Writing 101- Day Eleven: “Size Matters”

Day Eleven – Size Matters:

* Today’s Prompt:  Tell us about the home where you lived when you were twelve.

* Today’s Twist:  Pay attention to your sentence lengths and use short, medium, and long sentences as you compose your response about the home you lived in when you were twelve.

I grew up as the middle child of seven children. I was the middle child, and there were seven years between my only brother and me. I had three younger sisters, so even though I was the middle child, I was also like the oldest of the youngest children. My father was very ill and bedridden, so we were forced to live on welfare. My mother certainly had family_mcdonoughher hands full, taking care of a sick husband and seven children. We lived in a housing project in St. Paul, Minnesota.

When you hear the words “project,” you often think of a slum, right? Well, this was not a slum. Everyone who lived in our neighborhood mowed their yards, planted flowers in their gardens, and made sure that their children were well-behaved. It was a nice neighborhood to grow up in. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t even aware that we were “poor” until I entered middle school. Yes, I was naïve. But I was happy.

In our neighborhood, each apartment building looked exactly same. There were four apartments to each building, all on the ground floor, wash 300labeled with the same number but from A to D. We lived on Timberlake Road in Apartment A. Our apartment had two levels with one downstairs bedroom, three upstairs bedrooms and two bathrooms. We also had a kitchen, living room, and basement.

One of my fondest memories of growing up was wash day. My mother always did the laundry on Mondays. As a matter of fact, it seemed that Monday was the big laundry day for most of the neighborhood. As you walked through the backyards, all the clothes lines were filled with laundry swaying in the wind. And since we couldn’t afford a dryer, she’d also hang our wash out to dry. As I lie in my bed on Monday nights, I would revel in the smell of those fresh sheets.garden

Another wonderful memory is also associated with my dear mother, God rest her soul. She loved to plant flowers and every spring she would lovingly plant her flower garden, taking care to water them and weed them. She took such pride in her garden. As I stated before, many of our neighbors did the same. It was a lovely sight to see – gardens full of flowers, plants, and rose bushes. It was as though they wanted the world to know that even though they were poor, they were still hopeful that tomorrow would be a better day.

I enjoyed my childhood – it was a happy one. And even though we didn’t have much, we had what we needed, and that’s the most important thing of all – the love and support of each other. And what more can you ask for?

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