I wasn’t always raised poor. There was a time before we moved to Locust Fork, or what I may frequently refer to as the “country” from this point forward, when life consisted of paved roads and actual neighborhoods. When I didn’t live about 10 minutes from a place called Blow Gourd. That’s right people; you read that correctly. Blow Gourd. I have many fond and vivid memories of having a nice house in a neighborhood where we had other kids to play with and we were only five to ten minutes from most conveniences.
There is also a time shortly after starting high school where family finances didn’t seem to be quite as troublesome, however this may be clouded by the fact that I made sure I had my own money as soon as I was legally able to work. My mom also eventually ended up in the work force which I know to a certain degree helped our situation.
The hardest times for sure were from the time I was around ten until I was about fifteen or sixteen years old. In other words, one of the most sensitive time periods of a kid’s life.
To be honest, I didn’t know a lot about mobile or manufactured homes, dirt roads with UFO sized craters, why people waved at me that didn’t know me, why people were very comfortable in camo at all times, or how big belt buckles can actually be, etc. until we moved to Locust Fork. Now as we move forward, I promise I won’t sound as snobby as I am about to, but I was definitely not about this life. I was mad and embarrassed about the abrupt change in our socioeconomic situation. I was around ten. It was the late 1980s. Again, please remember I was in my early preteens. Literally the worst age ever!
The thing is I didn’t fully understand the complex financial woes in which my parents were experiencing at the time. They hid these very well. All I know is what any other kid my age would understand and that was this new place and lifestyle sucked.
My mom was a stay at home mom to myself and two siblings, plus she was caring for my dad who has debilitating Crohn’s disease. He was on the verge of either dying or ending up on disability. He worked with his father at his steel business and often, and I stress often, tried to branch out to try something in the land of entrepreneurship. He would later after many surgeries, some of which were lifesaving and life changing, be unable to provide for his family financially and need support via disability.
The day that we officially moved in is a day I will never forget. My question was simple, “Excuse me, where are all the stores and malls and stuff?” Our real estate agent started laughing and never fully answered the question. I should have known something was not quite right about her non-answer.
Spoiler alert for anyone who wants to judge my attitude at this age; I still live in Locust Fork to this day.
As Always with Love,