March 11, 2005

Deseperate Times

When I was around the age of 10 or 11 my mother moved the family to New Mexico where her full blooded brother lived.

Growing up my mom never really knew her brother because he lived with their father who was divorced from their mother. (nothing is easy in my family - not even having full blooded siblings)

Anyway, they had been talking a lot around that time and he had offered us a place to live so they could get to know each other once again. (One thing you must understand is...I really think my mother had nomadic blood pulsating in her body. This women does not know the definition of permanence. Up and moving us half way across the country was nothing to her. It didn't bother her that I left my only friend. That we would missed school or that we had any say on where we lived. She had made up her mind that we were going at that was it.)

With the station wagon loaded and everything we owned and our cat in backseat we were ready to leave our life old life and begin a new. Traveling was both fun and exhausting but it took a long time to get there.

Once we did arrive it was like a whole other world. Dirt, tumble weeds, sage, horny toads and trailers. It seemed as though every one had trailers. Which were really only five household all spread out miles away from each other. The only house that wasn’t a trailer was a house made of tires. This house would later become infamous and would be shown on the Discovery channel. (another story)

All I kept thinking was this was where were going to live... in a trailer? It was so small - I seriously don't know how we survived. We left a six bedroom, two bathroom house in a middle class neighborhood to live in a trailer. We were poor dirt poor (no pun intended).

I met a gal the same age as I was, she lived just down the dirt road. She had two dirt bikes and we would spend hours on end riding them. We would take those things up and down small mountains and in some really wild canyons. That was my only salvation.

We did have a garden, though. My mom took the time to teach me how to grow things in it. Rhubarb, celery, carrots and cabbage. It’s the oddest things that I remember. Our t.v. only had one or two channels that we could actually see without wavy lines. So every waking moment was pretty much spent outside entertaining ourselves. I recall my mom drawing pictures of cartoon characters for the vegetable in the garden. You know, to tells what type of vegetable it was. For Carrots she drew Bugs Bunny. For the Rhubarb she drew a Barbie. Get it? Those are the only two characters I remember. She knew we were all so miserable and she tried so hard to keep us entertained. But it didn't stop there. With our trailer we had some property which included a bunch of horse stalls, chicken coops and a compost. As I said before we were the only pets we could afford were a couple of chicks and a duck for each one of us kids. My little duckie was name Angela for the best friend I left behind. Anyway, to keep us entertained and to stop my mother from going mad she drew on the horse stalls pictures of fake horses. She made signs for each one along with a fake general store, Actually she made a fake town. She made it fun, well, as much as she could. To someone else it was pathetic but to us it was an escape from the disappointment that New Mexico had became.

In that same time frame - I saw my first snow on a mountain very far away. Princess Diana and Prince Charles were married. Someone attempted to molested me and I learned to shoot a gun. I had my 11th birthday there and I experienced death for the first time.

One afternoon the skies had opened up and it rained for what seemed to be forever. When I went to check on the birds, I had noticed that their coop had not been closed and Angela my duck was floating in her little pool. I gathered her up dried her off and kept her warm. But it was too late, she was week from the storm. I remember the very moment she died. She took one final breath, shook a little as if you could feel God take her from my arms and she was gone.

We didn't stay very long in New Mexico. We left after six months. I learned and experienced a lot there. Even though it was hot, dry and miserable - I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything.

Posted by Tiffani at March 11, 2005 12:42 PM | TrackBack

Beautiful story, Tiffani. :-)

Posted by: Jim at March 12, 2005 10:42 AM

I agree w/ Jim--it's a beautiful story, beautifully told.

Posted by: Victor and his seventeen pet rats at March 15, 2005 10:42 AM
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