Thursday, May 26, 2005


Girl for Hire Second Job: Life guard Three summers

Ever since that summer I participated in the Water Ballet, age nine, I wanted to be just like JoAnn. She was the instructor for all us gangly little girls, teaching use to sincerest swim to the tune of "I love Paris". She was also one of the lifeguards at the pool that summer. I adored her and wanted to be just like her.

When I turned 16 I immediately received my life guard certification and began campaigning for the job. It was all I wanted to do. I would die if I did not get it! I hung up my water ballet slippers and became a very good competitive swimmer from age 12 on. Exceptionally good. When I was away at Girl Scout camp one year, the swimming coach reached towards the heavens during a heat and pleaded with God, "Where is Mary????" My Dad was one of the first "Board of Directors" and then remained on for many years.

I got the job! $1.50 an hour. I probably would have paid them!

I was the lowest on the pecking order. The swimming coach was the Manager, Mike was head life guard, Ann and Lacy were the blond twins who went to boarding school but lifeguarded during summer break, me and then Dottie was the sub.

That summer was the best summer of my life. It was the height of baby boomers advancing into the teenage years. The pool and surrounding area was a sea of bodies every day. I had a red and white hip hugger two piece and I was tan! As tan as a dark haired fair skinned Irish lass can be.

My favorite thing to do was to sit in the chair, high above the pool, one leg hung over the arm and twirl the wiggled on its long cord around and around my fingers. To the left...Untruly to the right.

I loved to blow the whistle. There were many different types of sounds you could make with that piece of metal. Everyone knows the long drawn out whistle at the top of the hour, signaling the break.

A sharp whistle made everyone hesitate and look, to make sure they weren't the one making one of the many infractions. The list was long, and included such things as over aggressive dunking, running on the concrete, big kids in the little kids pool, too rough, too much tugging on each other bathing suits and so on and so on. When someone was really bad they would be forced out of the pool and have to sit right below you, on display for their transgressions. The younger kids were pitiful, looking up at you with mournful and apologetic eyes. Even though the legal age to be dropped off without adult supervision was 12, many parents disobeyed this. We became more than lifeguards to many kids.

Writing this has brought back one very pleasant memory. Sitting on the chair by the diving area and having all the kids trying their best to have the most outlandish and highest cannon ball splash to drench me.

One of the job interviewers asked me, "What has been your most rewarding job experience"? I babbled off some standard answer that I knew they wanted and expected. Yet, now I realize I wish I could have remained 16 forever, twirling my whistle in my red suit with my pick of any of the young 12 year old boys.

Just when you think you have it all figured out. Just when you have accepted your fate and circumstance it all changes! Just when I had begun to look forward to just being lazy all summer and not worry about a job I GET A JOB!

Astounding. I am blown away and totally caught off guard! Last month I tried to blow the interview when I realized how different this position was going to be from what I was use to doing. I even showed my hand, telling them the truth about myself! Mind blowing and gutsy move! Aimed at not being offered the job! I told Joe that since I did not want it, for sure it would be offered to me! And I was right.

I accepted for many reasons. First and foremost, having a job is so much easier than looking for one. Looking for a job is very stressful, much like a job. So, I may as well get paid for hard work, right?

They want me the 1st of June. I said yes, but I found out that is going to be a major problem! I will be working for the same company, just a different division in another department. My boss flat said, "No, not enough time."

So, I deviously went to the Head Muckity Muck of our center to thank him for his hand in getting me this offer and offhandedly told him about the time frame problem...he said, "Go!"

So I went back to my boss and said, "P. say's Let My People GO!"

Who knows, I hope a compromise is made quickly. Maybe I will start the following Monday. I'm ready to go. It is going to be extremely difficult for me to leave here. They are like my extended family.

When I was offered the job officially by HR she told me they were looking forward to having me, the experience I bring, the evident enthusiasm, and my terrific sense of humor!

I am so looking forward to this. They expect big things out of me and I find that I usually will live up to great expectations. They think I'm a star! By golly, I'll be a star.

The house will be boxed up on the 6th and the movers arrive on the 7th. Our stuff should arrive in Indiana on the 9th. I'm having a yard sale on the 4th, the annual Taste of the Bluegrass is on the 3rd, we take possession of the new home on Saturday! It is a good thing I work well under pressure.

And somewhere in that time frame, I will be starting a new job!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


It has been quite a while since I have been on the hunt for a job. Seven years if the truth be known. It is something I am looking forward to, new challenges, new landscape, rewards, learning something, in a sense reinventing myself. I am happy to be leaving this job, I am bored, uninspired, and operating on auto pilot and have been for some time. A change is welcome. I have to put the job search on hold for the time being. I have found that it is near impossible to achieve the objective, secure a job, when you are 300 miles away. It is too stressful. I made the decision to wait. Until mid-August! I feel like a huge burden was lifted from my shoulders. I am free for the summer! I have some major plans on how to spend my time. It is going to be wonderful.

I think I have been depressed as of late. I do not feel like writing which is a major indication that something is very wrong. I have been sleeping a lot, a second indication that something is not right. I feel like I am losing my chops here!

And so here summer series "GIRL FOR HIRE"

First Job Job description: will babysit for room and board. Age requirement: none.

I was the oldest of six children. My two youngest sisters were born in the mid to late 1960's, so they were almost like another generation to my three brothers and myself.

Since I was the oldest, I was responsible to keep an eye on my younger siblings when necessary. My mother was the head Librarian at the County Library. She did most everything from home, but on Saturdays she workded the entire day at the downtown building. This was the late 1950's early '60's. We were a one car family.

My father would leave the house to make the five minute journey to downtown to retrieve my mother and return her home. My Nana usually would spend the day with us and prepare the evening meal. It was always the same, year after year. Roast chicken, mashed potatoes, some green vegetable from a can and then the cherry or apple turnovers!

When we were very young, I was in second grand, N. in 1st, T. was in line waiting to go into school and P. was a toddler...we all had chicken pox. Dad left me in charge while he went to bring my Mother home. In the spirit of a child's world, minutes seem like an eternity. My little spots were bothering the heck out of me, and since I was in charge I requested my bro N. climb up on top of the stove and open the cabinet above and grab the bottle of calamine lotion.

Naturally, he fell. He was crying, but that was nothing new, N. was a cry baby back then. When Dad arrived home N. was taken into the bedroom and his arm examined. I will never forget, one of those moments burned into your memory, my father holding his arm and trying to straighten it out and N.'s blood curdling screams.

He had a broken arm. But not just any old type of broken arm, his required surgery. And he had a case of chicken pox. Could it get any worse? Yes, we all got measles right in the middle of N's recuperation.

Did this stop my Mother from putting me in charge of the kids? No! Never!

I then went on to actually baby sit for money at the age of 12. 50 cents an hour! Actually it was not that bad, a 16 magazine was 25 cents, a 45 record was around 79 cents to 99 cents. A pack of cigarettes was 25 cents out of the machine at Wilson's Drugs. (How did I know that?)

Babysitting was the first a very long string of occupations, jobs, hard labor and professions.

Sunday, May 22, 2005


Saturday, May 21, 2005


Green...I first went through my archives and found a picture of Ireland that was epitome of green. Then I found myself taking pictures at the Switzer covered bridge in Franklin Co. yesterday that challenged the green of Ireland.

Today, I had one of those unencumbered, no demands on me kind of day. A lazy and delicious sort of day. I went to once of my favorite places to take photos, the Lexington cemetery. I could kick myself for missing the beauty that this botanical wonderland offers in spring. Everything is 1,000 times 1,000 shades of green now.

I found my Photo Friday entry in my picture wonderland.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Bridget's Toys

I like to think that there are very people who have moved as often as I have. If I am not at the top of the list, I am very close. Since leaving home at age 18, I have never lived longer than five years in any one spot. Since 1980 I have moved 19 times. Fort Wayne makes 20!

There are certain things that I have dragged around with me over the years. Such as Bridget's stuffed animals, Cabbage Patch Dolls, and her expansive Barbie doll collection. I do this for several reasons. (None of them make much sense now that I am going to list them). The first, because I'm certain if she ever has a child, this baby Alphawoman will delight in Bridget's toy world. Secondly, because when I was a kid, all my toys and beloved dolls were passed down to my younger sisters when I left for college. Not so much passed down, as a frenzied dismantling of my room occurred the moment I left! When I returned home the first time, those little rats had scribbled all over the faces of the ones I cherished! That will never happen to Bridget's dolls! Not while they are in my care!

I wandered upstairs into the attic this afternoon. I am beginning to organize for the inevitable. Going through the dolls was therapeutic. I am always transported to a place and time when Bridget was small and fast asleep with an "animal" held tightly in each arm. She never named them, just called them "My Animals", or Doggie.

My brother T. gave her the Cabbage patch doll when she was three. She called it "Baby" and carried it every where for years. We were in Target one afternoon, she was in the buggy holding tight to Baby when a woman behind us commented (what is the matter with people?) how dirty Baby was. Bridet just hugged her tighter.

I took at good look at how grimy Baby was. I probably was silently relieved she was not referring to Bridget! Baby was a mess. I tossed her in the washing machine and laid her on the window sill to dry.

When Bridget realized what I had done she freaked! I had killed Baby. Bridget howled and carried on for what seemed an eternity.

It took awhile but she was able to grime up poor Baby back to normal. I never attempted to wash that doll again! Heck, I may even take her to bed with me tonight.

Monday, May 16, 2005


Three weeks and counting till the move. Hard to believe. And I am beginning to melt down. Don't want to work. Don't want to find a job in Ft. Wayne, at least not right now. I find that I have to concentrate and focus on the here and now. I would love to wave a magic wand and have the move, the turning over of the car, the establishing myself in a new town finished.

Nothing is that easy and I must wait. Wait it out alone.

Been looking and exploring the area. Found a lovely running path in the down town area at the Three River Head park. It extends out the eight miles to New Haven!

I received a little inspiration. And I took the first steps. In no time at all I will be running eight miles!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Which Couple are we?

I really got into The Amazing Race this season. I guess because of Rob & Amber that I became interested and then hooked. Last night I was rooting for the couple that won! I was so excited that it took me till 1130pm to calm down enought to fall asleep.

I was so impressed with the respect and the patience they held for each other. The one episode where she submitted to having ALL HER HAIR cut off caused me to fall in love with them. He sat beside her and held her hand, kissed her cheek, wiped away her tears. He was awesome, she was so brave. I was so happy to see them win the million dollars.

Something very terrible today happened at work. Something that only I know about. My first instinct was to call my boss and pass on what had happened. On second thought I knew I would be in terrific trouble for no other reason than it happened on my watch. No matter why, not matter the surrounding is my account and I am responsible. The busk stops here.

Anyway, I shared what had happened with my better half. He bluntly stated that I have always had trouble, had courted trouble because I am reactionary. He went on and pointed out my faults, (i.e. procrastination, dirty dishes in the sink, not crazy about mowing the lawn....)

Instead of defending myself with excuses and expainations, I said, "You know if we were on the amazing race we would be one of the couples bickering at each other throughout the entire show!"

I really would like to have been the couple that bumbled their way to a million dollars, but I know we would be the couple who would be choking each other in the back seat of the cab. You know the one, The one with the flat tire.

After the choking scene, I'm certain he would say something like "I'm a winner as long as I have my Mary".

Saturday, May 07, 2005


During my first attempt at college I was fortunate enough to attend the most famous Kentucky Derby in modern history. In 1973 I saw the unbeatable and undoubltly the greatest race horse of the last half of the 20th century Secretariart win the 99th Derby.

It is my favorite Derby not only because of Secreteriate, but because my best friend in the whord world went went me. Afterwards she bordered a plane and I did not see her again for 25 years! Every Derby since we wrote each other. Today it is email on the first Saturday of May. She has a Mint julep and remembers the school year she spent at Murray State University that culminated with a Derby and a flight out of Bluegrass field for a redevous with her destiny.

Me, I was left behind to attend many more Derby's. Not one of them could replace how special that 99th running ended up being.

Fast forward to Mothers Day 2003. My sister Omega and I were cleaning up the family room after a recent flood. We were removing the carpet, reaarraging the furniture, cleaning and disposing of the spoils of spring. We decided to move the twin bookcases, which are placed side by side so close they look like one bookcase, so we could clean under them.

We removed the books and then moved the first one.

"Look" my sister said as she peeled a tote ticket that had somehow fallen inbetween the two cases and had been hidden from sight.

"My goodness...1973!!!"

We raced upstairs to show Mom what we had found. Not to show her how awful her housekeeping skills are that we can find a lost article fromover 30 years ago, but because Omega and my Mom are both in the Horse Industry and a find like this, an actual tote ticket from the 99th running of the Derby was an interesting find!

The ticket was a WIN ticket for #1.

We got out one of Moms reference books and saw that the #1 horse was Angle Light.

I arrived home and immediately began looking for my old Derby program from that race.

Guess What? Go ahead, guess what?

Angle Light was coupled that day. To secretaries, who ran as 1-A.

We found a winning ticket for the 99th Kentucky Derby! 30 years later!

Friday, May 06, 2005


I am featured on the PEOPLE PAGE of AOL and also the JOURNAL PAGE! When they contacted me yesterday I was thrilled. I went back and checked the entry for the Blogfather and looked at all the submissions. I thought mine was the best! And I was right, they thought so too. I am thrilled.

Monday, May 02, 2005


I went up North to interview for a new position in the company I now work for. It was an intense ninety minutes. The position is in a different department and a totally different customer and market conditions. They guys in the department here in Lexington prepared me for the questions that would more than likely be thrown at me. Many of them came up, but several were new and unanticipated and a bit unsettling.

You can prepare yourself all you want, but you can not cover every sererio. And the biggest one being I was not convinced I wanted this position. I may go into it later, but I decided that I better stop being so charming and give myself some wiggle room. It arrived with the question, "What three things would you change in yourself if given the opportunity?"

I took a deep breath and figured, "What you see is what you get", and I was honest! I could not believe what I was doing! I'm certain they were as shocked as I!! I had already anticipated this question and had my little stock pile of things that on the surface sound like they are faults, but really are not. Such as, "I am too competive, I wish I could relax on week ends rather than think about work." The ususal line of B.S. Everyone knows it, everyone is ready for it.

I was honest. I said, "As long as I am being candid, who stop now, I wish I were a better listener. I think everyone can find improvement in this area. Everyday I run across people who hear what they want to hear, not what is being said to them. I want to improve that in myself."

"I wish I had more of a sense of urgency. My procratination is a source of stress for myself."

"And last I wish I were less of a perfectionist. I hate to wake up in the mornings with my very first thought as I sit upright in bed, "I MUST CHECK ON THAT FIRST THING!!"

With my luck it will back fire and they will be totally amazed at my confidence and verve.

I am also having a telephone interview with one of the major radio stations in the area! Now that sounds like FUN! I am also sending a resume to the PBS station. They are looking for a commission only advertising executive, make your own hours. I keep thinking of the long snowy winters.

Us southerors make terrible winter drivers.