Stories from an Unconventional Childhood, Week Twelve

Just before tenth grade started, my mom and I moved again because she got a new job across the state. Interestingly enough, because I was registering right before school started, I received some interesting benefits. In that school, high school covered 10th through 12th grade. Yes, that means I was low man on the totem pole again. But there was a pecking order in the school. The lockers lining the halls were in three layers. Tenth graders got the bottom lockers. Juniors got the middles. Seniors got the top lockers. However, they were out of bottom lockers when I registered, so someone assigned me a top locker. When school started, everyone assumed I was a senior, so I didn’t have to deal with any of the junk the other sophomores had to deal with.

School was interesting and I quickly made friends and enjoyed most of my classes. One of the highlights was a cool field trip to some nearly cliff dwellings. Another was my geometry class, which much to my surprise, turned out to be one of my favorites. For some reason, geometry just clicked with me.

We lived in a small cinderblock house on top of a hill overlooking the town. It was surrounded by evergreens and large rocks, which made the yard pretty unusable, but nice to look at.

Toward the end of the year, we learned that my mother’s position, along with about 20 others, was being eliminated. While Mom was job-hunting, she found out she had been hired to work at a summer camp. She was a former Girl Scout leader and director of a Camp Fire camp, so they jumped on her application. We put everything in storage and headed to the mountains outside Cloudcroft, NM. We lived at the camp for the better part of the summer, and my mom went on interviews on practically every day off.

I found ways to amuse myself as well. I made friends with the camp director’s daughter, who was a couple years younger. I also had a blast teaching camp songs, which I knew tons of thanks to years in Girl Scouts and the summers my mom was a camp director. When they had a week for high schoolers, I actually got to be a camper and attend. The week was a backpacking trip covering a long trail through the White Mountains outside Ruidoso. It was an amazing experience that pushed the boundaries of what I thought I was capable of.

Meanwhile, she had decided we were moving to Las Cruces. We found a beautiful house in an older neighborhood and began moving in. It was a lovely house with thick carpeting, a mural on the dining room wall, tons of storage, and a small fountain in the backyard. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to stay long enough to get fully unpacked, but that’s a story for another day.

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