We are supposed to write about where we lived when we were twelve. And we are also supposed to include the town, city, country we lived in.. In addition, we should include whether it was an apartment, a house or mobile home or something different.. Another thing to add is where you went to school and who lived with you at the time.
The twist being the length of the sentences. They should be both short and long and also medium. Sentences of all the same length would make the story boring. And of course we don’t want that do we?
When I was twelve we had moved out of the shack we had been living in for a good part of my childhood. The roof leaked, we had no hot water except what we heated on our coal stove and our toilet was outside in what we called a porch. It was freezing in the winter when we went to the toilet and in the summer there were mosquitoes to annoy us.
So moving to the ‘new’ house, which was actually a duplex, we were beside ourselves with the joy of having a roof that didn’t leak and an inside toilet. We still did not have a proper bathroom but just to have an indoor, enclosed toilet was enough for us. We still didn’t have hot water unless we heated it on the coal stove but we were happy.
I lived with my three sisters and my mother as my father had deserted us quite a while ago, while we were living in the shack. I had one older sister and two younger sisters. My Mother worked as a cook for a doctor and sometimes she had to stay overnight, as she also did some of the cleaning for the doctor’s family. She had to take two buses to get to the doctor’s house and of course two to get home.
My older sister was fourteen and had gotten a part-time job after school and this helped with paying the bills. I was babysitting for a few of my Mother’s friends and that helped with buying my own clothes and various things I needed for school.
We lived in a small town in Pennsylvania where everyone knew everyone else. It was good and bad. Good because everyone knew what everyone else was doing and bad because everyone knew what everyone else was doing.
We went to Catholic school and were taught by nuns and got a very good education. The church was near the school and we went to mass every Sunday and holy days of obligation. Also, we went to mass on certain months that were holy for some reason and we had to go every day before school that particular month. In those days everything was in Latin, the mass, the singing, the whole bit. We had to take two semesters of Latin and two semesters of another language or four semesters of Latin. You had to have at least two years of Latin to be a nurse, which was what I was thinking I might do. But I decided to take two semesters of French because I was so sick of the Latin by then.
My Mother was a good cook, so on the days she was home we had some delicious meals and on other times, I usually tried my hand at cooking. Sometimes the meals I cooked turned out pretty good, because I had learned a lot from Mother. Other times when I tried something new, the meal turned out not so good and there was a lot of complaining from the sisters. But I carried on and since I was the only one willing and old enough to cook on the coal stove, the complaining was held to a minimum, especially if they wanted to eat.
So we lived in that house until I was nineteen and then we moved to the nearest big city. We were upgrading at each move, especially since both my older sister and I had graduated from high school and were both working full-time. But the small town where we grew up and graduated from high school, still holds some fond memories of school days and friends, some of whom I still keep in contact.