Now life in our camper was pretty manic. My mom had to keep us moving from place to place before the rent was due. We stayed more out of town at county reservoirs as the nightly rent was cheap-but they were far from our school. Mom struggled with money and jobs then and the rest of it feels quite fuzzy.
One of the places we stayed seemed more like a truck stop than vacation spot. There was a group of truckers that my mom made friends with and we spent some nights hanging out with them by their campfires. Once I got a chance to put my “ears on” via CB radio. Guided by the driver, I teased one of their friends into the camp. I didn’t know what I was really saying, but I took to the mic like a “moth to a flame”- crazy right? My “handle” was “Tweety Pie 2” and apparently the truck driver thought I was much older, and ready for action. When he finally pulled in and saw who I was the camp erupted in laughter. I was completely oblivious to the “CB language” I was putting down, but I loved all the attention. My mom and I spent that time together and I was happy that I had her attention.
Another time I remember was at Chatsworth Reservoir. We seemed to be on a spot that was in the middle of nowhere, and the outhouses were so far. It was getting cold out now and I was in my one piece red flannel pajamas with the feet attached. I didn’t like my zipper to not be completely zipped up, and I was warned several times to leave a little on the top. Well the inevitable happened; my zipper got stuck. Of course it happened at night when I really had to go! I started dancing around trying to pull that bloody zipper down before I wet myself-and my mom laughed her head off. I was desperate to get out of my pajama prison, and was screaming “WHAT DO I DO? WHAT DO I DO?” I finally was able to climb out of the neck hole just in time! From that point on I didn’t have “pajamas” anymore, I had a “What do I do suit!”
Although there was some fun times, there was probably more bad. If my mom could drive us to school, she may not be there to pick us up-she struggled with getting gas in the car AND whiskey in her tank. Several times we stayed at my sister’s friends house that lived near school, but we were worried about our two dogs and two cats that were left back at our trailer. Mom promised us she had fed them, and let them out- but she hadn’t- she had no gas to drive out there. A few days later we returned to our home to find the door wide open, and all but one of our pets were gone. We looked everywhere for them, but they were gone. We cried. My mom’s dog was the only one we had left.
We depended on our pets to be there for us, keep us safe at night; we were alone a lot and it was dark, windy, and scary. We all had mixed emotions when we were told to “pack up” again. This last move proved to be fatal to our family….