“Brave New World”

Yes, Nixa, Missouri is a new world to my daughter and I.  And Stephanie is a brave young lady for always keeping a smile on her face while yielding to my whim to move here.  I really came to hate Minnesota with its freezing temps and unyielding liberalism from most.

Gone are summers in the 70’s. For the most part the Springfield – Nixa area spends its days in the 90’s with the heat index well above 100.  We are about 20 – 30 degrees warmer than the land we moved from – Minnesota.  That holds true in January also when the average temp here in the Nixa area is in the 40’s.

Stephanie has been in school down here since August 12 and already she has a new best friend and many others as well.  Are they the nerdy girls?  Well Steph is in the “Honors Program” as is her BF, Caitlyn who happens to be an “Honors Math” student as well.  In fact that was where the two met while taking the test for Honors English.  They are both here from different states and have already given nicknames to each other.

Stephanie’s Phy-Ed teacher told her that she was one of the top ten fastest runners which prompted me to ask, “Would you like to join the track team? You will have more friends if you get involved with school activities.”

“Na, I don’t want to Dad.  Besides, I have karate three times a week and church every Wednesday evening where I’ve got more friends.  I don’t have the time.  Besides, everybody here is so nice.  Making friends won’t be a problem.”

I couldn’t argue with such logic and i agreed with her about the nice, polite and respectful people.  I noticed a big difference as well.

Moving at an opportune time can really be a plus.  For Stephanie and I that time was nine years ago, that was how long it took for my brain to instantly come up with the idea for a move last month.

Steve Richie

Hi folks, Two lives in one lifetime. The first me, lived to age thirty-four. That Steve was overly confident and oozing with pride. Then, on a record heat-setting day (107º) here in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and western Wisconsin, a one car near-fatal wreck left me in a two-month long coma. I emerged much as I was before minus certain physical capabilities, but my mind seemed mostly in tact. The crash and its effects did not change me (I emerged a happy individual) but the deeds perpetrated against me in the ensuing months from my wife of sixteen years scared and humbled me as I was dragged down with nothing left by my wife who now had guardianship over all of our accounts. And neither would she allow me to see our kids. She took everything out of, "Our" names and changed them to her name only; then would not allow me to our home and divorced me. I was angry, but no more. I spent half of 1988 and more than half of 1989 in hospitals, nursing homes and a three month stint at a head-injury rehab center where I was being taught how to re-enter society as this different person, that I didn't know. I was not able to return to my previous line of work, a self-employed decorator, you know, painting and paperhanging. It was a physical job which required much dexterity, finesse, and a good grasp of numbers. I returned to the beginning, school, but on a community college level. One of the instructor's liked my writing and I began focusing my attention on that. I attended classes at, "The Loft," A Place for Writers in Minneapolis. While there, a classmate of mine was having her friend from New York, a CBS executive, to her home for the holidays and asked me if she could do a critique on a couple chapters of a book I was writing, "A Day I'll Never Remember" and I obliged. When she returned to class the following Monday she told me that the exec wanted a ten-page synopsis of the book for a possible movie; I was excited. After obliging for that also, I never saw or heard from her or the guy from CBS. Next thing I knew I was watching a movie called, "Regarding Henry" starring Harrison Ford and the scenes of therapy were exactly like what I went through and had written about. Regarding Henry - could've been my story except that, "Henry" got his head injury from a gunshot and his wife stayed with him throughout the ordeal. Coincidence I'm sure, though, the therapy scenes entailed what I described in the book so I always wondered..... My hope, my dream is to bolster our income for my daughter and for myself. I am and have been raising this beautiful, talented little girl who was diagnosed with autism at age two, since 2006 singlehandedly. I divorced her mother the same year following complaints that I spent too much time with our daughter. However, Stephanie began school with no need for special education. She has been reading since age four and understanding what she'd read. Stephanie maintains straight "A's" on her report card, has published two books (through school) and has been selected as an, "Honors" student for seventh grade English. My ex moved to New York to be closer to her sister and has been remarried now for a number of years. Well, that's only a snippet of my sixty-one years and I would like to thank you for reading, thank you.

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