Monday, September 1, 2014

Its the Relationship, Stupid

This year my wife and I have been together 21 years. Sometimes it seems like yesterday, others, forever. We have lived through the earthquakes and joys that bring a couple closer together and rip them apart. We have been on the ragged edge of split up many times and we have shared the amazing moments of joy that combine you so hard into one person, we might as well be a confluence of beings. These are my perceptions.
 Marriage is awesome! Sharing your life with the one you love is one of the greatest things in the universe. You share: God, sunshine, a home, love, children, puppy dogs, rainbows, long trips into the unknown, the purist sex, laughter, joy, family, and hilarity. 

Feel free to add your own.

Marriage is hard work: storms, long work hours, tension, stress, stupidity, anger, resentment, dry spells,bile, death, accidents, judgement, fear, jealousy, nagging, being an ass, and broken dishes, again, feel free to add your own.

Your spouse is capable of being Superman, or Mother Theresa,  Tasmanian Devil, or Oj Simpson, sometimes, a combination. My wife and I fight as passionately as we love.

When God is our focal point the fighting is a lot less.

What about you?

Larry

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Shake the Dust Off









So I've shaken the dust off the old blog. I missed this, writing. My old writing creativity coming back is a good thing. It got lost somewhere in the kitchens and floors of my old job and school. Now that I am free, I'm happy I found it again.

I am going to jump right in. For the first time in almost ten years I am looking for a job. The last six and a half years I worked in restaurant. I bartended and served my way through LeTourneau and after I graduated, I accepted a promotion to manager. Ever see one of those chick flick type movies? the ones where the title roled character suddenly finds themselves divorced or widowed and they have to get back out there? You know, on the dating circuit. They have found everything has changed since the last time they dated. Online dating is new to them. The rituals of singles have changed. Everything has become less forward and their odds of getting lucky have improved ten fold. The resulting fish out of water comedy is often hilarious as our hero finds the new person of their dreams.

I find myself in the same boat. Except I'm not dating and it isn't that hilarious. I am looking for work. Things have changed a bit since I had to pound the pavement. Now its all about Linkedin, or Monster.com, networking, and emailing your resume. Sure ten years ago you emailed, but in general you went and applied for the position rather than email your resume and wait to call or be called back. Tech has changed everything for good and bad I think.

I started looking as soon as the shock wore off that I had lost my identity with my old job. I loved my job. I loved being Larry Hicks, manager of The Jalapeno Tree. I loved going to work. I loved putting in the hours. I loved the people I worked with. Then one day it was gone. One of those moments occurred where it was time to leave, and I left. When I walked off the property I promised my boss I would go quietly, with no negativity and I have held to that. But without a doubt, I had to go. It took a few days for the shock of leaving to wear off. The routine of going in at ten am and leaving sometime between 11 and 12 at night almost everyday was regimented into every fibre of my being. I carried away a pretty big bag of resentments I had to get rid of too. However, within a day or two it was hefted into the trash by the curb. Now my routine is finding a new position to steep into my bones.

I polished up my resume and sent it to several people I know and trust; My brother Craig, a headhunter for the oil and gas industry and a few restaurant managers. LifeHacker is a website I really like and I searched resume building there too. I learned my resume needed to be more specific, particularly tailored to each company I sent it to. I was also told I needed to network. Network? Networking for me was going to chamber meetings and exchanging business cards over a cocktail and dinner napkins of food. Networking now is having the properly polished Linkedin account, and having a good resume posted on Monster.com or Career Builder. I really like it. I you had seen some of the finger foods I have tried you would like it too.

 

The application process is super streamlined as well. Instead of just showing up, filling out an application, and turning in your resume, you can apply online. This is super cool, it saves a lot of time, gas, and stomach churning waiting to see if the boss will see you for an interview. However, automation can blow you out of the water before you have a chance to be seen. In a face to face, everyone has a chance to get hired. If human resources doesn't like the format of your resume, your done.

I have built my Linkedin account, and posted my resume on Monster. I have also applied at various businesses online. So far, I have several interviews lined up for next week. With God's Grace, I will be back in the saddle working again in no time, loving what I do for someone else.                                                                  
I have enjoyed the little time off I have been blessed with. However, I have got to get back into routine again. I can't let the dust build up on me like it did on my blog.

Peace!

Larry

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hospital


There are a few random memories in the days following the accident. The first was when they hauled me off the chopper and into the hospital. I'm thinking, whatever pain drugs they had given me had worn off. The vibration of the helicopter seeped into every bone I had. Pain radiated outward like tsunami waves crashing into the Japanese coastline. I remember light in my eyes as I transitioned from Lifelight to inside University Hospital in San Antonio, Texas. 

In the meantime, poor Andrew, the lifesaver, had to ride all the way to San Antonio from Leakey, Texas by himself, and he lost his wallet. I'm sure he was moderately freaked out all the way there. I do know for a fact that Andrew is a prayer warrior. I also know that as word got out about my accident people all over the world were praying for me. Prayer requests were launched from my Longview Celebrate Recovery group, Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites. My mother is a member of several prayer networking clubs across the world. I was bathed in prayer. 

My wife, Lisa, and her sister Carol were in Pineville, Louisiana taking care of my Mother-in-law. They began  the long trek to San Antonio with a stop in Livingston to pick up Tara, my daughter. Lisa was understandably on the ragged edge of hysteria. The trauma nurse had told her exactly what was wrong with me. My parents, brother, and friends also took off for San Antonio to see how I was and to provide moral and prayer support.

The first memories of the hospital was the doctor rubbing the sole of my foot and asking me if I felt anything. It was a good sign that I did. I was pretty drugged up on some serious morphine. To be honest the entire stay there is a vague memory, dreamy. Snippets are what comes. I remember Lisa and my family were there. My mother helped me through what scared me the most. They had to insert a tube down into my stomach and through my nose. All the meds basically shut down my digestive system. I was throwing up all the time. Including on my wife.

The diagnosis was pretty grim at first. I had three burst fractures in my neck, and two in my back. I had a fractured skull and the right side occipital bone from where I face planted the guardrail (wear your helmet kiddies). The occipital bone is the one that surrounds your eye. My left shoulder and collar bone were broken and to top it off a few ribs on my right side. I told Andrew at the accident site that I was only doing like 20 or 25 miles an hour. His theory is that one of the bungees holding my gear down snapped loose while I was in the curve and that it scared me and I downshifted; you never downshift in a turn. The wind was up that morning and could have shoved me around, there could have been gravel, I could have unexpectedly dragged a peg or I could have target fixated. I have no memory whatsoever of what happened.

They thought I was going to need surgery. They were concerned I had bone fragments on my spinal cord that were causing swelling, they would need to be removed. God was good to me, prayers worked I didn't need it. The doctors fitted me with a lovely brace. It was a turtle shell of epic proportions. I was not allowed out of bed without it. The brace immobilized everything. Lisa had to learn to log roll me in and out of it. She was scared to death, but I had total faith in her. I trusted Lisa implicitly. Trust is a big factor in these things. One wrong move and your paralyzed. Speaking of miracles, I should be dead, or in a wheelchair. My doctor told me my neck broke in a natural laminectomy, a procedure where doctors will break someones neck to relieve pressure on a person's spinal column. The pressure from the accident was relieved. I would walk again. 

My friends and family were amazing. All in all, my dad, brother and his wife, aunts, all made the trek to San Antonio to see me in the Hospital. Andrew was there the whole time and my friends Jordan, Joe, and Marcus came to visit from Longview. They all got to visit the Alamo a must for northerners (Marcus is from Texas). My pastor and his wife came. More surprisingly Bobby Johnson, (the most awesome history prof ever) and his wife visited as well. Gary Ritchey and many more came to offer support and prayers. Sadly, I was so out of it from the accident I don't remember hardly any of it.

I was damaged but going to live. Thanks to God and the thousands of prayers and support from friends and family, Lisa and I were going to be ok. It was going to hurt like hell, but everything was going to be ok.

Next week, Hospital II

Larry






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