After the second divorce from the ex (~points to herself~ remember me? the slow learner??), I moved back to Clarendon. Clarendon was some place that I ran from but always ran back to. It really has been good to me. Between the two marriages, I had worked at Simmons Insurance. My boss there was big on going to college. He talked me into taking classes on my lunch hour. He even allowed me to move my lunch hour around. I hated that job. I am not a numbers person and insurance is all about the numbers. Plus, no one is ever HAPPY with the insurance people. You are either filing a claim or paying premiums. It ain't like delivering flowers.
This is me and Camille when I returned to Clarendon the first time.
I am grateful to him to this day for insisting that I go to college. He set me on a path a long time before I even realized it was my path.
Funny thing about working there, I found that people who did NOT have much money always came in on the days that they got there checks and paid. People who had A LOT of money had to be hunted up and hounded to pay.
Anyway, after moving back, I was able to go to college for one year at Clarendon College and get my associates degree. That was easy because I just took basic classes. I was totally out of my league. They were all talking about keg parties and rodeos....I was into pampers and coupons. I sold a bed to pay for my books to take a history class that summer. Right around that time, I talked to a probation officer at the Court house and 15 minutes and thought.....hhhhmmmm.....I can do that. Trust me....I did not have a clue.....
LOL Glamour shots happened to be in town the same day as graduation so I was all fancied up for the event, ;)
Two years after that, I graduated from West Texas A&M University. May 13th 1996 to be exact. Thirteen has always been my lucky number.
Let me tell you about those three years. We were poor. Oh.My.Gosh.....we were so poor. We were on food stamps and HUD housing. There was no wiggle room financially or time wise for extras. My parent's helped with things that we needed. That is how poor we were.
We mowed lawns, sold giant homemade cookies on the square during the forth of July, I painted t-shirts for the school. We even picked up cans one year so that Camille could go to Girl Scout Camp.
But we were so very happy. So very happy.
Camille met life long friends in Clarendon. People that she is still friends with to this day. There she was able to go to Girl Scout camp every year. She got to travel with the Girl Scouts. She and daddy would go to coffee together. At one time, she aspired to be a waitress. She loved going in and rolling silverware in napkins. She went to college with me during the summer and learned that you just don't go to school until the 12th grade.
Cade was 3 months old when we moved back there. My daddy came over every night, even if was working, to give him his bath. My daddy thought that it was an important daddy thing to do. Cade learned the sound of daddy's old pickup and could hear it before we could. He would start crawling as fast as he could to the door and pulled himself up on the screen and start looking around....sure enough my daddy would come around the corner around that time. Cade also was a coffee shop regular.
Graduation happened and I believed that I would start work in Amarillo or Pampa as soon as a job came open. Jobs like mine have budgets that run from September to September. Since I had graduated in May, I thought that it would be September before I was hired somewhere. I was not worried. I happened to see an ad for a probation officer opening for Plainview Texas in the Amarillo paper on a Sunday. I called the next day to see about the job.
In my brilliant mind, I thought....I will apply there and go through the interview process so that, when my REAL job in Amarillo or Pampa came along, I would just blow them away with my interview skills. I just knew that I would be in one of those two towns because I had friends and knew people in both places. I would be COMFORTABLE in Amarillo or Pampa.
The secretary told me that the applications were closing that day. She faxed me an application. I filled it out and faxed it right back. I got called in for an interview. I'm sure several people got called back. I went to Plainview to interview. I had only been to Plainview a few times and that was as a child. I can remember my parents would meet up with my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins at the park there and have a picnic. Plainview was about halfway between Post and Clarendon.
There were no fiberglass cows back in the day but one of my cousin's did fall off the top of a big metal slide and landed on her elbow at the bottom. Thank goodness it was muddy. That same slide is still there but it shrank....it is not nearly as tall.
Anywho, I was not worried about the interview. I mean, I really did not have to impress those people because Plainview was not where my REAL JOB was.
Then I went and filled out an application in Amarillo.
A few days later, I was driving away from Plainview with a job offer. I was stunned. I kept praying that the door would be shut if I was not supposed to go through it. I mean...I did not know ANYONE in Plainview! This was not THE PLAN! I accepted the job. I drove back and forth for a few weeks until I could find a house for the three of us. The day I started to work in Plainview, Amarillo adult probation called me with a job offer. I wondered if I had made a huge mistake.
Instead, here I am, almost 20 years later in a job that I was never *supposed* to have based on a 15 minute conversation in a court house hallway. This has been one of the biggest leaps of faith (see what I did there???) I have ever made. For something that was never supposed to happen, it's been a pretty damn good ride.
I would not have changed it for anything in the world.
Camille and Cade the day they started school in Plainview.
For someone who is not supposed to here here, I sure have a lot of stuff on the walls. ;)