My mother took this picture of me as we prepared to leave what we affectionately called “The Mouse House”. Given that name due to a story too horrific to share, we lived there until my parents decided it was time to move from our dainty little farmhouse into “town”. Every time I see this picture my mind turns to a fluffy pink chair I would lounge in, and the mushroom soup I was oddly obsessed with. I was uncomfortable wearing pants, as you can tell from the photograph, and throughout my childhood I continued to have a great aversion for this one piece of clothing. I will admit this once got me in trouble, when I had somehow locked my sisters and myself out of our house in the middle of the winter, forcing them to tow me over to the neighbours bare thighs and all. I don't want to admit how old I was when this happened.
Apart from some humorous stories, this house also holds precious memories of learning. Here I learned basic mathematics. If you have one mommy cat, and one daddy cat, together they will equal more kittens than you can count. I learned some hairdressing, as you can see from my bangs, and so did my mother, as she tried to fix my mistakes. It was while living in this house that I learned to ride a horse, the seasons of planting and harvesting, and that you will break your collarbone if you try to jump from a kitchen table to the couch across the room in one swift leap of faith.
Above all though, it is in this house that I began to learn to read, my favourite pastime. When my mother would bring out the warm towels from the dryer and ask my dad and I to fold them, we would quickly jump into the pile and read Dr. Seuss books until the heat was gone. This house is far and distant in my memories, yet I hold onto it dearly. Despite being young, I remember packing up the car, holding our cat in my lap, and slowly pulling out of the driveway. When I left that warm and isolated home, I left it fondly, and with thoughts of the elephant Horton, eggs and ham of the green variety, and the smell of the prairies on my clothing.