No Pot, No Window – by Mary Burton King
NO POT, NO WINDOW is a true story about my life starting in the year1951 when I was born in Marshall, Texas to poor, uneducated parents. This book is intended to be a motivator and inspiration to all the people struggling to survive financially as I did for the majority of my life. The expression “no pot, no window” means you are so poor you don’t have a pot to pee in or a window to throw it out. I believe poverty, lack of education, a negative home environment, alcohol and/or drug abuse, bad judgment, a single parent home, disease/illness, and sometimes just plain bad luck keeps the syndrome of “no pot, no window” perpetuating generation after generation. My alcoholic abusive father abandoned my two sisters and I when I was nine years old and my codependent mother was absent from my life for many years. After my father left and my parents divorced, my mother spent the rest of her life looking for another husband to support her. She was married nine times and never did find her Prince Charming just another drunk she met at a bar and drug home. When I was ten years old, my mother sent my two sisters and I to live with her parents for over three years and during this period she was completely absent from our lives. My maternal grandparents, who were survivors of the Great Depression of 1929, were very tight with their money and affection. They really did not want to raise three young children but decided we would be a valuable asset as farm hands on their five acre farm. My mother came back into my life when I was 13 years old and the saga of stepfathers began. At the age of sixteen I had a job, a car, and was self-sufficient. Unfortunately, I was also a juvenile delinquent because I had little or no parental supervision. For lack of any other options, I joined the military in 1969, during the height of the Viet Nam War and began the long journey of becoming an adult. Due to my immaturity and poor judgment, I was married and divorced three times before the age of 30 and became a single parent to my only child. When I was 32 years old, I was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer and spent the next five years struggling to stay alive physically and financially. With the assistance of the military, I was able to obtain my Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Mississippi in 1982 and a Masters of Forensic Science from George Washington University in 1986. After 21 years of active duty service, I subsequently retired as a Lieutenant from the United States Navy in 1993. I refused to accept and was able to overcome the “no pot, no window” plight because of my perseverance, hard work, and most importantly, advanced education. I changed my life from sour lemons to sweet lemonade!