Sept. 27, 2011 — I just finished my first week as the newest staff writer and was getting ready to leave for the weekend.
Barb France asked me if I felt overworked and I didn’t even pause before blurting out, “Overworked? This job is not like work to me! It is so much fun.”
Many readers may already know me.
I am a Lassen County native and I have never left my hometown.
I have had lofty ideas about traveling, and at times I considered packing up and moving to a new state where I would be completely anonymous only to realize I love it here; where everybody knows my name.
The seasons are of course my favorite part of Susanville, whether winter comes in spring or fall comes in summer.
The colors, the smells, the indigenous vegetation and the amazing gifts of nature we can all enjoy kept me captive here all these years: Beautiful timbers across the snow- peaked mountains and amazing desert land that surprises me with flowered streams and history still uncovered.
I graduated from Lassen High School, attended Lassen College over the years and I worked in various places long forgotten, like Payless Drug Store and Beno’s Family Fashions.
I even owned a little balloon business and worked in a family- owned gift shop.
Those places, once the hub of retail, disappeared in the changing face of our growing community.
I have two grown kids a daughter and son and I gained two stepdaughters and a stepson when I married my husband Jon, in my second marriage.
We quickly realized the Brady Bunch was so Hollywood I could only dream of having an Alice to clean up our messy life.
But somehow we all got through the trivial part of the teen years even making room for a spare niece and a best friend or two.
I am very happy to say that all of our kids (and pretend kids) from 22 to 18 are doing great finding their way into adulthood.
Almost every week we all get together for family dinner.
It’s a great feeling to be surrounded with the ones you love.
Besides being a mother, a clerk at a wedding shop and a gas station attendant, I worked at the Lassen County Jail for about three years and found, once you’re in jail for awhile its seems inevitable you end up in prison.
And so I did 10 years at High Desert State Prison where I really got a life education.
I learned about many different cultures, gangs, religions and stories from all walks of life.
I learned the difference between an inmate and a convict, and I learned the difference in good partners and people there for a paycheck.
I learned so much it would take a book to explain it, and some things I couldn’t write in the paper even if I wanted to.
I suffered a back injury on the job that ended my career and I don’t even have a good story, just good advice.
Don’t lift heavy objects while standing on ice.
For me to say this and for you to understand you must know that I loved my job as a correctional sergeant.
To be there one day and gone the next was shocking and sad. I felt like I lost my identity.
I know it seems weird because prison can be such a harsh environment, dealing with the negativity of violent offenders and the reality that every day we walked through the gates onto those level IV yards may be our last, but it gave us that sense of unity and camaraderie that can only be felt by those who have been there.
In April 2009, I got a puppy, a soft-coated wheaten terrier we named Snoofy.
He is the greatest therapy I could have imagined.
My best buddy will often be seen with his hair flowing in the wind in the back seat of my VW convertible.
You will probably hear a lot about his adventures in our “yarden.”
He keeps a keen watch on our sanctuary outside, a peaceful place with a dry riverbed lush with plants, adorned with large pieces of flagstone and creeping thyme that sprawls across the yard before a river rock garden bed overflowing with home-grown veggies.
After not being able to work for two years and 13 days, I finally had back surgery.
What a relief.
Although I have four titanium bars and six screws I can feel my toes again and the intense nerve pain I had endured subsided.
I did everything my surgeon and primary doctor prescribed, physical therapy, walking, staying active but no overdoing it.
Eight months following surgery, I found myself in a dream come true kind of job. As Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
One week ago I walked into a room of strangers and now I have a new group of friends.
I am looking forward to the door that has opened to me, and I hope you all enjoy my column.
I would like to make writing and photography my habit.
Before I close I have to say “Hi Mom” because it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t.
|< Prev||Next >|