Category Archives: activism

Who Is The Most Inspirational Woman You Know?

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In celebration of Women’s History Month, I am going to be holding a contest for the woman that inspires you the most! Simply comment in the section below for a woman that inspires you the most! It can be someone famous, someone alive, (this includes Aunts, mothers, and grandmothers,) or someone that is no longer with us- as long as you give a name and a reason you will be entered into the drawling. You have until midnight March 31st to get your response to me! If picked you will win a 50.00 visa gift card!

The woman that inspires me more than any other woman ever is my Grandmother, Stella Knight. Stella was the woman that raised me. She took me in when I was a baby because my Mom was sick. Stella was 67 years old when she found out I was going to be coming to live with her. She wasn’t like most Grandma’s- she didn’t like to be called Grama, Mimi, mimah- no- she liked for me to call her Stella! She was there for every scrape on my knew, for every time I asked her to make me her famous Mac n cheese, and for every time I just needed someone to listen. She was my best friend.

In our neighborhood of Evansville, Indiana, Stella developed quite the reputation for feeding homeless people if they came up to her door asking for food. I’ll never forget the time when I was nine, a young boy knocked on her door. He couldn’t have been more than 16. He put his hand behind his head bashfully, “Ma’am, I hate to trouble you, but a friend of mine said you would feed me if I asked.” Stella’s eyes widened, “You’re just a BABY!”

I watched as Stella proceeded to make the biggest steak known to man! The boys eyes widened, and he started to dig in. To this day I’ll never forget how hard he started to shake every time he went to pick up his fork. Stella pats him on the back, “Slow down honey, there’s more where that came from.” About an hour later the boy stands up and he hugs Stella letting out a long deep sob. The type of hug you can only give someone when the world has kicked the shit out of you. The type of hug a 16 year old boy shouldn’t have to give. Stella gives him a bag of sandwhiches and our number. She tells him if he ever needs anything he is always welcome in our home.

When he leaves Grandpa John comes in the room, and he is mad! “Stella, you can’t keep inviting all these homeless people in to our home!”

To which she replies with my favorite response of all time, “Oh John, shut the hell up!”

Grandpa John chuckles to himself and goes into the other room. Stella takes me by the hand and we go to kitchen table. We sit there, and there is a long pause. She proceeds to tell me that when she is nine she is living with seven brothers and sisters in California with her parent’s. Stella’s mother and father desert them one afternoon when she is 11, she is left to take care of all her brothers and sister’s by herself. “You see Maegan- we as women are unbreakable. We are fighters. It is our responsibility to make sacrifices for those around us we care about.”

I never understood what she meant until I had a family of my own years later. We would go on to lose Stella to a stroke a few years later. Several homeless people she had helped thoughout the years showed up to her funeral. They shared stories of how she changed their lives, helped them get jobs, and even find a place to live! It was a beautiful sight. Stella Knight was an amazing woman, and she is my choice for the woman that inspires me the most! Who is yours? Remember, you have until March 31st at midnight to be entered in to the drawing for a 50 dollar Visa card! Just post in the comments section about the woman that inspires you the most, and give a reason why!

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Trenton Bugs Out

Chapter 3: Trenton Bugs Out

Trent with Chewy in the basket! Yes, that's our Maybe Baby!

Trent with Chewy in the basket lookin like ET!

“If I don’t have coupons, I can’t buy anything!” Mae protested. “Please give me the scissors!”

Trenton gave Mae a tired laugh but held the scissors out of her reach. “Tell me you love me.” He grinned.

“I love you, ya dumbass, now give me the scissors.”

Trent handed them over and received a kiss for ransom. “I’m heading straight for the shower. You wouldn’t believe the day I had.”

He went into the bedroom and emptied his pockets onto his dresser. He yelled over his shoulder back at Mae. “Raul thought he’d be funny and loosened the cap on the bulk jug of red curry. Guess how many gallons of house dressing we had to make to balance out about a cup of the stuff.”

“No idea,” she yelled back.

“Well, considering that we use about a tablespoon per gallon… ” He grabbed a towel from the linen shelf, flung it over his shoulder and went into the bathroom.

“How many?” Mae snipped a coupon for buy-one-get-one-free rotini pasta (limit 12) and set it aside just in case she found a better one.

“Sixteen!” Trenton turned on the hot water and eased his tired muscles under the shower head.

Mae came in with a Pennysaver and her scissors. “Sixteen gallons of dressing?”

“Yeah,” Trent said between soapy splashes. “We won’t be able to use it all. Wouldn’t go through that much before it started going bad. Gonna donate it to a shelter or something.”

“Gonna give’m the lettuce and tomatoes to make the salad too?” Mae quipped.

“I don’t know. I’m sure it’ll work out.”

“Sixteen gallons of dressing,” Mae said with a laugh.

“Can’t hear you!” Trenton had shampoo and soap and hot water running everywhere.

“I said,” Mae yelled, “sixteen gallons of…. OH MY GOD THAT IS SUCH A WEIRD-LOOKING BUG!”

“BUG??” Trenton’s irrational fear of anything with six or more legs overcame his rational need to remain upright, and he lifted a leg to flee the tub. The problem was, his face and beard were covered in soapy water, and the floor of the tub was too.

Before Mae could explain the full situation, Trent was feet up and butt down, and in spite of a probable broken rib, Mae burst out laughing.

“I know it’s not funny, but are you okay?”

“No, I’m not okay,” Trent painfully pulled himself up and wiped the soap from his eyes. He stepped very carefully out of the tub, and looked at Mae’s strange bug.

“It’s just this weird ant,” said Mae. “Look, really.”

Trenton’s breath hitched from the pain in his side. “I just fell over a fucking ANT?”

“Oh, sweetie, I’m sorry.”

“Sorry isn’t going to make this day any better.” He stepped back in the shower. “Had to go in early because the prep guy called in sick, had to stay late because Raul had to be a prankster, now I think I -*ow!*- broke a rib over a…” He leaned out of the shower to drive his point home to Mae face to face. “Because of a freakin’ ANT!”

On the word ‘ant’, Trent’s enthusiasm got a little too much momentum going, and he lost his balance. This time, he managed to pull a disco twirl and almost did the splits before falling (again) on his side (again) and cracking a rib (if not before, then now, again).

Mae rushed to the tub and turned off the water. “Trent! Are you okay?”

He moaned out, “Not really,” before refusing to talk in exchange for focusing on trying to breathe without too much excruciating pain. He pointed to his side and mouthed, “Broke.”

“Shit,” was all Mae had to say. She stood up and looked at her naked husband laying in the tub, covered in soap and water, and holding his side. She bit her lip; she covered her mouth; she even held her nose to see if that would help, but no. She started laughing again.

“You know I’m going to have to get someone to help you out of there and get you to the urgent care, right?”

Trenton rolled his eyes and sent telepathic messages to his dear wife that she’d better stop laughing and just get him some help.

“I’ll call Steve; be right back.”

***

Trent lay in his recliner, and Mae brought him some sweet tea. “Thanks, babe.”

“I’m sorry I laughed, but it was funny.”

“Yeah, yeah.”

“How are the pain pills working?” Mae put an afghan over his legs and stroked his forehead. “Is the pain better?”

Trenton nodded. “A bit. Hurts like hell to breathe though.”

“Just relax. I’ll take good care of ya.”

A knock at the door called Mae away. She opened the door and Darlene ran right in.

“I heard about poor Trent. Is he gonna be all right?” Darlene looked around. “Where is he? I wanna tell him to get well soon.”

Mae held on to Darlene’s arm. “He’s resting. Tomorrow might be better.”

“But we just got back from our camping trip at the river, and heard the news, and I came right over. Can’t I just see him a minute?”

“What is it you really want, Darlene?”

“Well,” Darlene gave Mae a sheepish smile, “if it’s not too much trouble, I was wondering if he’d sell me a couple of his pain pills. What’d he get? Oxycodone? Tramadol? Vicodin?”

“He’s in a lot of pain and needs his meds.”

“Oh I’m sure he’ll feel better by tomorrow. Maybe he could spare one or two just for tonight. How about twenty dollars?”

“Darlene.” Mae put her hands on her hips.

“You don’t have to get uppity about it. I just came over to wish him a speedy recovery.”

“Yup.”

“Well, if he changes his mind…”

“Bye, Darlene.” Mae helped her out the door and shut it. “Ugh. Sometimes that woman…”

“Who was it?” Trenton’s painful voice came from the next room.

Mae walked in to him. “Darlene. She wants to buy your pain pills.”

“Figures. Thought she and Randy were camping.”

“Me too. She said they just got back tonight. Anyway, she said to tell you she wishes you a speedy recovery.”

“And my pills.”

They shared a laugh and the door rattled with another knock.

“If that’s her again, I won’t be responsible for my actions,” Mae said and stormed off to the front door.

Steve and Ruth stood there. Ruth held a casserole, and Steve held a stack of magazines.

“Oh, it’s you. Come on in.” Mae opened the door all the way. “He’s in there.” She pointed Steve in the right direction while she and Ruth went to the kitchen.

***

“Hey, man. You look okay to me. Wanna go toss some shoes?” Steve sat down near Trent and put the magazines in his lap.

“Very funny.”

“It was when I got you out of the tub.”

“Oh god, don’t remind me.”

“You’re sexy when you’re naked and wet.” Steve barely kept a straight face.

“If I could move, I’d break your ribs!” Trenton groaned and looked at the magazines.

“I thought you could use something to keep you occupied while you’re fixin’ up.” Steve pointed to the one on top. “That one’s from the barbershop I go to. I haven’t looked in it, but it’s got some travel stuff. Thought you might like it.”

Trenton shuffled through the stack of magazines. “Better Homes & Gardens?”

“Well, that one was from Ruth.”

They heard a knock at the door and Mae’s voice answering. From the other room they heard her say, “I guess so. Come on.”

Maggie and Rob squeezed into the room.

“Oh you poor thing,” Maggie said. “Here. I fixed up some liniment from my grandma’s recipe. It’ll help heal those ribs up in no time. Rub it on three times a day.”

Trent took the small jar and opened it. His nose didn’t get within ten inches before being assaulted by a spicy odor more pungent than a cup of red curry. He slammed the lid back on. “Thanks, Maggie.”

“We just wanted to tell you to get better soon, and if you need anything, just holler.” Rob held his hand out as if to shake with Trent, but Trent just looked at it and gave Rob a look that said, ‘really?’ Rob’s hand went awkwardly to his side. “Uh, well, I guess we’ll go and let you recuperate. Call us, okay?”

“Okay, will do,” Trent said through clenched teeth. “Damn this hurts.”

As Maggie and Rob left, Darlene went right in past them into Trent’s recovery room. “Hey, Trent, I’m so sorry to hear about your accident, and I was just wondering if…”

“Darlene Wheelock, get on back home!” Mae stormed in and pointed to the door.

“Come on, I just want to ask one little question.” She turned to Trent. “How about twenty dollars?”

Trent’s eyes widened. “What the hell?”

“The answer is no; now get on home before I call Randy to come drag you home!” Mae was in her war stance: hands on hips, feet apart, head down, and eyes full of fire.

“Thirty?”

Mae grabbed Darlene by the arm and dragged her to the door.

“Thirty-five, and that’s my final offer!” She hollered up the steps as she was being put down them.

“I’m sorry, but your account is no longer in good standing, and your transaction has been declined,” Mae said, and shut the door in Darlene’s face.

“What was she on about?” Trent asked.

“Guess.” Mae looked at the prescription bottle on the table.

Steve, Ruth, and Trent, all at once rolled their eyes and said, “Ohhh. Yeah.”

“We’d better be going too. Call me.” Ruth gave Mae a little hug and patted Trent’s arm.

“See ya, buddy. But not like I saw you this afternoon. Ever. I hope.” Steve saluted Trent, and he and Ruth went out the door.

Mae locked it and turned out the porch light.

As they got into bed, Mae turned to Trent and kissed his cheek. “Sixteen gallons, huh?”

They grinned, and Trent grunted.

“Shut up. I love you.”

“Love you too. ‘Night.”

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An Honest Discussion About Ferguson At Our Weekly Denny’s Meeting

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My family restored my faith in humanity tonight. I’ll get to that later, but first we sat down and ordered. Our waitress came over and took our order and looked like life had just kicked the shit out of her. She was not her normal perky self! I said, “What’s wrong pooky?”

She said, “My home burned down last night…I have eight kids.”

“Eight kids?” Dana asked. “My God that’s my worst nightmare!”

Our waitress let out a big chuckle and walked off.

Dana and I sat with the girls and Kristal. Dana said, “Welcome everyone to our weekly Denny’s Meeting! I’m glad to have you hear this week with us, Aisha!”

Aisha started to laugh and really I was just happy to be there with everyone. I wasn’t my normal self.

With tears in my eyes, I look at my beautiful bi racial nieces as we watch the news in Denny’s. “Girls, what do you think about what is going on in Ferguson, Missouri? Do you understand why people are so mad?”

My niece Alaya is 14. “Yes. They are mad because he was just a boy. People are mad because they think that the police officer that did it should have gotten in trouble. Black lives don’t matter.”

And that was when I lost it.

I look at my 15 year old niece Aisha that isn’t saying that much. Aisha always has a whole lot to say, “Aisha, do you understand why people are protesting?”

Aisha nods her head yes.

“Do you understand why they are protesting?”

“….Well…I understand why they are protesting…but….I don’t understand why they are burning down their own city…”I nod my head yes, “I think that is a very wonderful observation…but for some….burning and tearing that city down is so much more symbolic than just burning and tearing it down. It is tearing down every racial wall that anyone has ever built for you. Anyone that has ever made you feel different or unequal. Tonight is not a racial issue. It is a human rights issue.”

I keep going back to our waitress.Could you imagine your home burning down at the holidays?

Dana and the girls go to the restroom. I set there with Kristal and just stare off into the distance. I start to tear up again. “Shit ain’t ever gonna change Kristal…I’m SO sick of the same shit happening! I don’t know how much my more I can take!”

Kristal half way chuckles, “Maeviss…who you tellin? Just have to sit back and be like Gandhi. Be the change you seek in the world.”

Dana and the girls come back to the table. Our waitress  is weighing on both of our minds.Kristal calls over the cook. “Did her house really burn down?” He nods his head yes. Dana asks, “Does she really have eight kids?” He nods his head yes.

Kristal starts whispering in the cooks ear. She hands him her credit card and she keeps whispering in his ear. The cook gets a huge smile on his face.
The girls start smiling too. “Aunt Kristal are you giving that woman money?!?”
Dana says, “I want to help.” She pulls out her wallet.
Aisha and Alaya pull out dollar bills from their pocket. Aisha said, “It isn’t much, but here!”

Three grown men sitting next to us pay their bill. They are mad because they have been waiting for an hour for their food to get there, so they leave even though they have already have paid for their meal!

Their waitress sits their food down. Dana says, :”Cha-Ching! Free food!” She runs over and the girls are so embarrassed they get up and go to the car! Lmao, Dana said, “What?!?! You won’t be so embarrassed when we are eating it for breakfast tomorrow!”

Dana and Her Denny's Haul

I go home and when I walk in the door I fall to my knees and let out a long cry. My heart is with Ferguson tonight. Trent grabs me.I think about what Kristal said. What Dana said. What my nieces said.

And the only thing that kept playing over in my head was, “Don’t shoot. Don’t shoot.”

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