It was 1989-ish.
It was a tiny house.
If it could be called a house. It was, more accurately; a shack. Thin walls that didn’t keep out the wind, cheap linoleum that was ugly and worn, no indoor plumbing – well, if I remember right, there was an old-fashioned hand-pump for water instead of a faucet in the kitchen.
There was no bathroom inside the house. There was a outhouse in the backyard, and a beaten dirt path leading to it. I don’t remember where we took our baths, but I suppose we probably went to my uncle’s place, which was just over the hill and around the bend. It was summer, and I don’t remember doing much of anything there… mainly I explored the woods behind the house, and sometimes helped my sister tend the baby. I remember my mom taking me on an early-morning walk to the top of a hill and watching the sunrise. It was lovely, all peachy-pink and glowing. The dewy fields were misty and quiet. The horses in the pasture were standing calmly, and the birds singing their early morning songs.
The days we spent at the shack were long and boring. We didn’t have much to do. Sometimes Mom would give us kids a few quarters, and we would walk a half mile to a small store. It was a country store, sorta like a convenience store – minus the gasoline. We would buy Little Debbie cakes and Swiss Rolls. We would agonize over the decision, because we didn’t get treats very often. Then we would walk home through the warm meadow grasses, with the bugs chirring, and the sun beating down on our backs.
I don’t really remember what my dad did during that time. I think he may have worked at a sawmill. My brothers may have worked there, too. I was just too young to notice. I was about 8 or 9, I guess. I know Mom and us girls went to visit our cousins quite a bit, having nothing else to do. We would take our laundry and then stay a half a day, helping my aunt.
I don’t know why I felt like writing about the shack, but I know this: it was one experience in my life that made me love my conveniences. It’s one of the reasons I like to dream of pioneer life, but never want to live it. I have many more similar stories, and sometime I will tell you another… People always think it was so romantic and fun to be always moving and having so many different experiences. It wasn’t. But it was educational. And while my family who reads this will remember all the stuff that I left out of the story – may you remember to be thankful.
Especially if you never had to live in a shack that had 4 small rooms, along with your 5 other siblings and your parents. By the way, this was only one house and one state out of the 12 states and 30-40 houses I have lived in, growing up. No, its not a joke, and no, I am not stretching it. It’s just hard to remember all the houses unless I have the help of my siblings.