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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A New Decade: Homefront

     “We have made arrangements for you girls to spend the day at Kara’s house,” my mother told us, “When you come home, there will be a surprise waiting for you.” As it turned out the surprise would be for my parents, as much as for us! 
     We arrived back home to find that gone was the double bed with Little Bo Peep and her lamb decal in the middle of a blond wooden headboard, scrunched next to my younger sister’s trundle bed. Instead, our tiny bedroom was void of real beds and two wood and canvas Army cots had been put in their place. It was a surprise all right!
     “Things did not work as quickly as we had planned,” my father explained to us, “but tomorrow, you will have a better surprise when you get home.”
     We slept on the cots that night, harkening back to the memories of the night Glenda and I had spent with a group of neighborhood kids, sleeping out under the stars.  Butchy, Suzie, Tommy and Teddy had used sleeping bags but Daddy let Glenda and I try his Army cots. That was the night we had learned that it did no good to keep piling blankets on top of us; we needed to put some on top and an equal number underneath. Glenda figured out what we really needed to do and she did it. So, in the middle of a totally sleepless night, I fell in step behind her, dragging my nearly frozen body back home. There we finished the night actually sleeping in warm beds, rather than tossing and turning on drafty, cold cots. Now, here sat those very same cots right there in our bedroom where our comfortable beds used to be.

     It was as Daddy had promised the following day; things were much improved. My parents were excited to unveil the bedroom furniture to us, with good reason. Gone were the canvas Army cots. Was that the impression of a drum roll I imagined coming from Daddy’s smiling face? We were ushered in to try out the new beds… two sets of dark wood bunkbeds, with a ladder in place for each set. For the very first time since Glenda was put in the trundle bed, we had space between our beds! Okay, only about eighteen inches, but, still, it was free space that thrilled us.
     I still have no idea just where Glenda’s little trundle bed went; but, within about two years, that Little Bo Peep would pop up again—this time for Glenda.
     I was in the second year of this new decade when my father and mother came to us with a major decision they had made for our family. No, Daddy was not changing jobs; but, still, it proved to be a huge, multi-layered change for us all. Much bigger than bunkbeds.

****A New Decade: Homefront, Scene 2… Coming Tomorrow

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