Time Away

I roll over and hit the snooze alarm one more time. Where did the night go? Why am I so tired? I know I must get up soon but I dread it. Once my feet hit the floor they won’t stop until late tonight. The alarm goes off again and I lay there thinking of what’s to come. Finally, I get up and shower, wake kids, make breakfasts, pack lunches, get myself ready, get Curt ready, make sure everyone is set for school. I stand at the door and wave goodbye to Clarissa & Cayden as they drive off to high school. Then I make breakfast for Curt and say goodbye as Corbin & I are out the door by 8:00. I dread the traffic on the way to his school but love our time together, just the two of us. I love our conversations; it is a highlight of my day. He brings up some crazy things, sometimes funny, sometimes deep, sometimes questions about Curt usually about how much longer he will live or what life will be like after he is gone. Corbin is a planner so he needs to know where his Dad will fit into his future plans. I walk him into school where he scouts out a spot free of other kids for a quick goodbye kiss. Walking back to my car I think about work, errands, after school activities and Curt. I think about Curt a lot throughout the day. I cry a lot in the car. It is my only time alone during the day. The physical and emotional events of each day wear on me. I look forward to sleep, where, thank God, I am not sad and my heart and stomach does not hurt. I love sleep. I crave sleep. I need sleep.

This past weekend eight of us girls planned a weekend away to Paul & Lisa Popp’s cabin in Big Bear. We all agreed it would be a low-key, “do whatever you want” kind of weekend. We talked, walked, cooked, crafted, read and slept. Sleep, YAY! I got lots of it and felt well rested and rejuvenated. Monday morning my alarm went off and my feet hit the floor with no dread. Bring it on!

The guys and kids all got together at our house on Saturday night. They enjoyed filet mignon, homemade beans, garlic mashed potatoes, chicken wings and a lot more great food. They are all so great to take such good care of Curt while I am gone. (???)

Being away from Curt is hard for me. I love him so much and want to be with him all the time. On the other hand; I am not good if I am stressed and spent. Finding balance is what it is all about. Thankfully we have friends who can help us with balance. Whether it is whisking us away for the weekend, offering to run errands or providing meals, we could not do it without friends. Thank you friends!

Clarissa and my dad went to Dallas for a long weekend to see the Cowboys play Monday Night Football. They enjoyed the game (even though Tony Romo got injured), great seats and the new stadium! They stayed with our friends Mike, Melissa, Noelle and Anna Kate Pond near Dallas. Clarissa spent Saturday night in the dorms at Texas Christian University and once again fell in love with the school. Please pray for her as she struggles with the huge decision of where she will go to college next year.

At the Pumpkin Patch with Victoria Prince, Clarissa & Anna Kate, Rebecca Prince, Noelle & Melissa
We received quite a few comments on Barbara's story entitled Curt's Wheels. Our friend Louie sent this response with his stories about Curt. Curt & I loved reading it and we were happy that he agreeed to let us share his story on this week's update. Hope you all enjoy it!

Wheels II by Louie Rodriguez

I met Curt through Ray-Bob (Ray Schott). Ray-Bob lived two doors away and Ray-Bob used to hang out in my garage with me. I was kind of a “Shade Tree Mechanic” and worked on a few cars in the neighborhood. It didn’t take long before I had all four of the boys (Ray-Bob, Steveo, George and Curtis-Bob) hanging around. We’d fix every thing that needed fixing. Sometimes it was just a Chain or a flat tire on one of their bikes. Other times they’d help me with the cars I was working on. I tried teaching the boys how to use the right tool for the right job (a screw driver is not a chisel). I told them they could use any tool in my garage as long as they put it back where they found it and put it back as clean as they found it. George and Steveo were good at putting things back, but Curtis-Bob (as he was called around us) was always in a hurry to get “back out on the road” so I had to work with him and poor Ray-Bob would just forget some times. I have to say I had more fun with the boys in my garage than you could ever know. I hope I taught them a little bit about taking care of their cars and motorcycles. If nothing else I hope they all remember how to use their tools and keep them clean.

As the boy’s got older I asked them if they wanted to work for me on the weekends washing the Big Rig. They all said yes. On almost every Saturday morning around 7:00 we’d head off to the yard. The Lumber yard was on the docks in Long Beach and one of the biggest in the harbor. Sometimes we’d stop and have breakfast and we’d always stop at noon to eat lunch. I learned early on that after lunch I had four boys that were more like Bears getting ready to hibernate rather than boys wanting to go back to work. I always made sure the important work was finished before lunch time, because getting them to do any real work after lunch was almost impossible. I told the boys they could have whatever they wanted as long as they ate it all which they always seemed to do. When we finished the work and play at the yard we’d head for home. We’d usually stop for a before dinner snack which was usually Double Cheese Burgers, (Some times two for Curtis-Bob, Ray-Bob and Steveo, but not for George) Fries, Onion Rings and some times Taquito’s, Hot Dogs and Fried Zucchini. I always wondered how the boys could to eat so much, but being growing boys I never questioned it. Like I said the rule was, “You order it, you eat it”. Well one day I dropped my fork towards the end of or meal and bent down to get it and there between Steveo’s and Curtis-Bob’s legs was a pile of uneaten food. I guess I should have known, but they always seemed to have a healthy appetite. Either way it was money well spent!!!

One of my fondest memories is a trip Curtis-Bob took with my daughter, Summar and I in the big rig on a trip to June Mountain to make a delivery. We left in the middle of the night and drove all morning until we reached Bishop where we stopped and had breakfast and walked around a bit to stretch our legs. Before we started up the grade I asked both of them if they had to use the bathroom and both stated they were good to go. Half way up the grade I noticed Curt was squirming a little and asked him if he was okay. He said he was fine. My first thought was he might be getting a little car sick. As we continued up the grade he started squirming a little more and when I asked again he told me he had to go #2. Well as you may or may not know, the one thing a truck driver hates to do is stop on an up hill grade. I asked if he could hold it until we reached the top and he said “I think so” so we continued on. I could see he was starting to get pretty uncomfortable so at the first wide spot in the road I pulled over and handed him some paper towels and told him he had to go down the side of the hill out in the open. Believe me he was happy that I stopped. The look on his face after he came back up into the truck was worth a million dollars. I guess he held it as long as he could and was really glad I stopped. Sorry about that Curt.

Then there was the time we were at the lumber yard where I taught Curt, Steveo, George, and Ray-Bob to drive forklifts. These aren’t the little forklifts you find in most warehouses these were big 30,000 lb. forklifts more like heavy equipment. I let them move bundles of lumber around or just drive them. One day we were getting ready to go home when Curt and Steveo were putting the forklifts into the shed only this time Curt was horsing around (I know it’s hard to believe) and one of the blades on his forklifts cut the back tire on Steveo’s forklift. The pop was so loud it’s a wonder you didn’t hear it in Torrance. By the time I reached the doorway to the shed the dust cloud was still settling. It must have had a layer of dust two inches deep in the shed. It even blew the dust off of the walls. Both Curtis and Steveo were covered in a fine layer of dust. Naturally Curt and Steveo didn’t know what happened or who was at fault. Well, we had to change the tire by hand and it was a pretty good work out for the boys, but I figured they deserved it. I’ll bet if you could see their faces right now they’d still be laughing about it!

We used to take every thing from bikes, mini bike, go karts and dirt bikes to the yard on Saturday with us. The deal was we’d finish the truck then they’d get to go ride in the yard. I would fix things that needed to be fixed on the truck and they would have time to have as much fun as they wanted without anybody yelling at them. The lumber yard was about 22 acres and the only things they could hurt were themselves. I knew they couldn’t hurt the stacks of lumber and had plenty of open space to ride on. Naturally this wasn’t big enough for Curt and he’d often go outside the gate to find more adventure. One month there was a lot of construction going on outside the gate. Well Curt decided to go riding along the shore line. The sand was extremely loose and mushy, but that was only a bigger challenge for Curt. He had buried his dirt bike almost up to the tank. Poor Curt was exhausted when he came back to the yard without his dirt bike. I asked him what happened and he said he was trying to pull his bike out of the sand and couldn’t get it out by himself and needed our help. It took all of us to pull it out. I don’t think he even washed it off before he was out riding it again. I don’t think any thing ever slowed him down.

One of the funniest moments we had together was at Sears. I can’t remember if it was Christmas or a birthday, but we were there getting some Levis for the boys and we were all on both sides of the Levis isle. Curt and Steveo were on one side and the rest of us were on the other side. An elderly couple was on the same side of the isle as we were and I guess they were doing some shopping too. Curt had bent down out of site and Steveo was left standing there alone. All we heard was a loud Toot coming from Steveo’s side. The elderly couple looked at poor Steveo and just shook their heads and hurriedly walked away. I wish you could have seen that perplexed look on Steveo’s face as we all had a great laugh. That was just one more example of Curt having fun at Steveo’s expense. Poor, Steveo!

I let the boys drive my poor little Falcon Ranchero all over that lumber yard. I can’t imagine what they did to it when they were out of my site. But later as my Daughter got older she told me how Curtis-Bob showed her how to burn–out and slide around corners. Now I know where she learned to “BANZAI” a car. Had I known this I might have gotten her a different car when she graduated high school, maybe a Pinto, or Chevette. In High School my Daughter drove her mom’s old V8 Maverick or the “Mighty Mav” as the boys called it. I could never understand what my darling Daughter was thinking when she pulled a “Dukes of Hazards” off one of Redondo’s steepest streets. Apparently she sped down the street until she hit the first cross street and flew about 25 feet in the air before she landed and tore the oil pan on the “Mighty Mav” wide open. She drove down the street until she pulled into the parking lot and called me for help. She had a car load of girls with her, but naturally they were all gone by the time I got there. Well, I called Curt and Steveo to come help me tow it back home. When we got there Summar (my Daughter) said she didn’t know how it happened. Curt and Steveo looked at the oil and followed it out onto the street and both started laughing as they looked up the street. I decided to see what was so funny and saw what they were looking at. When I asked them what was so funny in unison they both said, “NOTHING.” We followed the oil up the hill and found where she landed. She landed so hard she left gouges in the street! As we looked closer both Curt and Steveo were almost rolling in the street laughing so hard. I can’t really blame Curtis-Bob for my Daughter’s driving habits, but who knows? To this day I often wonder what other driving habits he taught her!!!

Now as for the “FIRECRACKERS” I plead complete lack of knowledge. All I can say is that I personally would never have done anything like that at my school. And besides the deal was if they got caught with them “They didn’t know where they came from and didn’t even know my name” I guess you just can’t trust anyone any more!!! As for him getting expelled “If” and I say again, “If I had anything to do with it I would like to say I’m sorry!”

I love all four of those boys just like they were my sons. Each has their own personality and each has followed a different path. I hope the influence I had on the boys was a good one. I had more fun around those boys in my garage than I can ever express with words. They were all like big brothers to my Daughter and I think she loves them like brothers too! Any time we were at the yard and I couldn’t find Summar it was Curt that always seemed to know where she was. I think it was his way of protecting her.

Louie Rodriguez

Curtis-Bob, Ray-Bob Schott, Lou-Bob Rodriguez, George Kudo, Steve-O Sherrill
As a family it is fun to read stories and comments from Curt's friends. We will cherish these words for years to come. Thank you.

Cindy, Curt, Clarissa, Cayden & Corbin

No comments: