“I am killing time until my daughter calls me to pick her up. She is 18 and I will be 35 this year. I started young. I had a great mom who helped me and natural instincts come. You either grow up or stay a kid and I had to grow up. Now I am getting my time back. I have traveled more in the past 3 months than I have the past 18 years. I am an aviation tech and work on aircraft. I was a daddy’s girl and started out working on cars with my dad. He was an iron worker for years and I followed him everywhere. I made my mom sign when I was 17 so I could go into the military. I was a diesel mechanic and got out and started welding, then went to school to work on aircraft. It is different being a woman working there. I rely on my skills, not the fact that I am a woman. It took me several years to prove that I am good enough to be there and get paid what I am supposed to.
Being a single mom taught me to work twice as hard as anyone else. My friends tell me my daughters are as mean as me now. I am not mean, I just don’t sugarcoat things or pat people on the back if they don’t deserve it. I just moved to Fairhope for a slower pace. I fish a lot. I recently rode my motorcycle through the Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains. I have a good man who understands my free spirit. I shoot pool as a hobby and he will watch me play in a tournament for six or seven hours. I once won $6,000 in a pool tournament but hurt my shoulder. I just started getting back into it, but don’t want to go big again. The tattoo on my arm of the humming birds is for my daughters and the frog is for my mother. My 14-year-old daughter has been living in the woods with my mom and dad for the last six months because she doesn’t want to live on the Coast. I was a surrogate for my best friend who lives in Colorado and that daughter is 13. My 8-year-old lives with her dad.
I am adding a mockingbird on my arm because I am from Vicksburg, Mississippi. I left at 17 and never went back. I am a river rat and grew up in the Mississippi Delta and fishing on the Mississippi River. My dad was a commercial fisherman on the river during his off time. My brother died in the Yazoo River when he was working on a tugboat, so I don’t go into that river. It is still a sore spot. Part of where I grew was Campbell Swamp, it was an old indian reservation. We spent summers there. It was a different way of growing up. I wish I could give more of that to my girls.”