Hi there friends. I thought I might try a little different format for my story. I'm not sure that those who are seeing the scrappy stuff are also interested in my story so I thought I'd split them into separate posts and see if that works any better.
I left off last time having boarded a 'jet plane' for sunny Tucson, Arizona. This wasn't the first time I'd made it out here. I'd also visited my dad and his girlfriend Rosalie and her daughter Lisa once before. That had been the summer I turned 12.
Here I was again two years later. My dad had moved farther out into the sticks by this time, to an area known as Three Points (so called because of the three main cross-road on the map I presume). This was going to be an adventure. I hadn't known my father was eccentric, turns out he is.
So here was our schtick! We lived 40 miles outside of any town, at the end of 3 miles of very bumpy dirt road. Once again, I was in a trailer, 14 x 60 or so. This one had two bedrooms, one at each end, so felt roomier than the one I'd grown up in. But here is the catch.......no running water, no electricity.
You got it, step back in time to 1872 or somewhere thereabouts and you'll have the feel. Well, sort of.
Water had to be trucked up the hill in the back of our pick-up. We used large trash cans for the purpose. A friend down the hill shared water from his well. We used kerosene lanterns for light. Coolers were used to keep food cold but shopping had to be done for only a few days at a time. Water was heated on the stove for bathing and carted into the bathroom where it was added to water which had been bucketed into the tub. Laundry had to be taken to town once a week to a laundromat where we did a marathon of laundry in a 3 hour period. (that was my least favorite day of the week)
In Winter, we utilized free-standing kerosene heaters. Once in a blue moon, dad would fire up the generator so we could vacuum the two carpeted areas.
There was no TV, no radio, no hair-dryers, no microwave, no telephone (we had one, but calls to any where were long distance and that was expensive). No refrigerator (we got a gas fridge eventually, but that was a while in coming) No washing machine, no long hot showers, no flipping on a light switch, no air conditioning of any kind (did I mention I lived in the desert?)
And this, seemed like a good alternative to living with my mother.
I arrived in Arizona just in time for the school year to begin. I believe I arrived on Saturday and school began the following Monday. It was to be my Freshman year in High School, a frightening time for anyone I would imagine.
The community had voted that it's students would attend Flowing Wells High School, which was West Central Tucson, because it had the strongest academic record in the city of Tucson at that time. As a result, students were bussed from the Three-Points area all the way in to town.
For me, that meant waking up at 4:15 every morning, while it was still dark. I'd bathe before school, heating water on the stove and hauling some in to dump in the tub. Meanwhile, make lunch, set out clothes, etc.
I had to leave the house, dad driving me, thank goodness, by 6 am to catch the bus at about 6:10. Then, it was a one hour bus ride to school.
On my very first day, two days after I'd arrived in town, I climbed on that bus, nervous, but hopeful. The sun had recently made it's way over the horizon and I could see the students on the bus. (bus rides hadn't been good for me in the past, I had usually experienced them to be a trap where whoever cared to could hurl insults at me while I had to sit there and take it.) And the students could see me. I don't suppose I looked so different from anyone else on the bus.
I was a young women in jeans and an oversized button-down top, belted at the waste. My hair wasn't as high as I wished it would be. In fact, it was pretty much flat. Actually, it was pretty much a mullet, girl style. I hadn't had the necessary tools to fix it up like I'd had it on the plane ride out.
But there must have been something else there. It was the something else that bullies have some sort of radar for. I still don't know what it is, but from the back of the bus rose another young woman, two years farther along than I and filled with an acid tongue. I'd been on the bus for all of 3 seconds when she stood to her feet, puffed out her chest and screeched 'Hey B*t$h!'
As quickly as I could, I found a seat as far from that girl as I could. Had she meant me? There'd only been me and Lisa getting on the bus. What had I done? What is wrong with me? Why does this always happen?
As it turned out, she had meant me, but no for any explainable reason. But my entire time on that bus was utter misery because that one girl decided to dislike me, and since she was the self-proclaimed 'Queen of the Bus' I was to be the pariah.
What I had hoped would be a wonderful new beginning was already shaping up to be just another chapter in my sorry existence. Would I ever get out from under the stigma that said I was a loser?