Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"I'm on the street where you live
I see you all the time,
but you've not ever noticed me,
I'm no where near your kind.

You don't ever smile at me
and never will you wave,
I guess that you are busy,
but you'll have to slow some day.

I hope I'm still around then
and if I am, please stop.
Sit out on the porch with me,
I'll show you what I've got.

A silver time piece given me
when I was near your age.
They said I'd done a good job,
shoved aside, my only pay.

Once the fair-haired child,
now the aging crow
committed to a concept
that very few will know.

So give it all and then some
I'm sure that matters most
but one day you'll "get" it
you won't hear it in a toast,

You won't hear the praise or accolades
you won't feel the handshake firm
but you'll see it in a young man
who pays you no concern,

I'm on the street where you live..."

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Got a minute?

Bullitt and Bellus

Let me tell you about a personal journey I've been on the last few months. It began when a friend of mine cancelled our lunch date because her dog had died. I remember thinking, "Seriously? It's just a dog!" You see, in my line of work, death is ever present. I see or hear of it daily. It's easy to get calloused jaded or detached. Besides, I'm an adult, pet's die. It's nothing to get tore up over.

I busied myself that day never thinking much of my friend's hurt. Oh, I had said, I was sorry for her loss. It was the appropriate thing to say, but I continued with my day unmoved and unaffected by her sorrow. Sure, I loved my dog too and I told myself I would miss her if she wasn't around, but I didn't know the pain of losing a pet. How bad could it be?

October 25th, 2011, changed that. Scooter "Bug" Randolph died that day and I swore I would never love another dog. I never wanted to feel that deep hurt again. It was hard to remember the joy Scooter had brought into my life for all the guilt I felt for taking her for granted, not to mention for being so cold and callused toward my girlfriend. I was so shocked at my tearful reaction and heartbroken over Scooters death that I vowed never to love another animal again. It was one of the more ignorant vows I've ever hissed in a moment of ridiculous hurt.

If you've never loved and lost an animal, you are probably rolling your eyes right about now. I don't blame you, I've been there too. I won't try to explain how it feels, I can't. I hope you never have to know.

A few months later, a friend sent me a photo of a little girl puppy and I didn't even hesitate. I wanted that baby dog the minute I saw her. Tossing my vow never to love again aside, I brought her and her little brother home with me to spoil. They are laying in my lap right now, half asleep, making their adorable little puppy noises and I'm so grateful for the chance to love again.

God knows I've always been the kind of person that has to learn things the hard way. I'm really wanting to change that though because this lesson in compassion has been a difficult one for me. Learning not to take things or people I care about for granted, hasn't been any easier. I hope never to repeat it.

Maybe my journey will help you in some way. If it does, I'd love to hear about it. Mainly because you are my friend and I care about you, even if I haven't told you lately.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

To Vent or not to Vent....?

I try not to vent about erratic inconsiderate irresponsible drivers. It won't help any. They won't drive better. Seldom does it make me feel good to scream when they can't hear me or rant while I'm ignored. But this past week has been filled with so many ignorant operators that my irritability has exceeded my capacity to remain calm and quiet.

For example, while driving on Interstate 40 the other day, I followed a female driver who pitched a tent in the left lane; weaving and bobbing between the lane lines, as if serpentine-ing invisible cones. As my anger grew, her speed decreased until she was driving about ten miles under the speed limit in the passing lane.

Frustrated with the inexcusable irritation and the traffic that was backing up behind and beside us, I turned on my light bar, activating the red and blue lights and the wig-wag white ones. At first I thought she would yield to the right, her illuminated brake lights indicated she knew an emergency vehicle was behind her. The next few moments however, were filled with insurmountable terror as this non-driving individual completely stopped her vehicle in the left lane of traffic.

I'm not going to sugar coat for you what happened next, it wasn't pretty. I'd tell you what I yelled at her if I could remember, but graciously my post traumatic stress disorder has blackened out the worst of it. I do recall running to her driver's side, yanking the door open and screaming for her to clear the roadway. Then the sound of several thousand pounds of machinery pushing violently against innocent break rotters had me sprinting back to my patrol car.

The stench of burning break pads filled my flared nostrils as I yanked the gear shifter down into drive and stomped on the accelerator, dangerously dodging vehicles as I slid to a stop on the right hand shoulder. Safely behind the offender's car and off of the roadway, I acknowledged the crashing sound that was my pulse against my ear drums. Then I took several large exaggerated breaths and screwed my campaign hat on my head. As I walked to the passenger side of the perpetrators vehicle, I scanned for threats while I adjusted the leather hat strap on the back of my hair, noticing it was still on fire.

Near death experiences will give you clarity like you've never known, I'm told. I can't really say if that's true or not, I feel and think about the same. But I wondered what she was thinking as the wrecker hooked up and left the scene with her car in tow. I'm sure it crossed her mind the need to obtain a valid driver license before driving or better yet, to get a driver's manual and make herself familiar with the rules of the road. Yah, probably that.

Maybe venting does help a little...I feel better.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

It's only me...

Regardless of what you may have heard about Betsy Randolph in the past, I'd like to take a moment and level with you about something that's been weighing on me fairly hard the last few days. This isn't easy for me, so please, give me a second...

I'll try to explain why I occasionally say things I don't mean and never seem to bring myself to say the things I truly do. You may be like me, if so...I hope it helps when I reveal this part of me that I've tried to hide for decades. I've worn this smothering mask for so long that sometimes I don't know where the fanciful facade ends and the Betsy I know I am, begins.

It's easier for me if I explain it like this...."I have a friend...who...

Laughs the loudest when she's hurting the most...

Cries when she's happy...

Trips walking UPstairs...and downstairs...and on flat, even surfaces...

Sings off-key...loudly...and often...

Is stingy...

Can't spell...or use big words correctly...and sometimes even small words, correctly...

Is vain...vulgar...and vicious!"

I suppose what I'm getting at is, I'm human. Prone to err in every possible way.
Now I can picture you sitting there with your eyebrows scrunched together wondering why I'm stating the obvious, if you know me at all you know all these things about me already. I'm usually the first one laughing at me so why write about it now?

Here's why...this last week has been filled with people pointing guilty fingers at others for costly mistakes or life altering events; too ashamed of the truth or afraid of its consequences. Sure, I'm often tempted to take the coward's way out of my self-induced predicaments by doing the same or similar. UNTIL I see someone else do it...

That's when I realize that I don't want to mimic those pathetic, immature people who hide from everyone, especially themselves. THIS IS WHO I AM. I make mistakes all day, every day. Try it on for size, speaking the truth is liberating...