|Two Blocks from Slab TownA Change in the Weatherby Saturna Brown
Posted: 13:05 January 20, 2008
"We live in a universe in which there are laws, just as there is a law of gravity. If you fall off a building it doesn't matter if you're a good person or a bad person, you're going to hit the ground." Michael Bernard Beckwith
Father was staying in a small trailer on Uncle Gordon's property. Mother banged on the door. The door opened. Father stood in the doorway.
Mother stood with her hands on her hips. "I need some money."
Father sighed. "I'm not able to work…Amy."
Father was an honest man. If he said he could not work, then he could not work.
"Well…what am I supposed to do for money? I'm tired of washing other people's clothes!" she shouted.
Her voice was so loud; Uncle Gordon came out to find out what was going on.
He stood behind Mother. "Amy…you'll have to leave. I don't want Morris to get upset…pausing…he's not well."
She spun around. She glared at Uncle Gordon. "How am I supposed to feed four kids, pay the mortgage and all the bills?"
Uncle Gordon did not answer her. He just stood staring at her. Mother asked him another question. "Why don't you give Morris a job? After all…you own a gas station!"
Mother waited for his response. Uncle Gordon walked away.
She stormed towards the car. "Come…children…we're leaving."
I stole a quick glance at Father. He was so pale! He was hanging on the door's frame. It was obvious he was not getting any sleep, just like at home.
That night we ate rutabaga mixed with potatoes. A neighbor had given us the home-grown food. I guess it was the last straw for Mother, because trying to eat this stuff with watered down ketchup did not help.
I could feel a change coming, like one feels a difference in the weather. Life would get better. I felt relieved! I felt happy!
Two days later, Mother quit washing clothes for other people and got hired as a waitress. She made little money in tips, but the leftovers were great! We usually ate fried chicken and corn bread.
Eventually, one thing led to another and Mother found out about Social Services. A social worker advised Mother not to work, but to stay home and collect welfare. Back then, food stamps did not exist and a family lived off a monthly supply of food.
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