By Lorry Myers
I could tell when my young cousin climbed into our station wagon that she regretted accepting the invitation to stay with us. All the way home Colleen complained about the crowded car and our “dinky” little town. When we arrived at our rambling two-story home, my cousin whined about me sharing a room with my sister and the fact that my bedroom didn’t have a door. “Who doesn’t have a door on their bedroom?” this big city girl declared, looking around like she was afraid to touch anything.
“Nobody, that’s who.”
Across the street from my childhood home that had the bedroom with no door, was a drainage ditch that nature had turned into the Grand Canyon. The deep ravine was full of crevices and gullies, snake holes and mud holes.
It was our favorite place to play.
Colleen protested when she found out we were playing outside and not sitting inside watching TV. She thought my mother would stop us but, Mom simply told us to put on a coat. Colleen stomped back to her suitcase and pulled out a white sweater and when I told her that wasn’t a good idea, she looked me up and down and told me everybody wore white sweaters.
Everybody but me.
Across the street my brother, Greg, nimbly climbed down the well-worn path to the bottom of the ditch. I had changed into an old pair of my brother’s canvas shoes, worn and faded from washing and wearing. Colleen had been appalled, telling me that nobody wore hand me down shoes.
It was then that I looked down at my shoes that weren’t mine. My coat was my sister’s and my brother was wearing pants that showed his ankles. I turned back to that big old two-story house, the house with the bedroom without a door, and began to feel the weight of her words making me feel like I was something I didn’t know I was.
For the complete column, please see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.