Saturday, March 14, 2009

514 W. Rebecca

I was just thinking of this house that I lived in in Iowa Park, Texas (a small town near Wichita Falls), when I was in 5th and 6th grade.

I started thinking of it because I was crying just now, and I remembered once at Christmas when my dad was stationed overseas... The house was two-story, my mom's bedroom downstairs, and our kids' bedrooms upstairs. And on Christmas, my father intentionally didn't call my mom, and she was crying, and I could hear her crying through the vents. I never in my life saw her cry, but I heard her that once.

Other memories of that house:

(1) There was only dirt and small rocks all over the yard when we moved in. So my mom set me and my brother on a project to pick out all of the rocks so we could plant grass. While we were out there in the yard, passersby actually stopped and opined that we would never get all of the rocks out, and grass would never grow! (Yeah, yeah: We DID get all of the friggin' rocks picked up. And grass DID grow!)

(2) I used to create themes for my upstairs room. One time, while I was into "Encyclopedia Brown" mysteries, I turned my room into a detective's headquarters. (My mom wouldn't let me hang a business sign on our front door, like Encyclopedia... Why not?? One mystery that I wanted to solve was a dead cat that I'd found lying in an empty lot a few blocks away, with the flesh missing from one leg. I could tell that it had been tortured. Never did figure out who did it.) I was also once into the Old West in that room (which consisted of me, for some reason, turning around my desk like it was the front desk of an inn, and hanging hand-made "Wanted" posters on the walls).

(3) From my room, which was upstairs, I could spy some boys building an underground fort in an empty lot a couple of blocks away. Of course, I had to go over there and mess with it. And tell other people about it. The guilt. Really! It was a neat, secret thing, but because of my "I Spy" bedroom, I could see exactly what they were doing and got involved and messed it up. I just told a couple of people, but the word spread, and pretty soon teenagers were hanging around there, leaving garbage strewn around.

(4) From my room, I could spy the Dairy Queen that I used to visit once a week. My mom would give me the 45 cents or whatever it was to get my usual, a cherry sundae (no nuts). I would go there by myself and eat at a booth by myself, then come on home. One time, there was a man there with his wife and 2 kids sitting across the room. He kept looking at me, then insisted on buying me an ice-cream cone. I was sitting there already eating a sundae, and he was there with his wife and kids, but something compelled him to force the counter person to bring me an ice-cream cone. I nodded a "thank you" over at him, finished my sundae, then left with the cone and dumped it outside on the way home. (Jesus, I was 10 or 11. The precursor to the guy buying you a drink from across the bar!)

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