living

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Living History – A 9/11 Remembrance

Published September 13, 2018 by lynn k scott

As a native New Yorker, I take September 11th very seriously.  Not only was our country attacked, but my home state was attacked.  My daughter is on the cusp of being a teenager (just a few months from now).  This year, I exposed her to what 9/11 really means.

I did my personal remembrance at work.  I posted my favorite songs, shared stories, said more prayers and felt blessed.  I had friends share their memories of the day.  I printed out pictures for the project I would have my daughter complete for her history lesson.

Out of my five children, she wasn’t born when 9/11 took place.  For her, it was a history lesson.  For me, and many others, it was the day the world stood still as we watched in horror as our country was attacked.

When I got home, we opened the laptop, I had her read the memories of family and my friends.  She saw pictures.  Her mouth was opened and she covered her mouth with her hand.  She was being exposed to what evil looked like.  She was exposed to death and terrorism.  Yet, she was also exposed to heroes.  She was exposed to the faith, kindness, love of strangers and to patriotism.

She saw her mother lose composure.  A tear escaped when we were watching images put to Alan Jackson’s, “Where We You When The World Stopped Turning”.  She saw me, got up, gave me a hug and we watched the rest of the video.  She shed a few tears.  It was emotional.  However, my reality was her history.  I, and others, are living history.  I believe it’s important to impart our knowledge with the the next and future generations.

With a few projects under her belt, we brainstormed how to complete her project.  She cut out paper, wrote bits and pieces of what she took away from her “lesson”.  She arranged, glued and taped her project into existence.  I am proud of her work.  I am honored to share such an important day with her.

I am blessed to be able to home educate.  Knowledge doesn’t always have to come from books.  Use the resources around you to live, learn and thrive.

WE WILL NEVER FORGET!

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I’m a horrible neighbor!

Published March 4, 2017 by lynn k scott

It’s really a matter of who you’re speaking to.  Where I live there’s a local, online community board.  People can post garage sales, issues in the neighborhoods (or surrounding areas), criminal activity, etc.

I currently live in a small city.  We have fenced in backyards, driveways, etc.  We’re not directly on top of each other, but it’s definitely not the wide-open country either.  That being said, I raised an issue of cats being left outside at night.

My point of posting was because either cats are mating and/or fighting.  They are waking up my German Shepherd mix, who feels the need to alert everyone in the house of the noise outside, whether it be next door, down the street or off in the distance.

Once I am awoken, then I am awake; normally several hours at a time.  The days of “putting the cat out” are over.  I pointed out, we don’t live in the country, and part of being a responsible cat (or any pet) owner is keeping control of your pet at all times.

You’d have thought I said I was going to lace my backyard with rat poison and kill those blasted creatures.  Quite the contrary.  Granted, I despise loosing sleep because people are being irresponsible.  I also hate that while I am not the best gardener, I don’t appreciate the neighborhood cats trying to use my garden as a little box either.  So my post had a dual purpose.

Is it really so awful to ask people to be courteous; respectful?  If you want your animals to have a lot more freedom to roam, then I suggest moving to a country setting where you have that capability.  When living within city limits, where there are laws about this type of thing (silly me knowing that), it’s not out of bounds for people to take care of their pets, furbabies, and four-legged friends.

So, yes, to half my neighborhood, I am a horrible, neighbor.  I want to sleep, so I can get up and safely drive my daughter to school, go to work and just function through the day. What was I thinking?!

Graduated to being a Californian

Published April 30, 2015 by lynn k scott

Eighteen years ago, a 20-something woman, wearing a new $17 Levi’s jean jacket, holding one small piece of luggage, said good-bye to her mother at 5:00 a.m. on a brisk April morning.  Departing on a Greyhound bus, bound for Northern California, it was a move of desperation to protect herself from an abusive, stalking, estranged (now ex-) husband.

She would travel for four days by bus, stopping in a variety of bus stops along the way; in towns she never knew existed, as she ventured further toward the West Coast.  She was befriended by a couple of guys during her journey.  The trio quickly became friends and to be honest, it was nice not to be so alone.

A time came when she had to make the choice to continue onto California, for a sales job, or accept the offer of one of her new friends and continue on with him.  She eventually chose her original path and was in awe as the bus made its way into California.  Sacramento was the first city where she saw palm trees and she thought of the movie Beverly Hills Cop. Granted, that took place in Southern California, and she was no where near there, but that was what came to mind.

The bus made its way to the Greyhound station in the East Bay.  The woman had no idea who she was meeting.  It was dark out when the bus pulled into the station.  Luckily, the party she was meeting, found her.  So began her new life in the Golden State.

Fast forward a bit…the sales job didn’t work out, esp. when she learned she’d be moving back East as the company was headed to Chicago.  Back East?  Back to being closer to her husband?  No, not possible.

Three thousand miles away from family and friends and faced with the possibility of being on the streets because this job wasn’t didn’t turn out as she thought it would. After making some calls,  she found a homeless shelter in Newark.  She was able to live there for a month to figure things out.  It wasn’t ideal, but it was an option.  Part of the rules was that the residents had to be out of the facility for a certain number of hours each day.  Some went to group counseling, which was free, as many of them were substance abusers.

The groups weren’t a bad place to be; killed time after all.  There was coffee and some food, so she didn’t need money to eat.  The shelter also provided bus tokens.  She would use those to go to the local unemployment office.  Back then, you could go in and search for work on their computers.

As it happened, she found a live-in, housecleaning job.  Having grown up in a tourist town, she was familiar with picking up after strangers.  She’d been employed, several times, as a chamber-maid.  Yup, that was the term before everyone switched to “housekeeping”.

She was earning $1500.00 a month plus a small room, which held a twin bed and had a small closet.   It wasn’t much, but it was a safe, warm place that provided a paycheck.  Working for those who come from money is an experience.  The wife/mother of this family was very out of touch with reality.  She treated people as if they were beneath her.  The husband, a heart surgeon, grew up poor and had a different perspective on life.  By their interactions, you’d be surprised they were married.

That job lasted several months until the woman expressed interest in continuing her job but living in her own place.  She was fired, by the secretary one afternoon, because she refused to take a spoiled teenager shopping at the mall, during rush-hour traffic, for her birthday (3 months away).  The woman was in the middle of doing her job, which was cleaning the house.  The teenager was calling her mother and complaining about not being at the mall.  Welcome to the life of living in excess and no boundaries.

So there she was, homeless again.  This time she had a little money but not enough to get her a room anywhere.  She called the guy she had met and had been dating.  He came, picked her up, and paid for her to stay at a local motel.  Back to looking for work.  She found a waitressing job.  The owner, upon hearing she was from NY, hired her immediately. It seems New Yorkers have a good worth ethic, even if they are abrupt and blunt in their interactions.

She would have to take the bus and walk a couple miles each day, but at least she was working again. She was able to rent a room in about a month with what she was able to save.  She still didn’t have access to a car, so more walking and bus riding.  It wasn’t ideal, but it was what needed to be done.

That waitressing job led to other hospitality jobs, including working formal catering jobs.  Working in some of the finest venues and homes in California was an experience.  The highlight of the catering jobs including meeting Wolfgang Puck, working a wedding for a local chef, working parties at the home of the Chancellor of Berkeley, working in a Senator’s home and being a bartender on Alcatraz.

Fast forward many years later, the woman is now married, has a beautiful daughter, a house, a good job and has defied odds that would have crippled many.  While I, yes me, the woman in the story, will always remember my New York roots, I have graduated to being a Californian.  This is my home.

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