I was a college sophomore when I begged my dad to allow my sister Lindy and me to stay in Des Moines, Iowa, for the summer. He agreed only because he wanted my sister away from my mother and her terrible influence.
Lindy and I each got a job–mine was at a magazine calling people who hadn’t paid for theirsubscriptions while Lindy worked at a fast-food drive-in. Both jobs were a way for us to pay for our summer while “Far From Normal.”
By late July, I was sick of pestering people on the phone and my sister had had her fill of Deluxe Burgers. Our father did not like us quitting anything early–especially a summer job—and so we just did not tell him that we were headed home early.
We drove back to Decatur and arrived about dark. We noticed a peculiar vehicle in our drive-way. Yes, it was a U-Haul trailer. We were sure there was some mistake; however, when we entered our front room, we were greeted by or mother with a chilly question:
What are you two doing here?
Not exactly the words one is dying to hear when one has been gone all summer.
Her next words were even more shocking:
Do you remember Uncle Kenny?
I knew he was my dad’s brother who managed to get into all sorts of scrapes, but that was about all I knew.
He and I are married now and we thought we would be gone before you two got back.
my mother said accusingly. As though my sister and I were guilty of something. Without flinching I said “Come on sister,” and we left what had been our home for the last time. We never slept there another night.