Friday, January 16, 2009

Moms and Other Unappreciated Heroes....

As a child, I never fully appreciated all the sacrifices my mother made for her four children (and continues to make for her grandchildren.) Instead, I spent most of my life waiting for the day I could escape from the hell I called home, not once stopping to realize how much worse it could have been had my mother not taken countless menial jobs that required her to work long hours, put up with prick bosses, and sometimes walk a mile in the snow before daylight just to catch a ride to work. All I saw was how bad my life was and how embarrassed I was to be part of my family.

Now that her children are gone and have children of their own, my mother continues to make sacrifices. She wakes up early every morning to drive the school bus, then takes care of my baby niece during the day, goes back to work to clean the elementary school until midnight or later, and wakes up the next day to do it all over again. She doesn't have a lot of money, but what she does have is often spent to make sure her grandchildren are safe and provided for, just as she did with own children.

My mother is not perfect, nor is any mother. However, the sacrifices she has made and continues to make should overshadow any insignificant flaw she might have. I still have a difficult time showing her just how much I appreciate her, but I hope she knows that I do see all that she has given up so that her children could have a better life. Thanks, Mom.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Liberal Girl's Hometown

I come from a small dot on the bottom left hand corner of the Missouri map. It was not until I had been away from my hometown for quite some time that I realized the irony of its name, Liberal. The majority of its 780 residents are about as far from being liberal as many of Austin's residents are from being conservative. However, this was not always the case.

My map dot was actually founded in 1880 by a liberal attorney named George H. Walser, who wanted a place free of religion and, believe it or not, alcohol. In an effort to rid southwestern Missouri of Walser's dream town, a group of Christians bought a small plot of land adjacent to the godless community, named it Pedro (no longer in existence), and tried to proselytize the heathens of Liberal, MO. They must have succeeded as the town now has at least four churches within its 0.8 square miles, and several more within the farming community's zip code.

If you are interested in knowing more about my "Liberal village", just look it up on your favorite search engine; there isn't much out there, but what is available is quite interesting. And for those of you interested in visiting the lost atheist's "heaven", let me know; I'll give you the grand tour.