I wrote Chapter Two of, “To Dance with Ugly People,” – Klama – Puberty Rites – Youthful entry into adolescence, remembering my search for a place to belong.
I was thrown out of my home at the age of thirteen. I spent a few years bouncing between my divorced Mother’s and Father’s houses. As an adult I have rented apartments, owned a home I lost to foreclosure, lived in my car – homeless and stayed at an old, Haunted Hotel. Now I live in a “Little House on the Prairie.”
I live in a small town build in 1888. It’s called a “Village.” The current population is 2700 and the whole town only 24 square miles. Wild Turkeys roam around the town, often strutting through the open field that is my front and back yard. Cats sit at the back door hoping I will throw a scrap of food out and sometimes a Deer springs out of the woods in back, startling me, but so beautiful. Often, at the tiny local Post Office, a “Bear Sighting” will be posted as a note of caution.
Neighbors ride to the General Store on Horseback and drive by my house and with a single “toot” of their horn to signal, Hello!” There are no street lights. There is only one small library, recreation hall , fire station, police department, pizza parlor and ice cream shop. If you want to do any “Real” shopping you have to drive to the nearest “Town.” If you want to have any “Fun,” you are forced to drive miles to Orlando, Fl. or Daytona Beach, Fl.
But in my Small Town, Fl. everyone knows everyone. The residents are proud of the well preserved Victorian architecture and small-town atmosphere. You’ll always get a friendly wave and a smile. A nearby church distributes food to the “Needy” of our village the first Monday of the month. Another distributes toiletries the last Saturday of the month.
My house, you ask? I rent it. It’s an old, ugly wooden house that needs painting. I see character! The windows are sealed tight, so tight, you cannot open them. Yet, they are so aged, when the wind blows they rattled and the curtains rise.
The floors snap, cackle and pop as you walk through, but some how, that is comforting to me. No one can sneak up on me. Perhaps, my lifetime of dealing with “Ugly People,” has left me a little jumpy.
I’ve added wind chimes to the front porch and love the melodies of the breezes. A melodic message to the “Heavens” above as a “Thank you,” for a place where I belong.
– Lorene Stunson Hill –