I'm outside. Digging a hole. It's summer break in my hometown of Mayfield, Idiana, and this is how I have my fun. Gardening, and ofcourse, reading. I am a very big reader. I read more than anything else. Some people consider me a bookworm, but I only fit to own up to my label. I'm proud of the activity I choose to occupy with most of my time, even if it only serves to have names be called in my presence. It's much more than a ridiculous hobby to me. It's my double life. To read, and see a whole new world. To be someone different. A bystander, observing another's life. It's thrilling.
I'm a simple, country girl. Long, wavy, brown hair, and chesnut colored eyes that can make you melt - or, at least, that's what my mother says they do. They're also covered up behind thick, black glasses, making it hard for anyone to liquify in my sight. I'm not very slim. Rather on the busty side, but not chubby or fat by any means. Just natural, and petite. I'm quite small. Fragile-looking. Only five feet tall, is my guess. I'm so tiny, but don't let that completely identify me. I am in ninth grade, and without many friends. It's not that I'm unlikeable, it's just that I don't talk much. I'm quiet. And, last time I checked, there's nothing wrong with being shy. No, I only have one friend. Her name is Bethany Andrews. And I see her only once a year.
Oh, I almost forgot, my name is Nannie. Nannie Kare Jensen. Dull name, yes? A very... original one, I'd say. My parents had an act for naming their children incredibly unique and un-used names.
My older brother, Daten Pheifer Jensen, is twenty-six, and living in Charleston, South Carolina. He is a flight engineer for US Airways. He is part of a crew who is responsible for overseeing the systems on an airpline during flight to confirm to confirm that they are working and to enact repairs or corrections if necessary. Daten is very good at what he does and makes an easy, decent living.
And then there's my other older brother, Kipper Luke Jensen. Kipper is eighteen years old and very mischevious. He looks as if he's always hiding something. But I could never find out why? Although, I once caught him smoking a pack of Marlboro cigarettes last year, and he made me swear not to tell Mom and Dad. Eventually, he got caught, and suffered a whippen from Pop. But how could you not smell the hazardous smell that lifted off his clothes and into your nose? I know I came close to fainting, myself.
I continue to dig my hole, as I have been doing since eight o'clock this morning, creating my garden, planting flowers and trees. This spot where I am digging is going to have a rose bush in it. White roses. My absolute favorite. They mean purity and a delicate beauty. A gorgeous flower, they are. I have always admired such glory.
As I plant the bush, I look out into the distance, far out to see the cows graze the farm to my neighbors fields. They looked peaceful. Serene. But every time a car flew past them and down the roads, it'd seem to interupt their nonchalant attitudes, and cause them to scurry back and away from the fences. All of them frightened that the vehicle might just attack their very being.
I snickered at their reaction, "Mm, mm, mm, silly things." And then went back to gardening.
I then heard something from behind me, foot steps, getting closer and closer.
I peaked over my shoulder to see Kipper, standing in muddy overalls and holding his tobacco cup that he spat in. He flipped his medium-length hair and leaned against the oak tree across from me, "Hey, Nannie." He said, spitting into the plastic, red cup, "What'cha up to?"
I pushed myself up off the ground and removed my filthy gloves, "Gardening." I replied, tossing my long braid behind my shoulder and adjusting my baseball cap. "And you, Kip?"
He spat again, "Mowing and towing." Kipper looked down to the bush I just planted, "What is that?" He pointed.
"Hm?" I hummed, following his index finger's direction. "Oh, roses."
"Mm, what kind?" Kipper asked.
"Uh huh... I like red." He nodded.
"White is prettier. It's pure. Red means love. You like love, Kip?"
He looked at me, dumbfounded, "No, Nannie, I never said that. The color's pretty, that's all." He spit into the cup once more. "Geez, why do you twist everything I say around?"
"So, you don't like love?" I asked, making his anger brew. I enjoyed it.
"Damn it, Nannie!" Kipper yelled.
"Hey!" My mother came up behind Kipper and smacked him right in the head. "Kipper Luke Jensen, I don't believe I've ever heard such language come from the likes of you!" She stared at him with angry eyes.
"Ma, I just-" Kipper began.
"I don't want to hear it. Go wash your mouth, and clean up for supper. I don't want to hear anything like that ever again."
Kipper looked at me with fury, but all I did in reply was stick my tounge out in mockery.
My mother turned around to face me, "Ooh, Nannie, what a beautiful garden you've created." She said, walking around the bushes, plants and trees. "What's this... honeysuckle?"
I nodded, smiling, "And look, Mama, this is one of my favorites," I skipped over to the mistletoe tree and pointed at the ground where a little hole had been dug and filled with the seeds of a beautiful flower. "See here," I pointed, "this is where I planted my purple clematis. They are going to grow up this tree, all around it. Won't that just be gorgeous, ma?" I stroked the tree which soon would be covered in flowers.
"It sounds perfect." She came over a hugged me tight. "Now, I want you to go inside and clean yourself up, get ready for supper, darlin'."
"Alright, Mama." I said, kissing her cheek and hurrying up the hill, un-doing my braid on the way.
As soon as I was inside, I came into my bedroom and picked out some pajamas to wear. A regular T-shirt and some of my older brother's old boxer shorts seemed wearable. So I took them with me to my family's bathroom and began washing up.
I started by cleansing my body. Using my strawberry shampoo and Dove conditioner I loved so much. Scrubing and scrubing until I finally got every last bit of filth out of my long hair. I then took a razor and shaved my legs and underarms. And after that, I took my loofa and washed myself, digging the crud and dirt out from under my fingernails.
Stepping out of my bath, I quickly got dressed and took a ponytail from my drawer under the sink and pulled my hair into a low bun. I put on aloe lotion and deoderant, then got dressed into my nightwear.
I went out the door of my bathroom and walked into the kitchen, hungry after a long days work.
"Mm," I enhaled the aroma from my mother's cooking, "It smells delicious, Mama. What are we having?" I asked.
She grinned while placing dinner on the table. "Fried chicken, cornbread and potatoes." She took a match and lit a flame, lighting the candle in the center of the table. "Call your father and Kipper, hunny."
"Okay, Mother," I yelled for them, "Kipper, Daddy!"
I heard feet stomp from the family room and into the kitchen behind me as I took my seat.
My Dad sat down right across from me, "Looks great, darlin'," He kissed my Mother, and looked at me, "How's your garden comin' along, Sweetie?" He asked.
My father was a hearty man. Very strict, but also very accepting. He was my hero, and I loved him dearly. A good man, yes. Wise beyond his years, and caring of others. He was bald and had dark, brown eyes that looked so cold, but were actually quite warm. He had a grissily beard and big hairy knuckles, which I thought was rather funny, he could grow hair everywhere else but on top of his head.
"It's come together very well, Pop, thank you." I said, politely, "And how was your day?"
Kipper was sitting next to me and snickered, then mumbled to quiet for anyone else to hear but me, "We're always so proper, aren't we, sis?"
I beamed at him, he chuckled.
I returned my attention back to my father, he was smiling, "Good, I got a lot of work done I've been meaning to do. I'm glad to know your garden is comin' together." He scratched the back of his head while saying this.
"Good job, Dad."
As soon as my mother was seated, we all took hands, "And let's say grace, shall we?" My mother said as I closed my eyes. "Kipper, why don't say prayer." She suggested.
"Yes, Ma." Kipper minded, and began, "Dear Lord, thank you for blessing us with this meal. Thank you for providing us food, water and shelter. For giving us a great life, one that many people cannot afford. We are ever greatful of your blessings. We appreciate all you do. In your name, Amen."
And then we all said in unison, "Amen."
"Alright," My father said, "Let's eat!"
I took a spoonful of mashed potatoes and plopped them on my plate, took my fork and pricked a piece of friend chicken with it, then asked for someone to pass the cornbread and salad bowl.
Once my plate was full, I dug in, savoring the yummy meal prepared by my mother.
There wasn't much talk at the dinner-table tonight, just the usual chatter. And once everyone had cleared their plates, I asked if I may be accused to my room.
"You may." My father said, nodding, "Goodnight, Baby." He told me.
"Night, Pop." I blew him a kiss, then jolted up the staircase and into my bedroom, ready for a good nights sleep.