To Run Screaming

Kpanlongo – Invitation Dance. – Recreational life cycle. – Chapter Fourteen

The first line, of the first letter, in Chapter Fourteen of, “To Dance with Ugly People,” is “My life had become a blur.” Has life ever sent you an invitation to which you sway in it, sort of numb, yet looking forward to meeting certain needs or dreams? In Chapter Fourteen Dani runs screaming towards her needs and dreams, sometime just wanting to give up.

I met Catherine recently, who lives among “the rolling hills and green, green grass” of Kentucky and our conversation brought back memories of my spending Summer’s in the “Bluegrass State.” I told her, she’d inspired me to write this blog.

Four siblings and I, were sent to Aunt Lillian’s, in Kentucky, every Summer for many years. I am the oldest and was supposed to be the bravest. I am sure my parents were glad to get rid of us. But, I didn’t relish the thought, at the time. Aunt Lillian had a farm. I was a City Girl. All of that dirt, animals, bugs and smells weren’t very appealing to me.

Every night a big round tub was dragged into the kitchen and filled with water and everybody washed the grime of the day off in the same bath water. The outhouse was outside so, at night, there was a bucket beside your bed and every morning, it was your duty to dispose of the waste and clean your bucket. I don’t remember any television watching, board game playing or toys. We were sent outside to entertain ourselves all day, after breakfast had been served.

We would hear our names called for lunch, in which, we would come running and were handed sandwiches and pushed right back outside to sit on benches and eat. The next time we would be allowed in the house, each day, to sit at the table, was our evening supper. I must tell you it was the best food ever! The freshest vegetables, fruits, baked goods and meats in the world – at least to me. Yet, one day, I witnessed a chicken getting its neck wrung and nearly choked when I saw fried chicken on the dinner table that night. I couldn’t eat chicken for years! Thank GOD Aunt Lillian always served three different types of meats at breakfast and supper.

Now, I sought recreation, my best friend – in Kentucky that is – lived across a bridge. A wooden and roped bridge. That bridge swayed from side to side and rocked back and forth as you walked across it grasping the roped sides with a white knuckled grip. Below it was a stream of water and rocks. I was sure I’d fall to my death. That bridge terrified me! I would stand on the edge of it and stare at my friends house on the other side, dying to get across that bridge and have fun! How did I solve it – if she didn’t visit me first – I’d run across the bridge screaming until I got to the other side.

Back at the farm, the outhouse was positioned to where you had to unlock a fence and walk through flocks of chickens to get to it. I swear those chickens chased me! We weren’t allowed back into the house to use our buckets, so I’d wait until going to restroom was an emergency and run screaming through those chickens. Sitting on the fence was a mean old Rooster.

Everyday at lunch that Rooster would chase me around the yard for my sandwich. I would run screaming, while my sibling rolled with laughter. I never ate my lunch – I always ended up throwing it to that ugly old Rooster, who proudly gobbled it up and went on his way. I spent those Summers running screaming towards my needs and dreams, sometime just wanting to give up, but I loved Aunt Lillian dearly!

What is Dani running towards? What makes her scream? Get your copy of, “To Dance with Ugly People,” TODAY!

Lorene Stunson Hill –


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