Thursday, January 25, 2018

How a city girl, gone country grieves (and raises cows): Me, Et Cetera

 How a city girl, gone country grieves 
(and raises cows)

 I met Kimberly through farming. She, like me, has been dropped into this life and is learning to love it just like me. She is a Christian, however, our pasts are nothing alike. I've asked her to share her story on my Blog over the next weeks or months or however long it takes. It is filled with much grief and loss but will hopefully make you laugh and smile and grow and grieve along with her. 
You don’t know from Eve. Chances are, though, you might relate to some of my history. You might be familiar with some of my experiences. You might even feel relieved or reviled, yet intrigued. My experiences are broad spectrum, like a Roomba path that’s been interrupted. 
 A lot.
I’m native to Ohio and have a pretty diverse work history. I started out in food service like most teens in middle-class neighborhoods. I then graduated to young motherhood and marriage, which landed me a job at my father’s engineering office as a secretary. This was the age that computers were just being introduced, so I was sent to school to learn DOS (who remembers that??) and helped develop the office system of writing/recording the construction specs and various letters of inspection for dad and his colleagues. I worked for my father (and mother, who was the Senior Secretary) so I could bring my nursing baby with me most of the time. I even (kinda, sorta but not really) trained my mother, who is 40 years older than me, on the computer. She spent more time cursing at it than using it until she gave up the office work to stay home and take care of my children that kept coming along. I’m quite certain my family calendar (if we’d had one) would have looked a lot like birthdays, anniversaries, who’s Kimberly pregnant with this time, etc. So much more to be told, but we’ll cover that later.
After 11 years in the office management industry, a divorce and re-marriage, I took a leap into retail jewelry. I’m not sure why, except it was a change from the day to day office drivel. From there it became almost a game of "whose job is it anyway" as I expanded my skills to include candle-making, pharmaceutical delivery, acquiring my CDL and becoming a ‘mother trucker’ with cross-country deliveries, owning/operating my own truck and logistics, then dump truck driver to another divorce and remarriage, which landed me as a "stay at home" mom. My (current & final) husband wanted me home safe with the children, who are at this point in my history now 19, 17, 15, 13 & 6. There’s a lot more to THAT story and we’ll cover that later.
After a few years, and with only my youngest two boys, we moved to East TN in November of 2010. Why? Because I fell in love with it during my trucker travels and because there was no way I was moving back to PA with my husband, where he’s from. "East TN has more temperate weather and very little snow in the winter," I proclaim, announcing my sales pitch to my husband and boys. 
That proved to be a lie; we had snow flurries the first weekend we lived here. And then we had a whole inch of snow, which shut down the schools for four weeks, and then BAM, it’s Christmas break, so it was literally seven weeks of the boys and I in a two bedroom trailer house, my husband on the road, and cabin fever like The Shining
We had moved from a suburban neighborhood in the flatlands of southwest Ohio to 50 acres of mountain and woods with driveway 45 degrees going up and 90 degrees going down in the red dirt, which turns to butter when it’s wet. Needless to say, my CDL training had not prepared me for this, and it’s a miracle any of our vehicles did not end up in a ditch and still had tread on the tires and even partially working brakes. 
After six months on the mountain (which sounds far more romantic than in the tin box on the top of Mt. Vesuvius), we relocated to the little town of Washburn, TN, where we’ll always be "dang Yankees" and at least the driveway is paved. Oh so much more to this story, including our very first experience with "southern hospitality" gone awry, but we’ll cover that later.
We bought a house on a hill with a wrap-around porch. That story in itself is worthy of its’ own space, but the recap is that for two and a half years after we moved here, I felt like I was on perpetual vacation. My husband finally found steady work that paid half decent, allowing me to stay home again (after one last blast being a dump truck driver) with Mother and the boys. We are blessed with an incredible view and breathtaking sunrises. Some days Mother and I would enjoy coffee on our porch, absorbing the scenery, wondering how we EVER lived in the ‘burbs. We have 5 acres up here, and we can see other neighbors, streets and buildings, but we’re relatively undisturbed. The neighbor made hay with our fields because there wasn’t anything (yet) we had that would eat hay, and we moseyed along in life just enjoying and boating and camping and entertaining family. I even got to "work from home" for a short while, serving a ministry that works in an "off the tourist route" community in Jamaica. I enjoyed working with my childhood friend, brushing up my computer skills and logistics experience and being part of God’s movement. Literally, one day that all changed; an idea that became a proposition that became a commitment that became a new adventure occurred. And that story too will be covered later.
There are many, many holes in this history. I plan to feed you all the particulars in smaller segments; little bite-sized tidbits that leave your curiosity palate salivating for the next bite. 
Maybe some of you can relate to the imbalance of myriad, diverse experiences, of which I have only scratched the surface. I know to others of you, this madness is NOTHING compared to your battlefield. It’s not a contest and I’ve grown totally okay in my realm of dysfunction. I cashed my reality check and came up short, yet I’m saved, sanctified and sealed by the Blood, so I’m redeemed.
The whole purpose of me sharing is that God didn’t allow all this in my life for just me. He wants to use me to channel to you; that you’re not alone, that whatever comparative craziness you may be experiencing is temporary, that all of this makes up a much bigger picture of humans being broken and the beauty of how He makes all things new. I look forward to the next segment. 
There’s simply so much to share, not enough words, and really not enough coffee. 
We’ll just cover that later. 


Denise Meehan said...

Looking forward to the journey.

Anonymous said...

Love it... intrigued and excited to experience your journey!

Anonymous said...

Already salivating.....Can't wait to be filled in. Thanks for sharing your story. Joan Van Wyck

Valerie Swanson said...

Looking to hear more Kimberley, Love you Cousin.