After I buried my dad in February of 2007, most of the first 1/2 of this year went by without a hitch. My daughter was doing well in Covington, LA. My ex and her husband had purchased a condo for daughter, her husband. and the 2 boys were able to live in and be able to raise a family. She was also was hired on as a claims processor for Allstate Insurance Company, where her Mom worked. This gave her more stability to raise her 2 boys with a good 8-5 job and no weekends. This made life much easier for my daughter due to the fact when she worked for Lowes Home Improvement, she had to work weekends and some nights, which made it very difficult to keep the boys on any kind of a good schedule.
In July of 2007, I received word that my company I had worked at the last several years was close to closing its doors due to the flour market. Wheat had taken a tremendous increase and our company began to struggle with honoring contracts that were on Yearly Bids. At one time flour had gone over $80 per bushel. At that time, this was an outrageous price to pay for wheat. The company I was actual working for at the time was owned by a Farming Co-Op. This was a group of about 100+ Farmers with over 10,000 acres to farm. During this time, I was still working for my good friend. I mentioned this to another friend of mine, whom was President of another large Bakery in New Jersey. His company was owned by a subsidiary of large investment company. The next thing I heard is they were in talks with our Company to buy them out. After many trips to all 3 of our plants, they decided to purchase only one of the bakeries in Mt Airy, NC. In the beginning, it seemed like a power struggle on whom was going to head the company. In the end, my friend took over our company. Fortunate for me, I had other business beside the Sub Shop Business, that was almost $35 Million dollars. I was basically the only Sales Manager they kept. He brought me on board, gave me a $20K raise from day one, set up a great incentive plan for me to make as much money as I could. He also made me his National Sales Manager for Foodservice in the US. I was absolutely ecstatic on one hand, but my near and dear friend was out of a job along with the other sales team. Our financial administrator, worked for a few months after, but once the Sub Business was taken away by another supplier, she was let go too. She and I were extremely close. I must say. if I had to have a sister in this world, it would have been her. When she first came to work at my company, my Boss asked her to train with me in the field. I actually picked her up on my Trike Bearly. We made an instant connection and still to this day are best friends. The only other people that actually remained with the company were those that worked in the plant in Mt Airy, NC. Only a few maintenance people from the Longmont, CO plant were hired and relocated to Mt. Airy, NC. Times were very strained in the beginning. I never saw so many people trying to be so negative. My friend and I had been friends for several years. We had always talked shop no matter what company either of us were working for at the time. Over the years, he has played an important part in my life, which I will explain later in my Blog. During this time of stress, even though I was gainfully employed, I began to put on weight again. No matter how good a situation or an outcome would be, food was always my safe haven. During the next few months, we started to become somewhat distant. A few times when I would travel to New Orleans, she would find some excuse not go to town to visit my daughter and family. At first, I never paid too much attention to her not coming. It allowed me to spend time with my family and friends during my visits. I knew all along that my daughter would never have a close relationship due to the problems that she caused as well as the monies she took from my 2nd wife that she was saving for her grandchildren’s college fund. During my visit to New Orleans, I began to visit the casino on the lake on a regular basis. After visiting my family, I would spend many hours at the Treasure Chest. One thing I have learned over the years, this Casinos are not in business to lose money. If you know anything about gambling, the other vice that typically went along with this was drinking. The more I drank, the more I gambled and increased my dollar play. You could honestly say I had a gambling problem to an extent. After leaving New Orleans, I returned to Charlotte, NC a few thousand dollars in the hole! – Not Good to say the least. The relationship between us was becoming strained. Please understand we never fought or had any bad words, we just began doing our own thing. She would travel for work or I would travel for work and when I traveled, I would purposely find a reason to stay gone all week long. I always loved my 2nd wife, but I could sense our marriage was becoming more of a brother and sister relationship. We still went out with friends and attended church together. On the outside, we looked like every American happy family. One the inside, I think we managed to co-exist in our marriage. Our age difference started to take its toll. She was 14 1/2 years older than me and we began to have different views on many things. As time passed, we grew further and further apart. I began to have what most would call a wondering eye. I knew she loved me and we were still intimate with each other, but it felt like it was mediocre at best. More about this in a much later Blog writings.
Will to Live – Anger & Envy – Part 53