A Year of Change

That smell of wet, burnt wood from a large fire bristles in my memories.

1971. I was fourteen. Dad had just returned from an overseas military assignment and took me in, a refugee from an unhappy time with Mom and her husband then. We lived in Dayton, Ohio, first in an apartment, and then in Wright-Patterson AFB base housing, in a place called Page Manor. We lived there from the beginning of July to the end of August. Then, an opportunity came up. He retired from the military to start a new chapter to his life.

He and I moved to West Virginia and he began his new job. Housing was limited so Dad bought a mobile home. A space was found for it in a trailer park. School started. A month later, the trailer burned up. Days were spent trying to recover what we could from the trailer. I carried a smoky odor around my clothes for months.

Dad’s co-worker let us crash at their place, but it was crowded, and the co-worker had a young wife and a new baby. Goaded by her disenchantment to be rid of us — nothing personal, and I understand it — we found a new place to live within a month.

Coincidentally, that was the same time that I met the girl who would become the woman who would become my wife. We married in 1975, less than four years after meeting. We’ve been together since then, although we’ve had separations and struggles. Amazing to think that I’ve known her since 1971 and have been married to her since 1975. It seems like a lot longer… Bet it seems even longer to her.

It’s all sharp in the head, strong in the memories, that period, a time of destruction, change, and beginning. I can’t say that I don’t look back; I’m always looking back, then turning around and looking forward, re-establishing where I’m at, and moving on.

Or trying to.

5 thoughts on “A Year of Change

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  1. You had a tough childhood. I can relate. I think it makes us better people in the long run, for we determine NOT to be like the ones who set the wrong examples for us. And the adversity, in your case many moves and losing your home, helps us be able to laugh off the small, irrelevant stuff that other people deem to be major crises.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think people’s responses vary to childhood adversity. I don’t write about about a lot of it, in respect to others. I’m damaged, not too deeply, but enough to forever drag me down. But I’ll keep trying. Lots of others have suffered far, far worse. At least I had food and shelter, you know?

      Both my parents enjoy a laugh, and I took that from them. Being a middle kid, I amplified it. Laughing at the small things helps us shoulder the bigger things, right? And enduring and surviving helps build empathy in us, and empathy is in too short supply in the modern life.

      Thanks for reading, Jill. Hugs always.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, and I thought I had a rough childhood, glad to know it made you the person you are today. A great writer and lover of all things Floof. Here’s to you surviving your childhood and dealing with Floof attitude everyday, CHEERS 🍾🍸🍹🍷πŸ₯‚πŸΊπŸ»

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    1. Thanks, but I don’t think my childhood was that terrible (although I’m beginning to wonder if I was naive). That was just that one year (and part of the year before, I guess). Other than moving a lot and a few other things, I think I enjoyed life and lived a fairly normal and commonplace existence. Floofpany has always helped. Cheers, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

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