My Story, page 6

by Dorothy (James) Reddell

For a few months, we were homeless. We moved in with my oldest half sister. From there we moved in with another half sister. We couldn't stay there but a few days, as they only had room for themselves in a one-room apartment. At that time, there were six of us. 

Our next move was into my oldest half brother's house. Their house was larger, but they had two small sons. With the six of us, it was crowded, besides what it did to their grocery bill. I don't remember how long we stayed there. 

I do remember I was hungry most of the time. I'm sure we had regular meals, but there was just not enough food to really fill us up. My half brother had a job in the oil fields, but finally, he told dad he would let ____ and my youngest half sister, Lorene, stay with them. But my mother, two sisters, and I had to leave. 

He gave dad the money to buy us a train ticket and sent us to Mansfield, Texas, to stay with mother's sister, Aunt Lula. We stayed about three months. Then dad went back to Childress (Artie lived in Electra) and found a job doing carpenter work. He sent us the money to come home on. 

Dad had rented an apartment in a fairly nice house. It was great having a home of our own again. I liked living in town. We had other kids to play with. From there, we went back to Garden Valley where my first memories started, back to my old school. 

There we lived in three or four different places until I was 13. About this time, Lorene got married at the age of 17.

 Shortly after this, we left that part of the country forever. We moved up on the plains close to Lubbock, Texas, to a little town named Abernathy. Dad tried farming again. As usual, we had just a bare living, but part of this time we had a good house to live in, a nice vegetable garden, and pretty flowers in our yard.

 The fall after my sixteenth birthday was our last work on a farm. Dad and I picked cotton for a family until winter came. We then moved to Lubbock into one side of an old duplex. That was a hard winter. The chill blew through the boards of that old single walled house.

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