How Did I Get to Oklahoma?

by Arnold Nelson

       Things started going down hill after I got fired from my job as Cage Cashier at one of the casinos in Laughlin Nevada. I was glad to get out of there. I had a lot of trouble with the Head Cashier. He always came to work with a bad attitude and took it out on me. I wasn't alone very few people like him. He told me one time I know everything and you know nothing. What kind of attitude is that for a supervisor? The department heads would talk to him from time to time and he would get better then a month or so later he would be about the same. So I was always uptight and upset, it was not a good environment to work in.

       So When I got fired in the fall of 2009 I was happy. I got on unemployment and looked a little for a new job but mostly took it easy. I didn't have much but it was enough to live on. After a few weeks some of my friends remarked on how much more relaxed I was since I got out from under that Head Cashier. In the beginning of 2011 I knew my unemployment was ending and I started seriously looking for a new job. Bullhead City Arizona was depressed. Most of Bullhead worked in the casinos across the river. The casinos were slow and laying people off because of the economy. There were no jobs. The only thing I was looking forward to was my sister Arlene's and her husbands Gail's 50th anniversary party in August. Other then that I didn't care weather I lived or died.

     Then 1 of my friends decided to get the gang I hung around with 40 years ago together for a reunion. So in March I took my tax return and went to California to spend the weekend with old friends. It was fun. I also took some time to visit some relatives I had not seen for a long time and some new additions I had never seen. I took some pictures for me and some for a memory book I was making for Arlene and Gail's Anniversary. I put pictures of all her family (parents, siblings, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in it. I was going to put Gail's parents and sibling in it too but never got those pictures.

     I also added all the Arlene and Gail stories I could find in it. When I gave it to them they loved it. When I got back to Arizona in March I knew my unemployment was about up and I had no idea what I was going to do. They did not stop my unemployment right away but cut it down to almost nothing. They said it was because of a temporary job I held for a few weeks in 2010. I knew in a couple of months I would not even be able to pay the rent.

      I had no idea what I was going to do. Then one day out of the blue I get a call from my little sister Karen. Karen said come to Oklahoma there is lots of work here. You can stay with us until you get on you feet again. I thought about it for a while and then I decided that was the only choice I had. So I started making plans to leave Oklahoma. I told my Church family (Hope Methodist Church) that I had to leave. The pastor asked me if I needed anything. I told him my biggest need was gas money to get to Oklahoma. I tried to have an apartment sale and make some money that way but no one came.

     My last Sunday there, people were bringing in cards for me, and there was a lady by the door getting people to sign another card for me. During the service the took up a collection for me, I could not believe it. After the service they had a pot luck for me. After the potluck they presented me with a wall hanging . On top was a small plaque that read As for me and my house we will serve the Lord and it had a bunch of pictures of me doing some of the things I enjoyed doing around the church and pictures of some of the church family with me. My favorite is the picture of me with my adopted parents (A beautiful couple in their 90s now who adopted me about 10 years earlier.

    When I got home from church I started opening the cards and most of them had money in them. I cried when I read the cards and looked at all the money my friends had given me. One card was signed by a couple of people who quit going to our church a few years earlier. I had so much money I was able to get some work done on my 20 year old car before I left. One friend offered me some space in her garage so I stored my 2 Grandfather clocks, the bookcase my Dad made, his tool box and my hand truck in her garage (Now I am trying to figure out how to get them here).

     On Tuesday morning I left Arizona. I had to leave most of my possessions there. I just took what I could stuff in my car. My car had an over-heating problem so I had to make many stops to let it cool down. I had a paperback with me and I read while the car cooled down. It was not an easy drive having to watch the temperature gauge all the time but God was with me and I got there late on Wednesday. I put in a job application at Walmart.

    A couple of days later Karen her husband Paul and I got in their truck and headed for California and the 50th anniversary party. We had a great time in California. It was a great party. Lots of relatives. At times I didn't think I would ever see live to see their party, but God was watching over me and he got me there.

    When we got back to Oklahoma I had 2 interviews waiting for me. I got the second one at Walmart. And I slowly started rebuilding my life. I started going to a big Methodist church near Karen's, I enjoyed it. After I got my Apartment it was too far to go there and then to work in the afternoon. So I didn't go for a while. I started watching a Methodist service on TV on Sunday mornings. A few weeks ago I found a Presbyterian church about a mile from here. I go there now.

    A couple of years a go I swore I would never leave Arizona as long as I could take care of myself. God had other ideas. I still don't know why God sent me here. I know when He is ready to tell me he will. God works in his time not ours.

    Now I have a job I like, working with people I like. I see the face of God many times a day. Every time a child comes up to me with a big smile on their face, their hand up for a cookie sticker and bright sparkling eyes staring back at me I see the face of God. I go to Faith Presbyterian church now. I went to Hope Methodist church in Arizona. All I need is to find a Charity church.

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