In April Dad was promoted and we were transferred from one mid-sized rural town in Minnesota, to another similar rural town in the same state.
Our New Home
We moved into a big, blue, two-story house in a nice spacious neighborhood with it’s own closed loop drive. In all, the house had a big yard, 3-car garage, living room, family room, 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, an unfinished basement (that my dad finished by himself) and an office. My room had pink and sea-foam green sponge-painted walls, with pink carpet. I had a sweet, HUGE walk-in closet that I hung out in all the time. The living room was the house’s best feature—it had high, vaulted ceilings, and a built-in floor-to-ceiling wooden entertainment center. There was a fireplace at one end of the living room. There were also these inset bay windows on either side of the fireplace. I realize now that we were probably considered a “rich” family, but I completely took it for granted as a kid. I probably just assumed that everyone lived in a house like that. 🙂
The New Neighbors
One of my best childhood friends lived right next door to us, and her name was Jenna. I’ll tell you more about her later.
The neighbors on the other side of us was a couple a little bit older than my parents, Mike and Pat (Patricia) B. Pat liked to work in her garden, and I always liked to go over to “help” her. She was kind and gracious to me, and taught me how to work in the garden. I still really like gardening today, and I’m sure it’s because of her.
Now Mr. O didn’t move in until later, because the lot across from our house was an open field. A few years after we moved in a big development started across the street. Massive mounds of dirt rose up from a huge basement dug out of the earth. The framing went up. An elevator shaft was included! Finally, the house was done, a huge mansion. Mr. O owned the biggest business in town, it just happened to be the same one dad worked for. He was a sweet old man and he doted on his wife, and he lived right across the street from us.
Diagnosing my Hearing Loss
It was finally discovered that I was severely hard of hearing. My mom always tells the story that I ran out of the house to go play, and she called after me to come and get a coat, and I just kept running, apparently oblivious to her calls. I’m sure she suspected much sooner, but this was “the last straw”. I was tested, diagnosed and outfitted with new hearing aids. I wish I remember what it felt like to really hear for the first time.
My audiologist was named Ruth. I would see her once a year while we lived in our new city. She would tell funny jokes, like “Why can’t a bicycle stand by itself? Because it’s too (two) tired.” I remember that when I’d go visit her audiology office I’d always get a little trinket for being good. She also had little animatronic animals that would light up and dance inside the testing studio, which of course delighted me. I’d always beg her to turn them on.
Let’s look back on some photos that my mom marked as 1990:
The photo below is a bit of a weird one for this year because I think I have legit memories of it. You see the thing I am posing with? It’s like, some kind of craft of brown paper with sparkly gold glitter and red stones. You see, we’re at a family bible camp that has age-appropriate activities, and I, seeing some of the crafts that the older kids were doing, I insisted that I must do it also. I believe I threw a MAJOR FIT and WOULD NOT be consoled until I was allowed to make it too. So, that’s why this picture was taken. I was allowed to make this thing, and I was so proud of it.
You know! This has triggered another memory not related to the picture specifically. This memory is about a music group that was performing some evening (whether it was this year or another) at the same camp, and they got REALLY into their performance, and like threw a water cup into the audience? or something? Only it landed RIGHT in my face. Specifically my EYE. Hurt like hell, and I had a black eye for like a week. I remember seeing some member of the music group at breakfast or lunch the next morning and chewing them OUT for being so friggin’ irresponsible, for throwing shit around. My mom was like “Oh, I’m so sorry, she’s such a spitfire.” Heh.
- We had an exchange student named Mette come live with us. She was the first of many more to come. She was from Denmark.
Image Source: Mark Probst