Chapter 4

So I move on to junior high school. I remember the school and basics of these 2 years but trying to remember names of a lot of people and details of day to day life is not so easy. I still do not understand why but I will write what I can…

I do not remember the fist day of junior high school but I remember some of my classes especially orchestra. I wasn’t the best violin player but I did enjoy it. At some point pretty early on we were asked to volunteer to play the string bass. I volunteered and was put in a room with book and a bass. I was given the basics and since I already knew about playing a string instrument I was left to my own devices. It took a few weeks before I rejoined the rest of the orchestra. I did enjoy it. By the second year I was in the youth string orchestra… top players of all the junior high school students. It was a way of getting away from my regular life and do something I was proud of.

I also ran track. I was a distance runner…mile, 2 mile, mile relay and the 2 mile relay. I wasn’t the best but I did my best and really enjoyed it. I also did basketball for either 7th or 8th grade…I do not remember. I was on the B team…again I wasn’t the best but I tried. I was trying to find ways to be out of my house and doing something structured. I also tried out for the cheerleaders but I wasn’t in the girly popular crowd so that was a no go.

I took a home economics class. I learned to sew in this class…that I still do to this day. It was helpful for what ended up being a part of my longest career choice so it was a plus in my life. I made a skirt and a book bag. I cannot say I learned to cook there…my step dad taught me how to cook. He was instrumental in my ability to do just about anything in life. He taught me just about everything that would be useful in my life. Step dads are much more valuable than they are given credit for. (at least the good ones…there are bad ones too)

I had some friends in junior high school although I only remember a few names and only 1st names for all but a few of them. It started to become more clear in junior high school that I was more of a tomboy than a girly girl. I was much more interested in jeans and t-shirts and playing sports with the boys than to wear makeup and skirts. I was interested in boys not girls but didn’t feel the need to doll myself up. I wanted the boys to like me for me. I have always hated being fake. What I find interesting is the boyfriend I had through junior high school was my neighbor and he would figure out later that he liked boys…So not sure what to think about that. I wish him all the happiness in the world but does make me wonder about the whole tomboy aspect of that.

During the summers (when I wasn’t at my grandparents farm working) my step dad and I would do a garden and raise rabbits for food. The first time I had to kill a rabbit I was to hit it in the head with a hammer. I didn’t hit it hard enough and it started squealing and going in circles. I had to grab it and hit it again. (that was very hard for me) But I survived and I never had to hit one twice again. When I went to gut it I found some babies in her. So I grabbed a dropper and some towels and nursed them. 2 of the 3 survived.  We raised them to eat them later. He also took me fishing and taught me how to be a lead on a John boat going down a river and navigating the rapids. We used the rabbit manure for the garden. (Best fertilizer I have ever used) We would spend a lot of time at the 80 acres his family owned north of town. I loved this land. I think those 80 acres gave me a refuge from life. I loved walking in those woods. I used to sneak out there and just walk the woods when I needed to think and get away from my life.

In the fall my step dad would take me to the 80 acres to pick persimmons and to did sassafras roots for tea. That is my favorite tea of all time… he would give me swig or two of apricot or blackberry brandy just to keep me warm. It would get pretty chilly out there. Never got me drunk or anything like that so don’t get any ideas on that. My mother and I never got along and my dad was vacant in my life so he was the adult I connected with. I am glad that he taught me what he did during my formidable years. All girls need to learn a few things so they are not dependent on anyone for anything.

I did have an 8th grade graduation party to try and get more friends before we went to high school. A few people showed up but it just wasn’t my thing. I had fun but sucking up to people was not something I was comfortable doing. I wanted the boys to like me but couldn’t bring myself to be more girly to do it. I am not weak and cannot play weak to win a boy over. Made my life difficult but well adversity makes people stronger in life.

If I remember correctly it was during these 2 years of school that I met my biological. I last saw him when I was about 2 or 3 maybe. Either way I didn’t remember him. I found out that my sister had been in touch with that side of my family the whole time. I never saw any of the birthday cards or anything. Being that I had a strained relationship with my mother I was vulnerable to any sort of affection from him. I had fun during that visit. Asked for him to get custody of me even my sister went along. His wife Donna was so nice to me and I loved the way she was with my brother that I had never met. I was so hopeful just to be sent back to my mom. Dad did not fight for me and he just sent me gifts after that. Money does not buy love. So both of my parents didn’t want me and it made me feel alone. I did like the thought of the large family I had on my dads side. They were all so close and I didn’t have that in my life. It was like a slow torture…

I think this is why I was so attached to my step father. He showed interest in me and my life. He showed me parental love and taught  me like a parent does. It was also during this time that I called my step dad “dad” in the middle of a conversation with my step-sister while we were cooking in the kitchen. BIG MISTAKE! Next thing I know there is a butcher knife stuck in the wall beside my head. She threw it at me… needless to say I never called him dad again after that. I am sure she wouldn’t mind at this point but after that I was respectful of her feelings and never did it again.

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Chapter 3

So now we have hit close to 5th grade.

The summer between 4th and 5th grade we were moved to Springfield and we were moved to the upstairs of a house where a girl Paula and her parents lived. I became friends with Paula as she was my age and we would play together. I was quite upset that mom was no longer with Bill the fireman and was with my best friends dad. This was not good for me at all. My friend was blaming my mom for breaking up her family. I don’t blame her I would have felt the same way…I kind of blamed him for breaking up my mom and Bill. So.. but she blamed me as well or at least took it out on me for a long while. Eventually it got better but that was very rough.

We would finally get out of the cramped upstairs area in this house and get a house for us to live in. We moved to chase street and I lived in this house until I was old enough well sorta old enough to move out. (that is another chapter later).

So this is where I remember my first teacher…Mrs. Macioci. I loved her!! She was a great teacher and got me into tumbling. I really enjoyed that. I remember 3 friends from 5th and 6th grade. Kerry, her brother Clint and James. I do not remember the names of anyone else off the top of my head. I am sure I would remember people if I looked at a year book of sorts from that time but just off the top of my head that is it.

6th grade was the most beautiful teacher I have ever known of. She had long dark brown hair that reminded me of the original Wonder Woman. Mrs. Sanders. She was beautiful inside and out. She was an awesome teacher. There would be only 2 other teachers that would affect me as much as her. (again that is a later chapter)

So during 5th and 6th grade I would make friends with my next door neighbors and we would ride our bikes and explore the train tracks behind our house and the hill beside that that goes into the train yard. It was like a mini wooded area with pathways and big rocks and such for exploration. The tracks directly behind our house were for storing cars it wasn’t a throughway for the trains. We would play at the school playground and ride all over the neighborhood. Clint and Kerry were great friends and we had a lot of fun together.

I do remember that there was an eclipse during this time. We had to make boxes to look at the eclipse. That was so long ago but I remember having to find a shoebox for this project. I felt so special that this had happened in my lifetime and that I got to see and be a part of it.

My moms boyfriend and her got married during this time and he started to teach me a lot of things. I learned how to make a garden and how to fertilize it and how to aerate the soil. He took me fishing and taught me how to cook freestyle. That is like when you figure out how to put together what you have on hand and make a meal out of it. That was the best life lesson for me on cooking.  Using and making do with what you have…not making a list of a bunch of items you need to make one meal. When you are not wealthy or your having a rough time being able to make a meal of sorts out of what you have is wonderful knowledge to have!! now I am a tomboy and cooking and being in the kitchen is not my thing but this was invaluable information that did help me later in life.

During the summer months we would go spend some time on the farm in Warrensburg. Loved and hated those summers. We did a lot of hard labor but it taught us work ethic. I loved that we bailed, bucked and stacked hay. the smaller square bails not the large round ones they have these days. My sister would learn to can in the kitchen with grandma while I helped grandpa out outside the house. We used to mow the more that acre yard with a push mower. Oh those hot summer days…I wonder if this is why I love being outdoors so much these days. Oddly enough I would rather be outside in the hot summer heat than inside.

Chapter 2

Let’s see if I can remember stuff from 1st grade to 4th grade…

We lived in several places. There was a house I remember in Springfield, my grand parents farm in Warrensburg and a trailer in Warrensburg also the my step grand parents place in Arkansas. I know we lived other places but I do not remember them. I barely remember bits and pieces of these. Out of these I remember bits and pieces of school but not a whole lot.  But I will tell you what parts I do remember. I hope I get the timelines right but these are all things that happened in  my life from my own point of view from the ages of 6 to 9 or 10.

I remember living on Calhoun street in Springfield. Went to 2 different schools while we lived in that house. (Boyd and Berry) While at Boyd I remember my sister (who was 2 years older than me) got stripped butt naked by some older girls jealous over the fact that her boobs had already come in. I was a ton skinnier that her but I had to block to get her home. Another incident that happened was to me this time…A sixth grader lifted me up and let me go but the issue was that she lifted me over the back part of the desk chair. Legs on either side so when I fell my crotch landed on the back of the seat. I was wearing a white dress that day and I ended up being damaged and was bleeding bad enough that I had to go to the hospital. First experience of having someone looking closely at my private parts.

We used to go to a park nearby and get fed and do crafts like macramé. I remember the hamburgers and milk we used to get. I loved those programs. With kids always hanging at the park it brought out the weirdos and that brings me 2 different memories… First there was this guy that used to stand right inside the doorways to the bathrooms (before there was an actual door put on those entrances) and he would have is pants down to flash all of us kids his junk.  And one time while walking home from the park I was stopped by a car asking if I knew a girl and as I walked closer to his car I noticed he was masturbating. I was a very lucky girl that I was not snatched up by one of these perverts.

We were members of a Pentecostal church on National. I best friend was Cindy. Her mom and my mom were friends and we would frequently spend the night with each other and our families would spend holidays together. We read the bible together and we both finished reading the entire bible during the time we were in Sunday school together. I got a pink bible with purple lettering on it. Cindy’s family had some great dane dogs 3 or 4 I think. I just remember they were very large. Isn’t it odd that I can remember my address on Calhoun and her address on Texas but I hardly remember anything else.

While living on Calhoun my mother was married to my little brothers dad. He was not a very nice man. He once made me drink a large glass of alka seltzer. Not sure why but I had to finish the entire glass. I threw it up shortly after. He also made my sister and I give him dirty kisses at bedtime. Then one day when we got up there was a butcher knife stuck in the middle of the kitchen table and my mom was gone and my sister was shipped off to stay with my moms parents and I was shipped off to stay with my brother and my step grandparents in Arkansas. (I have always resented that I was sent to those people they were not my blood and they treated me as such)

So for the next school year I lived with my step grandparents. It was ok but there was a couple of moments…I had to cut my hair to keep her happy and this one time when my brother wanted to me to play with him and I said no I didn’t feel like it. Well, I got my butt paddled until it was bruised. (Just for not wanting to play with my little brother) Maybe I had a tone in my voice or something? I don’t know,,,I just know he is almost 5 years younger than me and I did not want to play with him and got paddled for it. I was about 7 years old. We would pick corn from the corn fields and then we would sit and shuck the corn and grandma would cut the corn off of the cob. I was not thrilled too much about all of this but I did learn a thing or two.

My next set of memories is us living in Warrensburg…Part of it was at my grandma and grandpas and part was at some trailer that my mom rented. School was a country school and wasn’t very big. Multiple grades in one classroom. I loved living on the farm best of all of the places I lived. I loved being outside. I loved roaming the fields and riding my bike around the large country block on the dirt roads. I used to carry a coin purse that I had shoved cabbage leaves and other vegetables in to snack on thoughout the day. I know I was an odd child but I truly enjoyed most vegetables at that time. Still do!

During this time my mom was dating a fireman and he good to all of us kids. We loved him. HE was a very nice man that treated us and our mom well. He even took us to Worlds of Fun. He bought me a red pleather jacket that I just loved! We used to go fishing with him at our grandparents pond.

We always had fun at my grandparents house. We got play with our cousins Becky, Timmy and Jeffy. I don’t know if they are really my cousins or if they were cousins by marriage to my uncle Butch but when their mom left my uncle I never saw my cousins again. I have no love for my uncle Butch…when I was 8 we were living in a trailer in Warrensburg and he came and stayed with us. I used to just love uncle Butch until this one night.  We stayed up one night watching tv when he started to ask me questions about my private area. He wanted to take a look at it. He pulled down my underwear and sat me on the are of the couch and kneeled down to look at it. He asked me if any one had ever looked at it or had ever touched it. I sheepishly responded “no” he then proceeded to lick my private area until I squirmed. After that I went to my moms room and woke her up and told her what happened. She told me to go to bed and she would deal with it in the morning. Nothing was ever done about it. I didn’t understand why I had to continue to be around him at every family gathering. But I just figured my mom didn’t believe me and that was that. (At this point I have the understanding that my mom was on medication and she was prone to sleep talk and sleep doing a lot of things and says she has no remembrance of that conversation)

I am realizing that I truly do not remember much of my childhood. I am sitting here trying to remember anything from age 9…The only thing I have come up with is a fleeting moment with that fireman that my mom dated when he took us to Worlds of Fun. I do not remember that day just that we went there. I only remember that red pleather jacket that I received after that.  The next thing I remember is my mom moving us back to Springfield and us living with my church friends dad as he and my mom were now together. I didn’t even know they were even dating. `

Chapter 1

When I was a young child we lived on an Air Force base in California. (Where my little brother John was born). We had a set of Siamese cats. (They were very mean) I really do not remember much about my childhood but this is my earliest memories of my life so I figured this would be a good place to start.

I cannot remember the rooms at our place on base. I do not remember what my bedroom looked like or even if I shared a room with my sister. It is strange what our minds remembers and does not remember. I personally do not know why my mind in particular remembers the things it does. But these are my memories of my life. I am wracking my brain to remember when each took place but some of it is jumbled. I do not remember what school went to for which grade so some memories are mixed up. Until I hit the 5th grade we moved around so much that I only remember one house and the homes of my 2 sets of grandparents that I knew about. My mothers parents and my step-dads parents. I really do not remember the birth of my little brother and I only have a fleeting memory of those 2 cats clawing at me and chasing me around (and not in a fun and playful way).

My earliest memory is that I used to sneak vegetables as snacks instead of sweets and this one time I had gone and snuck a piece of celery. What makes it a funny memory is I was about 5 and I was hiding behind my mothers chair eating it and couldn’t figure out she knew that I was even there.

The only other memory I have of that time was my older sister Debbie and I were at the play area on base. There were other kids there I do not remember them…we were playing and running around and an older kid (teenager) or young man (late teens or early 20’s) came into the play area and threatened all of us with a pretty big knife. We all took off running and my sister and I ran home. When we got home my mother wanted us to run next door to borrow a cup of sugar. We were screaming that there was a bad man after us and she laughed at us and said there were no bad men where we were and demanded us to go next door to get that cup of sugar. We did and we survived but I was so scared and mad at mom for not believing us.  It gave me some anxieties my mother not believing us and making us go out there where we could be killed.

Short chapter in my life but this all I remember from the base in California.