Happy Summer!  Mayberry is alive and well!  Sort of.  

It’s been almost a full year since the new Paystations have been put into the city and I’m happy to report, the locals still don’t know how to use them.  Quite honestly, I think they like to complain more about them than actually LEARN how to use new technology.  Typical.  People don’t like change – its evident. 

I enjoy change myself.. keeps life very interesting.  

We have a new cast of characters that work in the city.  One day I will introduce you to Vinnie from Jersey.  Moreover, the Jersey Shore…  A big city boy, with big city dreams, plunked down in a tiny city.  Good luck with that Vinnie.   My very favorite AT&T guy still roams the city with his Carribou Coffee in hand and chatting up the ladies… Harlen the window washer guy is busy as ever and his business has doubled since starting.  

Our loved Canteen hasn’t opened this year.  The American Legion didn’t have interest in reestablishing the business.  Which is very unfortunate for me.  I miss chatting with the Mayberry old timers.  Once in awhile I will see a group of them sitting at McDonalds in the early morning – talking, laughing… reminiscing.  The stories are history – Mayberry history.

I haven’t met any celebrities yet… however… I THINK I saw Vince Neil from Motely Crue walk right in front of my vehicle a few weeks ago.  Kick start my heart…  he’s still dreamy.. in an old rock star, overweight with wrinkles sort of way.   He smiled and waved at me.  It was a glorious day…

Please pay attention and pay the paystations when you come and visit me in Mayberry.  I *might* tell you an amazing story about my brush with Vince Neil.. from Motely Crue.. 

See you soon….
The Meter Maid

An Anniversary of sorts…

Posted: September 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

Almost 2 years ago to the day I was hired into a new realm of reality called – Parking Enforcement.  I can’t say that I haven’t enjoyed it and I certainly can’t say I’ve hated it…  the fact is that it’s been an – experience.  So much so that I had to start a blog in order to share my exquisite adventures and to keep my sanity in check.

My first blog post was inspired by a close childhood friend of mine… actually it was about my childhood friend and his keen negotiation skills when he received a parking ticket in Mayberry.   “Can you get rid of a parking ticket I got?”… see what I mean – top notch negotiation skills.  And my answer was/is/and forever will be “no”…

What about those incredible pick up lines?   Very charming and wonderful men out in this world that don’t seem to have a filter or clue when it comes to opening their mouths and namely what comes out of their mouths.   Certainly they try, but miserable fail.   To date, I have yet to fall for well, any of them.

As I wander the streets of Mayberry one does happen across many “treasures” on the road, sidewalk, grass… Thus “I Spy” was born… mostly to alleviate boredom and out of pure curiosity while I was walking my beat.   I’m still baffled as to the one shoe laying in the middle of the road… where did the other one go?  It’s missing.  Do you think that person is wearing it?  Do they know they lost their other shoe?  Just like losing a sock in the dryer… how the hell does that happen?

People in Mayberry are an interesting crowd.  Not just the tourists, but residents, business owners and everyone else.   I fondly remember my dance with Sal and what about my Canteeners… those wonderful men still meet in he morning with their coffee and stories of Mayberry a long time ago.  I’m still greeted with smiles, waves, hugs and an occasional hot dog.  It’s a big hot dog stand where, I must tell you they do not have ketchup. Don’t ever ask for it – they don’t have it.  (I learned the hard way)..  What about the AT&T guy with amazing hair?  Not only that, he greets me with a lovely flower everyday I work.  I bet I have a dozen roses in my locker.  Lucky me.

As the adults in Mayberry are fascinating, however, my favorite people in Mayberry are the kids and their excellent questions they ask me.

*Are you a super hero? (does Cat Woman count as one?)
*What is your favorite color? (purple)
*Can you tie my shoe for me? (yes, of course – but aren’t you like 13?)
*Do you give your kids tickets? (Yep)
*Where is your police dog? (Sleeping.  I don’t really have one)
*My daddy wants to meet you. (Good lord… why?)

The questions are random, innocent and enough to make my entire day better.

What about when Mayberry took out all of their meters and installed R2D2’s?  Holy hell….. what a nightmare, that I have to say,  has turned out to be not such a terrible idea after all..  Change is good right?  After two months of having the new system in place, people are finally getting used to them.  It’s been a long and challenging road…

Here’s to another 2 years of service… maybe more… or less.  I’ll have to see where my path takes me.

In the meantime, remember your stall number and yes, the machine DOES take credit cards.

Love you all.



My Day Off…. sort of.

Posted: July 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

It is a beautiful Sunday in Mayberry…  it’s sunny, warm – perfect pool and tanning weather.  My daughter or as I like to refer to her as “the good child”  and I woke up late this morning – 9:00am, took her out to her favorite bistro for breakfast – you might be familiar with it – Bistro McDonaldo’s – it’s fancy and NOTHING like McDonald’s… nothing….a little bit..  Nevermind.

After breakfast we had to stop at my place of employment and pick up the new work schedule for next week.  That took all of 5 minutes, but what took longer was the line of people standing in front of the paystation in front of city hall.  Okay, here was the artificial dilemma I stoked up in my brain..  do I walk directly to the car and pretend I don’t see the line of sweating, confused, but nicely dressed people in front of the paystation or do I stop and help?

Guess what I did?

“Hi there!  It looks like you could use some help.”    And I helped people in line for the next 30 minutes and that is not an exaggeration at all.   There was a constant stream of people.  The absolute BEST part were all the comments people were making to me regarding me helping them.  (please see comment section below)


You are so helpful!  Is this your job?” (no, I’m an Ice Road Trucker)

“So, do you have to stand here all day and help people? (Just until midnight)

“You are going to DIE in this heat!”  (I hope not, I need to go to Walmart)

“That’s a super cute top!” (O.M.G!  My BFF totes bought this 4 me)

“Wow, I’ve never met someone who WANTED to help people.” (I don’t, I just want to get to heaven)

“Do you work here?” (Do YOU work here?)

“You are a blessing for helping us.  There is no way we would have done this right.”  (I bet after a few Jello shots you would have been pro)

There were more very nice compliments…. but I wasn’t there for the compliments, but to help.  It’s my job whether I’m working or not. I guess it’s like a sense of duty or something.

After the coast was clear I returned to the car with “the good child” and we continued on with our day.

“Mommy, you like your job, don’t you?  I can tell because you smile a lot and like people. “

I do – the first part anyway…  Like people??  Ummm, lately that is debatable.   Well, there IS this guy who lives north of umm… not around here.. enough said.    That subject is for my new blog – coming soon!

What did we learn on my day off?  I never really have a day off…  if I’m in Mayberry and I see people who need help, I’m the first one to drop what I’m doing and help.  It’s one of my better traits I guess..

Please come and visit Mayberry…  we have a cast of characters in blue that roam the city and would love to help you with your parking questions.

Love you all!

Mayberry + Summer = complete coconut oil, swimming suit (poor choices at that) tourist chaos.  And for THAT reason I love my job.

Summer is in full swing in Mayberry and the tourists are flocking in from all over the world.  I wish I could say I was exaggerating that last sentence but I’m not.  I’ve met people from Scotland, Australia, England, Japan and many other countries….  even Illinois!   What?  Illinois isn’t a country?  Hmmm.. the people who inhabit that state one would think they were from a different planet.  Moving on…

The new parking paystations are up and running at 40% – just kidding – 60%.  As they have added very little convenience for the residents, the tourists LOVE them.  I have become a teacher – again.  I spend my shift teaching people how to use the paystations.  This is where being a mom of four comes in handy as well – I am on patience overload.

The PayStation
(an original play)
by #482

Opening: Tuesday. 9:53am. A dazed and confused person standing in front of a paystation trying to figure out how to use it.  The weather is hot, humid and I’m sweating in places I didn’t know I was capable of.

Me(played by well, me): “Good morning!  Do you need any help working the machine?”

Customer(played by Brad Pitt – skin glistening in the sun… hair – magnificent.  or not.): “OH! Thank GOD you are here!  I have no idea how to use this monstrosity! (aka – paystation)  I try to add my money and it spits it out and I don’t know what buttons to press.  And did you know the buttons are HOT in the sun?  I can BARELY see the screen and I may be having a stroke right now (not really)!”

Me: Let’s follow the directions….together –

1. Press any key to start.  (Customer trying to grasp this concept)

2. Press #1 to make a purchase. (Deer in headlights)

3. Enter your stall number. (My what?  Who?)

4. Press #1 to make a purchase.  (Redundant… I know)

5. Payment screen. (deep breath) At this screen you can pay with quarters, dollar bills, five dollar bill or credit cards.  It’s a $1 per hour or a $5/hour maximum per stall.  So, how would you like to pay?

Scene: Customer pulls out his ziplock baggie full of casino quarters and starts filling the machine like he’s in Vegas.  I’m certain waiting for a HUGE payout.  Ain’t gonna happen pal.

Me: “Okay, you have paid for 3 hours, please press the “Ok” button and wait for your receipt.”

Scene: Customer shoving his sausage fingers into the receipt area trying to grab the invisible receipt.  (Just a side note, it takes a few seconds for it to print).  He grabs the non-invisible receipt, says “thanks” and toddles away.

Scene: Stage goes dark and I exit to my left.

*Audience stands in applause*

I should probably have music playing in the background.  Hmm, maybe like circus music?  Megadeath? I’ll have to ponder that thought.

In conclusion, I would like to say – nothing.

Please come to Mayberry this summer and visit.  I promise to be very nice to your face, but when you turn around, it could be a different story.  (Kidding!  Not really)  And if you need help, I’m there for you.  Always.

Please pay your met….uh, your closest paystation.

Love you all!

Let me preface this by saying I was NOT giving this person a ticket whatsoever when he hit me with this doozie of a pick up line…..


HIM:  “You are the only person in the world who could make me UN-gay.”

ME: *Blushing* and watch out… my ego has now just blew up to the size of the universe.  Exactly what I needed to hear… and you know what?   He meant it.   (hmmm… now my work to un-gay him begins!)


Today?  I loved my job.


Pay your meter.

May Day… May 1, 2012 in the city of Mayberry… which means of course, winter parking hours are over and summer parking hours are full in affect. Mayberry has been very busy this winter – if that is what you want to call it. I’d rather call it a very early, early Spring.

During the winter parking hours, the City of Mayberry made a brilliant decision – they’ve decided to put up (60) R2D2’s up and around the city. Let me explain this further…

R2D2 has landed on our planet, settled in Mayberry, multiplied and planted themselves within the city limits. Their demands are simple yet come with dire consequences…   It starts with sloooowwwly approaching the robot, standing directly in front of it and following the orders it commands.




INSERT MONEY! (Cash, coin or credit card.  I’d pay if I were you.)


TAKE THE RECEIPT FROM LOWER WINDOW! (At this point, back away slowly… baby steps backwards)


See what I mean? These robots are ridiculously demanding and they have invaded the City of Mayberry.

So, if you decide to visit Mayberry and you run into a R2D2, yeah, I’d just go ahead and pay the robot. I guess I would rather not see you ionized, vaporized or hypnotized…… or get a parking ticket.

Hope you visit soon! The lake is beautiful..

My New Friend….

Posted: March 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

Happy March!  It came in like a lion and leaves like a lamb…. or is it reversed?  Either way, it’s March 2nd and it’s been a hell of a month so far.  Not in a good way either….  but that issue is for another day… blog… lifetime.

Today, however, I made a brand spanking new friend while working!  It amazes me who God puts in your path on a daily basis.  The people that stay and the people that go is a never ending cycle.  There are certainly people I would LOVE to have stay in my life forever, but at this time, it’s probably not a good idea…. good god I’m getting off subject again….  FOCUS.  You can tell I would NOT make a good Jedi warrior – at all.

Back on subject.  My new friend.  Let me set up the scenario:

I was half way through my first round on my beat and let me tell you, it was a gloomy, damp miserable day in Mayberry.  You could feel the weather in your bones.  A big snow storm was approaching – it was evident.   As I was chalking tires and weaving my way through the vehicles a rather tall, elegant woman stopped to ask me a question about the winter parking rules.  Yeah, deep stuff.    When I say elegant, I mean, she was stunning.  Probably 5’10”, 130lbs, 60-ish, long grey hair pulled back in a ponytail…. she looked like she stepped out of a J. Crew catalog.  She proceeded to ask me questions about Mayberry’s winter parking rules, I gave her the short story version and our work conversation veered off into a strange, yet lovely direction.  This lovely woman told me she was dying.  Very up front about the fact she was indeed dying.  Now, being who I am, my brain said (to itself – which could be a problem in 30 years) everyone is dying.. duh.   But this woman was different.   This beautiful woman explained that she had cancer – brain cancer.  The tumors in her brain were inoperable and she decided to live the rest of her life on her own terms.  Brave is the only word that came to mind when I looked at her.  She thanked me for my time, gave me a great big hug and told me to live MY life on MY own terms…. love fully and passionately.  I almost cried.

Stunned.  Speechless.  Sad.  So very lucky to have crossed paths with this woman.  Pleased.

Continuing on my beat I felt like I was having an out of body experience.  If people were waving at me or saying “hello” I totally missed it.  Somehow I returned back to the office and kept to myself… replaying my conversation with the J.Crew catalog model in my head.  Why did she choose me to tell her story to?   I started getting a headache.. I could feel my heartbeat in my temples..

Today I made a brand new friend.  Today will be the only day I will ever have had the pleasure to talk to her… I have a million more questions that I wanted to ask..

Maybe another time.  Another place.

Mayberry had a heck of a snow storm this afternoon.  It was beautiful.  You should have seen the trees covered in the heavy snow before they decided to snap in half.   Trust me, it was beautiful.

Come to Mayberry…. on Sunday.  The streets should be cleaned up by then.

Take care of you.

People are Funny….and Pancakes.

Posted: February 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

“We ran out of quarters.”  “I was only going to be a minute!”  “Do you really have to give me a ticket?”

How many times have I heard that question from people who happen to be visiting Mayberry and receives a parking ticket.  Answer – a lot. People assume that because I’m a Parking Enforcement Officer I can void any and all tickets they received and most likely….most definitely deserve… which of course in turn, they think they don’t.  “Officer I was ONLY going 45mph over the speed limit… I didn’t hurt anyone, I don’t deserve a ticket.”   “I swear I only had 2 drinks… I’m NOT drunk.”  Breathalyzer registers a .09… yep, not drunk.

People are funny..  My position is quite literally like a walking psycho-sociological experiment.   I observe, listen and observe more.  People respond in various levels of what I like to call “insanity” or quite recently referred to as “Pancakes” – just go with it.

Scenario A.  Friendly – hello!  Good morning!  Have a wonderful day officer!  I received a parking ticket, where can I go pay it?  (I sort of believe it)  These people are really the “good” people on the earth.. they are happy to be alive and kind to others.

Scenario B.  Head down and walk-by – these people most definitely do not want any type of interaction with the world (I get THAT!) I understand these people.  Places to go, people to see, time constraints, a million things on their minds… it’s all good.

Scenario C.  You think you’re funny – I don’t.  Moving along.  This group of people are the “used car salespeople of the world”… charming, full of bullshit, always “on”, they honestly think they are funny, but clearly are NOT.

Scenario D.  Upset, baffled, confused – not sure how they got the ticket, not sure of what city they are in.  (65% of Americans walking around now)  Pretty self explanatory.  Head in the clouds, catching butterflies in the outfield, riding imaginary unicorns.. yeah, those people.  Squirrel!

Scenario E.  Unhinged/Crazy/Troll or better know as PANCAKES (the adult-child temper tantrum) – this type of person literally used to scare the crap out of me.  In their made up world (better known as their head) the world is ending and it’s ending now.  (insert name calling here, stalking, following, drive by, intimidation)   This “pancake” person will call me every single awful name from A – Z, threaten me, attempt to intimidate me and then proceed to call me colorful (even more colorful than a rainbow..impressive) names.   Think of your worst day, times it by 1,000,000,000,000 this is how this type of person reacts and lives NORMALLY every day.  It’s very embarrassing…  for them.   However, humorous for me.  I don’t understand pancakes… if I did, then I would be completely pancakes… probably with chocolate chips.  And THAT cannot be good – for anyone.

Can I get rid of that parking ticket you just got?

Sure..  I’m having a Scenario A sort of day…

Be good to you.

A Day Off….

Posted: February 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

This morning I received a “FaceTime” message – live message – from my “other” daughter who lives 1/4-mile away.  Let me tell you about FaceTime.  On the positive side, it IS a brilliant way to communicate live with your friends or family.   On the negative side, it IS a brilliant way to communicate live with your friends and family…  On a “regular” phone, a call comes in and you can answer it without being seen… which is a good thing.  However, when a call comes in on FaceTime, it’s a live face-to-face contact no matter what you look like.  The camera is NOT kind for all… some yes, others (me) not so much.   My daughter asked if I could come and steal her and her sister for the day while their mom was at work.  (Received clearance from mom first).  Looking like the beauty queen I do in the morning, I said yes and started the day by getting dressed, war paint applied and a quick ponytail.    Next came dropping off my natural born daughters at school and picking up my “other” daughters from their house.

I pulled into the driveway and they were anxiously awaiting my arrival.  With huge smiles, they hopped (no, really… hopped) into the car and the first words out of their mouths were, “Good morning  Mommy!  We are so glad to see you!”  (lies.. that was fantasy world you were invited into) they actually blurted out, “Hi Mommy, we are STARVING.  Can we go to McDonalds?”  Yep, that’s more like it..  they fit me to a T.    We ventured to McDonald’s.

McDonald’s in Mayberry.  A place where the who’s who in Mayberry go to in the morning to get together and talk, have breakfast, coffee, reminisce about the “good ole days” in Mayberry.    McDonald’s also attracts the Canteeners.  Remember, those guys that sit around the American Legion Post #495 Canteen during the summertime and talk?  During the winter, they migrate to McDonald’s.    Keep that in mind.

The girls and I head into McDonald’s and we place our order with Mindy, a very unenthusiastic McWorker:  2 orders of hotcakes, 2 hash browns, 2 medium drinks and 1 large Diet Coke (for mommy).  We wait approximately 20 seconds for our order and look for a place to sit.  In the background you can hear and see a group of men talking very seriously, then laughing and enjoying each others company.  I looked over and recognized – all of them.  Approximately 15 older, distinguished gentlemen sitting at a large table or two talking, having breakfast, drinking coffee, reminiscing about the “good ole days” in Mayberry.   My most favorite people in Mayberry – the Canteeners.    My heart warms.

The girls sit down and just as I was about to sit down I hear – “Hello beautiful!  Long time no see!”  and as glorious as the angels singing from above the rest of the gentlemen wished me a “good  morning” and a “you are a lovely vision in the morning.” (they should have caught me around 6:30am… Godzilla.. I’m just sayin’)   My heart warms.   These wonderful men remember me as I remember them.

My newest friend Dan, who used to be on Mayberry’s Parking Enforcement a million years ago was the happiest to see me.  Waved at me until he practically fell off his chair.  He’s an “over-waver”… it’s not really a word, but it works for now.   Oh how I have missed these guys.   Dear Summertime, please show up sooner than later… I need my daily fix of these gentlemen!  Signed, The Meter Maid

My “other” daughters just smiled and giggled… “Mommy, you know everybody in Mayberry.”   I smiled, “no, they just know me.”

Being a Meter Maid/Parking Enforcer/Mayberry Buzzkill… whatever.. may not sound like an elite, high powered, fancy job.. but you know what?  It is the BEST job I have ever had in my entire god-given life.  I would not trade one single moment of it for…. anything or anybody.

So today, on my day off, I will spend it with my kids…. my “other” kids.  My joy and happiness… I’m am blessed.

If you decide to visit Mayberry this weekend…  2-hour free parking.  Check out some of the restaurants in town – I prefer the old school diner in the area.   One day I will own it.  For now, if you decide to eat there….

Pay your meter.

I Spy Winter Edition – Part I…

Posted: December 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

Winter has securely made its way into Mayberry.  The temperatures have dropped, trees are bare, leaves are scattered on the streets and sidewalks.   All the piers are out of the lake and the Canteen is closed for the season.  Mayberry is in hibernation – almost.   The weekends still attract tourists and our little shops are filled with post Christmas shoppers.   All the Christmas decorations are still up in the downtown area and at nighttime it’s…. beautiful.  Like a Normal Rockwell painting.  Almost too perfect.  The annual Christmas parade has come and gone..  Christmas trees in the city have been dutifully decorated to fit the season well… very well.

Since it was a quiet workday on my beat yesterday I focused on looking at my surroundings closer than I usually do and this is what I found..  I Spy..

1.  1/2 cupcake (Of course I saw this when I was starving… even considered… no I didn’t)

2.  a seagull carrying a hamburger bun in it’s claws… talons… feet??  (someone get back to me on the bird feet thing)

3.  Kermit the Frog sitting in a window of a local business (okay fine, it’s cute.  Whatever)

4.  a sign that read “all T-shirts 50% off” (I’d be more inclined to buy a 75% off t-shirt)

5.  Broken Slinky (What walks down stairs, alone or in pairs and makes a slinkity sound? A spring, a spring, a marvelous thing! Everyone knows it’s Slinky…. well, not this one.)

6.  pink pair of gloves (garbage bound)

7.  black sock (where do you suppose the other one went?)

8.  two broken blue Bic pens next to each other

9.  a sign in every shop that read “50% off all Christmas decorations”

10.  half box of cigarettes (someone gave it up cold turkey on Main and Broad Streets)

11.  Starbucks gift card (SCORE!!  Wait.. has a zero balance..)

12.  $.27 (Score!)

13.  1 seafoam green Northface glove  (ooooh, better keep my eye out for the other one)

14.  Clifford the Big Red Dog children’s book  (LOVE)

15.  green and orange polka dot scarf (yay!  Pretty)

Winter in Mayberry has so far been absolutely… perfect.   No snow.  Temperatures mild for this time of year.  The little city is bustling with more tourists than we had last year at this time.   Exciting.   There is something exhilarating about having lots of people in Mayberry during the winter – hibernation seems to be on a temporary hold… for now.  And I’m good with that.

Come and visit.

2-hours free parking during the winter months….