BY: Linda Rose A
“Nothing is as bad as it seems.”
On September twenty third , two thousand four , I was convinced that I would never see warm and sunny hometown again. I had just gotten home from school and was walking to my house from the bus stop. It felt like summer, even though we were almost a month in the school year. The air was fresh and crisp, the flowers were in full bloom and I couldn’t think of a reason why anything would be out of the ordinary. I then noticed that my parents were home earlier than expected. I raced inside. My parents were eating lunch at the table. From the doorway I could smell that the room was intoxicated by the rich and warm aroma of chicken soup and comforting tortilla . “Well are you going to come in?” my father chuckled with laughter in his eyes. I had been standing in the doorway for sometime. My father and mother were always laughing and coming up with new jokes we shared. I sat next to my smiling mother who rubbed my back while she and my father talked to me. We talked about my day , homework , are friends and somehow ended on talking about how we would spend charismas. My father suddenly grew serious ands glanced quickly at my mother and I. my father and mother seemed to have a understanding on where the conversation was going , while I did not.
“I’m sure you know that because we are farmers, it is hard to find a profit in the winter when there is no fruit.” I nodded politely. “We’ve been doing everything we could to in the winter to find work but it been hard, too hard” he sighed. “Do you know what I’m trying to say”? At this turn of the conversation were the jokes had stop ,it was getting harder to ignore my hunger stomach. I was being mesmerized by my mother soup which juicy chicken and brown herb broth came together to steam off the colorful bowl. “Linda!” my dad said trying to regain my attention, “Did you hear what I said? we have decided that it would be best if we move away”…
This is my story about handling change , spending my time, being homesick , coming back with another perspective , and most importantly realizing that nothing is as bad as it seems.
I was shocked, sad, and mad. I didn’t like anything strange or unfamiliar, so I really didn’t like this. My father would stay behind to find a job in the winter or sell the farm, while my mother and I would start are life in Kent, WA where my aunt lived . “This is unfair!” I pouted This was completely, utterly unfair I thought . I had just started the forth grade for goodness sakes, I was in no condition to leave. My mother; of was strangely quiet during this episode , walked away silently to answer the phone. My father looked back at my mother and then leaned in close.
“Look I know this is hard to accept but you have to be strong” my father whispered. “Your mother and I never been this far apart form another, and she is going to have a rough time getting started there without me. If there was a better alternative , we would have picked it”. I wanted to be mad , scream, and stomp my feet but I as I glanced at him, I saw the pain in his eyes.
“Your mom is going to have a hard time going so far, please be good” he pleaded. I realized that they probably didn’t like this anymore then me , but it was are only choice. I know I wouldn’t be happy but for my parents sake I wouldn’t throw a fit.
“Ok daddy, I’ll go” I sniffed. A few weeks later ,I was in my room packing. My room was my cocoon. It was small and safe, nothing was out of place. I wish I could just fit my whole room in my suitcase. That would have been much simpler. Maybe living in the city, more then hundred miles away won’t be so bad. I liked going into town on the weekend with my parents to shop , this was just going to be a extra long weekend, so it should be even more fun I concluded. It could be exciting and fun, with new places to go each day, I thought. When I was done packing and saying my teary goodbyes to my father, I jumped into the front seat. My mother still needed a few things before we went so I was left alone. I looked out the window, and I saw all of my familiar surroundings. I saw the lushes green grass and the tall great trees, the smell of moist dirt and the fragrant flowers. I was going to miss it all. I was going to miss when the trees bulbs turned to a thousand tiny white flowers, and when the flowers fell and turned into sweet fruit to eat. Even thought we owned more then six acres, I never really went father than my front yard. I never cared to go to different places , I stick to what I know. No, I would not like the city with its strange sounds and sights where I never been. I would never like it. “Alright, you ready to go? ” Asked my mother.
I turned to the window and tried to act invisible. My mother sighed and started the car. I took one final look back at my house as we pulled out, I waved franticly at my father in front of only home I have known and watched it fade in the distance. miserable tears streaked down my face as we left the small town .I wiped salty tears that only were replaced by more which blurred my vision and made my nose run. I looked outside at trees for hours and started to feel lightheaded. I opened the window a crack, letting a rush of cool air while it rained. Before I knew it I was asleep.
We arrived late at night with it still raining. My mother and aunt carried me to a bedroom. I could hear the muffed noise of other people laughing and joking in the other room but I was too tired to join them. My eyes felt heavy and crusty from crying all day , and my body and neck cramp form sitting tightly in the car , but the room was cool and dark. I stretched out completely and feel in to a much deeper sleep than before , I didn’t awake in till the next morning.
I couldn’t remember how I got in the room and what lay beyond the door. The sun was shining bright through the window, which meant that I had overslept. My mother, aunt, and cousins were all eating breakfast by the time found the kitchen. “Hello! How did you sleep in there ?” Asked my aunt cheerfully.
“Good , I guess” I said while rubbing my eyes.
The kitchen and the whole house were bright white, which dazzled me while I looked at it. My aunt looked exactly like my mother with brown eyes and hair that framed a triangular face with rich , brown skin. My five cousins on the other hand looked completely different from the way my aunt and mother looked. They had light skin with eyes that ranged between brown to green. The cousin I am closest to is Chewy, who is a year younger than me. We had joined forces anytime are older family members rejected us from playing games with them , which was most of the time. Every time he visited my family during the summer , we would spent a Marjory of the time with another , torturing bugs and slugs we found. After we finished breakfast We got ready to go to the store down the block .we were surrounded by stores and apartments, it seemed that my aunt was the only one living in a house. Walking next to the oncoming traffic was nerve racking, but I somehow managed to keep going. A week later, I started school. I felt left out and different and found myself at the library more and more often. No one understands me in this different place, I felt my life was better back home where I had friends and teachers that understood me. I didn’t know it but as I pushed people away with excuses, I was just making myself more miserable. Somehow though between walking in the city where there were bright lights, and going to school where the children were beginning to accept me and I do them , I started to enjoy myself. Maybe I can learn to live here if I’m not so stubborn about living somewhere I’m not use to, I began to think. The city had great things to offer such as delivery pizza and pet stores. This isn’t so bad I thought, I was beginning to like living here.
“How would you like to go to the state park Linda”? Asked my aunt one Sunday afternoon.
“I would like that” I replied smiling.
My aunt was trying to cheer me up , she knew I was having a bad week. I also felt upset because the school I was going to had a strict policy about uniforms. The bottom had to be khaki, but because it was later in the school year we couldn’t find anything that resembled khaki. I was forced to wear the remaining khaki skirts that they were selling in the school. The biggest problem was that it was October, and my khaki skirt paired with my long knee socks were not keeping me warm properly. I was also upset at my cousin Chewy because earlier in the day he tossed my dolls in the stinky trash when I refused to let him have half of my chocolate bar . In the summer he only stayed a max of three days at one time with us. Any longer and we would have realized that we couldn’t stand one another. Thus, I was very grumpy these days, but that all faded away when we walked in the forest trail. The trees reached up to the sky to form some sort of barrier from the outside world. The traffic noise was overpowered by the gentle but determine noise of the forest. The forest was big and great, I felt so tiny standing there.
“This is beautiful” I gasped.
“Well let’s get going already!” said Chewy impatiently.
The trail was so long that we crossed freeway and bridges, but still we couldn’t finish it. My aunt didn’t even know where it ended. We would walk as much as we could, and tiredly walk back. This reminded me of home. Even thought this was a wet forest, and my home consisted of vast arid land , they were both huge parts of nature that was untouched by humans. This was my first time seeing this in Kent. I felt at peace when I walked though the cool dark forest. I felt much better knowing that there was a part of my new home that I was connected to . I didn’t feel as thought I was so far from home anymore, I was happy.
A few weeks later I was walking from my bus stop, when I saw my mother car at the house earlier than usually. It felt like my life was repeating in a dream. I rushed inside expecting only my mother, but found her and my father too. “Daddy”! I cried happily.
“Linda I have great news! I found jobs for your mom and I in Mattawa , during winter!” he beamed.
“Your mother has been telling me how unhappy you have been , so are you happy to go back”? Asked my father.
I thought about his question and I did not know what to say.
“To tell you the truth , I don’t care where we go, as long as we go together.” I said slowly realizing this.
“Well alright, let’s get packing!” cheered my father.
I felt sad leaving again but now I knew I could handle to anything life throws at me, no matter how big. I hugged my aunt and promised to visit soon, and I traded my remaining chocolate bar with Chewy, to know the exact location of my last lose doll. We got in the car and drove home, I felt more excited to go back home then going to all the stores and movies we went in the city.
Nothing at home had changed but my perspective, I was now open to change. I realized nothing was at bad as it seems, and with the right perspective , anything can go your way.