The next place we moved is really important. I don't think any of us knew it at the time, but it was REALLY important.
Sometime during the summer after 7th grade, in Linneus, we began making plans to move to a small town in Texas, called Oakhurst. I'm going to try to remember as many details about this as i can.
I remember that i got a letter before we moved, from a girl in the church where we were going, who was my age. Her name is Kristi. Kristi had been praying for a Christian friend, and she wrote me a letter to say hello and welcome me to our new church. It felt really really good to have someone waiting for me, expecting me to be their friend.
Kristi's dad is/was a builder, and he was still in the process of building the church parsonage when we moved, so we got to stay in a really neat house owned by Kristi's uncle. I thought it was a neat house because it had a finished basement with a big bathroom, and it opened up to the back yard. That worked because the house was kind of built into a hill, so the basement and the top floor opened to the ground. I wanted the basement to be my bedroom, but my dad thought it was too dangerous for me to live in a room with a separate entrance, etc., so i slept upstairs, down the hall from my parents.
I remember that my bedroom must've belonged to a little boy previously, because the walls were covered in soldier wall-paper. Another interesting thing about that house was discovered not too long after we moved in. This is that our fireplace was housing a scorpion's nest. A couple of times, when my dad got up in the night to use the restroom, he nearly stepped on the evil critters. We found them in the sink, looking for water, i guess, on the floor. The scorpions became pretty creepy, and i don't remember what we did about them.
One night i went into my bedroom and discovered the biggest bug i had ever seen. It looked just like a hippopotamus, and it was about 3 inches long. Crazy bug! I didn't want to go back into my room for a long time after my dad took care of the hippo bug for me. But i never saw another one again.
The very best thing i remember about this house was my 13th birthday.
My birthday is in September, so it's always been difficult to have a very successful birthday party at a new school, but this time was a little better. I'm sure Kristi had a lot to do with that.
I was pretty timid, so it was hard for me to decide who to invite to my party. We decided on a slumber party, and i think i ended up with three guests: Kristi, April - a new acquaintance, and Joy - who later adopted me as her best friend. Let me take a minute to tell you about my new friends.
Kristi was tall, blonde, and beautiful. She always seemed very grown up to me. She always wore a lot of make-up, and she was definitely part of the popular crowd. A really cool thing about Kristi is that as long as i knew her, everyone always mentioned how nice she is.....classmates from all the different groups always mentioned that she was popular, but she was always nice. =)
April is someone i always admired because she's so small and athletic. I mean really small. April and i never became very close, but she was always nice to me, and i was really glad she came to my birthday party.
When i first met Joy, in eighth grade, she wore coke-bottle glasses, and she had her hair permed curly. Joy didn't seem to think much of her appearance, but i always thought she was beautiful. I'll tell you more about joy throughout my stories. She's the friend who truly stuck.
Anyway, back to my birthday party.
We got to have the slumber part of my party in the basement. That was very exciting. For food, my mom made pizza dough and bought all the fixins so that we could make our own pizzas. It was very very COOL. I have a very cool mom!
I don't remember too much else about the party. We did somersaults in the basement, and we talked about the sort of stuff that 13 year old girls talk about.
I do remember that the next morning, my parents surprised me with a new bicycle. I remember that my parents', especially my dad's excitement seemed to outweigh my own. It was a great gift, and i had it for many years.
That's also when my parents bought me a new NIV Encounter Bible, with devotionals in the back for kids my age. I still have that Bible in my desk drawer at work. Most of the devotionals have fallen out, but the important part is still there, though the beginning of Genesis had to be scotch taped back in.
So that's just the beginning of a lot that i'll have to write about later.