In July 4 IssueRussell County NewsBy Debbie Bell, Columnist
Lately I have been “lost” both literally and figuratively. I have a condition that I call dyslexia of direction. If it’s pitch dark I could completely get lost in my own back yard.
A couple of weeks ago I was visiting my best friend in Columbia. It was well after midnight when I left to return home. Road work was being done in Columbia and they were detouring people off onto side roads. And naturally, I got lost. I’d been having trouble getting my car started and suddenly the check engine light came on and it started sputtering and missing. My cell phone was broken ( I had dropped it in a cup of Mountain Dew) and I had no idea where I was. I did not recognize any of the road signs and I’m just like a man when it comes to asking for help or directions. No way. I had this terrifying vision of breaking down, dieing a slow and painful death and the buzzards feasting for days. No one would think to look for me, wherever I was. After an hour and a half of frantic driving somehow I ended up safely back in Russell Co. I later learned that I had been well on my way to Greensburg.
The car was taken to the shop, given a good tuneup, which solved the missing and sputtering problem but it still was having difficulty starting. Last week as I made my way to the newspaper office to turn in my article I saw Wade Daffron out in the parking lot. He very nicely offered to take a look at my car. I popped the hood and a second later he went to his vehicle and took out a small child’s shoe. Fear gripped me. Was Wade going to kill me with the shoe? Maybe this wasn’t really Wade. Perhaps those aliens in his yard had taken him over, like in the movie “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”. But, then he proceeded to the front of my car and with relief I thought “My car just needs a shoe” then he tapped something with the shoe and came back to my window and said “I’m pretty sure it’s your relay!” Relay, what’s a relay? Did he mean a relay race or relay for life? I don’t know because he had to hurry off, I guess to mow his yard or something.
Later in the week I visisted with my friend Lea and of course when I got ready to leave, my car wouldn’t start. Her son, Willie came out, popped the hood, showed me a little black box that contained the relay. He gave it a little tap and my car started right away.
Saturday morning I asked my husband to step outside with me. I proudly popped my hood, lifted the top of that little box and said, “That’s my relay, that’s what’s been giving trouble.” He took it, got the relay replaced and my car has been running fine ever since. Now I know to carry extra shoes in my car, so when I’m out and I see a stranded motorist, I can pull over and ask, “Do you want me to check your relay?”
I fell totally “lost” in my house. My home is not my home anymore. Twenty some years ago when we moved into our house, we had 3 decent sized bedrooms. We are down to only one. You see, everyone in my family (including myself) are “collectaholics”. I have not even seen the bed or the floor in the master bedroom for years. It has been completely devoured by “stuff”. My husband and son alternate sleeping in the one remaining bed. The other one sleeps in a chair, floor or whatever is available. I, myself, have slept on the couch for years. Last week my grandson came over to spend the night and I had to make us pallets on the floor. I had collected owls and apples for most of my life and last year I made the decision to simplify. I had a massive yard sale and sold everything I had. The only thing that remains I my living room are family photos. I had so thought that by setting an example, my husband and son would follow suit. But, they just looked at me and said, “Thank you, now we have more room for our stuff.” If anyone knows of a “collectaholics rehab” out there, please let me know.
I spend much of my time worrying about children. So many of them are being raised by parents who are drunks, drug addicts, spend most of their time in jail, live off government assistance and give their children no stability or morals whatsoever. Many children are being raised by their grandparents which may the their only saving grace. An acquaintance told me that she was so concerned about her grandchild going to school and being picked on because the parents had been in jail and in trouble with the law so many times. I just laughed and said that it won’t be a big deal. Another child will stand up and say, “ My dad is in prison” and another kid will raise their hand and say, “my mom runs a meth lab from our home.” It’s the norm these days. We’ve had “ The Me Generation”. I have dubbed today’s kids “The Lost Generation”.
This last week we have “lost” 3 great entertainers. We lost Ed McMahon who gave us “Star Search” and played the straight man as Johnny Carson’s sidekick for so many years. The we lost Farrah Fawcett, who gave us many hours of guilty pleasure, watching “Charlie’s Angels”. She showed so much grace and dignity during her battle with cancer. The there was the unexpected shock of the death of Michael Jackson. Not matter your personal opinion of him, we was an icon of his time, a brilliant entertainer and a musical genius. Whether it stemmed from fame at such and early age or family problems, he seemed to be a “lost” child in a man’s body. Now, at least his tortured soul can rest in peace.
Lastly, some friends and I were discussing the plight of a homeless family this week. We were very concerned about the three children having to go from home to home, spending a night here and a night there. I commented that the children must feel like nomads or gypsies. A child in the room looked at us and said, “Or like a Jew: Astounded we all just stared at her until she clarified, “You know, like a wandering Jew.” Outta the mouths of babes! Well, hey, if all else fails, maybe we haven’t “lost” our sense of humor.
Till next time- Forward Ho!!