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Growing Pains End of Chapter One: Leaving Home Town.

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Even though her brother and she said it would be cool to just move the town home to the farm land still she would miss the fields and the river where she spent so much time by herself.

She had created a home for herself out there. Out there in the woods on both sides of “The Strawberry Path” as she called it. It was a place where she could call her own and be alone out of ear shot of her mother. She would lay in the fields and stare up at the clouds discovering one magical shape after another. She would build a mock fire and practice rain dances near the edge of the woods. She would find frogs, eat wild strawberries, pick Indian paint brush flowers and rub them on her cheeks, put buttercups under her chin and pluck daisies. “He loves me, he loves me not?”

She played with all the kids on her street and had been so close to them even babysat by some. It was all such a part of how she was, as much as, who she was.

She would find her father in the garden and spent time with him. She would always find any way she could to spend any time with her father. He seemed to always be working. His job took him away at night now and after he would get home in the morning he would go out and work in the garden and sometimes he would be working in his workshop in the cellar. He had worked so hard to maintain and improve their home over the years; even putting in a three-car garage and a basketball court area for her brother.

They were such a part of the house and the house a part of them.

She would take those memories and all the rest with her as she packed up her room and said good bye to that very meaningful part of her life that had been so bittersweet.

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Growing Pains Chapter One Cont. Leaving Home Town.

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She lifted up her head, suddenly aware that her pillow was soaked and slowly rolled over sitting up and looking around the room. She would really miss her room.

She loved her room with its wallpaper of different colored flowers. She would lay for hours, trying to fall asleep, staring at them. There was one, orange in middle, with yellow petals, one that had a yellow middle with red petals and one with a red middle and orange petals. Her mother had wanted something different. She thought the light blue wallpaper, as it was, left the room feeling cold. It was the first time she had ever thought of color in that way. That color did have a way of making you feel a certain way. Her mother had let her be a part of the decision and she was happy with the change. The flowers comforted her. It was like being in a garden, only inside the house.

She had spent so much time laying on her bed reading. Something by Judy Blume or maybe Ramona the Brave (one of her all-time favorites). Her cat Twiddy by her side or most often right on top of her book. Twiddy a cat she had since the kitty followed her home. She was four and next door at the neighbor’s house. Her mother had told her she could keep her if no one called in response to the ad they would place. She paced in front of the phone for what felt like forever praying the phone wouldn’t ring. After two weeks of that, with no response to the ad, her mother announced they could keep her. She had plenty of time to think of names.

The kitty was all black with just a little tuft of white fur under her chin and little white tufts on the top of her paws. She had green eyes. She was perfect! She wanted the name to be different, not the same as anyone else’s. She had thought of the typical Midnight but she chose Twilight, only she couldn’t really pronounce it nor could she spell it. She didn’t know how to read yet. So what was meant to be Twilight ended up being Twidlight instead and soon “Twiddy” for short. And so they further grew up together and it seemed that whether she was reading or playing in the fields or having a sleepover with her friends Twiddy was always there, a part of everything.

“How could she leave here?”

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Growing Pains Chapter One Continued: Leaving Home Town.

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“But I don’t want to move! What about my school? All my friends are here.” Annie whined with all the desperation that can come from having no control over what happens to you.

Her life had been wrapped in this town for as long as she could remember.

She could feel her face getting hot as she stormed out of the kitchen and up to her room. She threw herself onto the bed and started to cry. Her mind was racing. She couldn’t believe it! She was in her last year of junior high and anxious enough about starting high school in the fall. In the past two years she had a paper route and had formed special friendships with a few of her customers. These women would later be thought of fondly by her, as some in the long line of influential people in her life. She had been having a hard time with her relationships with her two best friends.  They were becoming very close to each other and were beginning to leave her out a lot.  She had felt betrayed, powerless and foolish for sharing her friends with each other. It was a confusing time for her as it was and the idea of moving out of town to the country seems like the end of her world.

Besides, she was a town kid. She rode her bike everywhere.  The bike she had saved up for after walking the first year of her paper route. She loved to feel the wind blowing through her hair. She had wanted long hair all her life. She loved the beach where she had spent a lot of time with her dad. On Sunday mornings they would sometimes go fishing and sometimes they would just sit and talk over donuts, coffee and cocoa. Her brother and she would always get so excited when their mother would turn a maybe into a yes and they would gather up their towels, jump into their bathing suits and race to the VW Beatle Bug, her mother drove, to see who would get there first to sit in the front seat. Her mother would saunter out, book in hand. Off they’d go. She could smell the sea air as they’d get closer and hear the seagulls call. She would get so giddy. As soon as they’d get there she would drop her towel on the sand and run as fast as she could down to the water and jump right in. Her younger brother would love to sit and make mud pies with the wet sand and her mother would settle onto the blanket she laid out where she would sit and read looking up every now and then to check on their whereabouts.

She babysat for her history teacher’s kids. She really looked forward to any babysitting opportunities on a Friday or Saturday night. It was a chance to get out of the house, to feel independent and, like her paper route; it was a chance to make her own money.

“How could they do this to her?”

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Growing Pains Chapter One: Leaving Home Town.

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Leaving Home Town

It had been a long winter, one of displacement, one of isolation and one of uncertainty but it was now April. The snow was starting to melt under the warmth of the spring sun and so brought a sense of renewed hope to her, to all of them.

“Annie, can you come down here?” she heard her mother call.

She put down her book. “I’m coming, Mom.”

Her family had moved to this farm ten miles outside of town, a week before Christmas, from the quaint town where she had lived since she was four.

It was her mother’s dream to raise animals and grow her own food. She had wanted to live on a farm ever since her stepfather had moved her and her mother to his farm when she was twelve. But it wasn’t her dream.

They had been in the grocery store not too long ago. Her father’s company was on strike and Mom was adding up the groceries as she went. They were at the meat counter when her mother gasped at the prices but were in the grocery checkout line when she turned to Annie and said. “Geez Anne, meat prices are getting so high we really need a farm.”

It sounded like a neat idea at the time. The reality of that statement and what all that entailed she would learn, all too well, soon enough. Then what seemed like a few innocent Sunday drives in the country turned into packing up the home of her childhood.

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