Saturday, January 23, 2010

Prince Charming

An old friend found me on Facebook the other day (so glad Susan!) and we began to catch up. As I typed her the story of meeting, and falling in love with BJ, I realized I should document it here. I hope you enjoy it...

...about 10 years ago, I found myself a single mother with two beautiful children depending entirely on me. After a not-so-pleasant marriage, the peaceful atmosphere of our home was worth whatever I had to do to keep it that way. So, I was pretty convinced that I would not consider marrying again until my children were grown, if ever.

However, one of my best friends from high school Sherri, has always been a hopelessly romantic matchmaker and though she deemed me a "man-hater", she was convinced I had to be lonely when the kids were gone. She just HAPPENED to know a guy that she really liked, that was much like me (so she said). He had given up on women, but had a great personality and would be sooo much fun to hang out with... when the kids were gone - lol. Now, most of you won't know Sherri, but let me tell you - when she gets something in her head - there is no convincing her otherwise.. and she will drive you NUTS until you take some action. She had given me his email address (so I'm sure she'd given him mine) and asked me (bugged me) often about shooting him a note. Finally, I had enough and emailed him. I explained that I'd known Sherri for many years and that she was like a sister to me. Therefore, it was ok for me to tell him what a nag she could be : ). I explained that if we would tell her we were having a torrid affair, it would shut her up and we could make up some argument later and that would be that. He emailed me back laughing and we began to talk.

We spent the next six months discussing life, love, politics, children, music... I don't know anything we didn't talk about. And we were both blatantly honest. I mean, there was no interest in becoming romantically involved so why not? LOL! We became fast friends, even talking about people we dated (I said I wasn't going to get serious, I didn't say I was going to be bored ;-). Finally the stars aligned and we planned to meet for dinner. When we decided they were gonna kick us out of the restaurant (The Brickhouse, for those of you that are natives.. what a great place, huh?), we went to my apartment and sat by the lake with marqaritas and talked until the sun came up.

Somewhere in the conversation, BJ mentioned he had two tickets to see Eric Clapton (I think the next week, but it could have been two.. that part's fuzzy : ) and asked if I'd like to go. It was during finals week, so I told him I couldn't - ughhh, so sadly.. one of the many things we had found in common was a love of the Blues. I was passing up Clapton in Memphis, with a great guy? Hell no. Someone was gonna have to give my finals for me. I called him in a few days and told him I'd make arrangements and he said "you're on".

We talked all the way to Memphis (you would THINK we would run out of conversation by now, and maybe I talked all the way to Memphis, lol.. I'll have to ask him that sometime). Clapton was amazing, and walking down Beale soaking up the music and that wonderful smell of Memphis.. the city, the river, the excitement... I fell head over heals. He was a great friend, he was a gentleman, I felt incredibly safe with him - and he made me laugh, continuously.

I spent every minute the kids weren't home that summer with him, and it never seemed enough time. That was the last summer I didn't work almost the whole "vacation", and I felt like my high school students when it came time to go back to school. I always look forward to the beginning of the school year, but that year it was hard. I had gotten used to sleeping 'till noon, layin by the pool 'till he could get away from the store, the evenings went by too fast, then I would start the cycle all over... waiting for the next day. (Oh, I read a TON that summer too.. Heaven!) Sounds like one of those high school summer loves doesn't it? It felt like that! Crazy.. I don't know about everywhere else, but in Hot Springs.. summer is intense. The population seems to double. Fast boats. An occasional good band. Warm nights and cool water.. The Spa was the setting of a few young summer loves for me, and then the place where I fell in love with BJ.

Eventually, I sealed our fate by introducing him to my children. I'm not sure who fell in love first. But it was definitely mutual. He loved spending time with them and they loved him. He sincerely wanted to be with them, and they knew it. Always trust children and dogs, they are great judges of character. Wisdom from Tammy.

So one day we loaded the kids up, drove to Memphis and got married. (I'm pretty sure it was the first time Beej had been in the Shelby County Courthouse that he wasn't handcuffed : ). And that was the beginning of the rest of my life. The next years were a whirlwind. Ballgames, concerts and yearbooks. Tennis matches and homework. BB King and Beale. The kids still don't love the Blues like we do, but they appreciate it.. and they love Memphis - and their Dad. So that's the story of how I fell in love with Prince Charming.. I miss the old days of lazy summers and weekends in Memphis, but they'll come again when this crazy ride we're on now slows down. And I'm glad I'll be able to spend that time with BJ, aka Prince Charming.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Time to move?

I was born in Monticello, Arkansas. In addition to Monticello, I've lived in Benton, Dardanelle, Fordyce, Heber Springs, Hot Springs, Ozark, Pine Bluff and Russellville (if I've remembered them all...). I've lived in Arkansas all of my life, and I've never wanted to live anywhere else. Until this week.

I teach in a high school building with fabulous architecture and history. Hot Springs High School was built to desegregate Central and Langston high schools in the late 1960's. The "modern-industrial" style is cool in an art deco-y way and there are amazing, large, ceiling-high murals painted by students in the early 1980's. Even the heating/air unit was state-of-the-art. In the late '60s.. not so much now.

The high temperature in Hot Springs on January 8 this year was 27. Yesterday it was 68. The old heating/air unit will not change the temperature in a building that size in that short amount of time. It was about 130 in my lab yesterday. I didn't have a thermometer, but I"m sure that's close. In Maybell, Colorado the high temp on January 8 was 5. Yesterday it was 28. I wonder which way an old unit performs better? Horrible cold and almost freezing for the high's? Or a 41 degree difference in about 10 days? I'm thinkin about moving to Maybell. At least until menopause is over.

Friday, January 15, 2010

When Did My Kids Get So Old????

I got to spend a few hours yesterday afternoon with my good friend Janette and her adorable 18-month-old, Brynna. While Janette and I visited and did some shopping I watched Brynna do all those adorable things children that age do.. smiles, frowns, first words and other ways she communicates (sometimes a girl's just gotta cry to get across she's not happy, right?!), and that absolutely no way to explain-completely Angelic-napping in her carseat :-) And on my way home my thoughts wandered to my own children, as they always do - and I was shocked for a second at how old they are!

Now I've been taking medication for chronic back pain for about 3 years (more to come about that later- I've had a recent 2nd surgery and am MUCH better!) - but I SWEAR I remember every birthday!! When Jeremy turned 16 (Oh My!), when Jordan turned 16 (No WAY!).. then Jeremy turned 18, then Jeremy turned TWENTY-ONE, and then Horrors... my baby turned 18 too. *sigh* I was always a bit melancholy - when these "big" birthdays hit, but VERY proud of the young adults they've become. And I've written some in the past about them... but I want to tell you about what they are doing at the moment.

Jeremy (21) is working for a local school district in their technology department. He loves the work, his co-workers, bosses and the LEARNING!! What a Blessing it is to watch his eyes light up when he tells me (often way over my head) about his day! He even has cute/funny stories about children when he happens to be working in a classroom and hears something really cure (mostly elementary kids - He reminds me that kids really DO say the darn-dest things!). Jeremy's wonderful girlfriend Catherine has begun her first semester at UALR (transferred from our local community college) and is majoring in elementary education. She is a doll and I'm very excited about her pursuing a career as an educator because she has everything it takes to make a great one - and we all know how much we need great teachers!!

Jordan (18) is beginning her second semester at UALR as an Anthropology major. Jordan maintained a 4.0 last semester (Raise The Roof!!) and is paying her way through school with her brains and hard work {ACT scholarship}. Jordan seems to really love college and I am SO glad! She is taking a couple of fascinating courses this semester and I'm really looking forward to hearing about them... forensic anthropology (I am a huge, HUGE Bones fan.. beginning with Kathy Reichs novels), archeology of ancient civilizations (there is a great ancient Egyptian Pharaoh exhibit in Little Rock right now I can't wait to see with her), and Judo (I have no desire to ever 'hip toss' someone.. but I think it will be cool to hear about) :-)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A New Start...

2010? Are you kidding me? What happened to the 90's? Heck, what happened to the 80's?!?

Time does sneak by - and I'm not one for resolutions - but I'm going to make an attempt to be a regular blogger this year. If you look back to the beginning of my life as a blogger, you'll see I didn't do so good for awhile - LOL a LONG while ; ) then I used my personal blog to post some things for the final class in my Master's program last semester and it made me think that I'd REALLY like to be a regular writer. I hope to write about being an educator.. a mother.. a human being. Welcome 2010!