Monthly Archives: May 2008

Life in the Coal Camp-“Found My Friend

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If you have been reading my blog, you know I spent the first 8 years of my life in a coal camp at Mammoth, WV.  Review my blog and you will see I had a next door neighbor by the name of Lynn Hudnall.  For the past 60 years I have wondered if Lynn was still alive, where did he live and was it in WV. 

 My daughter made a sales contact to a business concerning their yellow pages.   After she got off the phone she came in my office and was telling me about her conversation with a man by the name of Lynn Hudnall.  I said, “Lynn Hudnall”.  I immediately wondered if this could be the person I had wondered about for 60 years. I asked Teresa to email him and ask if he used to live in Mammoth, WV.  Sure enough, this was Lynn and I just couldn’t believe it.

Lynn’s mom gave me a little oil lamp that is just about 3 inchs high.  She told me to remember her with this little lamp.  I have kept that little lamp in a “special place” for over 60 years and hope to show it to Lynn.

I have not met him face to face yet, but hope to meet he and his wife soon.  I am sure we will have some good memories to discuss.

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Reflection in My Mirror-I Am Smothering……….

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In this road of life we have super highways, detours, off roads and many bumps.  It would be nice to be on a super highway from the beginning to the end, but friend that just doesn’t happen.  I have learned so much about my life journey during the detours and off roads.  These routes were not on my AAA life journey map, but I had to go through them to get to May 25, 2008.  Many times I complained and said I just wished I hadn’t taken this route, but destiny leads the train.

Within the last few weeks I have been on a journey that is not really exciting.  I seem to be driving on my life journey and going in circles.  I am planning a succession plan for the business, heading toward semi or complete retirement and I have never traveled this route before.  I don’t see any familiar landmarks along the way and this bothers me.  Many things are uncertain and will effect my future.

There are days when I really don’t want any responsibility for anything.  I would just like to sleep until my body wants to get up, drink coffee on my deck, have all the grand-kids over for a sleep out, go to every yard sale in the area and work on my paintings.  Will I be able to do these things soon?  Will retirement be a good dream or a nightmare?

I have been busy talking to God and praying for comfort and wisdom as I move through some big bumps in the road of life.  I want to find an inner peace and wisdom that only He can give me.  God has never failed to give me direction in the past and I just need to remember His faithfullness.

Perhaps you are reading this blog right now and have experienced some situations of “bumps” in the road of life.  Please feel free to leave your comments.

 

Reflections in My Mirror-I Hear Wedding Bells

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We were so in love and crazy with adventure for the unknown.  I was 18 and he was 20 (such kids) and we wanted to spend the rest of our life together.  As the old saying goes, “We didn’t have a pot to pee in”, but that didn’t seem to matter.  We had faith, adventure and love!

We found an apartment in Dunbar and needed to get that ready before we got married.  This was truly a beautiful apartment with hardwood floors, cute kitchen nook, huge living room and the rent was $60.00 a month.  My uncle Bill co-signed for our furniture at Kyle Furniture and we selected about $3,000.00 in furniture for the entire apartment. That was a bedroom suite, stove, refrigerator, table and chairs and livingroom furniture.  LIke I said……..we had faith.

We set the date of the wedding to April 21, 1961.  I had to pay for my own gown, flowers and gifts for attendants.  No one offered to do a reception……so I had no reception and no wedding cake. 

Pastor Jack would conduct the wedding ceremony, Karen was my maid of honor and Gary was best man.  I can still remember standing at the back of the church and getting ready to enter.  I could see Mr. B standing up front and our eyes met for the first time that day.  It was magic and I knew we loved each other.   The ceremony began and the vows began.  I was to repeat after the minister and I did okay until we go to …and obey….he had to repeat that line twice before I said it.

The ceremony was over, the boquet was tossed and we jumped in our FORD.  Basil started the engine, put it in gear and it wouldn’t go anywhere.  He said, Oh, no…something must be wrong with the transmission.  Little did we know…..someone had slipped a jack under the car and propped it up.  It ended up being so funny.

We did go on a honeymoon, but we headed to Dunbar and our new cute little apartment.

To be continued:  There is a big surprise in the apartment……….really.

Reflections in My Mirror-First Political Job

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I was just finishing up business college and wondering what direction my career would go.  Women didn’t have fairness in the job market in the 60’s.  Both could do the same work and the man would make substantially more money. 

My aunt, Lena was the Director of The Safety Responsibility Division of State Govt and she had an opening in her department.  I just had to not say she was my aunt and come in for the interview.  Well, needless to say, I did get the job and I loved it.  This department revoked drivers license for drunken driving and accidents.  I had to type the orders for revoking the license and copies of the orders were sent to the police department to advise of the the person losing their license.

Remember, this is in the sixty’s.  There was only one electric typewriter in an office of 24 women and one man. Yes, he made more money.  I had a manual typewriter and I had to type the order and make six copies.  One mistakes and you had to erase the original and six copies.  There was no spell check or saving a document for future use.  Bang, bang, click, space and erase. Old files were copied to microfilm and there were offices full of file cabinets of hard copies of documents. 

I will never forget someone coming through the office and asking us to contribute to “The Flower Fund”.  I thought this must be a fund to buy flowers with employees were sick or in the hospital.  Wrong!  This was a secretive way the politicans forced employees to contribute to various political campaigns. 

If you made a certain salary someone would come to the office and let you know you were expected to buy a ticket to the Lincoln Day Dinner.  These tickets were $25.00 each and that was huge in the 60’s.  Well I was told I had to buy a ticket and it just didn’t set to well and I refused.  I was a rebel even then. 

Well, I wanted an electric typewriter.  I found out early you have to ask to receive.  I finally got the typewriter and my job was so much easier.  About 20 other people were jealous.

All jobs at that time were very political.  I got this job under the Republican administration.  An election year just happened and the Democrates took over the administration of state jobs.  I had been ask to train Mary for a job and little did I know that she would be taking my Republican job.

Well, Basil’s dad was a strong Democrate and he immediately made a few contacts and three weeks later I got my job back.  It was all so crazy to see well trained people have to leave a job simply because the politics had changed.  A few years later the Civil Services jobs came about and protected this type of situation.

I could see at an early age that I loved management, thinking of better ways to do things and being my own boss.  The latter was not always good.

 

Reflections in My Mirror-Then and Now

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I am looking back.  I am looking forward and all around.  Looking, thinking and wondering.  I wonder if I knew then what I know now…..how would my life be different?  I can see in 2008 that many choices made in the past 40 to 50 years have made an impact on my life in 2008.  Choices that made my life wonderful and are still giving me joy.  Some choices have given me heartache and pain.

I don’t regret making the decision to accept Christ as My Savior at age 16.  That decision I would not change.  I have had a battery pack inside me that has never failed, ….but does need to be recharged once in a while.  I am happy with this decision.

I am finding that our lifestyle decisions for 40 years makes an impact that you don’t really see coming around the bend.  My MRI this morning reveals extensive arthritis in my right back knee and a shot of cortisone is supposed to help.  Decision not made to exercise and diet during a lifetime make essential parts play out.  If I knew then what I know now would I have made better choices?

How many people would I have avoided in my lifetime….if I knew then what I know now?  How many times would I not have been hurt with deceit and evil….if I knew then what I know now?  Looking back and looking forward makes us think and ask ourselves questions. 

I didn’t know then what I know now.  I had the opportunity in my lifetime to go through very trying times and come out of it really knowing life is not always fair, but joy comes to those who wait.  If I knew then what I know now….would I have used my faith as much?

If I knew then what I know now…would I have made immediate choice to avoid disaster down the road?  Or, would I have procrastinated and wait a year, or five years or 50 years to make a better choice?

I suppose we could beat ourselves to death with the “what if’s”, but life is what it is and I have to “get my big girl panties on and deal with it”.  I am really glad I didn’t know then what I know now.

Reflections in My Mirror-Getting the Rock

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Mr. B’s dad worked at Carbide and the company always had a huge Christmas party for the employees at the Charleston Auditorium and I was invited to go along.  Boy, have things changed.  Companies don’t even give you a bag of oranges now.  Anyway…..we went to the event and had a wonderful time. 

During intermission Mr. B suggested we go to Bass Jewelers and look at some engagement rings.  Oh, how exciting.  We really didn’t tell anyone where we were going and just let them wonder.  The jeweler began showing us rings and some were really….really expensive.  We finally settled on a single gold band with a solitaire diamond.  The ring had to be downsized and would be ready in a few days.

The two smiling kids headed back to the Christmas party after making their exciting selection.  I am sure everyone wondered where we went and our faces must have been really showing our excitement.  I think I remember telling Mr. B’s little sister that we looked at some rings.  She said, Oh, boy am I ever glad.

My ring was ready and Mr. B presented it to me on Christmas Day 1959.  In love.  Unsure. New direction.  Life is changing.  What will happen next?