Ma didn’t want to live in a green house. She said it reminded her of mint chocolate chip ice cream, and that was weird. Daddy promised her we’d paint it “straight away” multiple times as we pulled away from what he hoped was our new home. I wasn’t impressed by the green house either, but I was impressed by the acres of land, the fields of blackberry brambles, and the creek that ran diagonally through the parcel. I wanted to explore the dog run on the north side of the property, and climb into the tree fort in the south side’s lone cottonwood tree. I’d have my own room with built-in bookshelves if my parents picked this house.
At nine years old, moving was starting to become a regular thing for me. My triangle-family had moved from apartment to apartment renting as we went. Ma got used to dealing with the landlords complaining about clogged toilets and moldy kitchen faucets and Daddy normally did extra yard work to lower our rent. I used the dusty phone book that was invariably left in a back closet to find the nearest public library. I’d cross reference the address in the white pages with the maps on the blue pages, hoping with all my being that the distance between the new place and the library was walkable. It had yet to be.