visiting a friend, they were looking at a pistol when it went off taking Devin’s life. So young, yet gone. I think of his grandparents who were raising him, his twin brother and older sister. There was an older brother but I believe he was grown already. Grandparents who had already laid to rest their only daughter.
My own granddaughters grief stricken, trying to make sense of it all. We stood tonight in the circle of people gather at our local school for a vigil in honor of Devin. I heard the prayers for peace, for understanding, for comfort. I wondered where would that come from for these young people who are struggling with accepting the loss of a friend along with their own identities and purpose in life. I listened as young men, 15 or so years old, stepped forward and expressed their loss, their love for this young man gone from us and offered up their thoughts on why and how God allowed this to happen. I heard the grief take over as one young man broke down and cried–yes under the cloak of darkness but exposed yet by his voice and still not concerned about what others thought. Awesome! Being able to express their thoughts and grief during such a time will go far in helping them heal.
May God be with them all. May God be with us all.
We can’t get away from ourselves, at least not entirely. ….
There is no rule that says I have to be and think and act the same way my whole life. Today is a clean slate. I can be who I want to be.
This struck a chord with me, especially the last part. Every day of my life/every phase of my life has been a clean slate and I have written onto that slate the ME I wanted to be; for the most part anyway. Some days I want to be this woman in long flowing skirts, with wildly colored hair and lots of knowledge to share. I have the skirts; I look like crap in them!!! I have almost white hair that would color up wildly-so why not? Fear of what others will think? Fear my one or two good friends won’t want to be seen with me? My grand (16 year old) colors her hair every color she desires. I love that freedom. Knowledge, I have a bit, but forget more than I know.
I may begin to re-invent ME and not worry about others think!!!! It is, after all, a clean slate and for that I am thankful.
For over 20 years I’ve attended al-anon. So has hubby. When the girls were young, especially Ana, and need be she went with us. Sometimes even when it wasn’t a need be situation. Once when she was still a young toddler she asked me if she could chair al-anon meetings when she grew up like I did. I told her she could at which point she asked what did one do to chair a meeting anyway? 😀
Anyway, as she’s grown older and the problems in her life have multiplies-friends, family, etc-she has continued to attend with me. I often thought she went more for the meal prior to the meeting plus whatever she could find for me to buy her at walmart than the good she might get from the meeting. But I never questioned her.
She’s grown to know and love the women there and one especially. A young divorcee/retired military school teacher, specializing in special education. But around April, M stopped coming. Later I saw FB posts from her showing she was in California, but I never asked the reason. I simply assumed she had decided to pull up roots and move. And life went on, and I skipped a lot of meetings due to exhaustion from Farmer’s Markets and the work that goes into getting ready for one.
Last week Ana informed me that we really needed to go to alanon. To give her a thumbs up, she had asked various times through the summer if we were going to which I would reply no, not tonight. But this time I asked her why and she said she really needed to go, that she got a lot out of the meetings. So I promised her we would go, and we did–just she and I.
We hadn’t been in the coffee room long, catching up with all the latest when the door opened and in walked M. I thought Ana would wet herself she was so excited. Come to find out, M had returned the past Tuesday, the night Ana was wanting to go and I put her off. I felt that this was an awesome sign–showing a real connection between Ana and M. It really felt as though she knew within herself somewhere that M would be there, that she had returned and she needed to see her!