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Moving Day

My mom struggled to pay the bills with her secretarial job, and since my dad was raising the two older kids, he felt he didn’t need to send Mom any money in terms of child support for my brother and me (even though the court legally told him to do so.) Eventually, the house payments became too much for my mom to handle, and the bank repossessed our home. I still remember the date we moved - November 4th, 1972. It was a very emotional time for all of us, packed with grief, humiliation, and an overwhelming task of moving to a small townhouse. Mom found a place to live in her hometown, 5 minutes from her new job, and about 25 minutes from where we were living. Three of her brothers and their wi

The Big Announcement

I was in the 4th grade less than a month when Mom made an announcement. “We’re going to have to move. This is just too much house for me to take care of and I want to live closer to work. I’m looking for a new place now.” What?! This was like a bombshell. We were just getting settled and finding our rhythm after all the chaos. I didn’t want to leave my teacher or my friends from school. John and I both tried to talk her out of it. I don’t know if she ever told John, but I found out when I was 18 years old that the bank took the house. Mom was not making the payments. Her friend Elsa, tried to talk her into selling the house before it came to that. She even offered to make some payments for h

Odds and Ends

When summer came and Mom had to work, she found a babysitter that was probably around my sister’s age, or a little older. She was a bit heavyset and had a very strong constitution. It was a little daunting being in her presence, but I knew as long as I stayed on her good side, I’d be okay. After the 3rd day, it became clear she really enjoyed being with me, and did not like being with John. He was a handful, but it felt like more than that. I think she liked girls, but didn’t like boys. She said she had a surprise for us and pulled out some paint-by-number kits. I picked out the cats, and John picked out the dogs. She had one for herself as well. John found it very difficult to sit and pain

Lonely, Conditional Love

It had been a tough year as a 9-year old. I was emotional during this time but there was no one to talk to about all the things I was feeling and going through. I felt ignored most of the time, and had a lot of alone time. One day I was so upset that no one seemed to care about me that I packed up my little suitcase and ran away from home. I made it all the way across the front yard and climbed into the bushes that were lined between the frontage road and the 1-acre land in front of our house. It was gray outside and I was trying to figure out where I was going to go. No one knew I had left. No one ever seemed to notice me, and I had plenty of time before they would miss me. That knowledge m

Free Time

Usually every summer we traveled to a lake and stayed in a cabin for a week, but once my parents divorced, that wasn’t an option for us. Mom couldn’t afford that kind of vacation, but she came up with a plan that became a tradition for several years. She took us to Madison – 1 ½ hours away, and made a reservation at the Holiday Inn. Kids stayed free and there was an indoor swimming pool. Mom got her kind of vacation with kids – no cooking, no cleaning and lots of relaxing. We checked in and John and I immediately christened the beds with a little jumping and bouncing. We were so excited to be together for a couple of nights with the freedom of no responsibilities. John and I immediately got

©2020 Julie Rust