Winter Memories

To most people, a trailer house might not seem like the heights of joy. You might even look down on a trailer house, but . . .
I was six years old, and there was a cold snap, a REAL cold snap for east Texas. You could hear the wind outside. I imagined it howling like the wolves in the “Little House” books from Laura Ingalls-Wilder. If I stood near the door, I could feel the wind claws, reaching in to try and grab me!

But I was inside, the linoleum was warm under my feet, and my parakeet was singing in his cage. To a casual observer, it appeared that I was sitting at a “cheap” kitchen table and chair set, but the observer did not realize that it was, in actuality, MY news desk! I was in a fancy news room, like on KLTV Channel 7, and I was providing news to the WORLD! The “world” was my parakeet, and the “news” was that JENA MOFFET got a ONE HUNDRED on her Spelling test! In late 1980, that was my “world” and that was my “news.”
“Y’all put your shoes on, we’re going to Nanny’s for a minute.” A block or two away, there was a trailer house even warmer than mine, because it had CENTRAL HEAT AND AIR! And there, in that trailer house, was my Nanny and Poppy, and my uncles, Scotty and Wallace Jr. The door was always open. You never even had to knock. I took it for granted then, how so much love could pour from simple greetings. It did not surprise me at all, that everyone was overjoyed to see me. It was the way of the world.
Easily entertained at age six, I stood near the vents and let the air blow over me. Adult conversations flowed around me, warm and comfortable like air from the central heating. The scents of hamburger and onions frying, tobacco, cigarette smoke, and candy told me everything I needed to know. Poppy ALWAYS had a stash of candy by his couch, caramels, and small chocolatey things, and really, you just never knew what you’d find! All you were sure of in that little trailer home is that you’d find “magical” grandparents, and silly lovable uncles who would tease you forever, if you didn’t strike the “formidable six-year-old girl I’ve-had-ENOUGH-of-this hands-on-hips” pose.
Cold rain pecked at the windows, and Scotty had the Overton Press in his hands, crinkling the pages. I was enamored by newspapers, and books, and anything legible, because I couldn’t read print. He said he heard there might be sleet later on.
SLEET!
SCHOOL-MISSING SLEET!
“Probably so,” he said, with a grin in his voice, “for mostly everybody. But Mr. Birch is going to make the first grade go anyway.” “OH NO THEY’RE NOT,” was my six-year-old hyperSouthern indignant exclamation. I got backup from the big guns, NANNY AND POPPY! I was not going to school if it sleeted, whether the principal said so or not! MY POPPY SAID SO!
Momma took us to Brookshire’s on the way home. We had to stock up, in case the roads got icy. We got all we would need to be snowed in – sandwich fixings, chips, Yoo-hoos, Dr. Peppers, and brownies. We saw everyone up there, doing the same thing we were doing. There was an undercurrent of excitement, even among the adults! That’s how you knew something great was going to happen!
Back home, I had plenty to report at my “news desk”, about the upcoming sleet storm. Somewhere in the house, Johnny Rivers was playing on the radio. Frozen pizzas baked in the oven. They were the “cheap” kind, but I didn’t know or care about the difference between “cheap” and “expensive” frozen pizzas. I just knew they would be good! Sleet began to tic-tic against the window, . . and Johnny Rivers sang . . . and later there would be hot chocolate . . . and I was warm . . and the “cheap” trailer house held treasures, because it housed my best winter memories.

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Author: Jena

Hi there. Thanks for stopping by. I am a small-town Southern writer, book hoarder, technology enthusiast, unashamed cat lady, and huge fan of the Outlander series. I have a degree in Psychology from the University of Texas at Tyler. I love nothing more than to paint pictures with words, and to make people happy, and if I can do both at the same time, all the better. Gratitude, simple joys, and optimism are the cornerstones of my life philosophy. I am totally blind, and I have non 24 sleep disorder, and temporal lobe epilepsy. These health issues make for some interesting times, but adversity has taught me wisdom I never would have learned otherwise. I hope you will enjoy my writing, and I thank you for taking the time to read it.

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