Daily Post

Writing 101: Size Matters

Assignment: Today, tell us about the home you lived in when you were twelve. For your twist, pay attention to — and vary — your sentence lengths.

Today’s twist: pay attention to your sentence lengths and use short, medium, and long sentences as you compose your response about the home you lived in when you were twelve.

When I was about twelve, I had just finished the sixth grade in the latest of a string of new schools. I guess my parents must have had “itchy feet”, as we moved about every two years.  Never far enough to make it interesting, no far away or exotic locales. Always within the boring and “economically disadvantaged” confines of South Phoenix.  (And lucky me) Just far enough for me to get the privilege (she says sarcastically) of starting a new school every two years.  With the exception of sixth grade, that was only one year.

I don’t know what changed in 1986, but finally, finally my parents decided that they were going to buy a place and they were never moving again.  Which elated both me and my younger sister, as she had now been to a couple of different schools and did not like changing friends faster than she outgrew that year’s school clothes either.

The new place was situated in a trailer park. A really, nice trailer park.  Each lot was 1/4 of an acre, and were separated by fences, just like “real” houses. (Which was my perception at the time- anything that had been on wheels was not a “real” house.)  We finally had our own yard to play in, it had an actual play house in the back yard (with functioning windows). The best part was this was in a much nicer area of town.  The park had an Olympic sized swimming pool that was shared with the community, it only cost $.50 for three whole fun filled hours!

At the time we moved in the trailer was a single wide with an add-on.  Which means in trailer-park terminology, that an outer wall of the one bedroom, one bath trailer had been sawed off and joined to a permanent structure.  The add on portion was where my parents room and the living area was.  The people that had done the addition must have been quite short, as I think the ceiling was only set at six feet instead of the standard eight.  The trailer side had a small dining room, kitchenette, the only bathroom and the room my sister and I would share.  There was only one cooling unit, and that was a small swamp cooler situated between the kitchen and dining room. This was not effective in the summer months. But, there was a pool within walking distance!

We had neighbors that were in their 90’s, but would let my sister and I climb their trees in exchange for us muscling down the fruit they bore.  We could have as many figs (Ick!), navel oranges, pears, apricots or lemons as we wanted.  As far as I was concerned this was a summer in paradise! Hot or not, we could shimmy up those trees and laze the hot days away in the shade of the trees while getting sticky from the juice of whatever fruit we were eating, or play about in the sprinklers in the back yard. I mean, sure it was disgustingly hot in the house during the day, but I could safely walk my little sister to either the pool or the $1 movies to escape the heat.  I didn’t have to worry about getting beat up, raped or anything! (Once again, my perception at the time).

And the monsoons!  What an amazing place to watch them from!  Situated at the edge of the city, we could watch the rains coming in and blasting the desert around us.  Listening to that rain falling on the roof was so rhythmic and beautiful, you could almost forget about how hot and moist the air was inside the trailer from the evap cooler.

But alas, the long lazy days of summer were not to last, and I had no idea that kids from the nice neighborhoods could be as shitty and cruel as they were once I started junior high.  But that lovely little paradise bubble will always be there.

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