Our Old Ceramic Shop, and Our Responsibilities .

Created Thursday, April 26, 2012

For twenty seven years we owned a gift shop. With our child unable to walk we earned extra money to take our little girl Becky to physical therapy, and to occupational therapy to a clinic in Baton Rouge, La.

Three times a week we traveled a hundred miles in each trip to the clinic. We earned money for gasoline , and , for food because our little girl enjoyed hamburgers, milk shakes, and fries, and so did we , but Becky came first . Over many years of traveling to the clinic we used two Ford vans, a dodge dart, and two station wagons. My health was fair in those days so I worked as a guard lieutenant in a refinery, and as, and armed guard at a Nuclear facility. These two jobs required extensive travel to Lulling Louisana, and to Norco, Louisiana. I used , and wore out a few cars , and also worked a strike once.

My wife stopped attending college. I wanted her to graduate, but she said she wanted to take good care of Becky. I did my best to stay employed, and to use my police background as a deputy sheriff. My skill in police work enabled me to easily get hired in a Nuclear facility, and in a refinery. I also dealt with memory loss, and still worked the best I could, and built my wife a building from lumber. My mother, and Joann would help me if I needed to stand up two by four walls for the building. It was a large shop. It was the size of a large house.

The shop was named Joann's Gift Shop. We sold ceramic gifts that we made ourselves. When I was not working , I helped Joann in her gift shop. My mother also helped too. We made everything you could ever imagine. We had to earn a lot of money to travel. Gasoline has always been expensive.

I continud to work with skilled individuals like former army rangers, firearms instructors, former marine corp , and military service personnel that were once active combat soldiers. I was good at my work as a uniformed officer, and patrol officer to protect the interests of ,and oil refinery. I began the job by working during a strike. During the strike I dealt with all kinds of different situations. My goal was to protect the refinery, and to prevent violence.

Some of my superiors were skilled former military veterans that held positions as ranked soldiers during World War 2. I received a commendation from these gentlemen when I discovered a busted fuel line during a thunder storm. I was on motor patrol wearing my yellow helmet with a long black rain coat. Being a guard in a refinery is no easy task especially during a strike. Sometimes I worked a lot of days without sleep. I would rest with only one eye open while standing guard at posts as rain would drip off my helmet, and onto my face for hours. I wore a heavy coat called a parker. I looked like a crow standing in the rain, but I earned my pay check, and worked for five, six, or seven dollars, and hour. Time, and a half meant better income. No sooner when I arrived home, I would recieve calls from my captains. " Lee, can you come back to work. Someone did not show up ." I would be very tired, but I would get dressed, and drive right back to work .

Over time my pay check meant good times at home like bringing Joann, and Becky to nice restaurants. I made very good money because all I did was work , and so did Joann as a wonderful mother.We worked until our hands were numb, and until our strength would be drained from us..

At my job I discovered a massive leak of fuel. My superiors said that it was odorless, but I have a nose like a hound dog , for noticing even the slightest odd odors. I got a nose full of gasoline while in my truck with my windows rolled up in a pouring down thunderstorm. I was driving my own safety fire truck with red top lights. The darn thing had no power steering. You had to have muscles to turn the steering wheel. I put on my brakes, opened my door, stepped out into the pouring down rain, took off my left black glove, and stuck two of my fingers in a ditch. I was not sure if there was, and odor. I sniffed my fingers. I could since something was wrong . Gasoline, and water combined was in the ditches. I immediately contacted Refinery Security, and Safety .

Further examination enabled me to recognize flowing fuel in the resevoirs , and in all the drainage ditches. Fuel was everywhere, and no one knew it. It would be only a matter of time before it would reach the ditches along a major highway.

Security advised me to back up my truck, and to turn off my engine. The highway was closed. About twenty large fuel sucker trucks drew the fuel out from the ditches. A refinery worker, and I found the busted fuel line. Gasoline was running out of a tank that was as large as half a football field . Massive fuel was pouring out of a large defective valve.

I was happy. I got dressed in a suit, and the brass took photographs of me. I immediately became a sergeant. A short time later they made me a Lieutenant.

I also caught some crooks there too. The rascals were earning big money. Why in the world did they steal , I had no idea.

I helped other men to get to work. If a man needed to go to work, and if he was going my way, he could ride with me, and even drive my car while I went to sleep on our way to work. Sometimes I had a car full of men . Poor souls did not have gasoline money, or their cars were broke down. I would never abandon a man that needs to feed his family. I was grateful to God that I had a job.

I was never late for work. And I never missed work unless I was very ill.

If you are determined to make a living you can do it, but it is much easier if you can stand up, and walk without suffering. I would be working today if I could stand up without pain. Now I have to have walking canes .

I still work. I help Joann the best I can. I sweep floors by sitting in a chair , and I mop. I wash dishes, cook, put clothes in the washer, and dryer.

Joann lifts Becky to transfer Becky to a motorized wheelchair.

Joann use to keep braces on Becky's legs, but Becky cried so much that she had to stop putting them on her.

I paid for Joann's education in tax work, and in Bookkeeping. For twenty five years Joann has done Income Tax work for clients in our home.

You do what you must do . This is the way it has to be, and had to be.

It takes a lot to take care of a famly.

Comments 12 comments

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America

You did everything that was possible to do as work to make a living; and then you did some of the impossible. You and Joann are examples of parents that are constant workers. Although some families cannot handle a special needs child, you and Joann made it your best priority and found work when others could not.

Some individuals give up and leave such a family, but neither you nor your wife did. You both have always found work in whatever economic times you lived. You even built a ceramics shop.

I wish you pace and a few minutes rest each day; I know there is little time for it.

stars439 profile image

stars439 4 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State. Author

Dear Patty ; Thank you very much for your kind thoughts dear heart. It is a wonderful joy to be able to work, and I admire your dedication in finding places where people can seek work in so many of your fine hubs. I look forward to seeing you when your not busy. For what it is worth, I am so very proud of you for all the good you do, and sureky your wonderful family is too. God Bless You. You are and angel in our hearts.

diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

Hi Wolf, er, Ape?? You have really done well by your family.

I bought a ceramic shop in Cuernavaca in 1997. I painted a lot of the stuff with a helper, we bought it "en blanco," white, and then did the decoration. But it was a hard business, difficult to be another artisan when even the real artisans are starving to death. It lasted a year then I got a job as a journo.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

You are so right - you do what you have to do and more often than not it's tough going...

You and Joann are such a good example to others, thank you for sharing your story, my best wishes to you both and Becky too, Lesley

stars439 profile image

stars439 4 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State. Author

Dear Bob : Thank you so much dear friend for visiting. Interesting places to work. Nuclear place was interesting too. Those people kill you just with the training. Just lacing up military boots takes half and hour. Plus the spit shines , and polished brass. God Bless You. Fun while it all lasted.

stars439 profile image

stars439 4 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State. Author

Dear Movie Master : Thank you precious heart for your wonderful visit. You always inspire me with your love for the natural elements, and nature. We have such a beautiful world with such profound potentials in the art of magnificent beauty, and wonder. Your hubs burst with colors from nature, and that is awesome. God Bless You , and your wonderful family.

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

Thank you for your inspiring Hub. Your family are wonderful, and my blessings go out to you. Goodnight.

stars439 profile image

stars439 4 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State. Author

Dear mary : Thank you for your kind thoughts Dear Heart, and God Bless You.

BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

That was so interesting. Thank you for sharing your story, you are such a brave person and it is wonderful that you and your wife work together to take care of your child. May God bless your family.

Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 4 years ago from On the edge

You have had such an interesting life, Lee and it is always a pleasure to read about it. You and Joan have made Becky's life so much more then many children. The love and devotion, special treats of her favorite food and music, and constant care requires so much of you both as parents. You surely will hear God say one day, "Well done my good and faithful servant." You have lived the life He gave you very well and taken such good care of the special little lady, Becky.

stars439 profile image

stars439 4 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State. Author

Dear Phoenix : Thank you so much for your wonderful thoughts dear heart. You have done so much good in your life. Raising your family, and getting a good education in the process. You are a wonderfyl inspiration, and encouraging person that will inspire many people. And you did it all under difficult circumstances. God Bless You, and thanks again for dropping in.

stars439 profile image

stars439 4 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State. Author

Thank you Blossom SB. And Thank you for the kind thoughts , and words dear heart. God Bless You Precious Heart.

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