Life at the shop…

My mom had a boyfriend that owned a hardware store in Deer Trail.  We moved from the edge of town into the middle of town and we were happy we didn’t have to cross the “Green Mile” anymore.  We lived in two apartments up on top of the store.  Mom and her boyfriend had one side, and we had the other.  It worked out ok, he was very nice to us, but I think we caused utter chaos in his otherwise normal life.  We had access to the store when it was closed and my mom and boyfriend went to the Elks club.

We figured out how to bend our arms up and through the pepsi machine and had pop any time we wanted.  We had all the “cool” keychains we wanted.  We had an indoor rollerskating rink, never mind all the items we pulled off the shelves on the tight corners.  We played tag, hide-and-seek, ghosts in the graveyard, and any other game we could think of that was scary at night as we couldn’t turn the lights on or we would have been caught!  And the ultimate: Sunflower seed spitting contest:  We climbed up the shelves to the top in the corner near the paint mixing machine.  There was a scale used to measure how many nails, screws, bolts, etc… and we used it to see who was the champion seed spitter.  We sat there most all day on Sundays.  I never heard from mom’s boyfriend whether he found them or not, but he had to have.  I never told him how much we appreciated living with him, all I did was find the key to his cash register and took money.  I got caught; when I got the key stuck and I broke it in the drawer.  I felt horrible and came clean when I called for help.

While we raged havoc in the store, my mom and her boyfriend sat at the bar.  We knew she shouldn’t be there, but he couldn’t stop her.  We would see them stumble home sometimes if we were still awake, and we were always scared of the stairs they had to walk to get up.  They were metal, with very little hand rail, and they were coming off of the header that attached them to the building. One night must have been worse than others as I saw my mom in a horrific state.  She was laying at the bottom of the stairs-just like she had fallen- and I screamed for help and ran down the stairs.  I tried to wake my mom up, but she was out cold.  My older sister came to help and was going to call 911 when her boyfriend came out and said to stop.  He had walked her home, but he couldn’t get her up the stairs, so he went through the back door so he could get her up some safe steps, but he couldn’t carry her so he left her there.  The three of us carried her up the stairs, and I stayed awake all night with that image of her at the bottom of the stairs.

Our side of the apartment was falling apart.  After one storm the inside of the roof in my room had fallen in.  All the drywall was all over the floor, and the saturated fiber glass was falling down too.  We managed to put some plastic up to keep things from falling on me during the night, and poked holes in places that the water was gathering and had buckets to keep the floor dry.  I hated sleeping in that room, I could hear critters scurrying above my head, and I could hear the water running through the cracks of least resistance into the bucket below.  I always thought my life would end when the ceiling gave in, and they would find me in my bed, (probably in my own urine) alone, (my sister didn’t have the same problem I had, and never wanted me to sleep with her) with critters and insulation covering me.

Yes, I think I was a bit dramatic, but that was my world.  I didn’t have people over in my room once the roof fell.  I figured they would laugh at me, and I would feel more alone and different.  I threw myself into sports, and cheerleading, and anything else I could do to keep me busy and away from home.

The image of my mom at the bottom of the stairs has stayed with me, it was an image that no one should ever see, but we all know I have been there before…


  1. alimw2013 · November 18, 2017

    I’ve been trying to post about once a week since I started my blog..just whatever God lays on my heart….sometimes it’s challenging to put words to such deep feelings and thoughts..not sure if you’ve read any of my post but after I finished writing “the effect of words” and “bottles down, bibles up” I was blown away when I read them, I just felt so free and suddenly I had “sense” placed to long confusing I’m working on a few more writings that I just have to do- revisiting thoughts from my dad’s death and the experience of sexual abuse as a child and ugh it’s hard but God will see it through..also my condolences on the loss of your mother, I realize it was a long time ago but when your so young and lose a parent it often feels like it was just yesterday…Alicia

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather Kathleen · January 18, 2018

      Hello Alicia, sorry it’s been awhile. I thank you for your kind words, it has been a long time since my mom died, but it doesn’t ever go away. I am conflicted as to where to go from here, and I don’t want to make more distance in my family, and they all did the best they knew. I may change it up a little and go over other situations in my adult life and how it’s effected me not having my mom around, but we’ll see. Stay strong and write, write, write!! It does become therapeutic to your brain to revisit sad events so you can pray them away. You’ve got this, and thank you for your support. Heather

      Liked by 1 person

  2. alimw2013 · October 24, 2017

    Heather, I have read every one of your posts. Thank you so much for sharing them. You actually inspired me to start a blog as I had been doing a lot of writing over the past few months. Reading your boldness and vulnerable approach with words pushed me to start my own. The more I write the more I understand myself better and why I made the choices I made as a teenager. Writing has forced me in a good way to look back at the past and see the beauty that lives now as a result of a need for change and a recommitment to Christ. Thank you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather Kathleen · October 25, 2017

      That is very nice of you… and that is great that you are writing ! Thank you for your kind words and critique of my writing style, I really appreciate the feedback. Good Luck with your new adventure, I look forward to reading your story! 🤗😊


    • Heather Kathleen · November 17, 2017

      Well I am very humbled by your comment. Thank you and I️ really appreciate you taking the time to comment. Christ is the center of my world too and I️ totally believe he is the only reason I️ am alive today. I️ really hope you put your trust in him and write your heart out! It’s very therapeutic for me… I️ hope you keep in touch! Heatherxxx

      Liked by 1 person

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