Category Archives: poverty

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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Chapter Two: Maegan Hagan’s Most Wanted

****Author’s Note** I will be releasing a new chapter every Wednesday and Thursday. Please let me know what you think in the comments section of the blog!

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Chapter Two: Maegan Hagan’s Most Wanted

Mae met Huck on a Thursday. She remembered because Thursdays always seemed to not quite fit in with the rest of her week. Mondays were easy to understand; they consisted of coffee and data entry at work . Tuesdays and Wednesdays were business as usual. Fridays were the light at the end of her workweek tunnel, but Thursdays? Thursdays were too close to Friday and too far from Monday. This particular Thursday, she came home from working all day at the bank and pulled into the driveway, noticing a strange man mowing Steve and Ruth’s yard next door.

Ruth came out of her trailer, drying her hands with a dish towel. “Hey, bestie! How was your day?”

The friends gave each other a quick hug. Mae shrugged and said, “It was Thursday.”

Ruth laughed, “Oh yeah, I forgot about Thursdays.”

“Who’s the guy doing your yard?” Mae nodded at the scruffy-haired, shirtless, skinny man who had to pause every four steps to pull up his sagging jeans.

Ruth rolled her eyes. “That’s Huck. He’s a friend of a friend of my brother’s cousin. They asked if he could stay with us for a while. His old lady kicked him out, and he needed a place to stay until he gets on his feet.”

“Get on his feet? How old is he?”

“Forty” Ruth laughed and said sheepishly. “I know, not a kid. But they said he was a good guy, and I couldn’t stand thinking that I could be responsible for him being homeless if we didn’t help.”

“Ruth, sometimes your heart is way too big,” Mae laughed. “Well, maybe we can have him mow for us too. I have to get in now, though. Trenton is working a little late, so I’m going to start dinner.”

“Oh hey, how about we just grub it together tonight? We’ll bring the meat and a jug of sweet tea. You’ll get to meet Huck, too.”

“That would be awesome. I’ll toss up a salad and whip up some tater salad. I think we have some PBR in the fridge. I’ll bring that too.”

The ladies performed their ritual high five followed by a hip bump and wink. “See you around seven, then?”

“Sounds great.”

***

“Trenton, if you had a pet name for me, what would it be?” Mae rolled over in bed and snuggled up against him.

“Huh?”

“Well, like Ruth’s friend out there tonight. Said his name is Huck. I’m guessing short for Huckleberry or something. Funny name, but anyway, what would you nickname me?”

Trenton rolled over and Mae reached up and scratched his bearded chin. “I would call you… Fluffy.”

“Fluffy?” Mae sat up and put her hands on her hips. “I’m not a dog.!”

Trenton sat up and put his arms around her and pulled her back to bed. “Nope. You’re not. But I like your fluffy, round ass.”

He gave her a light smack on her fluffiness, and she giggled, pulled the covers over their heads, and snuggled her fluffiness against her favorite bearded man.

***

“Did you hear about Ace National? They were robbed just a while ago.”

Mae turned to her coworker, Cheyenne. “No. Like, just today?”

“Yeah. The guy got away, too” Cheyenne said matter-of-factly. She then slammed a stack of files down in her cube. Mae had a nagging feeling in her stomach, and something told her to turn on the news. Mae always had a weird sixth sense that no one, (not even herself,) understood. “This is a camera shot of the man who robbed Ace this morning. As usual, it’s a little fuzzy, but his face is fairly clear. Take a good look and call our anonymous tip line if you have any information regarding this robbery.”

Mae looked at the news footage. She looked at the video on the screen and thought the man looked familiar, but in her position, she’d seen every facial shape hundreds of times. Suddenly it hit her-it was Huck.

***

Mae and Ruth sat at the fire pit, sipping sweet tea and catching up on their day. “All I can say is T.G.I.F.!”

Trenton and Steve left their man-huddle on Steve’s stoop. Trenton grabbed the spikes and horseshoes from the Rubbermaid chest behind his trailer, and Steve and Ruth stood in the places where Trenton could hammer the spikes into the ground.

“You know what’s kind of funny?” Mae asked Trenton while she swung a horseshoe to within half a foot of the spike in front of Ruth.

“I can think of a few things,” he said.

“I saw the news with the security cameras at Ace. The guy reminded me of Huck a little.” She tossed a ringer, clapped her hands and put them up in the air. “Yes!”

“Lucky shot,” Ruth teased. “Not surprising. Huck looks like every other freeloader.” She chuckled and picked up the shoes.

“No, really. The more I think about it, the more I really think it was him.”

“Mae, you been drinking Mad Dog 20/20 again?” Steve elbowed Mae at the joke and laughed.

“Nooo. And don’t crack about diabetes from the sugar in my tea, either.”

Trenton stood behind their stake. “If you look at anyone long enough, they start to look familiar, hon. That’s all. It’s just a coincidence.”

“Besides,” Ruth said, “I LIVE with the guy and even I think it was someone else.”

“Just toss, will ya?” Mae played the game, but in her mind she was certain of two things-two plus two is four, AND HUCK ROBBED ACE NATIONAL BANK!

“One more round, then I’ve got to eat something,” Steve said.

Just then, a little Honda Civic pulled up, and a driver in a red shirt and a blue cap got out and carried an armful of pizzas over to them.

“Here ya go. Where do you want’em?”

They heard the trailer door slam, and Huck came out sporting a nice haircut. He joined the group and pulled out a shiny, new leather wallet attached by a long silver chain to his brand new jeans. “I got this. How much?”

“Fifty-seven forty-five.”

“Here’s eighty. Keep the change.”

The driver grinned and thanked him then ran back to his car and took off.

“Y’all have been so nice to me, I thought I’d buy dinner tonight. Anybody hungry?” He set the pizzas on the patio table.

Mae shot a knowing look at Trenton as everyone walked over to the table and whispered, “Still think it’s just a coincidence?”

“Mae, he’s been doing odd jobs; probably got paid cash.”

“Mm-hm.”

“Check this out, y’all. He got the one with hot sauce!” Steve piled a paper plate with several pieces.

***

“Mae, if you’re so sure, why don’t you call someone?” Trenton’s words bubbled from his lips and dripped on his beard as he brushed his teeth before bed.

“Didn’t your momma ever teach you not to snitch?” Mae chuckled and said, “Besides, what if I am wrong.” She towel-dried her face and lightly stroked her night cream on – using the ring fingers because they are the weakest fingers and won’t pull at the skin as much as the others – as she’d been taught by her Mary Kay lady.

“There ya go.” Trenton spit into the sink. “By morning, the two faces will look so different, you’ll wonder why you ever had the thought in the first place.” He walked to the bedroom.

Mae followed. “I still think it’s him.”

“Stubborn.”

“Yep.”

“Love you. Good night.”

“Love you too.” Mae turned off the lamp on her nightstand and whispered, “It’s him.”

She heard Trenton laugh under his breath just before she fell asleep.

In the morning, she slapped her hand on the alarm clock to make it stop blaring. Through blurry eyes she looked at the lighted display.

“Five thirty-two?!” She realized that her alarm was not going off, but several sirens were blaring outside her window. “Trenton! Get up!”

He shot up, straight as a board. “What the heck?”

They ran to the window and squished against each other, vying for the best view.

Outside, no less than five police cars had surrounded their area in the trailer park. Armed police officers, weapons drawn, stood at key locations, vigilantly watching for any trouble.

Trenton and Mae went down the hall to the living room window, and looked at Steve and Ruth’s trailer. One officer stood at their open door while another walked out of the trailer holding Huck by the elbow. Huck walked out with his head hung low and his hands cuffed behind his back.

Mae gave Trenton a love slap on his shoulder. “Told you.”

“I shall never doubt you again.” He kissed her on the top of her head. “I don’t think we’re going back to sleep; what would you like for breakfast?”

“I know what you should eat,” Mae said with a coy, teasing voice. She leaned up and brushed her cheek against his beard and whispered in his ear. “Crow soup.” Mae took off back to the bedroom.

“Hey, you!”

Trenton gave chase and caught her with enough momentum to send them flying onto the bed, laughing. “Only in Owensboro,” he said, and pulled the covers over their heads.

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Chapter One: Town and Country Mobile Home

**Author’s Note** I am going to be giving you all a glimpse of my new Ebook over the next few weeks and I would love your input and FEEDBACK! Thank ya’ll so much!**

Chapter One: Town and Country Mobile Home

Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy a double-wide at the Town and Country Mobile Home Park with a great big fire pit in the back yard. Mae and Trenton picked it out partly because they wanted to live without the stresses of the city, and partly because they just liked trailer parks – and the people who lived in them. It’s inevitable that the residents eventually develop a close sense of camaraderie after living behind paper-thin walls within twelve feet of each other. There are few secrets, lots of gossip, and the occasional block party down at the fire pit.

Since Trenton was a chef, the neighbors mostly expected him to provide some sort of exotic kebab or a new kind of corn dog. Mae was really good with logistics and made sure the tables and pot luck containers were arranged logically and kept the food line moving in the right direction. She also made sure that Rob and Maggie weren’t sitting too close to Randy and Darlene (Rob’s truck ran over Darlene’s gazing ball and he won’t replace it). Mae made sure that she and Trenton sat near Steve and Ruth, though. Ever since moving in, Mae and Ruth bonded like sisters.

One morning the trailer park sisters lounged in their lawn chairs watching the Stanton kids dig holes in Debbie Wheelock’s flower patch across the street.

“Bet you one peach cobbler that Debbie melts into a sobbing, incoherent puddle when she sees that.” Mae took a sip of her iced tea and whispered, “She’s close to that time, you know.”

“Oh yeah?” Ruth raised her chin and scrutinized the damage the boys were doing. “I’ll see your peach cobbler and raise you a breakfast casserole that she goes on a red-faced rampage. Remember what she did to Chuck last month?”

Mae choked on her tea. “Holy crap, who could forget. She stabbed his tire with a paring knife just because his wheel was turned into their trailer skirt. One little skid mark, and she totally lost it.”

“My Steve has a temper but nothing like that. I mean, we fight sometimes, but then,” she leaned closer to Mae, “the making up is awesome. The man knows how to make romance, for sure.”

They laughed and sipped their tea, and Mae sighed. “I wish Trenton would get a little more romantic. I don’t mean that he’s not, it’s just that he plays around a lot. It’s fun and everything, but sometimes I wish he’d get down and dirty seriously romantic. You know, just sweep me off my feet kind of thing.”

“Trouble in paradise?”

“Nah. Nothing like that – we’re great. Maybe I’ve just been watching too much Hallmark channel.” They laughed while across the street, the boys made mud pies and decorated them with Debbie’s violets.

***

“Mae and Trenton have hit the doldrums,” Ruth said.

Steve’s eyes appeared over his newspaper, and he raised his eyebrows. “They’re having problems?”

“Not problems, exactly, just a dry patch. They’ll be fine. Mae just feels like she’s being a little neglected and needs some special treatment.” Ruth grinned and batted her eyelashes at Steve. “You know. Like women do sometimes.”

Steve lowered his eyes and worried about his friends.

***

“…so Ruth said Mae and Trenton are having marital problems, and I’m kinda worried.” Steve grunted as he hefted a sack of cement into the mixer at work.

Chuck frowned. “Aw, not them. They’re the nicest couple I know… present company excepted.”

Steve grinned. “Yep. I know how to keep my woman happy.”

“You think maybe Trenton lost interest? Maybe even seeing someone else?”

“He wouldn’t,” said Steve.

The two men nodded, but the worry lines on their foreheads folded a little deeper.

***

Chuck’s fork was in his hand even before Debbie laid out his plate of spaghetti and meatballs. “I’m starved, thanks, Hon.” He slurped some steaming pasta. “This is great.”

Debbie glared across the table, waiting for him to eat so she could tell him to find out who ruined her violet patch and take out some trailer park justice; an eye for an eye.

“I also got some bad news about Mae and Trenton. They’re having some trouble. If it’s bad enough, they might get a divorce, even.”

“No! Are you sure?”

“Yeah. seems Mae has just gotten bored and Trenton is looking elsewhere.”

Debbie forgot about her violets. “Sweetie, I’m not really hungry. I’m going for a walk. Don’t worry about the dishes; I’ll get them when I get back.”

She took off her apron, grabbed her cigarettes and lighter and flitted out the door.

***

Maggie had just put her dinner dishes away when a loud rapping on her door startled her. She wasn’t expecting anyone, and had a good mind to remind whoever it was that good manners never go out of style.

Debbie stood outside Maggie’s door and banged on it again. The wooden plaque decorated with a filigree of vines and roses surrounding the name, “Stanton” did a jig in time with Debbie’s knocking.

“I just had to come see you. I’ve got a prayer request that just cannot wait.” Debbie stepped up and into the door, right across Maggie, and into the living room.

Maggie quickly followed. ‘Prayer request’ was a code that meant there was some juicy gossip to share ‘out of concern’ for someone. “Oh dear. Have a seat, I’ll get us some sweet tea.”

She set about, placing coasters on the coffee table and serving tall glasses of sweet tea with ice, garnished with a sprig of mint from her own window box. “Tell me all about it; what can I do?”

“Well, it looks like Mae and Trenton are going to get a divorce. I just thought you’d like to keep them in your prayers.” Debbie grabbed her glass and chugged.

Maggie raised her glass with a pinkie in the air. “I will surely pray for her! And Trenton, of course. I’m sure it’s mostly his fault anyway, make a joke of things so much.”

Debbie leaned closer. “I heard he’s seeing another woman.”

Maggie let out a huge gasp then regained her poise and slammed her mouth shut. She took a dainty sip of tea. “Oh dear. Poor Mae. I have an idea. Go get Chuck, I’ll grab Rob, and we’ll set up something special for her and Trenton. You know, a sexy, romantic evening with no interruptions.”

“That’s it! See you in a bit.”

***

The sun had just set when Trenton came home to see the fire pit behind his trailer decked out in Christmas lights. A stunning bonfire danced in the pit, and his patio table wore a full dress-dinner outfit including a checkered tablecloth, two lit candles, and a small basket in the middle holding a loaf of Bunny Bread and a bottle of Purple Cowboy wine, the “Tenacious Red” one.

He walked in the trailer and saw Mae laying on the couch. “Hey,” he shook her by the shoulder, “what did you do that to the fire pit for? Did I forget our anniversary or something?”

Mae rose and rubbed her eyes. “What are you talking about?”

Trenton went to the window and pointed outside. Mae took a look then ran outside. Trenton changed out of his chef’s tunic into a comfy, flannel shirt and followed.

“What… is this even our house?” Mae made an uncomfortable laugh.

Chuck walked up and bowed. “Will the lady and gentleman please follow me? Your table is ready.” He swept an open hand toward the patio table. He led the way and pulled out a lawn chair for Mae. The couple looked at each other and shrugged then sat down.

“Don’t worry, buddy, we got your back,” Chuck whispered to Trenton, patted him on the shoulder and walked away.

Maggie slipped in next to Mae. “Hey, Sweetie. We all love ya, and we won’t let anything come between y’all.” She picked up the wine bottle, pulled out the cork and offered it to Trenton.

He shrugged, sniffed the cork and nodded. He gave a confused glance to Mae as Maggie poured the wine, made an awkward curtsy and left.

Debbie walked up and lay a platter of spaghetti and meatballs in front of the perplexed couple. She put one of her finest Chinet dinner plates in front of Trenton and glared at him with hell fire in her eyes. She turned to Mae and with a sympathetic look, placed her plate. “I swear, Darlin’. If he don’t treat you right, you let me know. I’m here for you.”

Debbie dished up the spaghetti with a flourish as long as the pasta. “I hope y’all don’t mind; this was me and Chuck’s dinner, so I had to reheat it. It’s really good though; I used sausage in the meatballs tonight. Enjoy!”

When Debbie left, Mae and Trenton looked at each other for a moment then burst out laughing.

“What are we supposed to do now?” Chuck asked and reached for the Parmesan.

“I think we’re supposed to eat?” Mae looked around and saw Chuck, Debbie, Steve, and Maggie peeking around the corner of their trailer. “Or put on a show for our hosts?” She stood up and hollered. “Y’all get out here right now!”

The four friends timidly stepped over to the table.

“What in the Sam Hill are y’all doing to us?”

Maggie cleared her throat and cast a guilty look at Debbie who gave one to Chuck who passed it along to Steve who hung his head and glanced at his wife, Ruth.

Ruth looked at Mae with eyes full of love. “You two mean so much to us. We love you both so much, and we don’t want to lose either one of you. We, all of us, thought a romantic, candlelight dinner would help, so here we are.”

Steve said, “Yeah, Trenton, you are always there for us, and Mae, you make the neighborhood potlucks the best in the county.”

“And if you go gallavantin’ off with someone else, so help me…” Debbie shut up and winced when Chuck pinched her arm.

“What she means is, this place wouldn’t be the same without you, and just wanted to help you find that love that got you two together in the first place.”

The group nodded with sad, concerned faces.

Trenton laughed. “You thought me and Mae—”

“—were going to break up?” Mae finished. She looked at Trenton, and he at her. They burst out laughing again. “You silly, wonderful people.”

Trenton waved the group over. “Come here, ya’ll.” He lined them up and paced in front of them like a general to his troops. “I want you to know I would fight to the death for this woman.”

Behind him, Mae yelled, “Me too! For you, that is!”

He continued. “You idiots have acted very…” he paused and stroked his beard, “…sweetly.” He laughed. “You’re crazy, you know that? That’s why we love y’all too.”

Mae came up and gathered everyone together. “Group hug!”

After the hugging and a little crying, Trenton said, “Okay, who’s got the beer?”

Steve raised his hand and ran across the street.

Mae looked at the women and said, “Who’s got some tortilla chips and salsa sitting around?”

Maggie smiled and ran home.

The conversations and friendship around the fire pit that night was the best they’d had in a long time. You see, money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy beer and chips. And when you combine those with good friends and a double-wide in Owensboro, it’s all priceless.

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That’s all for now, folks! Remember, the good stuff goes in my book! I have a few more chapter’s being released to you first, exclusively. We got run in’s with a bank robber, sex, (a TON of sex,) and way more fun stuff! Tell me what you think in the comments section of my blog!

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