7. Marvelous Mistakes, 8. I made a choice to make a change, 9. Connections to the Farm,
10. Back to the Farm, 11. It's a small world after all, 12 Fair Weather Friends,
13. Ghost of Roommates Past, 14. You can never go to far, 15. Glamorous Life,
16. Double Standards, 17. Lazy? No Exhausted, 18. Crossroads of Life and Death, 19. One Last Time, 20. When Worlds Collide I, 21. When Worlds Collide II, 22. When Worlds Collide III 23. The Unwanted New World, 24. Means the Old World Must Go, 25. So Where was God in all this? 26. Where did you get that from?, 27. The Reason for My Season, 28. Was Always a Little Rascal, 29. Pictures and Quotes of the Little Rascal and final chapter 30. Closing in Contradictions. ~Use these links to read in order (some chapters have songs, new added content, pictures or all:) Volume 2 >>>>>
Since most of you don't know me, let me introduce myself. My name is Kristin Lynne and I am comfortably single. I say what I mean and mean what I say. If something causes me to be unable to fulfill a promise or commitment, I will be the first one to tell you. But that doesn't happen often because I have learned to say no a long time ago. My father is an alcoholic Vietnam War vet sliding into dementia now and my mom is a recovering control freak. Baby steps. Needless to say childhood was not a pleasant experience and yes I am an only child. I spent a few months in a group home until I got them to throw me out. The long and short of it was I was repressed, at least until I got thrown out at the age of 16 and then I let loose.
From small towns to big cities there is always a supply of interesting people around. Sometimes you're kin to them and others you meet along the way. Me personally, I am kind of boring. For those who aren't familiar with Charlotte it has slowly but surely grown over time and spread out wide. At one point it was and maybe still is the second largest banking center next to Wall Street. Times change so that may not be true any longer but the point is this little bible belt city has quite a few people in it. Over the last years many transplants from the north have settled here because the cost of living was fairly low compared to there. In contrast Monroe is the smaller city south of here that many cut through going to the beach. Out there John Deer rules along with big trucks, turkey or chicken houses are plenty with many of farms scattered through out and people still wave, even if it is only a small index finger raising with the slight head nod as you pass down the road. There is roughly 30 miles between the two cities and I grew up right near the county line dividing the two, landing on the Monroe side. It got complicated because the towns changed and annexed land but Matthews was in both counties almost equally in size. So to keep things simple we just refer to it as Union county. A quarter mile up the road or so over toward the Charlotte side then things would have been so much easier but you are where you are. The kids in our neighborhood spent 45 minutes on the bus to school and it was a lot farther away than the Charlotte schools. I hated that growing up and mom didn't like going to Monroe often because Charlotte was more convenient. They were completely different worlds and I never really fit in either one of them.
We lived in the trailer park but dad refused to call it that. He would call it the mobile estates, like that made a difference...really! The earliest memory I have is mom fixing her hair in the bathroom of the single wide before we upgraded to a double wide. I'm pretty sure my granddad came to help with that. The trailer backed up to woods and woods were also behind my friends across the street and we played in them a lot. We had a grove of peach trees just down the road and would pick them right off the trees in the summertime. If we were really bored we would go to the pond and throw rocks in it or ride our bikes to the store which took over an hour because of the distance. I also sleepwalked a bit when I was young and would remember waking up doing things like placing my stuffed animals down the hall leading to mom and dads room. The weird thing was I kept on going once I woke up. My mom had me in a preschool in Charlotte which I stayed there until 2nd grade and then went to Fairview elementary school located on Hwy 601 in Union County. I remember in 2nd grade being hit in the head with a pet rock by a girl and later on I stabbed another girl with a pencil.
Yeah even then I was starting to be an angry kid and for the life of me I can't figure out why I did that! All I can figure is I learned it was best to go on the offense than defense. Rest easy though because there was no blood and she did live to tell about it. This was where I lost all my front baby teeth in a jungle gum accident too. Since that time my mom and I have spent a small fortune on my teeth to no avail because I finally had them removed in 07. I had a very bad teacher in 3rd grade and then 2 great ones for 4th and 5th. Middle school was awkward to say the least but I made it through with out too much drama. My 8th grade teacher was huge and when she paddled me she lifted my feet off the floor! Both the middle and high schools sat next to each other surrounded by fields of corn mostly and not only did our football teams wear overalls, we even had tobacco spittin' contest back then. Honest! I have a picture in my yearbook of a guy getting ready to spit! (Well those are in storage at grandma's at this time.) I think we were one of the last classes allowed to smoke on high school campus and the smoking area was the coolest place to be. The few times I was let out of the house alone, some friends and I went to the logging plant in SC... I think, where they had square dancing for the older people inside while the younger ones stayed out side with their own kind of fun. Pageland SC is also the home watermelon festival.
If that isn't country enough for ya then we'll go a little further back to my grandparents place in The Boondocks of South Carolina and many other family members scattered around the state. I remember my Aunt Annie May working out in the garden in her straw hat, cut off shorts and galoshes. At her family reunions we kids would ride those huge old cable spools tuned on the side when we could get away with it. She made the best chicken and dumplings I ever had in my life and her peach cobbler wasn't too bad either! Grandma and her mom MawMaw both had huge gardens that always needed tending and there was plenty of corn to shuck and beans to snap. The best part for me was when Granddad would let me ride the tractor with him or let me ride with him in his old pick up to check on his cows. His favorite store was Family Dollar but he took me to Roses once and bought me a hola hoop when I was little. :) We all would go to the beach and stay at the Springs Hotel in the summertime but the only fun we had would be miniature golf or ice cream. These are just a few of my precious memories. But I don't want you to think I was spoiled because that is far from the truth. I did get a lot at Christmas when I was little but I didn't really have anyone to play with. I would have rather had some fun toys like go carts and finger paints but mom decided one wasn't lady like and the health insurance didn't cover all the accidents I would have had. As for the paints she didn't want to be cleaning up everything so there went that idea! Mom liked quiet and didn't like anyone over to the house so when I did get to go over to my friends across the street it was only after all the homework and chores were done... and they were rarely done in time. Thank God for my blue jean record player with my Disco Duck , Beethoven 5th Symphony Disco version and Leroy Brown records!
On dad's side of the family I only saw my Aunt Mary and Uncle Lee because dad didn't have much to do with anyone of his 5 brothers and sisters. One of his sister died when she was 15 in a car verses train wreck and her name was my mothers name. And moms birthday was the same number as our house number back then. Just another weird piece of trivia. Dad didn't see his mom very much and I had only met her twice in my whole life but as far as I was concerned Aunt Mary and Uncle Lee were my grandparents on his side. Uncle Lee used to be a pro baseball player in the day as well as a pool hustler later on in life. While I never got the whole story because that's like pulling teeth with my family, I knew Uncle Lee had shot dad's dad because he was a low down sorry SOB. Whether he lived or not I don't know but let's just say I don't think anyone of them was no stranger to the law. I remember we would go out to the lake for the weekends in the camper and that's where I smoked my first joint with a cousin. Earlier in the day his brother got mad at me because I caught more fish with my little cane pole than he did with a rod, reel and assortment of tackle. I don't even like fish but it was fun hanging out at the marina. It was here and my moms parents where we spent most of our Christmases, in fact we had never had a Christmas in our house.
Despite where I grew up I may shock all the country people by saying I hated country music and blue grass especially growing up. It was crying in my beer music for the most part and I wanted stuff that fun to dance to (only when no body was looking!) and later found old classic rock like Clapton and blues like BB King which became my favorite. I grew up with Elvis because mom loved him and Michael Jackson or the Bee Gees was the coolest dance music going back then... at least that I had heard. It wasn't until later that country music became really cool and fun to dance to like the Boots Scootin' Boogie or just down right fun like Rough and Ready! (And where was this guy when I was growing up?) Even if you think line dancing is corny it's still fun to do and the best part is you don't need a partner for most of it. The most important thing is music was a constant companion and it was there for me when there was nothing else and through out this blog I will post some of my favorite tunes where relevant because I like all kinds of music as long as it is good and sometimes a song can say it better than I ever could. Like many of you I grew up with movies like Grease, Staying Alive, Footloose and Flash Dance. I remember seeing Scarface when I was 11 years old and eating a potty meat sandwich which mom smuggled in, when Tony cut up that dude in the bathroom. Top Gun was the greatest guy movie and made me want to fly planes but I knew that wouldn't happen because I already had a problem with Authority even at that age. When the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High came out it was like a sign to the younger generation that it was okay to be a pot smoking smart ass. Not that I needed a sign but it was cool nonetheless. My mom was a child of the 60's but didn't participate in the them like I would have participated in the 60's! What a shame. Mom loved An Officer and a Gentleman and Dirty Dancing of course which was filmed in Lake Lure NC. Most of the movies were seen at the old Regency theater... Photo courtesy of Native of Charlottean Group on Facebook.
One reason I give all this information is I am doing my own study of six degrees of separation because no matter how far I came out of the country the people I've met intertwine with one another with amazing regularity. It may not seem so to you but there is a lot of land for people to pick from around here but from where I sit a lot end up in the same place. As time goes on I will reveal more details about some of the people I grew up with but for now my friend across the street was my best friend back then and we'll call her Trixie. The girl who lived sort of behind us came to play occasionally and she loved to pick weeds and talk to them. The other girl down the street was a good bit younger than us but sometimes I would go down there because we both were in the same after school daycare. We'll call her Little Bit because she is still so very short and she even chewed tobacco at that young age! Many years later Little Bit's brother was kind enough to give me a ride home one night from the Old Folks Bar after I had a little to much to drink. I hated that I hadn't seen either of them in a very long time and when I did I just about couldn't walk. I have always been a lightweight drinker even when I practiced for a while. I eventually gave it up completely because I just can't hold it together and got really tired of praying to the porcelain god. The girl next door to my parents was a brat and her dad and my dad ended up feuding for the next 40 years.
The neighbors to the right of us were a childless couple who I took to because they let me smoke over there and it was fun talking to adults that were cool. Well at least the lady was, her husband was a few bricks shy of a load but I was so bored as a child I would even go with them to hear them sing at the church or wherever. We used to go to auctions or fleamarkets and even though I never had any money, it was better than staying at home. Mom let me go with them to Florida when I was around 11 but I was miserable because they left me in the hotel room when they went to the dog track. After losing all the money we had to take a long bus ride home early and I was mad because I didn't get to do anything! I mowed their overgrown lawn quite a bit and was always walking the roads then to pick up cans for recycle to make a few dollars. Back then dad generated a lot of his own so we'd spend hours crushing cans. Then there was old man Quinn who lived next door to the brat and he would work his daughter like a indentured servant while screaming at her constantly. You could always hear him and I felt so sorry for her because she never got to do anything fun. Much later though the old man's wife became Trey's bus driver but she was just as mean as the old man was. Why she wanted a job like that, I'll never know because she was more suited for anything that didn't involve kids.
Dad was a practical joker of sorts and he told me this story one time. He and some friends of his found an old pocketbook somehow and located a snake or two. After putting the snake in the pocketbook and then placing in on a sidewalk, they hid around the corner and waited. Before too long a car load of people were seen slowly passing by and checking it out. After a bit they decided that is was abandoned so they returned to quickly pick it up and get back in the car. The car only made it a few feet down the road when it came to a stop and all occupants bailed from it screaming. On the 4th of July one year he sat in the living room and shot the shot gun out the sliding glass doors toward the woods... Mom was not amused. He would do things like this randomly so one day when he said there was a leaf out side with my name on it and I needed to go rake them up so I could find it. Well I took a pen, went outside located a leaf, wrote my name on it and then returned it to him, telling him I am done! He was not amused and so the raking began :)
One last thing before you go... I was raised to respect my elders but learned over time that respect must be earned. If you treat me well I will do the same for you. If you don't then... well who knows what may happen. I speak Redneck (woman) and crazy fluently but I am trying to translate them into as proper English as I can. Please forgive the mistakes and while I will keep the cussing down to a minimum sometimes you just gotta say it like it is. I took a lot of pictures over the years but hated to have mine taken so there aren't very many of me after I got older. Mom hates having hers taken as well and I have tried to no avail to get some of her. I also will upload more photos whenever I get a new scanner/printer and later still I will go back and dress some of the photo's with the cool digital frames I love to do. Until then enjoy your stay, kick your shoes off and have a seat. And as always... Y'all come back now... ya hear!
The famous green bomb aka the bat mobile with me in an Easter Dress and happy about it too.
Mildred and Aunt Mary up at the lake.
2. Six Degrees from Home >>>>>