Saturday, February 4, 2012

odd jobs

Last night I dreamed I was driving the Sr. Citizens' bus.
I actually dreamed I was stepping on all their ears too.
This after watching Dumbo...I hope.
It made me think of all the jobs I have had.
I drove the Senior Citizen bus one whole summer.
It was a blast.
It was part of my college practicum.
I had to work in the senior home,
and I was employed by the local RSVP
(retired senior volunteer program)
and no I didn't have a salary.
I paid them...for education.
My degree...Home Ec./Family Services.
I did time in a child care program too.
It all is coming in handy now, huh?
I also worked summers in a local paper factory.
That taught me a lot about life.
There was a lot of drama and
a lot of tomfoolery going on there.
I got an education very quickly on how not to behave.
They made cups, lids, and paper plates.
I worked on the plates one summer,
and a couple of Christmas breaks,
and was a material handler one summer.
To this day my family says...
Well, Son of a cup maker.
Nicer than the usual sentiment.
Use it, it's fun to say.
Another summer the factory wasn't hiring
so I worked at a local restaurant...
The Country School.
I was the girl in the ugly rust polyester dress,
in the back
filling the orders. 
I was the one who said "order up".
I was also the one who ate the chicken liver 
when it fell out of the basket.
The bosses were great and it was a fun job
even if I went home smelling like a fry.
We got married just before my last semester
and I drove to school.
This is when I worked unpaid at the daycare.
After graduation it was 1981.
The Reagan administration had cut many social programs.
I couldn't find a  job.
I went to work for one month 
for a local marketing service company.
They gave market advice for the stock market.
The owner was weird.
He was seriously disturbed.
I had no idea what I was doing and
he really didn't know what he was doing.
Luckily for me, an aide job 
came available at the school. 
I was the aide for a boy
with Down Syndrome who was
mainstreamed into first grade.
(Isn't God smart?)
I worked there that year and 
then had my first child, Annie that June.
I stayed at home from then on
and had 4 more babies in the next 4 years.
During the years I was raising kids though,
I always had a job to earn extra money.
I babysat a couple of extra kids.
I sold Longaberger baskets for a time.
(There a many, many in storage in the top of the shed) 
I substitute taught (worst job ever).
I sold antiques and did antique shows.
( again, many in the shed)
I cleaned houses.
We bought the trailer park 
and had/have rentals.
I farmed with my husband and father in law
during harvest( loved it)
and did the farmer's wife "go-for" and
"meals on wheels" thing.
Then Annie had Aubrie.
I fell head over heels.
I retired from the antique shop,
and farming
(but not the "go-for and cook thing).
Now I keep the grand kids 
and visit my folks.
I get paid with hugs and kisses
and lots of memories.
It is the best job yet.
It's what I still wanna do, when I grow up.



  1. God is smart, indeed.

    I was a Home Ec./Family Services major for a while...wonder if they still have that major?

    you seem like you would have fun in almost any situation!

  2. you forget....zac saw dollar signs, not now they sit in my shed...for a year and a half. i am glad you babysit, cause my baby is gonna love you so bad and come home spoiled rotten and that makes me happy.

  3. 1. I am always amazed at how smart God is.
    2. I drove elderly deaf and deaf blind people around in one of those big vans for a few summers.
    3. I never worked in a factory but a good friend of mine worked at the crayola crayon factory. Lots of tomfoolery there too.
    4. My first job, delivering newspapers from 5th grade to 9th grade... every morning at 5:30am. I still can't believe I did it but it has a lot to do with who I am today. What life lessons I learned walking and riding my bike around delivering papers.

    Now totally off subject...I am typing this while getting a pedi and someone is here with those pajama jean things on. I knew you were smitten with them. ;)

  4. that was a good blog topic...I got alot of life lessons from odd jobs, as well

  5. I love this post.

    the God knew, the tomfoolery, the Son of a cup maker, the polyester dress...

    You know exactly what I want to read about.... so amazing.


  6. Hey...I am glad I found your blog from following another blog. 8~)
    I love reading what you write...I even imagine your voice saying the words.
    Thanks for sharing your life with us.
    Take care,

  7. Great post. Amazing how you can look back and see how God's prepared you. I think waiting tables was huge for me. It helped me learn to multitask insofar as I CAN multitask, which, honestly, is not very well. It also taught me about balance (figurative and literal). It taught me a huge lesson about doing your best and letting the rest go. Wow. I'm really on a roll. Perhaps I will blog about this, sometime. You always inspire me, Janie. You're a very special everything you are.

  8. Well, Son of a CupMaker! Except for that (cup making) and the go-for farmer's wife, I've had a lot of your experiences! And yes, God IS smart. My summer factory job was weaving wires in large strips of burlap to go inside of car seats. I worked with a couple of friends from high school. One quit early cause she was loosing her mind. I stuck it out.

  9. Wow a shed full of baskets and antiques! A few years ago I would have loved scrounging around in that treasure trove. Now I just need to clean out my own shed AND garage closet to feed that need. :)
    When I was 51 I finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up... a wife and mom. Good thing since I was blessed to do. Along with stints in various forms of baby sitting, retail, schools, and now am part time librarian and florist. Toss in the farmers daughter hat I wear proudly too, and I know it's been a blessed life.

  10. Yes, God is very smart :) And He picked the best person for the job. You're awesome. And those grandies sure are blessed. xx

  11. It's so interesting how our first jobs shape the adults we are to become. I always babysat as a young teen which prepared me to be a stay-at-home (is there really such a thing? C'mon, I was always busy tearing around with the kids or with the school as a volunteer) mom. In college I worked as a stripper - seriously! I had to put magnet strips down the binding of each book as they were getting a new automated system. That taught me that I never wanted to do that again! Then after graduation (advertising major) worked at the local paper in classified advertising where I was taught how to get along with 50 women everyday. I learned how sometimes women are not very nice to each other and vowed I would never be like that. I've done all sorts of odd jobs while my kids grew up - data entry (listened to the whole OJ trial while I did that one), ran a video library with my husband, helped him with his insurance business. But like you Janie, my best work was my children which I know will pay great dividends when the grands start coming. Can't wait! Ann

  12. I just love a girl who eats the rogue chicken liver. My sisters and I used to fight over the livers at Sunday dinner. Your blog is officially now my favorite. Like I said once before, your blog is the only one I would still read without pictures. It is nice to have a good laugh and you certainly deliver there. Your family is very lucky to have you, but I think they know that.


  13. Yay...all caught up! Whew! I love you and your whole family. Your stories slay me.

  14. They do still have the home ec/family services major. I graduated with it in 2006. You can't find a job with it that will pay your student loans but at least I can say I use my degree every day! Love this post, might have todo a similar one


Thanks for reading my blather. I read every comment. They make my heart happy!