Thursday, August 15, 2013

Today, I Lay Down the Microphone

Sometimes in life we are offered things that seem too good to be true. This has happened to me multiple times, even when I didn’t realize it at first.

K105 was one of these things.

I entered this building on Feb. 20, 2006 29 years old, separated from my husband and looking for a steady income. What I found was a world that I never knew I would live-in.

The first thing I found was God, then a restored marriage and a recreated me, with a renewed mind. Those things were not from K105 but were the reason the rest of the path into this new world ended up the way it has. When God is first, you are good, you are humble, you are kind, you can love the way God loves and that makes life better.

Without a college education or any idea what/where news came from, I fumbled my way through news story after news story – reacquainting myself with all the grammar and English lessons I ignored in high school. As time went on I found my footing in this fast moving world of media meets radio – which both in their own right is a freight train barreling down a hill, and I’m the grasshopper clinging to the side of a coal car.

I laugh when people call to complain about the station off-air for a minute, or a missed program…I laugh because they have no idea how many things could go wrong within the blink of an eye inside this studio, and how much work was involved to keep on-air all that is right for the day.

I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve prayed on-scene more than anyone ever knew, I’ve thrown in my 2 cents when elected officials seemed to be in need of it, and I’ve even surprised myself on how much I could love something that wasn’t human.

I’ve scream at my scanner in the middle of my sleep when bus drivers and utility crews decided it was a cell phone. I camped-out at emergency management headquarters during the Ice Storm 2009 because there were monumental amounts of chocolate donated. I walked through a cow pasture, in the rain with a cow paddle, covering a fire, and stood in tornado invaded land while wearing the fire chief’s over-sized coat. I’ve watched hundreds of people be rescued by our local first responders, citizens go toe-to-toe with politicians, a community come together to celebrate fiddle playing, freedom, bicentennial milestones, and even wore a costume or two. Picket lines, dirty cops, underpaid cops turn hero, triumphant victories, amazing athletes and mathletes, new schools built, old schools torn down, businesses come and go…I’ve seen just about anything, everything, even my fair share of death and new life born.

I’ve even stood beside the Governor and chatted about all the great things Grayson County is…

This is one of my favorite photos I ever captured, this fireman was one of several that worked for over two hours to remove a man from an entangled car after a head-on collision; it was the middle of summer.

I’ve made the best friends of my life in this job.

And this guy:

He’s my boss-brother…I don’t have a brother so I claim him. I imagine our relationship is much like that…I want to kill him sometimes but I dare you to even consider it. He’s the idiot that hired a no-skilled, uneducated girl that he saw something in when she didn’t, but knew she had a gift for gab, if nothing else.

It’s kicking and screaming I am leaving this position.

Sometimes in life other “too good to be true” opportunities arise and you have to, at least, try them. So, with the heaviest heart I have ever had, I am leaving this one-of-a-kind job and headed to be the Internet Sales Manager for a local dealership.

They say money talks; I guess this time I have to shut up and let it.

Thank you for listening, thank you for allowing me to tell your stories, share mine, and intrude your airways.

God is good, all the time…

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Lot

It’s been a month since I have taken the time to pen about my life. So much has happened and many days just repeated themselves all the same.

We have a new recreational event at our house. The Lot next door has transformed into many things over the years: a football field, a baseball diamond, a golf green, etc. It’s really to dad’s discretion on how he wants to mow the vacant lot. But this month it got what appears to be a permanent fixture in the way of bike ramps.

There are multiple boys who live in the neighborhood – ages ranging from 7 – 18 – a few have moved away but return periodically to visit and play baseball in the lot. When the twins return, their friends from all across the county ascend on the neighborhood and the vacant lot across from The Lot becomes parking.

One afternoon as I was making the turn into my neighborhood, I noticed several boys standing with various tools in hand.
Upon closer view, I realized the group had spent the afternoon re-purposing the boy’s old skateboard ramps.

Dug into the small incline of The Lot was one ramp. Water had been hand delivered to cement the mud around the ramp.

Work went on for days to get these ramps “just right.” As I was leaving for a meeting one evening, I pulled out and saw this:
That’s my boy, my bike, my rain boots, and pretty sure that was my 2 liter of diet coke before it was reclaimed as a water hauler.

My garage was turned into a bike shop. Wheels have been removed, replaced, borrowed, shared and patched.

This bike ramping business is serious stuff, and apparently a bit hard on the ole tires.

I have watched this lot be a gathering place, a playground, a racetrack, and many other things. It’s amazing what kids can do with just their imagination and playmates.

Sure hope no one ever buys The Lot next door. I’m pretty sure when people drive through the neighborhood looking for a place to build; they see the neighborhood playground that lives there even though it’s nothing more than grass.

In other Thomas family business:

Both of my grandfathers died the year I was born, 1976. My grandmother died when I was 8 years old, and the only grandmother I ever really knew will be 99 in November and has been a cornerstone of our family. I cannot imagine losing her.

My husband was more fortunate; he was gifted the opportunity to know all four of his grandparents for most of his life. His grandmother Mary died when he was in college; this was the only grandparent I did not have the opportunity to meet, but I understand her worth to her family just through the stories. I did have the luxury of knowing the remaining three, in which I have also stood by my husband’s side and laid to rest over the past seven years. This weekend we paid our respects to his last grandparent, his Papaw R.V. I never had a grandfather but R.V. has always treated me as a grandchild, as did all of his grandparents. I loved his stories and enjoyed his wisdom. He was born in 1926 and has seen the most rapid changes this world has ever experienced in many ways from transportation to technology. He always spent Christmas with us, was the only coin collector I knew, and was one of the remaining WWII Veterans still alive. He will truly be missed.

R.I.P. Papaw – we love you…