issue 3 . august 2017 A DIVERSE ONLINE MAGAZINE WITH A HEARTBEAT FOR TULSA AND SURROUNDING AREAS
ON THE COVER A Brother’s Love A Caretaker’s Story INSIDE Morton’s Clinic Provides Support for Caregivers Tulsa State Fair Brings Fan Favorite: Deb’s Pineapple Whip
contents COVER STORY page 6 A Brotherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Love A Caretakers Story
in this issue
page 2 Letter from the Editor page 11 Debâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pineapple Whip page 15 I knew Her When
page 17 Erika Slade - Owner of E-Nanny page 19 Just Eat Real Food page 20 Misconceptions About Outdoor Learning page 22 Indigo Properties and Home-Aide page 24 Student Loan Scams page 25 View From the Road
Tulsa Aristocrats Magazine August 2017
page 13 INTERVIEW Are You A Caregiver A Chat with Morton Clinic
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR May 2017 Volume 1 • Issue 3 Tulsa Aristocrats Magazine is an Expandable Publication Published Monthly by: Tulsa Aristocrats Publishing Website: www.tulsaaristocrats.com Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org 918.282.5658 Publisher & Editor: N. LEWIS Contributing Writers: JOE HARWELL, DEANNA BRAGGS, LUELLA MERRYWEATHER, HANNAH MARKIEWICZ, STAFF All Rights Reserved No part of this publication can be reproduced without written consent from the publisher. Tulsa aristocrats publishing company has set the highest standards to ensure forestry preservation and social responsibility. We live in digital times and promise that not one tree will ever be cut down to produce an issue of our magazine. We will never expend energy to use recycled paper or inks and our carbon foot print will be the smallest possible in the world of magazines. Our publication and readers make a direct choice to make the world a better place now.
Things on My Mind
Somedays, IT just feels overwhelming. IT, is life. There are not enough seconds in
the day to cover the variety of issues with which we as a community are bombarded. It currently feels like we have been watching news from the 1950’s mixed with some poorly scripted reality show. A sense of “You can’t make this sh*t up” looms over us and the shadow it casts seems to continuously spread and seep into our lives. If you had any doubt recently, racism is alive and well in our country; and unfortunately, our community is not immune. If you’ve ever wondered what you can do to stop this, the answer is simple, speak up, call it out, call it what it is. Silence is compliance, it is cowardice, it is beneath us. Exchanging privilege for equality is not a step backward, it’s not discrimination or “reverse racism” but a necessary evolution of society. We cannot stand on someone in pain, cause more pain and continue to call ourselves human. We cannot withhold the very thing that can provide relief, an overwhelming and unified voice that says, this will not stand. Not in my Home. Not in my Town. Not in my Country. I think this is the most important of the things currently on my mind. I know this topic is weighing heavy in our hearts and I want our readers to know we are here and hear your voices. We know they desire a better future. Then, there are the days I get to read about all the amazing people who put that oh so welcoming bright light at the end of the tunnel. It is the good that keeps us going and we appreciate it that much more. This edition of Tulsa Aristocrats is full of these people. We are featuring Morton’s Clinic and caregivers in our community. They are people who go above and beyond to selflessly take care of friends and family members who are elderly or disabled. Life throws them a curve ball and they knock it out of the park. We had the opportunity to interview Ericka Slade from E-Nanny, a local service that provides highly trained and vetted nannies to provide child care at a reasonable price. They desire to work with families and their children to help develop well rounded little humans, the next generation. As always, our favorite Post Lady, Luella, delivers some tales from her route. Finally, next month we look forward to two weeks of HEL*… I mean the Tulsa State Fair. Two weeks of people from all over Oklahoma and surrounding states traveling to Tulsa to ride the rides, see the sites, the smells, the backed-up traffic, people parking the wrong way down neighborhood streets making it impossible to get in and out, the endless frustration. But hey, this ain’t our first rodeo. We’re Tulsa and we look forward to this chaos every year. We also look forward to getting our fix, like at Deb’s Pineapple Whip, one of the oldest vendors at the Tulsa State Fair. Reading their story in this edition just makes me crave the pink, one of a kind, frozen deliciousness with a semi-cult following. Stay strong Tulsa. Love hard and live hard.
Tulsa Aristocrats Magazine August 2017
ARE YOU A
A chat with Morton Clinic’s Martha Rains with Caregiver Cassie Clayton
Martha Rains works with Tulsa, Creek and Osage
counties to help caregivers with information, resources, support groups, informational sessions, and evidence based training to get information out that, there is help for caregivers in this area. “The government started this program because they realized caregivers need help, because they save the government millions of dollars by taking care of people at home. Family caregivers are the unsung heroes out there constantly filling the void and really help our health care system not to become over run in many areas. Right now, the Morton Caregivers Program is one year into a two-year grant, but the Alzheimer’s Association had the grant for several years before that. Caregivers are traditionally hard to reach and connect with because many work and take care of their own families on top of their caregiving responsibilities. Some people can’t leave the person that is ill because of the progression of a disease. For those people, we can still talk to them over the phone or invite them for conference calls when we are having meetings they cannot attend. What we do is try to get caregivers to take a moment for themselves. Sometimes caregivers don’t define themselves as caregivers. They will say, “I’m taking care of my husband, or my wife, they are my family,” and we tell them, sometimes for the first time, that they are caregivers. Caregivers need to know that there are programs to help them if certain criteria are met. The Respite Grant program is a non-income based program through INCOG which provides a stipend on a quarterly basis for people to use to hire someone of their choice to come and set with the person or for Tulsa Aristocrats Magazine August 2017
adult day care. Funding is limited and shared between the families that need it but the program can provide around $300 at times to give some break-time to caregivers.” How do people find about programs? “There is income based and non-income based programs in the state of Oklahoma. The Advantage program is an in-home assistance program, to provide help with cleaning and bathing needs that is based on the income of the person that will receive care. The DHS will also pay for adult day care, based on the income of the recipient not the family member.” Martha takes calls for all caregiver situations and if she doesn’t know the answer or her program doesn’t do something, she can refer the person to a program that will help them. “There are certain things a caregiver might not know that they need to be done, like the legal aspect of taking care of someone. We can point them to the information they need to know right away because things can get complicated when the person no longer has the capacity to sign paperwork and complications can happen.” “Caregiving is caregiving, we don’t limit the knowledge we can help with based on the age of the person that is being given care” Caring for you, caring for me by the Rosalyn Carter Foundation is a curriculum used to help many caregivers. http://www.rosalynncarter.org/ When asked what people should learn first as caregivers Martha said, “First, realize you are a caregiver and learn to care for yourself. Learn about resources that are available to you. Legal aid can help people by going into the home and do a will, guardianships, and
power of attorney at a reduced price.” Companies have Martha as a guest speaker to talk to their work force about caregiving as a preventative measure. Every year, thousands of work manhours are lost by employees having to take off work to take care of health needs of others. As we move forward in the next decade, people need to prepare for the caregiving situations that will come up and start planning, now. Make sure HIPPA is set up properly at doctors’ offices so that the caregiver can know what is going on with the person that is ill.
I looked back at a number of different venues as well as the current class. The one thing that kept being written as a comment was finding out that “I am not alone” as they realize that other people share their journey and there are resources to help.
You might be a Caregiver if you... • Take your grandfather to the grocery store once a week • Take time off from work to drive your aunt to a doctor’s appointment • Pick up prescriptions or groceries for an elderly neighbor • Help an older church member with lawn care • Are handling your mother’s bills • Help a family member with personal care • Call an older neighbor you haven’t seen out for a few days Morton Caregiver Information offerings include: • Support groups for caregivers to meet and share with others on a similar journey • Large and small group educational events with topics including “Dealing with Stress” or “How to Care for Yourself While Caring for Others” • Caregiver Cafe - informal small group get-together’s over a cup of coffee to provide support, help problem solve and share with others. • Caregiver education meetings once a week, for 6-8 weeks. • Workplace caregiver groups The Result: Tools and support that will enable you to be even more effective as a caregiver with reduced stress as you continue on your caregiving journey.
Resources Morton Clinic uses and are also available to you. Caregiver Information Services through the Older Americans Act
Where and when is the Program offered? The educational meetings and events will generally take place in the morning or afternoon (specific calendar of events coming soon!) Locations include community centers, churches, libraries, coffee shops, senior housing sites, clinics, health fairs or other meeting venues. If you are a caregiver, and employer, or know of any caregivers who would benefit from an of the available programs please call 918.295.6154 to find a support group or educational offering near you. Morton Comprehensive Health Services 1334 North Lansing Avenue Tulsa, OK 74016 918.587.2171 | mortonhealth.com
Tulsa Aristocrats Magazine August 2017
Thoughts from a Caregiver Cassie Clayton Cassie became a caregiver to her husband when he
had a stroke while working in Oakland, California. He spent several weeks in the hospital for intensive rehab but was ultimately sent back home to Owasso where Cassie would become his caretaker. Her husband’s first time to walk on his own after the stroke was the flight home to Tulsa. It was all a learning experience right out of the gate, the wheel chair didn’t fit through the plane doors, “a first-time solo walk for a person recovering from a stroke… it was an experience, probably the scariest steps I have ever seen someone take because we couldn’t even go through the plane doors together like we were trained” As a nurse, Cassie found herself unprepared for becoming a caregiver for her own husband. At the rehab hospital, even all the little things were taken care of; laundry, bathing, food prep, etc. but when they got home she fell apart and everything was completely on her. “I am a nurse and I still felt overwhelmed as a 24/7 wife and now, caregiver” After all the tears and working to get their new life on track, Cassie still felt alone in a way. At home things are unstructured if you aren’t prepared and it’s hard to get caught up once the person that is ill is in the home. After a while, if you stay in an unstructured situation too long,
you forget about resources that are available to you. “I only had a week, once we got my husband home before I had to return to work.” In that week, I had to get the home prepared for him, meals prepared, medicines, and therapy schedules done to work around my work schedule. I was thankful I wasn’t an hourly employee because finding time when needed to take off from work was easier for me. I learned quickly that I needed people to help me; I had to stop thinking I was a bother to people. If my co-workers wanted to help my family, I learned that I needed to accept that help. I wasn’t superwoman and able to do everything myself. My husband is 6’4” and I’m 5’4 ½” so superwoman stuff is out for me.” Cassie’s husband is doing well now, driving and taking care of more and more on his own. They have taken vacations with the family. Life in general became his therapy to make himself better. A therapist told Cassie something that she wished she would have known in the beginning, she said, “You are going to have to look away and walk away, you have to realize that not everything is going to be the way you did it at home because now your husband has to start doing things to help himself to overcome the stroke.” Cassie had to redefine her 30-year marriage, much of it apart, was now living together full time with her letting go of doing everything her way a majority of the time.
Martha Rains with Caregiver Cassie Clayton
Tulsa Aristocrats Magazine August 2017
FEATURED ARTICLE... A BROTHER’S LOVE
A Caretaker’s Story
An interview with Steve and Phil Jones about caregiving and being brothers.
Phil and Steve grew up in the typical everyday
Edmond, Oklahoma home. Both parents had great jobs, and grandma, until her last days on this earth, lived in a small cottage built behind the big house, cared for by their mother. In 1970 when Steve was 13, Phil was 21 and in his third year of college for Library Science, Phil was on his way home from Jones, Oklahoma and was working at a book mobile when a truck t-boned Phil’s VW Bug. Fate had suddenly sucker punched Phil in the prime of his life. The wreck completely changed the course of Phil’s life, taking all his professional and life dreams at that time. The catastrophic wreck caused Phil’s organs to relocate within his body which took a long time to recover. He lost his spleen, had head trauma that meant he would have seizures for the rest of his life and then needed full time care to keep his daily life on track. Only one of Phil’s friends from the early days, John Ross, has continued to keep a relationship over the years. After Phil’s accident, he was still able to live with his parents to receive care from his mother who also worked at a neurologist’s office. Steve recalls,
at thirteen he became really angry with “whomever was running the show upstairs” and ended up having addiction issues that lead to running away and boy’s homes, leaving him to return in his twenties. The boy’s father passed away in 1989, which left Phil’s mom to do the full-time care giving. Phil’s mom would take him on trips to Hawaii and Branson and worked with him so he could have the most normal life possible. His mother advocated on Phil’s behalf to then Governor Henry Bellman, to help provide suitable work and training for disabled people that could work if they wanted. Phil worked in the copy room at Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City for 30 years, until his mother’s death in 2013. Phil was such a great worker that the hospital had to make Phil take his vacation time. “When Mom passed away my sister began to take care of Phil. Sis already had problems of her own with addiction and a really unhealthy life style so you can probably guess what happened.” Phil life changed, yet again, based on the care his sister was giving. He started having health problems because he wasn’t being given his meds regTulsa Aristocrats Magazine August 2017
ularly, missed work, his hygiene suffered and he was basically surviving the best he could. The call to Steve came when his sister wanted to let Steve know that she was putting Phil in a nursing home and she would no longer be dealing with his care. “I am pretty tough but that was a real bad time for me”, Phil said. “When my sister called and said we have to put Phil in a nursing home, my first thought was if there is a hereafter and I’m going to see my mom and dad again… what do I say to my parents? … if I dropped the ball with my brother… their words would be, “You dropped the ball on your brother, REALLY !“ This is not going to fricking happen to my brother. I have done terrible things that I am mortally ashamed of but dropping the ball on my brother’s care isn’t going to be something else to add to that list. My father tried to help me at one of the most addicted times in my life and I refused the help, he showed me tough love and ended our relationship for the most part. I just didn’t care, I was suicidal from being lost and not caring.” A year before his father died in 1989, Steve had sobered up and his father had renewed his faith that Steve was going to make it in this world after all. When he passed, everything was reconciled. Steve was more grateful than anything because of the closure they had in their relationship. “We had no unfinished businesses before my dad died, so I knew that if I had to face both my parents in the hereafter I knew I better face them and tell them I did the best I could with my brother.” Steve loaded up and went to Edmond to see what was going on and he ended up putting the pieces in place to move Phil to Tulsa. “Now I can say to my parents, “I moved Phil from OKC to Tulsa, moved him into his own furnished apartment with is cat Tammy Lee, he had sleep apnea so he now has a sleep apnea machine, we go out to eat, and he has own Facebook page.”
Tulsa Aristocrats Magazine August 2017
Keep in mind, Steve has lived a rather eccentric life; owning his own screen printing and jerky business, playing in a traveling band for over 20 years, in and out of boy’s homes as a child and only completing high school to tenth grade but then earned his GED. Later he took college courses, quitting because he just has a problem with organized education. Steve has proven that flying by the seat of your pants through the life of a caregiver can be done. Steve, being the positive person he is, actually credits his lifestyle and negotiation/people skills to his ability to go through the ins and outs of caregiving and life in general. “If I had not of been that bad kid that left home early I probably wouldn’t have known how to help Phil when it came time for me to step up. You are either a badass in those places or you learn how to get along with people.” He learned to get along. A new chapter begins for Phil and Steve and this is how life looks now. Phil introduces himself to me (the writer of this article) by telling me he will protect his brother and demonstrates how he would “take someone down if anyone messes with my brother.” I asked him if he has ever had to use his body guard skills to protect his brother, “not yet, but I will if I have too.” He gladly excepts the role his brother has given him as “his body guard.” At this point, I begin to suspect the later confession, that Steve is an avid reader who likes music, and how quantum mechanics and subatomic particles have come in handy as a caregiver. The usual younger brotherly stories apply to Steve and Phil. Surely everyone had the older hero golden child brother like Phil growing up! Phil once showed up to give brotherly advice to Steve when he was about 15 and ended up aggressively feeding a cigarette to Steve, just like any big brother would have, right? They both chuckle about the memory.
Another story arises about Steve gifting his brother the experience of a strip club while on a Beef jerky delivery, with many thanks from Phil afterwards. No one else probably would have ever let Phil have that experience, but for his own brother. “Sorry mom if the strip club becomes a thing in the hereafter.” Steve explains that its sort of like “Phil’s wiring got all messed up after the wreck. He can remember things from the past like it was yesterday but sometimes he can’t remember where he left his phone a couple of hours ago. My mother was a friggin saint and I can see why she did so much for Phil but it’s exhausting to do things that way. Phil is mostly independent and runs at his own speed.” I gathered Phil’s speed is 1000 times slower than his brother and Phil smirks with a big ole grin. Phil lives on his own in an assisted care apartment off 81st and Yale. Steve drives to pick him up every morning and they have breakfast and spend the day together living life, visiting doctors, lawyers, etc. Doesn’t everyone do that? Pretty soon after Phil moved here, Steve realized his brother was having a health problem. Phil’s coloring was off and things weren’t flowing right in the man department. Steve took him to the doctor and the nurse gave him a UA but it was fine so they went home. By Monday, Steve was taking him back to the doctor’s office to do blood work. By mid-afternoon, Steve got a call back from the doctor’s office telling him to take Phil to the emergency room because his kidneys were failing from a prostate issue. This eventually led to a year and half long catheter bag situation but also taught Steve a valuable lesson about caretaking, it is better to trust your gut and think ahead to prevent a situation from even happening. You have to be on your toes when it comes to being a caretaker. “The trick to caregiving is to anticipate what is going to be needed, being preventative and proactive, be-
Tulsa Aristocrats Magazine August 2017
fore things are so out of control the caregiver has to spend hours more a day caring for the ill person instead of a relatively healthy person.” Another piece of advice Steve had to give is that if it comes to a choice between a catheter or adult under garments choose the undergarments. “I would rather change 100 adult under garments that go through catheters and bags for a year and a half or more. Someone that is already physically challenged cannot take care of a catheter on their own at all.” The situation of Phil and Steve is unique because they are not relying on the state or organizations for help. Their mother thought ahead and created a trust for the family to be able to take care of Phil’s needs for the rest of his life. So now Steve has to put on the legal hat of a caregiver, learning about trusts, guardianships and the need for such paperwork before you really need it, and also learning about lawyers that can drain a trust fund pretty quickly if you aren’t watching out. “Don’t think that every lawyer out there will keep you secure when they think no one is watching out for the disabled person”. The brothers found out the hard way that a lawyer can take advantage of a disabled person’s trust just like a family member being in charge. Phil worked for 30 years after his accident and his mother had the foresight to put all that money into a trust for Phil when he could no longer work. When Phil became ill shortly after Steve took over care, there became a need for a trust fund for the trust fund. Now they are working on a trust that protects Phil’s money from the government. ‘“Medicare will make you spend everything you own, down to $2500 before they will give you any money”. His lawyer has experienced a couple where one of them had to go into full time nursing care, but the other spouse must be nearly dying and destitute before Medicare would help the one left at home. They now use attorney Kit
Tulsa Aristocrats Magazine August 2017
Compton in OKC for all their trust needs. Well Steve how do you take care of your own needs, caregivers have to care for themselves as well? I played bass in OKC and Tulsa but the band dissolved about two years ago, that 23-year project was therapy for me. Now I am taking a day a week off. Phil takes a lot of medicine to control his seizures so we have care for him one day at week at his apartmen. I’m still getting used to taking a day a week off. I have my own silk screening company and I make Jerky for people so I try to get caught up with my work a little bit. I also live stream music from my desk and open mic night around town. I’m in love with my acoustic guitar and now I can control where I go with my music. I will sacrifice precision for passion every time these days” What’s the future for you and Phil? Steve has already talked to his neurologist about a plan to go to Colorado and for Phil to try CBD oil. Phil has been on some strong medicine for 45 years now, it wasn’t meant to be long term like this and the meds cause problems with his liver, stomach and teeth. “We have had a sleep study done, nursing service is kind of out after we got the first $800-dollar bill. Yep, a nurse would come in and give him his meds and walk out. Maybe they would give him a shower a couple of times a week. No way, I can do that myself and do it better because we are brothers and I know him better than anyone, so now we have one experience after another with me taking care of him and him being taken care of by me. “ “I also never wanted to be the type of person that puts their family member in an assisted living place and then never go visit their relatives. I show up so much at my brothers place now, I know all the people. I have at least a shared smile and joke relationship with them and man it’s hard. The people in the assisted living complex my broth-
er lives in also look forward to me being there to see them. For us, there has been only one family member that has helped once in the past four years. It’s rewarding to see the people at the assisted living place, I make a point to talk with and smile at people… I’m just a happy guy, they see me twice a day with my brother when he is eating.” “It’s easier for caretakers to just do a lot themselves but if that person can do things on their own they need too. Things don’t have to be perfect. Taking care of Phil is my full-time job. I’m Smithers and he’s my Burns. We are brothers.” “I don’t think I realized when I was nine years old and going through all the things brothers go through, how much joy and reward I was going to have in my life to take care of my brother now. I’m pretty damned happy, I get burned out, but then I get recharged. I can feel my mother behind me laugh lovingly when I have to change Phil’s sheets or take care of bathroom needs. My mom was a jokester and we have a great life. Phil was my hero, he was the golden child, I always felt like it should
have been me, he didn’t deserve what he got in this life. I am as determined as possible to give him a good life, to the best of my ability. Most importantly I can see my parents in Phil’s eyes.” This is the love of a son for his parents and a brother’s love. If you are a caregiver and need assistance providing care to a loved one, please read our article about Morton Clinics.
“It’s easier for caretakers to just do a lot themselves but if that person can do things on their own they need too. Things don’t have to be perfect. Taking care of Phil is my full-time job. I’m Smithers and he’s my Burns. We are brothers.”
Tulsa Aristocrats Magazine August 2017
A GENERATIONAL BUSINESS SINCE 1964
Many of you know Deb’s Pineapple Whip from
the Tulsa State Fair and before that, Murphy Brother’s Carnivals. Deb’s is recognized as being one of the oldest concession stand at the Tulsa State Fair. People are known to pay for parking and admittance into the Tulsa State Fair only to walk in and get their yearlong fix for Deb’s Pineapple Whip. “Customers bring in empty ice chests and load up for the entire year for years now.” The original grandparents, Christina and Harold Weddle owned an arcade called, “The Golden Nugget”, that traveled with the Murphy Brothers Carnival. In 1972, the arcade blew away in the Windy City of Chicago. There, the Weddle’s met an older couple ready to retire and bought the Pineapple Whip business, which was originally served out of a 1964 Chevy box truck that older fans still ask about, to this day. Debra And Steve Bates worked with her family until 1988, when Harold Weddle passed away. The daughter of Harold and Christina is named Debra, and when she married Steve they carried
on the family business. Steve and Deb still travel and run the business to this day along with 10-15 family members that also work the funnel cake side of the business. Chase Bates is the grandson of the original owner, and he now operates his own stand with his wife Leslie, with hopes of making their children part of the family business one day. Leslie and Chase met at the hospital they both work at, got married and had children. Four generations have now worked for the family business. Ironically, Leslie is from the J.C Potter family know for sausage, which sold a few years ago. Today Deb’s has two stands at the Fair and offers other products but they will always be able to say they were the original, the first of its kind. The only two machines in existence that make this product with the secret family recipe belong to Deb’s. Many have tried to duplicate them over the years, but it just isn’t close and they aren’t worried. They have seen many come and go over the years but Deb’s product has stood the test of time. People are still thrown off by the
******************* “Our customers do the Deb’s pineapple whip dance when they taste our product for the first time!” ******************* Tulsa Aristocrats Magazine August 2017
pink color of the whip, which is more like a soft serve than the other types sold. On social media, Deb’s identifies themselves as a food truck, but they are really for two or threeday events with lots of people. It takes hours of prep time to set up the machine to make the whip and hours of clean up and tear down time once an event is over, so Deb’s doesn’t really pull up for a 50 people events, at this time. They also require electricity because, to operate their stands, a generator has to be huge due to the amount of electricity used. Now that they are on Facebook people are always asking for Deb’s
Whip is kind of like an ice cream, but made with juice instead of dairy. It’s no fat, no dairy and no cholesterol. It takes alot of practice to master the “Whip” technique!
s. Great Scot t Firework r He’s one of ou biggest fans!!!
Some of the family in front of the old 1964 box truck. Steve and Debra are on the left with Leslie and Chase. There are several other family members not pictured. Chase’s siblings, Steve and Deb’s grandkids and even cousins have all worked for the business. It takes a village! Chase started when he was 8 years old and spent most of his summers growing up traveling to different fairs and festivals. He had lots of adventures and made lifelong friends along the way. He definitely had a unique childhood!
“Competitors get close but it’s just not Debs” Tulsa Aristocrats Magazine August 2017
at events so they are looking at how to become more mobile in the future. For the past couple of years Chase and Leslie have been in the learning phase and dealing with all the stress that comes with owning their own business, not just showing up to work for mom and dad that have done all the hard work of organizing everything, but hope to possibly move forward to a more permanent solution for the niche of Deb’s. At events, like the fair, Chase will make batch after batch of whip without stopping during the entire few days. “It’s not really easy work, that is probably why my dad is so confident that we will always be around.” Those people that think this is easy and quick money, they need to think again. Chase said, “a batch for our tanks hold 16 gallons, he starts another batch as soon as one goes in…. there is nothing easy about that! “The Bates family looks forward to event season every year. They have added their own recipe for lemonade, corn dogs, funnel cakes and other items to their stands.
Note from the Editor: Upon editing this article, ALL I WANT is Pineapple Whip. I am deeply ashamed to admit that I have never had it which makes it weird that it’s all I want, RIGHT NOW!!
Tulsa Aristocrats Magazine August 2017
Debs’ Pineapple Whip at the Fair! The Pineapple Whip comes out of that round tube at the top and we flatten it in that round freezer. I don’t remember if I described the Pineapple Whip to you. It’s kind of like an ice cream, but made with juice instead of dairy. It’s no fat, no dairy and no cholesterol.
This is one of the Pineapple Whip machines. There are only two in existence. They were built in the 1940’s and lots of maintenance keeps them going!
ONE STORY, ONE WOMAN,
One Orphaned Child Over 35 years ago, an 11 year-old boy standing in a Baptist church in Kpalime, Togo, knew without a shadow of a doubt that he was going to build a hospital and a school. He wrote it in his Bible… Nearly 30 years later, this same little boy, now a grown man who had completed medical school and was living in the United States, decided to take a trip home to Togo to visit with a missions group with whom he had associated himself financially. This visit opened his eyes to many needs, but one story, one woman, one orphaned child reminded him of his Call so many years before and a Bible reopened to a note written by an 11 year-old boy. Upon Dr. Folly’s arrival in Togo, he met a woman ready to give birth. Her husband had been killed just months before in an accident. When her time came, her son was born, but there were complications, and a uterine artery ruptured causing massive bleeding. In the US, this is serious but can be easily handled. In Togo, it’s a different story. There was no equipment. No way to stop her from bleeding out. They had a 20 minute window to save her, and everyone was forced to stand there totally helpless because there was nothing they could do for her but let her die. In 20 minutes, a new child became an orphan. In 20 minutes, Dr. Folly knew why he had been sent. It was the note written in the Bible almost 30 years earlier. Today, Light in the World Development Foundation (LWDF) has already built a clinic, which will eventually grow into a fully-functioning hospital, on land in Togo donated by the government. Medical equipment and medications are pouring in to fill the clinic, but there is still a long way to go and many items still needed. Solar energy sources are cur-
rently on their way. State of the art video/computer equipment, such as Telemedicine so doctors around the world can treat patients at the clinic from their home, will become available. Clean water has already been drilled for and found. LWDF has completed a school large enough to accommodate 150 students! Even with as much that has been accomplished, there is even more to be done. Laboratory and imaging equipment, as well as the techs needed to use the equipment, computers, medication, physicians, nurses, and medical staff are just a few of the needs right now. What can you do? Explore our website and discover what is in your heart to donate. Some of our needs are financial but we also have a need for people who can donate their skills and time. Whether it be continuing to keep us in your thoughts and prayers, sowing financially by donating toward our physical need or joining us on a trip to Togo, let us know what you are driven to contribute. We are always excited to hear from those who share our passion. If you have any questions or comments, Contact Us.
DONATE CONTACT US
Tulsa Aristocrats Magazine August 2017
I Knew Her When... by Joe Harwell
In 2015, I was granted the privilege of having
Lexi Kirkpatrick and her mom, Brandy Callaway on the cover of my novel, Izzy Cavanal portraying the mother and teen daughter lead characters. Brandy’s father, the late Coopy White was a longtime friend from my hometown of Poteau. It was during discussions about the book cover I learned of Lexi’s interest in acting, singing, and dancing. Now fifteen, Lexi is someone whose passion for performing arts will someday make me happy to say, “I knew her when,” as she fulfills those goals. Growing up in Norman, Lexi was involved in all classes at The Actor Factory where she received
Tulsa Aristocrats Magazine August 2017
training in film acting and gained representation by OKC based Magna Talent Agency. With encouragement and support from Brandy, Lexi responded to a radio ad seeking young actors and auditioned with a large group. At age twelve, she was selected to compete at another level in NYC where she was trained by some of the best in the business. “Three months went by after the NYC auditions and we heard from manager, Adam Lopez,” said Lexi. “He has guided me to submit video auditions when pilot season starts up.”
I asked Lexi the obvious question about doing modeling in addition to acting. Her reply demonstrated a sense of career dedication most attractive young women wouldn’t consider. “I have been offered modeling opportunities and turn all of them down. I’m not interested in a career where I’m judged and earn money based on looks. The creative process is something I love, molding and shaping a character into what I believe that person should be or taking a song and dance and making it my own.” I feel very fortunate Lexi and Brandy are on the cover of Izzy Cavanal. After moving to Broken Arrow, Lexi discovered classes at Theatre Arts. She confesses to always having a love for Broadway and musicals. She takes private voice lessons, dance and is in an advanced musical theatre class. “Theatre Arts is where I found my true passion lies in musical theatre. I love to sing and act. This summer I took every musical theatre camp I could in order to get more experience.” Science is one of her favorite subjects. She’s taking biology this year. “I put great importance on grades and school because someday I want to attend a good college. I am most involved in Advanced Drama II.” When I asked Lexi who inspires her, she gave me the names of two icons, Sutton Foster and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Actress, singer and dancer Foster is known for her work on the Broadway stage, for which she has received two Tony Awards. Composer, lyricist, playwright, and actor Miranda created and starred in the Broadway musicals Hamilton and In the Heights. He cowrote the songs for Disney’s Moana soundtrack with awards including a Pulitzer Prize, two Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award, a MacArthur Fel-
lowship, and three Tony Awards. Wow, those are some awesome people for a young person to be inspired by. When I asked about the best personal and/or professional advice she has received and who provided it, Lexi responded, “An actor from the movie Blended told me that Slow and Steady wins the race. Don’t get in a hurry and trust the process. I want to do what I love and makes me happy. If you’re doing something that you don’t enjoy you won’t be able to put your all into it.” Lexi would like to be part of a musical cast and go on tour with them, known as someone who always puts all of her effort into everything she does. Based on how the first fifteen years of her life have gone, she’s well on her way to realizing these goals.
Theatre Arts is where I found my true passion lies in musical theatre.
Tulsa Aristocrats Magazine August 2017
Erika Slade Owner of E-Nanny Ericka Slade is the owner of E-Nanny, a com-
pany that provides nanny services to the Tulsa community for the last 5 years. Erika started out as a nanny herself 17 years ago. At first, she would take her oldest child to work with her but by the time her second child arrived she was nannying to children that were “special cases” and her child started picking up some habits that were not acceptable for her own family so she began searching for a nanny for herself. As a nanny herself, she had no resources at the time to recommend other nannies to parents that were looking. When Erika began interviewing nannies for her own children she became aware of the “level of crazy” that was out there for parents to have to get through to find the right nanny. She recalled a particular interview where a nanny was applying for the position and actually ran to the bathroom gagging and locked herself in the bathroom for 20 minutes, when Erika’s infant child spit up. She asked herself, “Why would someone be applying for a position with infant children and not be able to handle spit up, which all children do?” “I began thinking about the processes to find nannies that would applicable skill sets to meet the needs of families, the company didn’t begin then, but collecting the information did. Ericka began her process by hiring and training nannies for her own children, then clients would request her nanny and she would start all over again training another nanny for her children and the business just took off from there.
Tulsa Aristocrats Magazine August 2017
TA: How do you train a nanny at E- Nanny? Erika: We find where skill sets begin with an applicant and then we fill in the gaps so we provide a well-rounded nanny. Every nanny is placed in age appropriate homes for her skill set. Each nanny needs to know about the age they are nannying, so that they become assets for the families they serve, thus making them different than a babysitter. TA: How many nanny’s does E-Nanny have currently? Erika: We have grown from 68 nannies last year to 103 nannies in the Tulsa metro area this year where we serve over 350 families. We are growing organically, not really advertising a lot. We have full and part time nanny’s, household managers and governesses that teach in-home and based on curriculum determined by parents.
TA: What about affordability? Erika: We don’t set rates for our services. The family tells us what they can afford and then we bid jobs based on the perimeters the family sets, but we usually start at $10 and up per hour. We also have nanny share, which is when two families want to work together to share costs we can fit that need as well. Some of our nannies will take a lower rate because they want to be able to bring their children to work with them, that would be a benefit to the nanny so costs would then be negotiable. TA: What about your hiring standards? Erika: All nannies undergo background checks, everything is personal with my company because nannies are watching children. We have had offers for us to become the new Care.com and we have turned offers down because everything we do is about the personal touch. We meet nannies personally, they attend new hire training and mandatory training classes every other month where we have special professional speakers, skill assessments, we interview and train nannies and that cannot be done with places like Care.com that are more aligned with a babysitter mentality which is not what we are about at all.
Find out more about E-Nanny Visit our Website
TA: Why should parents pick your service over others? Erika: I try to have a good grasp on both side. I’m a parent and a nanny, so I know what both sides need and matter. We help parents on every level of knowledge that they might be seeking, but may not have anywhere else to turn. We make suggestions for school, daycares, and situations that come up with children, we walk along, side by side with parents as their children grow because we remember what it was like to be parents. We are all working together to help this next generation, so that’s what makes us different. We have a heart and mind for these kids and it bothers me deeply when parents don’t get the perfect person to nanny their children. Having the wrong nanny can affect the entire family like a domino effect. Nannies show up on time, so the parents don’t have to take off work. We don’t have an “Oh well” attitude about the lives of the families we serve. We make sure we have “tool boxes” big enough to help children, and we aren’t going into a situation trying to make a child fit into a predetermined mold. We are especially dedicated to helping new moms by providing respite care so they can get some sleep or caught up on their own health needs. It’s really important as a community we provide help for new moms that may have no other resources for help. Family members and friends can purchase our services to help new moms by calling or messaging us on the website and we also provide services pro-bono for moms in need. Message the website enannyok.com or call 918.379.6270
Tulsa Aristocrats Magazine August 2017
Just Eat Real Food By Hannah Markiewicz Nutritional Therapy Practitioner | relicnutrition.com
Each year it is something new, they say some-
thing is bad for your health, but in the next article, they suddenly realize that it’s actually not bad for you. But wait! This new other thing is bad for you now. No, we got it wrong again, it’s actually not bad. It’s really a superfood, so eat it everyday. It’s as if we are playing a lifelong game of hot potato with our diets. I honestly find it all entertaining, but also very disheartening. It is almost like people in America don’t know how to eat food anymore. Most people don’t understand the basics of how their body works, what it needs, and what it does not need, to be able to make these judgements for themselves. The picture to me looks as if the government and scientists are holding morsels of information over our heads, and we just wait to see what they will drop down to us next, taking that as absolute good and right for our health. Someone will completely stop eating a certain food based on an article online, or some guest on a talk show. All of this presents two questions: Will this new information just be proven wrong in a couple years? Do the people telling me what is best really have my best intentions at heart? Some people look at these questions and say, “why even try” and eat with no regard to their health whatsoever. Others will go on following the diet commands line by line, changing as the guidelines change. I believe there is a better way to live, and a better way to eat. For me, studying nutrition and how food interacts with the body was my solution. Of course, I do understand that may not be the answer for most. Here is my solution for everyone: Just eat real food. Tulsa Aristocrats Magazine August 2017
How simple is that? When I say real food, I mean fruits, vegetables, high quality meat, cultured dairy, eggs, rice, and so on. Basically, if your food can sit on a shelf for weeks, it probably is not real food. Processed food and boxed food has many added preservatives, sweeteners, colorings, and added sodium so it will keep longer on the shelf. All of the steps of processing and preserving food turns it into an unnatural form that your body cannot recognize as food. This often leads to imbalances of nutrients, dysfunction of digestive organs, or the ‘food’ particles to be stored as fat. When I shop for food and prepare a meal, I think about what that food item was originally, and what it is now. How many steps and ingredients had to be added to make it the item that I am eating? The fewer the ingredients, the closer to real food something is. Just flip over a box of something processed, say, a children’s cereal, and try to read and make sense of all of those ingredients. Good luck even pronouncing most of them. There are so many ways that I could break down food, what is good, what is bad, what is worth the extra money, etc. But I truly believe that this one principle is such a good foundation for anyone to start that wants to change their health for the better. Just think about how people would have eaten before we had giant factories and artificial ingredients, back when food was just food. Give your body what it really needs, and you will be amazed at how different you start to feel.
Misconceptions About Outdoor Learning By Deanna Braggs Oklahoma Academy of Outdoor Learning â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Earthschool
There are many misconceptions about outdoor
education. People assume that Oklahoma Academy of Outdoor Learning â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Earthschool is only about nature connection. Even though it is very much about getting in touch with the natural world, it is about growing the whole child in the most natural way possible. This includes cognitive development and academics. Many people involved in Nature or Forest Schools have the tendency to adopt educational methods that are opposed to academic learning at young ages. I do not adhere to that methodology, even though I do not oppose it wholly. Academics is by no mean the most important part of growing up, and it should not be measured, standardized, or emphasized over other aspects of human development. However, I personally believe that if you wait too long to introduce it, you will lose that window of opportunity that can never be gotten back. Earthschool is about developing the whole child, which includes cognitive development. I teach basics in order for children to become
the life-long learners we desire them to be. They cannot become autonomous learners with the freedom to roam the plain of academia following their hearts, if we do not teach them the skills by which to glean for themselves the wisdom they so desire. We must teach them to read, write, and calculate. Once a child has mastered those subjects, they can learn anything else they want to know on their own. Before the age of five, they have brains that are highly adapted to absorbing new information. They memorize everything and their curiosity is insatiable. If we wait to teach them the letters and their sounds, and numerals, then we risk losing that optimal moment of childhood development. This does not mean that children should be forced into learning or browbeat when they do not excel, it means that academics should be introduced to them in a very fun and real way. Kids can learn to count by counting the seeds while they develop their fine motor skills shelling peas or beans. They can see if there are more red flowers than yellow. They can sort textures or natural items. I have no problem Tulsa Aristocrats Magazine August 2017
Earthschool is not just a science class taught outdoors;
it is a living, breathing experience.
using cards, songs, and books. Kids love to learn at this age. An abacus is amazing at getting kids to see numbers as representing objects, and to count by units and tens. Waiting until a child is older is a mistake in my book. Another misconception about outdoor education is that somehow just taking a kid outside will change his or her entire life. Critics will pick-up on things like this, and they have fun shooting holes in well-intended theories. I can see this opinion causing outdoor education to fail, and fail big. The first thing a teacher will notice when she takes kids outside to learn is that they will be so distracted by everything going on around them, that they will not pay attention to what is being taught. Simply, children are not use to being outside. Nature connection requires exposure and experience, especially if someone is nature deficient. Kids need to explore, and test the limits â&#x20AC;&#x201C; face their fears. It is the wildness of the natural world that brings us back to that place where we meet who we are, face to face. Taking kids for a walk will calm them and give them a good dose of vitamin D that we are all lacking today, but it will not create in them the kind of change we are looking for. We have to move beyond the concept of measured results, standardized lessons and testing, and structured learning if we want to see real results. The child that plays hard all day in the dirt and sun will learn to read faster and better than his or her peers do. The child that holds a cicada shell in their hand will understand that life changes, enjoy the chorus of their loud chirping voices, and grasp the meaning of the energy cycle in a much deeper and broader sense than a child that looks at a picture of one in a book. We are so busy Tulsa Aristocrats Magazine August 2017
teaching to the test that we forget to grow their brains well. Connection requires interaction and symbiosis, which takes much more than sitting in a great outdoor classroom. Science is not the only subject we teach. This year I will be focusing on pre-history and geography, and in this study, we will learn about language, literature, science, and math. In fact, there is no limit to the number of subjects taught within a unit study. I plan to focus on Oklahoma History, while telling the history of the world all at the same time. People repeatedly tell me that history does not matter because it is full of biased opinions. Ironically, I feel that way about every subject. We do not learn a subject because we agree with its author or authors, we learn in order to increase what we know about us as humans and the world in which we must function and live. I cannot wait to teach this class. I am jumping with excitement and anticipation because I cannot wait to bring a period, which is foreign to most of us, to life. I want to become upfront and personal with a stone-age woman, who walked the same earth that I now walk on. I want to create the same artifacts that archeologist find. I want to trace their footsteps, make a fire without matches, fish, hunt, grow native foods, and learn to forage as they did. A textbook can teach me nothing but stale, coldhard, meaningless facts, but standing on top of a sacred mound and knowing what I walk upon will change me from the core of my being. Earthschool is not just a science class taught outdoors; it is a living, breathing experience.
INDIGO PROPERTIES & HOME-AIDE Interview with owner Tanis Glenn
TA: Why did you pick the name for your company? Tanis: Well Indigo means to see the big picture. I kept thinking in my head “Do you need a renter, well In-They-Go, so Indigo kind of stuck in my head. It was so catchy to me that’s how I got to Indigo Properties. TA: So, what about the Home-aide side mean? Tanis: Home-aid is sort of a side project that I am wanting to expand on in the future but it is hard for people to find me. I really enjoy doing home organization and helping people that are hoarders. I love being able to help them go through their items and sort them. Its more than just house cleaning. I am driven because my mom is a hoarder and I clean her house every year in Kansas City. I clean her whole house and then a year later everything is back. Hoarding is really a psychological problem, but I am really gifted in the ability to be able to communicate with a person that hoards. So, property management and flipping houses is my forte but I would really like to help more people be safe in their homes by helping people that need organization. Through Indigo Properties, I help people that already have properties and get them set up to have renters and all comes with being a landlord and I have been in property management my whole life. TA: So how do you handle a hoarding situation? Tanis: You have to be very sensitive to their needs and what they are about. With my mother, hoarding is about her not having anything when she was growing up. My mom grew up very poor, they made their own clothes. The family sold eggs and pecans to make ends meet so now that she’s retired and earning a retirement income she feels
the need to spend and accumulate, she can’t stop, really. For any hoarder, you have to go through items very carefully, you can’t throw things away without asking. Piles need to be sorted and the clients have to set there with me seeing where everything goes. My mom loves to sew and two of her bedrooms are stock piles of cloth. I couldn’t get her to get rid of anything because she always thought, “Someday I might be able to make something out of that.” She could make ten life time’s worth of clothes with what my mother has but getting her to get rid of it meant giving her a different purpose for the cloth and supplies. Now she has moved on to donating items so that other organizations can make something out of her finds. Now, because she donates her hoard for others to do good, we could get rid of half of the stock pile. She does still replace the piles but for a time thing are cleaned out and safe. TA: Can you explain how cleaning a hoarder’s house even once a year is for their own safety? Tanis: When items in a house are left undisturbed for long periods of time people will have spider problems, if they have animals there could be fecal matter in places from accidents and the hoarder ends up breathing in unclean air so allergies, mold and things build up. Hoarding is a security thing, maybe a person will feel like, “if my stuff is everywhere people can’t break in to hurt me or steal my stuff,” it’s hard to overcome the safety reasons of why people hoard. All you can do is help them repurpose items and hopefully help their health along the way. TA: How are you doing managing properties? Tanis: So far, I have 3 duplexes that I own and Tulsa Aristocrats Magazine August 2017
manage and 6 properties for other people currently, but I can handle more work. I do complete renovations of properties to get them ready for rent or sales. I have pictures on my website of work that I have done. I have crews that do all the structural issues and then I go in and do the painting. TA: How did you get into this line of work? Tanis: My mother had properties and when I was young and then when I got to college, around 22 years old, I took over her properties. I graduated with a mass communications degree and worked for TV Guide for 15 years as a content manager and then got laid off in 2011 when they dismantled the company. I started looking around for work but companies at the time were offering less pay than I was making with six years of solid experience, so I decided I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to work for anyone else and just started my own company. I do copywriting and provide content for people on the side to keep up with what my degree in marketing was about but for the most part I do property management and home organization. I really love doing all the work that I do when it comes to property management. It was first a trial and error process but now things have evolved and I love the whole process of start to finish projects. I hire some work done, like plumbing and electric
but I do most everything myself now and feel really good about my work.
Find out more about Tanis Tanis business link
She organizes these events. Splash at the Oklahoma Aquarium! She also dog sits First Draft Beer Tasting-Tulsa Press Club
Submit an article or event here! ITâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S JUST GETTING STARTED...
Tulsa Aristocrats Magazine August 2017
STUDENT LOAN SCAMS
STUDENT LOAN SCAMS
Student loans are a burden many of us carry, my-
self included. Between luck and hard work, I didn’t have to take out the full amount for tuition every year I was in college. It was a means to an end and fortunately, due to some policy changes and a very proactive loan carrier, my payments are a least manageable. Let me be clear, MY loan carrier encouraged me to fill out applications to reduce my monthly payment. Where am I going with this? Since I graduated, I have been swamped with calls from seemingly authentic organizations offering to help get my student loan payments reduced, for a ‘small’ fee. That small fee is upwards of $600. A one-time fee to get my loan payments reduced based on my qualifications. What they are doing is damn near criminal. They want $600 to fill out a five, FIVE, seriously 5 page application. What they neglect to
tell you is, if you contact your loan carrier, they do it for free, FREAKIN’ FREE! Sure, technically, it is legal to offer these “services” but the reason it’s a scam is because they are charging a ridiculous amount, require you to provide them with your social security number, bank account information etc. and it’s all something you can access for free. Keep that in mind and protect your private information. If a company or organization makes first contact with you via text message or phone call, consider the way your loan servicer usually contacts you and the information they require. If someone oversees your student loans, they already have all your information. Contact your servicer about any offers another company is making. You’d be surprised how helpful they are.
Tulsa Aristocrats Magazine August 2017
V IEW F ROM T HE ROAD by Luella Merryweather
I am expected to go into
the underground shelter every time the siren goes off. That’s what my neighbor told me in a dream I had last night. He said the Post Office was paying him $5000 to make sure I didn’t do anything wrong and an additional $38 “per occurrence.” There were five or six other mail carriers in the shelter with me. It turns out that he was supposed to keep us down there so we would be safe to deliver mail the next day. I told him I wasn’t going to do it if I couldn’t bring my dog, Daisy Mae. I don’t remember him responding, but then we all ate lemon cake and I woke up. I have a severe case of writer’s block. I just looked on a weather website and it confirmed my suspicion, it is going to be over 100 degrees every day this week. If it is 100 degrees outside, it will be 112 inside my mail truck, and the floor of my truck will be right around 140. It melts the bottom of my shoes. The “air condition” is a tiny fan on the dash that blows hot air in my face. I sweat, I rub my face, the ink from the mail stains my face with big black streaks. Some people who know me well, laugh. They know that I think it is mostly funny. People who don’t know me well look concerned. I imagine I am quite a fright. I really don’t care much except I don’t have a love life because I am too tired. Who wants to go home and shave their legs and put on makeup after a day working in scorching heat? Not this gal, I tell you what! I Tulsa Aristocrats Magazine August 2017
don’t have to worry about anyone even bothering to ask me out, either, the black streaks on my face and the sweaty hair take care of that for me. I always hear everyone say that the nicest thing to do is to leave your mail carrier some bottled water. That is really sweet, but I always have a jug of ice water. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t. If we weren’t prepared every day we would surely die. My idea of a perfect surprise on a hot day would be a small pack of ice cold disposable wet wipes, a frozen sports drink, frozen grapes, or even a banana popsicle. Better yet, get a large mailbox that will hold all of your Amazon packages so I don’t have to get out of my car so many times. I like those big plastic mailboxes because they don’t rust and cut my fingers, but I have seen the pictures of them melting in the heat and that is worrisome. My dreams get stranger as the temperature goes up. I probably dream more because I sleep more. It is really hard to keep from going to bed at 7 p.m. when you just spent 6 or 7 hours in the 100 degree heat. That’s not to say that my dreams aren’t always a little unusual. I always, and I do mean always, dream about the Post Office. I often dream I slept late and there is no way I can finish the route. I really hate that one and I have it at least once a month. It wakes me up and I sit there lost in my surroundings with no idea what day it even is. It’s hard to go back to sleep after that dream. Sometimes I dream that I get to the last part of
my route and discover that I have forgotten some mail at the PO and I have to go back for it, which takes an extra hour. I dream about snakes in mail boxes, or scorpions, or wasps. I dream about mailboxes with old mail in them where ants have laid eggs and now larvae spill out and I think about that one show on Food Network where people eat those larvae in tacos and it makes me feel ill. I have been having these dreams for almost 30 years except for the taco one. That was just the one time I had been watching Food Network right before passing out in front of the television. The worst dreams for me are the ones where I am just casing mail or putting packages in delivery order all night long, it seems. It feels like I work all the time. Recently I asked a bunch of carriers from across the Country and they all say that they have them, too, and that they don’t end after retirement. More than one person I asked said they have been retired for many years and yet the dreams continue. Some of their dreams were real doozies! One lady said “I once dreamt that I was delivering my route on a bicycle. I had to park the bike to deliver a package and then I got lost and couldn’t find my bike with all the mail. I was on a long dirt road and it was getting dark and I was scared because I didn’t have a headlight.” Another lady named Barbara said she also has the bicycle dream but the last time she had it the customers on her route were wanting her to give their babies a ride in the basket of the bike and she had to pull the mail out from under
the babies. One lady dreamt that a co-worker was injecting cocaine into his forehead. I was starting to feel a little less crazy. I guess it is lucky for me that most of the nightmares I have had over the years concerning my job have all come true at one time or another, well, except for Dale’s basement, and I got through it okay. I lived through sleeping through the alarm and going in late, I have survived the dreaded red wasp attacks more than once but I have started to carry an Epi Pen, and none of the snakes I have encountered have been venomous. I have dreamt of car problems but not nearly as many times as I have actually had car problems. I guess it is just part of the job. Sometimes I just wish I had more going on in my person life that I could dream about from time to time. Last night my personal life finally heated up so to speak. I was in the City and I went to visit a man I knew in high school many years ago. He lived in this cool apartment with one of those roll up doors, like on a garage. I rolled the door up and walked inside. It was dark and cozy and there were candles and low jazz and he was sitting there looking so cool. Maybe he had one of those old-fashioned smoking jackets on. I was trembling. I told him breathlessly, “I have something for you” and I reached in my purse and grabbed a handful of letters. That’s when I woke up. I can’t make this stuff up.
Tulsa Aristocrats Magazine August 2017