This is a picture taken of the house we moved into when I was one. The picture is 1953 and we moved in in 1954 in the summer. I only really remember my mother speaking about it. I do wish they’d written things down.
The yard was a mass of weeds and the yard overgrown completely. We had an assortment of rats which my mother was very afraid of as was my younger sister. I don’t remember them at all though I’m two years older than my sister.
I wasn’t homeless as a child and I loved my home. I thought it fun when the rain came through our roof and my Mom and I ran around putting the pots out to catch the water.
To me it was normal to crap in a chemical toilet and the can inside emptied in a hole in the back yard.
I though it normal that the oil furnace only heated the one area of the house and the further away one was the colder it got. Winters can get down to minus 40 here either C or F at this temperature. I thought it normals that windows would be thick with ice in the winter. It was fun to melt coins or other metal into the ice.
I didn’t like it when my Mom cried because she had to give up her piano for $35 because we were broke. No my father worked but was paid a pittance. An old upright piano with those old tiny wheels that sank into the linoleum. Silly little wheels.
I did not like it when the furnace shut down because the oil in the line thickened and couldn’t move on the very cold nights. No, the oil was kept in a tank outside with a thin line through the wall to feed the furnace as there was no basement.
I remember my uncle lighting it once and almost blowing up our home. The lighting had to be carefully done and I watched my mother first turn on the oil feed and then light a tissue and put her arm in deep to ignite the fuel oil.
I didn’t like it being harassed at school for being poor but I was certainly not the only one.
I didn’t like the friction between my parents because money was so short all the time. Arguing became a norm though not the less hurting. Quietly arguing at night in harsh whispers.
Fortunately, though, I had a home and I had enough to eat. Fortunately we were not homeless though it’s not clear how close we came to that adventure.
I’m am very, very glad we were not homeless because the scars would be much, much deeper.
To be changed as I go along into the dimming memories: