Thoughts on life from Pat Oaks
The luckiest girl in the world
When I was a little girl, I think that I had an almost perfect childhood. We didn't have a lot of money, but I didn't know that. We lived in a tiny house, but I didn't know that either. My Daddy always worked night shift, but he was up by 3 in the afternoon, so he always had time for us. If we went to town (on the bus...we didn't own a car) my Mother would say "Your Daddy will be up when we get home. It will be too quiet for him to sleep!" And he always was! We played right under the window where he slept and never one time did he or Mother fuss at us for being too loud.
There were six of us living in a 4 room house, but it was filled with happiness. When I was about 8 years old, the polio epidemic struck. My Mother's sister and her family lived in one of the hardest hit places of all, Wytheville, Virginia. (you can look it up.) The death rate there was the highest of anywhere in the country. My Aunt called my Mother and asked if she and her family could move in with us until the danger was past. There were 5 of them! What did my Mother say? YES!
I remember that summer being a magical summer. I had my cousins there for the whole summer. My cousin Judy is a year younger than me and we have always been close. We still are! We even went to college together.
Recently I asked Judy where we all slept. I honestly couldn't remember! She couldn't either! I cannot remember where we slept, where we ate, how we all took baths (no showers back then and only one bathroom!) or even if my poor Mother was frazzled....I'm sure she and my Aunt Billie both were! I just remember a summer of playing with my cousins. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world! I still do.
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