Even though we moved to the new house when I was fifteen, it didn’t feel like home, not like the trailer. My Mother hated the trailer. First, the trailer is on a county road several miles from the highway. In bad weather, Mother had to leave forty-five minutes earlier than she does now to get to the school where she taught History and Social Studies. She’s a city girl which always made me wonder how she and Dad got together at all. They met in college. He earned a degree in Environmental Conservation and hoped to work in a national forest or preserve a river or protect a national park from encroaching development. He’s a farm boy who grew up knowing the value of hard work, the importance of being resourceful and the satisfaction of a job well done; attributes he brought to his work on the railroad
The trailer is located on the family farm that’s been in Dad’s family for several generations. Back when the farm was a sustaining business, the trailer housed the hired hand and his family. By the time, Mother and Dad married, the trailer was empty. They had college loans, Mother didn’t get paid in the summer and Dad was at the bottom of the seniority roster on the railroad which meant that he was the first to be laid off when business slowed. Living in the trailer allowed them to start saving for a house. Dad completely renovated the trailer, installing a new kitchen and bathroom and new carpeting and wall coverings in the two bedrooms. He built a small deck out back and put in a large round above ground pool. Although the rectangular lot is surrounded by corn fields on three sides, there are shade trees in the back yard and a landscaped circular driveway facing the county road.
Dad came into my room at 6:30 a.m. to wake me.
“Wake up sweetheart. Take your shower and get dressed and we’ll stop at the Crossroads for breakfast. I wanted to linger in the shower with its immediate hot water. The Victorian shower in my apartment is contrary at best and slow to offer up more than warm water on most days. I’m not a fancy girl when it comes to my serious work clothes. I pulled on my stonewashed, straight leg Levi jeans, my L.L. Bean plaid flannel shirt and my Carolina work boots. The work boots were a recommendation from Dad, although I passed on the steel toe model. I completed the look with my L.L. Bean tan field coat. When I came out of my bedroom, I had to laugh. Dad and I were dressed alike, right down to the same plaid flannel shirt. I could tell Dad was pleased.
The Crossroads is just like the name implies; a café with a couple of gas pumps out front sitting at the intersection of two county highways. The farmers arrive at 5 a.m. for coffee and news and to gripe over the price of corn and grain. The retired farmers stay on for most of the morning. Dad was greeted by some of the retired farmers that knew Granddad. We sat at the long table with them and mostly listened. They did get around to asking Dad about the railroad. Except for three or four years in the military, most of the men spent their entire lives in the County. They liked hearing Dad talk about his trips to Wyoming and Montana and the Dakotas and the mile-long trains returning with coal and ore and timber. They were polite to me. Young girls are a rarity at the Crossroads.
After breakfast, we bought a ham and swiss on rye to share along with a bag of chips, two cream sodas and of course two cups of black coffee. On the way to the farm, Dad wondered, like he always does, if he could have made the farm work; made his living as a farmer. It was a choice. When he graduated, there were no jobs in environmental conservation with the federal government or the state. He went to a hiring session for the railroad and liked what he heard; outside work, good pay, a chance for advancement. Besides, Mother had already told Dad she had no intention of becoming a farmer’s wife.
The trailer looks empty. The grass is mowed. The landscaping is neat and tidy thanks to guy who leases the farm and takes care of those details. And of course, when we go inside
it is empty. It doesn’t smell stale inside, just unlived in. So, my job is to dust and vacuum while Dad checks all the mechanical systems and appliances. I walked over to the back
of the trailer and looked out at the pool with its heavy duty covering. On impulse, I yelled to Dad who was at the other end of the trailer, “Do you want to go for a swim while we’re
He came into the living room/kitchen. “Honey, it’s a lot of work to take off the cover for just a few hours. And besides, we didn’t bring our swim suits.”
I walked up to him and I could see he was remembering too. “Dad we used to go skinny dipping all the time.”
I thought back to the summer I was twelve. Mother was taking classes to earn her Doctoral degree. Dad was working crazy hours; a twelve-hour shift, six hours of rest and another twelve-hour shift. He was almost never home. I spent a lot of time alone, dividing my leisurely days between a few light chores, reading and writing and swimming. One day. I was feeling particularly daring and decided to go skinny dipping. There is no fence around the pool, but our yard is enclosed on three sides by corn fields and it’s hard to see the pool behind the trailer, from the road.
I undressed in my room and went to the bathroom to get a beach towel. In the bathroom, I looked at myself in the mirror and saw this tan, skinny girl with wild long hair staring back. I had no boobs at all, but recently my little nipples had started to ache and according to my friends at school, that meant I was getting boobs. I wrapped myself in the towel, took a deep breath and went out on the deck. I didn’t even look around. I just dropped the towel and jumped into the pool. I felt weightless! Of course, my little two-piece bathing suit couldn’t have weighed more than a few ounces, but being naked in the pool made me feel like a graceful fish gliding through the water. I was circling the pool under water seeing how long I could hold my breath. When I came up for air, I saw Dad standing on the deck calling to me.
© Copyright 2017 Hannah's Song. All rights reserved.
Paste the link to picture in the entry below:
Paste the link to Youtube video in the following entry:
Cannot annotate a non-flat selection. Make sure your selection starts and ends within the same node.
An annotation cannot contain another annotation.
There was an error uploading your file.