Writing 101, Day Eleven: Size Matters
(Today, tell us about the home you lived in when you were twelve. For your twist, pay attention to — and vary — your sentence lengths.) Thanks to Kama, who suggested Kid . Kama hosts a travel blog that is delightful. Also thank you Shazzameena for the Key to my House. I put both suggestions together for my title.
The house was on a small lot at the edge of town with the desert behind it. Originally built as government housing for those who worked on the Hoover Dam project, it resembled others on Arizona Street. The town of Boulder City actually grew into existence as home for laborers. When I was six my family moved there (in 1944 long after the dam was completed.)
A huge cottonwood tree offered shade in the front yard and also contributed heavily to my allergies. There was a china berry tree with low branches for climbing and a lot of ammunition for china berry fights. I think that was something my brothers made up. It was a tough game, but I readily joined in, usually on the losing side since their aim was better and there were two of them against me. Billy lived Next door and was often a part of these contests (on the boy’s side of course.) Billy offered me my first kiss, which I refused. I was 12 and his offer made me very uncomfortable. The china berry fights continued as well as our friendship through high school, but he never asked for another kiss.
The desert was a an escape from the eyes of our mother. My brothers and I would play on the small mountain behind us. At the top was a predominant cross where each Easter a sunrise service was held. A road led to the top for the majority of the worshippers, but we kids could just hike up. ( I learned the desert is not a friendly place for new dotted swiss dresses and patent leather shoes.) Church attendance was important and we went each Sunday to the Church of Christ that met in a players theater across town. My Good friend was Rhonda Thomson (the preacher’s kid.) We got into trouble giggling on the back row and her dad stopped his sermon midway and reprimanded us and made us move to the front row, so he could keep an eye on us.
Boulder City remains a gambling free oasis in the desert. (Las Vegas is a half hour away.) I’ve not been back for many years. It remains in my mind an oasis…a place I go to in memory. A place where wars were just china berry fights. A place of innocence.
A place where I grew up surrounded by the love of family.