Many people over the years have suggested that I write my memoirs. I don’t have the patience for that; but here it is, one blog at a time.
Life started in winter of 1980. I was 19 days late and ended up as an emergency C-section. I wasn’t breathing when I was born, the cord was wrapped around my neck multiple times. Obviously they revived me though, and here I am! I often wonder, though, if I hadn’t had the nuchal cord, or if they had revived me faster if I would have fewer problems with my brain now.
My parents hated each other from the start but finally decided to get married when I was a toddler. We lived in the house that my dad had been born in. It had no running water except what you could pump with a hand pump. There were no toilets, just an outhouse. Being a small child, I didn’t really notice. We only had one neighbor within a mile or so, and they didn’t have running water, either.
In retrospect, that house was probably the worst place for us to live. It was a house full of awful memories for my father, the kitchen where we would eat our Cheerios in the morning was the very same kitchen where he watched his father slit his mother’s throat in a drunken rage.
Aside from the bad memories, my mother hated it there. She had been born into a much wealthier family and had gone to college in New York. Rural Virginia was probably the least likely place she ever thought she would end up, and she couldn’t wait to escape.
When I was very young my father stayed at home with me. He was a disabled Army veteran with a high school education and found it very difficult to find a job that he could physically do and was also qualified for. My mother was the breadwinner, she would get up in practically the middle of the night to drive into town and take a bus to Washington, D.C. for work.
Looking back it was a very strange childhood. I rarely ever saw anyone other than my parents or the neighbors across the street. It was like we lived in our own little world. Just us, the old folks that had been there since before my father was born, and the 20+ cats that lived in the barn behind our house. I guess that’s why when I watch a movie or read a book about post-apocalyptic life with few humans it doesn’t sound horrifying to me. It sounds like comfort.
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