Okay, I've got about 45 minutes before I plan on hittin' the hay, I've got some scrambled eggs, and I want to blog (yeah, I know this will be my third blog for the day- bite me).
I've noticed that about once a week since I became a member of this site and started blogging that the same question arises: Who are you? Someone always asks for everyone to say a little bit about themselves. Well, allow me to cut out the middle man and tell you who I am.
**WARNING: This will probably end up being a three or so part series, so I don't make it too long per entry.
My story begins in a small town in Idaho in the year 1985. My parents owned a machine shop. My dad cut lumber from the booming lumber industry, while my mom kept the books for the shop and took care of my brother. Unfortunately, around that time, the then thriving lumber industry was shut down due to environmentalist wackos and their crying about deforestization. Needless to say, this basically put my parents out of business. They decided to cancel their health coverage because they just couldn't afford it.
Less than a month later, my mom found out she was pregnant with me.
I have no problem admitting I was an accident, no matter how much my mother tries to convince me I just had "bad timing". Well, because they were going broke with no work to do, my parents couldn't really afford to pay for my birth. But, as I said, this was a small town. They were friends with the obstetrician and the pediatrician, so they cut a deal: the obstetrician agreed to my parents paying him with a cord of firewood, and the pediatrician would do it for a bottle of Jack Daniels. So, firewood and booze it was. Thus, I was born.
Six weeks later, as soon as the pediatrician gave the okay, my parents moved to Wyoming where my dad did some teaching (he is an industrial arts - aka shop -teacher, and yes, he still has all ten fingers). Unfortunately, he had some more education to do, so we spent a stint of about six months in Colorado while he did odd jobs, my mom did some accounting (she's a CPA) and he finished his certifications. We then moved back to Wyoming. This is where my first memories begin.
My dad worked the graveyard shift for the railroad, did some substitute teaching and had his own gunsmithing business on the side. Some of my best memories of my dad are sitting in his shop, watching him work on a rifle stock while I used a file to cut the heads off of some old fashioned clothes pins.
But the good times can never last, can they? He was laid off when I was about seven. There were no real jobs for him there, as substituting and gun smithing wouldn't pay all the bills. My mom had recently been laid off from her temp job at the soda ash mines when they did some downsizing as well. Needless to say, a change needed to be made.
My dad quickly found a job about six hours away on the eastern side of the state. It happened to be in a town that had a population of about 300. Yes, three hundred. The only paved roads in town were the two highways that went by it. It took some getting used to, but I have to say I loved that little town.
When we first got there, we rented a tiny, two bedroom house. It was pink. And when I say tiny, I mean TINY. And my brother and I had to share a room for a little while. This house was so small that we couldn't fit a couch in the living room. We managed to fit the TV, a box of movies, my mom's recliner and my dad's old wooden rocking chair in it. And that left just enough room for my brother and I to sit on the floor. Barely. The bedroom my brother and I stayed in was so small that you could barely fit the bunkbeds in it, and with them IN the room, you had to walk sideways around it to move. The master bedroom wasn't much better. I'm still not sure how they fit a bathtub in that bathroom... I think the house in all was about 20' x 40' at the most, and there were four people living in it. So not cool.
Luckily, we spent less than a month there, though it felt like a lifetime. We moved into another house. ...Another pink house... But with neon teal trim. Yeah... This house was a piece of shit, but at least it had three bedrooms that were decent sized so that we could fit beds AND dressers AND book cases into them. Of couse, it was all on a concrete floor with some crappy shag carpet (piss yellow, no less) tossed over it (that's right, not attached, no padding) in the basement of this shit hole. I barely had a window, and it was basically at the top of the wall attached to the ceiling. And the shower was a stall shower on concrete (think prison). We dealt with this piece of shit house for at least six months. But the best part of this house was our landlord.
Roger John Wayne West. This guy was a piece of work, let me tell you. He actually had his middle name legally changed to John Wayne. If that's not enough for you, he was about 6'2", 300 lbs, was never clean shaved, didn't look like he bathed, had greasy, stringy hair and had four dogs and who the fuck knows how many cats. He was in his early 40's at that point, I believe.
There is only really one story that truly sticks out in my mind when it comes to Roger... It was before my mom had gotten a job, and was busy being a housewife, trying to clean the uncleanable that was this house while my dad taught at school and my brother and I learned. This one day, he came over to our house while my mother was home alone. My mother is a friggin' saint when it comes to civility, really. I don't know how she could keep from running or laughing when he asked her, "Can I borrow a cup of bleach? I've got this fungus on my arm..." Yeah... I laughed hysterically, while my mother was visibily still disgusted and disturbed. (On a side note, and I apologize in advance to those with a weak stomach, a few years ago Mr. West passed away. The postmaster realized he hadn't come for his mail in almost a week, and called the police to go and check on him. He'd been dead for about as long, and his pets had gotten hungry... I do not envy the paramedics who had to retrieve the body...)
Luckily, it didn't take forever for my parents to get a loan and buy a beautiful house. And I mean GORGEOUS. It was huge. Two car garage, four bedrooms, a livingroom the size of the first pink house we were living in, a seperate dining room, a den, a huge kitchen, two and a half baths, a big back yard, a deck (though it was in really bad shape and rotting out) and two nice wood stoves- one in the living room, one in the kitchen. And it wasn't pink. :D It had some hideous burnt orange coloured carpet, but it wasn't pink. (As another side note, by this time, I'd already had my obsession with birds. It actually started when I was six and received my first hand-me-down parakeets. We ended up having eight parakeets in all before I left Wyoming- one died of old age, two flew out the door, one was just sick and died, one was psychotic and was put down, and the last was the saddest as he was with my dad outside and got caught but a gust of wind and blown out of site, never to be seen again, which is different from flying out the door. Oh, and we also had a dog that went with us out of Wyoming, but this dog was a nutcase... More stories of him will come, though.)
Unfortunately, we only spent about three years there. The school, the one thing that was keeping that little town alive was closed down because it was so small. This is how small it was: my seventh grade class had three people in it including me (that was the last year that I was there, too). There were 63 kids K-12. I loved that town. I loved that school. I was heartbroken when it was shut down. My dad had no more job. My mom would soon be out of a job (she was the book keeper for the lumber yard). I cried for a month...
I will leave you all with that tonight, for I am about five minutes away from when I want to go to bed. I hope you enjoyed and I hope you come back to learn a little bit more about why Kitty is the way she is.