Where I’ve Been (Part Three)

Hi Friends,Sorry for the lapse between posts but I had a root canal that went bad and the tooth had to be removed (it was very stubborn too!). The procedure took over two hours and was very painful so I’m still recovering from that. I’m sure I’ll be back to myself in no time.On to today’s post. If you’re new to the blog I’ve been periodically posting a bio of sorts. There is a point that I’ll hit on at the end of the series. There’s only more more after this one so please bare with me.Part One of this series can be found here. Part Two, here.

When I arrived in Houston I found that my mom was not living in the best of conditions. She was in a one-bedroom apartment with very little room for me which is to say that there wasn’t a whole lot of disclosure when it came to how things would be when I got there (i.e. she wanted me there). I needed money right away so I nabbed the first job that I came across which was laying pipe for the water company. That’s right, I’m proud to say that I was a ditch digger. To this day, I’m not clear on why we didn’t use backhoes but I needed the money so I did it. The job was short-lived (it killed my back) so I grabbed the next best thing which was tarp-rigging for an extermination company. Those things are pretty darn heavy especially when you have to climb up a ladder a story or two. I also washed vans for the phone company and played the part of assistant electrician. Don’t ever ask me to wire anything. Believe me when I say that I don’t know what I’m doing.
After a while I landed at an original art publishing company called Somerset House. I also went back to school  for two years and maintained a 4.0 GPA. That was my home for the next 11 years. I still keep in touch with some of the folks there. I started scribbling words onto paper hear and there around this time and fell instantly in love with the craft.

I got to visit to visit the Treasury Department in Washington DC and get sniffed in private places by a trained German Shepherd. The Smithsonian was amazing. The Vietnam Memorial was stirring to my soul. The highlight for me was visiting the Lincoln Memorial.

On the way to Washington I drove through Nashville, Tennessee and although I was here for only a day there was something about it that gave me a peace.

A friend of mine that worked at Somerset owned a Piper Cub. He took me up once and even let me take the stick for a while. I’ll never forget that.

While in Houston I sang with the Houston Masterworks Chorus. There’s an arrow pointing to my big noodle towards the left of the center.

I was very involved in the church I was attending at the time. In fact, they had a school of ministry that I enrolled in. The school was set up to not just to educate but to spiritually develop those enrolled. That is to say that you didn’t have to have the goal of becoming a minister at a church or anything like that. And as odd as this may sound it was very grueling. The lessons were not just in Bible scripture or theology. The intense course of study there was humility. Mission trips to Mexico, scrubbing toilets and serving others was the medium and if you “survived” you were actually ordained by the church and state if you wished to go on to a seminary. I also got to lead the folks we visited in song which was fun.

Those who know me are saying to themselves this very second, “Really? You were ordained? No way!” Yup. It’s something that you have to keep up (which I didn’t) so please don’t ask me to perform any wedding ceremonies for your cocker spaniel. The only reason I didn’t stay current with my licensing is because I don’t feel the need to. I didn’t do it to go on to seminary. I simply wanted the experience of having done all the things that the school does. I think that in part, it was my way of proving to myself that I wasn’t as prideful as my father was. I needed to know beyond a shadow of any doubt that I didn’t have the pride issues that I saw in him. Besides, I’m enjoying my life as a writer and that’s what I’m supposed to do.

It was there that I also met my beautiful bride, Kristen. She was enrolled in the school as well. She already had a Bachelors in Early Childhood Development and had her own reasons for attending. The first time I saw her I was driving away from the church and I saw her walking to her car (an old beat up bluish-grey Honda Civic). That’s when I knew she was mine.

I’m getting closer to that happy ending.
Leonardo Ramirez is an author of prose fiction and graphic novels in the genres of Young Adult and Children’s Books. For more information please visit http://www.leonardoverse.com.
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