Field Mouse...my only friend.
Sweet Moon Boots!
I have lived through 3 home fires in my life...so far. I'm really hoping I have gotten that shit out of the way now. It helps that my brother is no longer living with me since he was responsible for two of them. The first one happened when we lived in an apartment building in California. I was only 1 or 2 yrs old, so I don't remember that one. Apparently my brother was playing cowboys and Indians and decided to build a fire in the middle of the living room. I feel 90% sure that he was probably planning on burning me at the stake for doing something horrible like eating his Spaghettios. He burned the entire complex to the ground.
The second fire happened at the farm. I can't believe how many crazy things occurred at that place. The fact that I can remember them is shocking since my memory sucks and I couldn't tell you shit about what I did yesterday. One day we were down in the garden, which was probably 200 yards from the house. I looked up and I saw a storm a brewin'. It was moving quickly towards us across the cornfield. The moment I felt a drop of rain, I took off running towards the house. I remember getting about halfway there when all of the sudden there was a CRASH! Next thing I know, I wake up in the hospital with a concussion. I had been struck by lightening...no shit! My mom was right behind me and saw the whole damn thang! That explains a lot about me eh???
We were surrounded by nothing except cornfields, but for some reason, we always had strange people or animals in our yard. Asparagus just grew wild in our grass, so people would just pull over and start picking it. One day there was a group of Mexican men who stopped and actually just started camping out in our yard. My mom let it go until they built a campfire. Then she poked her head outside the door and told them to "Get off my land!" The said "Sorry we no speak English." So my mom got her gun and shot it in the air. They said "We understand that!" and took off.
Random animals would wander onto our property and my brother and I would always catch them and try to make them our pets. You can only go out and ride the pigs for so long until finally, the thrill is gone. We had a breezeway between the house and the garage, that was totally sealed...or so we thought. One day I was heading out to the garage to do something very important I'm sure, when all of the sudden, something jumped out and started hissing at me. I first shat my pants, screamed and then decided that I needed it to be my new best friend. It was apparently an opossum. It was bald and covered in sores (just like I like my ladies :) ) Not exactly sure why my mom allowed my brother and I to keep this diseased opossum with a bad attitude as a pet, but I was sure glad she did. Somehow we managed to set a collar around it's neck and drug that thing through the yard. I say drug because it laid down immediately the moment we started pulling. I tried to get my cat and it to be friends, but ya...that shit didn't go well either. Either my mom or the cat set that poor opossum free one night. I woke up and he was gone. I was devastated. There was only one thing left to do...collect some field mice. I figured about 10 mice would be equivalent to one opossum, so out to the cornfield I went.
I rolled out to the cornfield wearing nothing but my underwear, tank top and a big ol' clunky pair of rainbow moon boots. I was also pushing my mice collector...aka pink baby doll carriage that I had that I had gotten from that nice church for Christmas. As I pushed that shit through the muddy cornfield, I plucked those mice right out of their holes with ease. Getting them was easy...keeping them in the carriage..not so much. Clearly I needed a roof on that thing. As I plodded along, my legs got heavier and heavier as the mud caked up around my boots. The carriage turned into a plow since the wheels were no longer turning because they were covered in mud. Then it hit me...an epiphany! Since I no longer have the strength to lift my legs anymore, I would take the boots off, throw them in the carriage and drop the mice down inside of them. Then I would cover the top of the boots with my hands. It was brilliant! I finally got back to the house covered head to toe in mud with two boots full of mice. My celebration turned to fear when I realized how much mud was everywhere. I just knew my mom would be mad when she got home from work, so I started cleaning. I drug my boots and carriage into the upstairs bathroom and threw it in the bathtub. I filled the tub with water and as soon as the boots were submerged in water, a little renegade mouse shot up outta the water. Apparently that little bastard was hanging on for dear life when I was shaking the mice out of the boots into a cage. There must have been at least 3 inches of mud in that tub. It never occurred to me that that would be upsetting at all to my mom.
So there I sat scrubbing away, when I heard my brother yell "Nicole, get out of the house. It's on fire!" Clearly I didn't believe him and I said "Shut up Tad! I'm cleaning my baby doll carriage!" All the sudden, he appeared in the doorway and said "No really, It's on fire, we gotta get out!" I looked up at him and saw a huge cloud of smoke passing behind his head. I jumped up, ran down the stairs and out the door. This may have been my first long distance run. I took off down the road barefoot in nothing but my underwear. The road was completely empty and surrounded by nothing but dirt fields. I'm not exactly sure where I was going, but I knew I wasn't gonna get blamed for that fire! Eventually, a cop stopped and picked me up.
The fire department decided the fire had started in the kitchen. Apparently my dad had put a nail through a lamp cord over the table. We always blamed my dad and his 0.50 % blood alcohol level for everything. About 15 years later, my brother admitted that he started that fire. He lit a puzzle that he had gotten out of a cereal box on fire because that seemed like a really good idea at the time. The fire spread from the puzzle to the curtains and poof!
The house did not burn to the ground but there was a lot of damage. We moved to my grandmas while it was being repaired. While we were there, my mom was admitted to the hospital because she had blood clots in her legs. She was wheel chair bound and the doctors said she may never walk again. She had this bitchin' battery pack that had wires coming out of it that attached to her legs. We called her Bionic Mommy. Me and my brother would turn that shit up while she was sleeping and watch her legs jump all over the place. It was super cool!
The day had come when we finally got to go home 6 months later. We pushed my mom through the doorway into an empty house. We had been robbed. They took everything...which I gotta say, wasn't much. We had like a 12" black and white TV, some old shitty furniture and a Christmas tree stand. Those must have been some desperate criminals cuz they didn't get shit!
At that point, mom decided we should probably move. Clearly there was an omen over that house. Some of my best and worst memories happened there. It was just me and my brother and whatever we could catch that day. We had nothing to play with but were never bored. No computers, iphones, cable TV or toys. We were forced to be creative. I think that forced creativity has served me well as an adult...just ask the mice!
Oh and when somebody yells "FIRE!"...believe them the first time!