My hate/love/hate relationship with this town

Just the other day I was mentioning to my mom that Rogersville is a difficult town for me to live in as outsider.  “Outsider” meaning I’ve lived here on and off for 20 years now, but still haven’t quite found that “at home” feeling you would hope to have in whichever town you dwell.  One would be hard pressed to find a more lovely town than Rogersville.  It’s very historical and beautiful, but much like that town in the Chevy Chase movie “Funny Farm” where Chevy and his wife pay the community to emulate the characters and landscape of a Norman Rockwell painting so they can sell their house and move away from the insanity, the beautiful outside of Rogersville thinly masks the significant level of crazy which takes place here.

I know I’ve written on these before but I can hardly do a thorough story on Rogersville without mentioning the most predominant stories- news making stories actually- which have given me and my friends quite a good laugh.  Some of you may have seen on Jay Leno several years ago that a couple of convicts escaped from the Hawkins county jail, propped the jail door open with a Bible, and went on a beer run.  I think the best part of the story (other than using the Holy Bible as a means of escape) is that these guys, after partaking in their beverages, RETURNED to jail.  They didn’t want to escape really, they just needed to head to the Rockies I guess.  Here’s to good friends- tonight is kinda special…. for a jail break/beer run.  So flippin’ funny.  🙂

My second favorite story is fairly recent.  Police discovered and infiltrated a local meth lab (these are pretty popular in this county apparently) and upon entering the residence were promptly greeted by monkeys.  Yes, I did say monkeys.  One monkey in particular was so large and aggressive that it actually attacked an officer.  This immediately became necessary fodder for my friends and myself to incorporate into our everyday dialogue- i.e. “I’m as mad as a monkey in a meth lab” or “I’m as riled up as a monkey in a meth lab”… you get the picture.

I truly could go on about 10 pages with more stories, but I’m just going to give you one more.  I’m writing this primarily for my friends Jeff and Todd, both of whom I have no doubt will laugh themselves silly from the corners of Colorado and California.  They’ll be as happy as two monkeys in a meth lab after reading this. 🙂

Carolynn and I were at dinner last night at the Mexican restaurant when she told me the following story.  I almost blew guacamole out my nose.  I’ve thought all day how to write this properly for full effect.  Here goes… Carolynn lives on Broadway.  For those of you unfamiliar, Carolynn is my mom.  Yes I call her by her first name.  We’ve been over this in earlier blogs.  Catch up.  (lol)  Broadway is a street within the historic district in beautiful, scenic Rogersville.  The Broadway Avenue area is a picturesque neighborhood with many other lovely, old homes in a variety of colors.  Several doors down from her some rather interesting characters have recently moved in.  I won’t give names.  This place is small enough, but let’s just say these people are outsiders too.   As neighbors, and former real estate clients, she has some issue to discuss with these people, so here goes Carolynn walking down one of Rogersville’s original, limestone sidewalks (one which I’m sure Andrew Jackson himself must have walked or roller-bladed on) <insert eye roll> from her two-story, pink Victorian house to this client’s home.  She was instantly greeted by her client’s much younger uh…… boyfriend.  Boyfriend is standing on the front porch of this home in the historic district, hollering out at the top of his lungs to one of the two horse-sized German shepherds chained to trees in the yard, “I love you, Sabrina!”  Interesting character to say the least.  Carolynn at this time has been greeted by a few other female neighbors who just happened to be passing at the time and they all convened in the client’s yard.  Imagine the movie “Steel Magnolias”.  These women all three are true Southern Belles with accents as sweet and as thick as molasses.  The very picture of Southern charm.  As they were standing around talking the group of women are approached by the dog-hollering boyfriend.  According to my mom, and she SWEARS this is true, he is wearing a t-shirt which has a picture of a huge rooster on it and the rooster has a saddle strapped to its back.  Written below in big, black letters it says, “Free Rooster Rides”…only they didn’t use the word “rooster”.  You following me?  My mom said she and the other two women were so mortified that it took all the strength they could muster to stare this man directly in the eyes and pretend they couldn’t read his shirt.  Perhaps you’re thinking to yourself- “Okay, that’s not so bad really”.  Please let me continue…

This same man who likes to wear shirts which reference his parts was seen driving a truck into his driveway just a few nights previous and he and his older girlfriend together hauled out an entire DEAD hog and hung it from a rope thrown over the branches of a tree in the yard.  I’m talking hog was hung crucifixion style and the two of them went at him with electric knives cutting him into bits.  Mind you, lest you forget, this is taking place on Broadway Avenue- not on someone’s farm.  If historical zoning frowns upon vinyl siding and has regulations about how far from the road a fence must be placed, I have a sneaking suspicion that going “Deliverance” in your front yard on wildlife and livestock would be a major no-no.

I swear to you, as much as I complain about this place I laugh about it too.  Where else does this stuff happen?  I tell my out-of-town friends and I think they think I’m making the stuff up.  I consider myself creative, but I don’t think even I could come up with these little jewels.

So, the next time you want to vacation to somewhere lovely come to Rogersville.  Bring a camera.  You just may get to take some pictures of monkeys in meth labs, obscene t-shirts, and animal slaughterings.  Who can put a price tag on those memories?!  Priceless.

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The Heat of the Battle

I’ve missed blogging so much that I’ve decided it’s time to dive back in feet first although I feel as if I’m diving in with an anchor tied around my neck.  Many of you are writers and may also experience what I am about to state, but I find it increasingly difficult to write when I am in periods of stress and turmoil.  Maybe I’m afraid that anything I write will come out as a barrage of complaints spewing out my fingertips which may then evolve into a barrage of eye rolls coming from my sweet, well-meaning readers and friends.  I’m afraid if I wait until all is peaceful I may not get to write for some time.

A quick update: I am still here.  I am at my home with my children.  They are cute, happy and adjusting.  I am waiting, not so patiently, for the lawyers and the judge to do their work.  It’s an incredibly frustrating process and a slow-moving one at that.  I have a theory that if the lawyers conducting this horrific process had to experience the emotional turmoil equally to that of the people going through a divorce….well, my guess is that it probably wouldn’t take 3 months to a year to complete.  Just sayin’.

For those of you who have been wondering I am no longer on Facebook, but hope to soon return.  I needed the break from cyberland.  Sometimes it’s easy to bury yourself in all of the hooplah and status updates and funny comments and pictures, but it has become necessary for me to take the time to focus on my real life and the issues at hand.  It’s funny how much I’ve missed Facebook.  I’ll be with girlfriends and something funny will happen and I’ll say, “DANG!  That would make a hilarious status!”

I wanted to say “thanks” to all of my friends who have contacted me, Jess or my mom to find out how we are doing.  It’s nice to feel missed.  🙂  Thanks also to sweet Pat for the card of encouragement and the Starbucks gift card!  PERFECT!  It was such a sweet surprise and very much appreciated.

I’m learning things about myself this year that I didn’t know.  Some things good, some things bad, but one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that even when I literally don’t have the strength to get out of bed or to face another day I know I can do it… I have to.  In the heat of this battle I’m still standing, head held up and I’ll keep on going.  This year has not been kind to me or my family.  From early January we’ve had obstacles, big ones, which have had to be overcome.  Most of you know I grew up in church and that I have faith in a God Who pulls us out of the muck and mire.  Another lesson I’m learning is that regardless of how many Bible verses I can recite or point out to you it is when you find yourself in the very most heated parts of the battle that you truly learn how committed you are.  I’ve surprised myself this year with the doubt and confusion and question I’ve let crawl into my life.  I’m just being honest here.

I’d love to pretend to all of you that I’ve been the picture-perfect example of GRACE in action, but I’ve not.  I have doubted and questioned and whined and complained and blamed.  I’ve done a child’s share of finger-pointing and fussing about the state of life, but the reality is I didn’t just wake up one day living here.  I’ve been living on this unstable foundation for a long time.  You can’t build a sandcastle on the shore and then complain when the waves come crashing in.  Waves crash.  That’s what they’re supposed to do.  Either move your castle or be prepared for a lifetime of rebuilding.  I just chose, for some reason, to build too close and I’m having to live with that decision.  It’s been a tough reality to face and has forced me to do much soul-searching.  I’ve stated in my writing before that it can be very scary to have to take a good look at yourself.  You may not find the you that you’re trying to convince the world of.  I’m so thankful that I have people in my life who accept me even when I’m not nearly as fabulous as I’d like for everyone to think I am.  🙂

The purpose in my writing this is two-fold.  First, I would ask for continued prayer.  I receive any that you will send my way.  Prayers especially for my children and that God will direct all those in charge to decisions which will be in the best interest of the 2 most valuable “possessions” that I have.  Secondly, I’d love to hear back from any of you who wish to speak.  It’s easy to know you’re a Christian.  It’s easy to know the perfect thing to say, but when it comes down to time to DO those perfect things, do ya sometimes just get a little tired?  I have.  The fight in me isn’t gone, but it certainly is looking for a little down time.  Hopefully soon.

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