The Game Board

by inthemidden

For some reason, my dad decided to take my mom away from Georgia and go live in the woods. I think it might’ve had something to do with getting her away from any family that could help support her, but I haven’t ruled out the possibility that he was running away from his mistresses. Or the FBI. He’s done some pretty shady stuff. But anyway, he took us out to the backwoods of Montana, where I ended up growing up.

For most of my life, we had very little contact with the outside world, other than the occasional trips into town. I’m not even sure that counts, honestly. The town was a bit like a Twilight Zone episode; tiny, isolated, and nothing ever changed. We grew up with no electricity, and therefore no phones or televisions. For a good while (until we set up some water barrels and put in our own pipes) we had no running water, and had to use an outhouse. Which isn’t actually all that bad, until you start thinking about spiders and packrats and all the other creepy crawlies that could be thinking about chomping down on you. Especially in the middle of the night.

Also, kerosene lamps. I still miss the smell.

We never had much money. At all. One year we ended up hunting and relying on our garden for food. I never even knew we were poor. Everyone in that area was.

While all this probably sounds like I’m complaining, I loved growing up like that. If I had a sane dad, it might’ve been close to perfect.

Except for winters. Winters were always difficult.