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Florida

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It was January 1972 when we finally arrived in Florida. That man I was married to and I had agreed to return to a marriage based on commitment. We were, after all, married.

Disney World Orlando [which was actually in Kissimmee] was brand new. All around us were happy families and kids enjoying the place. We got a hotel room right inside the park. We ate at Cinderella's Castle and rode all the rides on Gold Passes.... it was so much fun.

The weather was perfect, as it usually is in Florida in January.... So we decided that it would be wonderful to just stay there. I got a job at the Waffle House [graveyard shift waitress] and he got a job at the local grocery store stocking produce. We rented a trailer. They were cheap to rent because some of the storms would spawn small tornados that could rip trailers to shreds but we didn't know that then.

Every now and then, when I could swing it, I'd pick up the breakfast shift when one of the other waitresses was a no show. After a while we got an apartment near work.

You wouldn't believe how much money a Waffle House waitress could make in a tourist town. I knew all the parks. I'd remind them to wear comfortable shoes. I'd tell them not to overdress their kids.

I'd tell them that the Magic Kingdom was so special that a simple t-shirt and pair of shorts would do just excellent. The tourists loved all the advice and they returned for more meals, tipping me generously for the tips.

The grave yard shift had its locals. They loved me because I put them before the tourists. Pretty soon the place would pack every night I worked and since good grave yard shift waitresses were hard to come by I work a whole lot of solo shifts. At 4 in the morning when the locals were on their way to work, I always made a point to have their order ready for them. Some of them would leave the order with me the morning before.

All in all it was fun. All those hours on my feet though were really rough at times. I loved it.

My boss and I had a big argument tho. It was a Friday night graveyard shift and we were out of coffee. "Give 'm decaf... she said and went home for the night. I went over to the grocery store bought 4 big cans of coffee and some filters with my own money and went back to work.

When she got back the next morning she saw the empty containers in the trash and went off. She started to tell me off for "not taking orders" so I quit. She said I couldn't quit.... I told her "watch this" and walked out the door.

The next night I was working at the Ranch House next door. Better seating, better benefits, better cooks, same hours.... more money.... and all my locals spread the word quickly so they moved.

I saw that man I was married to during the afternoon and evening. We'd have dinner together and talk about our days.

There was a lot of quiet time.... I really thought I had it made for a while. But over the next 3 years I got pregnant 4 times and lost all four.

Then I had my first daughter in August. Let me tell you August in Florida, pregnant, is no picnic. But I spent a lot of my down time in A/C and in the pool. I worked up a couple weeks before she was born. I couldn't get behind the coffee counter so I had to take some time off.

Our schedules gave us the leisure of having someone home all the time so I went back to work about 6 weeks after she was born. I was there for all the waking hours. He was there for the 2 AM and that didn't last too much longer after I went back to work. She started sleeping through the night.

I lost another baby after my first daughter but soon became pregnant with my second daughter. That's when that man I was married to "hurt his back". He was laying flat on the floor saying he was hurt. I knew better, I'd just seen him walking just fine.

I told him I was pregnant so he better get off the floor. He responded with.... well if I'm already down here I can't fall over with joy!

My second daughter was his spitting image. They had a bond that was evident even in the hospital room.

For my first two children, the daddy's were not really allowed in labor or delivery like they are now. You pretty much went in by yourself, it pain, and in my case saying "shoot me up" this hurts too too bad.... saying that while you're hyperventilating is no easy chore. I had never seen a birth let alone gone through one. I thought it would be easier the second time. While the labor was much shorter, the experience was totally painful. Ladies, I know some of you will know what I mean when I say I had back labor.

After my second daughter was born things started to go south. I've given you the background of the girls here so when you read about Kissimmee Baptist you'll know about them.

I read the babies Bible Story books from before they were born. The year was 1978. Norman Rockwell died that year. While I had never really had a Norman Rockwell life.... I do find that ironic.

:coffee:

Y'all write me an note or send me a pm.... I see there's a few of you still reading.

Updated 07-23-2013 at 03:22 PM by hotcoffee

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