Monday, June 3, 2024

WEP Get Together Post A Tale of Two American Mothers.


Time to get together and share the latest news. I decided to write a story. My apologies in advance since my computer needs a lot of help and Grammarly isn't working to correct all the misspelled words and grammar mistakes. In fact, I'm running a GoFundMe to help me with all the fixes I need. Well, I used Ccleaner to fix my computer and now I've lost access to my Facebook page and the GoFundMe, so I can't share that with you at this time. I've had to restart my computer 8 times just to upload this story. Color me frustrated. 

                                                        A Tale of Two American Mothers.

 Lucy knew she had met Mr. Right by their second date. She quit University shortly afterward to get a job and help pay for their wedding and living expenses until Lawrence graduated. He promised to support her higher education dreams as soon as possible.

Her parents gave them a paid honeymoon to the Bahamas. She was in heaven. Their first night was blissful and the week flew by too fast. The flight home to New Mexico was uneventful and long. It was good to sleep in their own bed. Being a Saturday, they slept in.

Lawrence nudged her awake. She rolled over to give him a kiss but hesitated when she saw his frown.

“Get up and make breakfast,” Lawrence said.

“Why can’t we snuggle for a little while?”

“No, you’re the little woman. Make breakfast.”

It was a command, the first of many to come. Within the year, she gave birth to a son. Lawrence named him Lawrence Jr. Two girls followed over ten years. Lawrence never helped with the kids, the housework, cooking, or other chores. He never allowed her to get her nursing degree. He went to the bar after work, spending money they could ill afford, came home drunk, and if something was out of place, he beat her. But on their tenth Anniversary, the beatings included the children.

Lucy was desperate. She had an old, run-down Ford, so she could do all the errands. She used Lawrence’s computer to search for places to live in Colorado. Then, he discovered her searches, and that night, he beat her until she passed out.

When she woke, Lawrence Jr. Was sitting on the floor beside her.

“How long are you going to stay with him?” the young man asked.

“Where is Susan and Lizzy?”

“I put them to bed,” he said.

“And, your father?”

“He’s in bed.”

Lucy could hear him snoring if she listened close enough.

 “Pack your and the girl’s things in one overnight bag. I’ll get mine.” Lucy stood. She couldn’t open her left eye since it was swollen shut. She packed, grabbed the car keys and her purse, and joined Lawrence Jr. in waking up the girls, and they all headed to the car. She had the debit card that Lawrence provided to go shopping, so she filled the tank with gas. Then she started driving, not to Colorado, but to Texas. Lawrence wouldn’t suspect that. She didn’t even think that Lawrence could track her by checking the bank statement, she filled the car with gas three times and headed to Austin, Texas. She pulled over at the first motel she could find. They’d stay there for the night.

In the morning, she loaded the kids in the car and drove to a diner. They ate and headed to the nearest gas station, but when she tried to fill the tank, the debit card had been closed. She had a little cash, but after paying for their food, it wasn’t much. She spoke with the gas station attendant and he agreed to sell the car for her and wire the money. She gave him her cell phone number, one she had picked up herself and hid from Lawrence. Then she walked with the kids three blocks to the bus terminal and paid for the trip to Austin with the little cash she still had.

They arrived too late to get help from a homeless shelter, so that night, while the kids slept on the cement sidewalk, she remained awake and terrified, guarding them.

The next three days, she made the line for the homeless shelter and waited for two hours to get a place for the night. The girls whined and cried, they were hungry. They all were. Lawrence had brought his set of dominoes and he played with the girls, topping over the small cubes the entire time.

What would she do without Lawrence?

In the shelter, they were served food and given their own room that they shared with another single mother of two. All of them sleeping on a bed bunch.

She managed to get a job at a local McDonald’s, leaving Lawrence Jr. In charge of the girls and waiting in line for two, and sometimes three hours. The girls had adjusted to this unpleasant reality and didn’t fuss as much. They knew their one meal came inside the brick walls of the shelter.

Lucy hurried to the shelter when her McDonald’s shift ended at 5 pm. The volunteers at the shelter made sure they saved her a plate of food. Exhaustion plagued her. But, she still read one of the children’s books to the girls at night.

Payday was every two weeks, and she had the kids come for a Happy Meal. Even Lawrence Jr. ate one and gave his free toy to one of the girls. They came once a week, and Lucy was grateful that she could do this small thing for them. Her own meal wasn’t free, but discounted, so she usually didn’t eat, until a co-worker realized how bad things were for Lucy, and when she was working she bought her a meal.

A volunteer from the Department of Housing came and helped Lucy fill out the paperwork to apply for free government housing, but it seemed the wait time was years. No hope there.

Another problem began to nag her, and she took one of the shelter volunteers aside to speak to her in private. Lucy was pregnant with her fourth child. As she spoke, Becky, the shelter's volunteer, pressed pinched fingers together and stared at the table.

“Oh, Lucy,” Becky said. “I can’t help you. We have the Texas Heartbeat Law here. And that comes with a ‘trigger’ law. Any doctor who helps you can be criminally prosecuted and even serve life in prison.”

“You’ve got to be joking,” Lucy said.

“No, I’m not. You can go to another State that allows abortion without worry, but there are rumors that the Texas Congress is going to pass a law to have you arrested if you try it.”

“I can’t leave my kids,” Lucy said.

“I would take them, but if I did, they’d charge me too.”

Sleep eluded Lucy that night. There was only one thing she could do. She quit her job with her next paycheck, worked another week for them, and then bought bus tickets back to New Mexico and the nearest shelter. She couldn’t afford another baby. There was no other choice. At four months, she was starting to show.

The first bus terminal, still inside Texas, had a diner. They all went to the diner and ate. She let the kids have anything they wanted, and ate what they couldn’t finish off their plates.

When it was time to board the next bus, they all trudged to the door and waited inline. Once outside, State Troopers were to either side. Two approached her.

“Ms,” one said. “Are you pregnant?”

“Yes,” Lucy said.

“Are you going to New Mexico to have an abortion?”

“No,” Lucy lied. “I have family there.” she pulled out her cell phone and showed them her number. “See, I have a New Mexico number.”

“These are your children?” The same officer asked.


The other officer grabbed her arms and forced Lucy to turn, then he zip locked her hands around her back. The two officers on the other side of the crowd, grabbed the kids. They started screaming.

“Leave us alone,” Lawrence Jr. yelled.

“The officer who had questioned her said, “You are under arrest for seeking an abortion.”

Lucy was shoved into the trooper's cars. She could see her children crying, even Lawrence Jr., outside the car windows.

Three weeks later while still at the county jail, young Lawrence managed to call her and told her they were all in foster care. He didn’t know where the girls were.

Five months later she gave birth to a little boy who was taken away from her before she could see him. Another month and she was on trial. The sentence was for life in prison. The last thing she heard, was that her children were placed in the care of her husband.

Lucy cried every night.


Anne’s story began two months after Lucy’s. She met her husband at Law school. They were in the same class, studied at the library, and talked about criminal cases in their area. Bruce was attentive, considerate, and charismatic. After months, they had their first date at the movie theater, watching a comedy. They shared the same sense of humor. He was perfect.

When he proposed, she agreed like Lucy, to postpone her studies, get a job, and put the money toward their first apartment. Her parents paid for her wedding dress and the wedding along with a honeymoon in Niagara Falls for a week in July.

Anne’s father was also a lawyer, and when the three got together they talked procedure practices that lawyers follow. Bruce was always attentive.  

It took a little longer for Bruce to become domineering. They had their first child a year later. A son, Bruce didn’t argue over the name which Anne chose. David, after a beloved uncle.

Not until Bruce joined a law firm several States away from Anne’s parents. Alabama was beautiful, and Anne enjoyed the warmer weather. And then, after a year with his law firm, Bruce started going to the bar with his co-workers and not coming home until late. He was paid a lot of money, so this didn’t affect their income at first.

Their second child was born four years after David and a girl came along another two years later. Every time Anne brought up going back to University, Bruce would say, “Just a little while longer until we can afford daycare.”

He had a point, they lived in an upper class neighborhood. David went to private school and little Albert would join him next year. Still, Anne was itching to finish and join a law firm, too.

When the Supreme Court over turned Roe vs Wade, she found herself at odds with her husband’s job and her own moral compass. And then, to make matters worse, she learned Bruce was having an affair, and it wasn’t the first time. Almost every year while he worked at the Alabama Firm, he’d been hooking up with one woman after another.

She waited up for her husband that night, hands on her hips when he entered the door.

“Anne,” he said. “Why aren’t you in bed?”

“What’s her name?”

“Who?” he pretended not to know what she meant.

“Whoever the latest bimbo is?”

“Who told you?”

“Does it matter?”

He walked around her and headed for the kitchen. She followed close behind.

“You cheated on me. It matters.”

“Get over it!”

“How? How can I get over it? I will never forgive you. I want a divorce.”

He turned, his fist doubled, and slugged her in the eye. Anne’s breath tore from her throat, she lost her balance, falling to the floor. Bruce kicked her, again and again, until she was unconscious.

Sometime in the night, Anne woke. David sat beside her, he’d been crying. He offered his hand.

“I heard everything,” David said.

“Call an ambulance,” she whispered.

In the hospital, she refused to file a police report. A plan was already developing in her mind. She had a computer, but Bruce had access, so she couldn’t use it to do any research. Instead, she would take the children to the library on Saturday. She did that anyway, Bruce was never home. No doubt he was with his favorite woman. Did he use a condom?

Her left eye was still swollen and black and blue that Saturday. People at the library gave her an odd look. She dropped the kids off in the library and headed to the computers. She put in her name and waited until a computer was free. She only had half an hour to do research and then she’d have to wait again.

Over the course of the next two years, she’d opened a personal checking and savings account at a Credit Union. From the money Bruce gave her for food and to pay bills, she’d squirreled away four thousand dollars. The SUV was hers, and in her name. A gift from Bruce after their daughter, Lily was born.

Bruce forced himself on her now and then, and while they had sex, all she could think of was, do you use a condom, or am I being expose to a venereal disease.

Her research had also told hr which State was the most friendly to women, just in case she was pregnant. Which State offered higher education. Then when she read that Gov. Walz signed into law, free lunch for every student, she new. She’d go to Minnesota.

That last day, a Sunday, she took the children to the Baptist Church they attended. It was a drive to find a minster who didn’t preach Trump. The congregation was mostly black. They welcomed her and her children with open arms. She would miss them, but even these good people didn’t know what she was planning.

During the service, she sat and knelt with care. Bruce had taken to punching her in the chest so it wouldn’t show. More advice, she assumed, from his MAGA lawyer friends. Her breast were covered in bruises.

School was out for summer break. Monday morning, after breakfast, Bruce left for work. She helped the children pack in their own carry-on bag, making sure they took a game, and favorite toys. Her own bag included her laptop and Kindle Fire.

She wore the bar minimum amount of makeup, so she added it to her items. Last, she packed two dresses, several pare of pants, and tops. There was time to buy everyone sweaters and coats for the winter months.

She took one final look around the richly decorated bedroom, and then she removed her wedding rings and left them on Bruce’s bedside stand.

She knew he would try to find her, but she didn’t care.

The trip north took five days. Traveling with young children meant a lot of bathroom breaks. They ate at diners, or fast food joints. Once they arrived at an Extended Stay Hotel in St. Paul, Minnesota, she rented on room with a pullout bed in the sofa. The boys would sleep on that and Lily would sleep with her.

Breakfast was unlike anything the kids had eaten before. Afterward, it was time to go grocery shopping. She made sure to get some of their favorite foods and spent over $200.00 on the bare minimum of food. She’d need to do this weekly.

Extended Stay provided her with cookware, dishes, utensils, and towels. Everything she needed to run the household. That night, they enjoyed microwave popcorn while watching a kid's movie on the TV.

By the end of the week, she had a job in the deli section of Walmart in the Mall of America. Within the month, she was working forty hours a week. David took care of his siblings while she was gone. On payday, she took them all to a favorite restaurant. But, Anne had trouble eating, anything. She knew what that meant. She was pregnant.  

The kids enrolled in public school, David and Albert were both advanced students and moved into upper classes, but this was Lily’s first year. Anne enrolled in an online school, so after work, she studied for her law degree, and David helped his siblings with their schoolwork. The children left for their school on the bus, and all of them took part in the free breakfast and lunches.

Anne went to a doctor. He gave her the option to end her pregnancy, but as a born-again Christian, she calculated the cost of having this baby and what Daycare expenses would total. A little tighter budget would get her through it all, so she gave birth to her fourth child and named her, Faith.

Within five years, she had a law degree and joined a law firm. Her salary was enough to purchase a modest house and send the kids to a private school. David enrolled in the University of Minnesota and studied Math and Economics on a scholarship.

Life was good, and none of them ever saw Bruce again.


Thanks for reading. Please leave a comment so I know.


The notes below are all the research I did. 


As of May 13, 2024, the average hourly pay for a Walmart Employee in Texas is $22.37 an hour.


Walmart offers full time employment after 3 months. But according to comments that I read, they don’t give you full time as promised.


Does Walmart offer health Insurance? Yes, but you must work for one year first and you must be working 32 hours. You pay for the plan out of each paycheck. If you include vision and dental it can be $75.00 per paycheck.


Does Walmart Health Insurance of family plans. Yes, but again, you must be full time. Some pay $15. out of each paycheck and some $20.00 They don’t have all the special Insurance coverage. Again, you must be a full time employee.        

Walmart Salary in Minnesota: Hourly Rate (May, 2024)

As of May 13, 2024, the average hourly pay for a Walmart in Minnesota is $32.91 an hour. That is more than $10.00 higher than in Texas.

Walmart in Minnesota didn’t give me exact information. It depends on what you are doing, and where in Minnesota you live. If you are in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area and work at The Mall of America in Bloomington, a suburb, you will make the most money and be able to achieve full time status of 32 hours a week, often more than 40 hours a week. Another interesting note is that no one is complaining about their jobs in Minnesota, like they did in Texas.

McDonald salaries in Texas for crew members is $11.56 an hour, for management trainees, it is $9.25.

I had trouble finding out how difficult it was to become a full time employee at a Texas McDonald’s. But considering you’d have to take a pay cut from $11.56 to $9.25 just to be trained, my guess is that few would be able to do that. Certainly not a single mother of three. Plus, Texas McDonald’s are moving to all robot crews, so how long would there be viable jobs with this company?

A crew member of McDonald’s in Minnesota makes $15.26. That is $3.70 more per hour then Texas. To become a manager at McDonald’s in Minnesota has the same pay scale, so what’s the point. My guess is that soon every McDonald’s everywhere will be run by robots. I guess you’d better be nice to them or they’ll send Arnold after you.

Apartments in San Antonio, Texas, which were the cheapest I could find. (No doubt there are some in gang infested neighborhoods that would be less,) start at $705 for a one bedroom and can be $1,o40 for a two bedroom.

Subsidized housing in Texas and in Minnesota: This was difficult to search. You must apply. There was a time in my life where we looked into this for our family in Colorado. The wait time was years, not months or weeks. And every place available was run down, had bugs, and in a gang infested area. A single mother of three doesn’t have years, and doesn’t want to live where her children are in danger. Another option is; Extended Stay Hotels. They are in every State and have daily, weekly, and monthly rates. You rent a room and select the size bed, and it comes with a pull out sleeper bed from the couch, so a single mother of three can rent a room and all her kids will have a bed to sleep on. These hotels come with a kitchen, a TV, and have free WiFi. They have free breakfast which is  muffins, small cereal, so on, in the lobby. The in room kitchen comes with a frig., stove top, sink, and microwave, and the hotel provides you with cookware, utensils, etc. And there is a shower/bath and free towels. If you have money to pay, they are a great option. When there was an apartment shortage in Denver, we used Extended Stay Hotels.

No money, then you are homeless and must try to find shelter. This isn’t a safe option, but it is an option. There are several shelters in major cities in Texas. In St. Paul Minnesota there are four homeless shelters. All have free vouchers subsidized by the Federal Government.

Free school lunch program Texas: There is a National School Lunch Program that offers free breakfast and lunch in schools nation wide.

Texas Abortion Law: The Texas Heartbeat Abortion Law will prosecute any doctor who provides abortion assistance, up to life in prison. Currently, it doesn’t prosecute the mother for getting an abortion. The Trigger Law prosecutes a doctor from the moment of fertilization.

Currently, the mother isn’t prosecuted, but this is Texas and it’s only a matter of time.

Minnesota Abortion Law: On Feb. 1, 2023, Minnesota’s Gov. Tim Walz enshrined the right to abortion and other reproductive health care into Minnesota statues by signing a bill meant to ensure that the State’s existing protections remain in place no matter who sits on future courts.

Higher education programs in Texas and Minnesota: There are free online programs across America, but you must have a computer. There are also programs that offer pay after you graduate, and scholarships.

Every good thing you are reading will be over turned if Trump wins the presidency in Nov., 2024. Vote blue!



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