When I was 4-5, we (grandma and grandpa and Gabe and I, I think. there were a lot of bodies so maybe my younger aunts too) moved to a two room cabin.
Grandpa built a cage in the back yard and we had a few rabbits. We also always had a cage of parakeets inside. We had two dogs and one was called Sherry I think. Sherry used to answer the phone when we weren’t home and just bark at the caller. My great grandma told us that all she could hear was the dog barking.
This was the time that I became a weekend rehab kid. I had to go visit my mother at the rehab center, and make these leather crafts every Saturday. I was always amazed at how big these houses were and all the strange people around.. that was my thoughts while I was mostly bored. They had a big board/schedule with duties on it and I remember thinking how wonderfully organized they were there. I did not enjoy these visits. I didn’t understand why my mother couldn’t come home with us. It was always just a full day, every week, that ended in disappointment.
It was while we lived in the cabin that I got into my bicycle accident. My Aunt Cynthia and I were riding bikes around town and went up this hill, above our cabin. As we started on the way down, she was yelling at me to not use my brakes and I thought she was saying to use my brakes. The bicycle rattled out of control and fell into a small cement ravine. I remember being very hurt, in the hospital, with a cut lip and bruised and bloody elbows and knees. I knocked my front tooth loose during this accident and when it finally fell out, the permanent tooth grew in chipped diagonally. (This was the start of my Nazi dentist hell.. next post.)
There was a terrible incident that caused great sorrow in our classroom. We read about it in the newspaper. A man in our community was murdered in cold blood, in his barn. I don’t recall that they ever knew who did this to him. His youngest daughter was in my kindergarten classroom, at school, though. The girl never returned to school. I think the family moved away, but I don’t know where they moved to.
Some of my happier memories, in the cabin, were making home-made play dough, with Alum, with Grandma. We always made many colors and had such great fun with this simple recipe that I wish I sill had today.
Just down the road, from the cabin, and probably the reason we moved to the cabin, Grandma and Grandpa had a plant shop. It was a small family garden center. We planted seeds and people purchased seedlings, from us. We potted smaller plants and sold them as bigger plants. Every weekend we had a booth at the Swap Meet, in east county. I remember the swap meet’s being long and boring, hot days. I remember the nursery being soothing. I would ask Grandma to write words onto notebook paper, in cursive, and I would trace over them. She never seemed to bore of my asking. I can attribute much of my own writing style to hers and my mother’s.
Our neighbors in the end cabin, were the Obermeiers. I sure miss them.