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PART II - Double Life of a Little Girl

Updated on May 4, 2011
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As years passed, my ‘double life’ continued on unabated. Shortly after my father’s second marriage, my mother became convinced that the possibility of reconciliation was no longer an option and, so, she began to actively seek a new relationship. This took our fractured family in all kinds of new directions; some of which resulted in my mother remarrying, taking my brother and me hundreds of miles away from my father. This caused our weekly visits to turn into monthly visits which were facilitated by Rail Road from Rodeo, California to the central valley of California. (See: My Love Affair With Trains) Our dual existence took on an emotional side, now. We were a little older and more aware of our circumstances. The fact that there was well over 300 miles between our new town and hometown was not lost on our, still, impressionable emotions.

The look, smell and configuration of our ‘new’ tract home in our “new” town was quite different than the Tudor of our younger years we so loved. This home was small and angular. The rooms were square, 10’ x 10’ and not at all decorative. There was only one level; no stairs to climb and slide down. Even at such a young age, I noticed the difference immediately. I remember feeling as though I were in prison; a one dimensional, plain, boring prison. There was no wainscoting, no crown molding or delicate, decorative woodwork. The house was like dozens of others in a new development with no trees, no landscaping and no beauty.

Brother and I were disappointed and felt like fish out of water. From a beautiful, hill and mountain surrounded valley to agricultural, flatland lackluster; we yearned for and greatly anticipated the monthly visits home.


Another tumultuous marriage began to unravel for my mother and her new husband. Nine months in duration; it wasn’t long before we were (thankfully!) leaving the breadbasket of central California! Mother realized, I am sure, that this brief interlude was just a diversion; one which allowed her to make the final break from the past but, obviously, destined for failure. Again, this relationship was divisive and fraught with turmoil. It took no time for her to understand this and move on, again. Back to the past and into Grandmother’s home.

After spending a summer wondering why and what was going on; brother and I were exhilarated at the thought of returning to our childhood environment.

Since our beautiful country home had been sold months previously, we were coming home to no home, at all. So, arrangements were made to live with my Grandmother, on my mother’s side, for an uncertain length of time.


Her house was located on the Southern end of our valley. This was, then, the more blue collar, industrial section. Here, many small manufacturers and construction companies were located. The Glove Factory, Paper Products & Paper Bags, numerous car shops and small, family owned, businesses also were rooted in this area. During the year we lived with Grandmother, my brother and I explored our new environs. Strange, different and extremely exciting was our new home! We’d see workers arriving early in the mornings, friendly conversation sprinkled with an occasional, loud “HA!,” amiable chatter among the employees as they exited their cars and gathered in circles, conversation humming while smoke from numerous cigarettes rose above their heads and wafted away in the gentle morning breezes. We were near enough to peek at this unfamiliar phenomenon as it unfolded each weekday morning.

There were sounds in this new place of residence! Humming, drumming, measured and resounding; much like a metronome, the industrial beat of our Grandmother’s neighborhood echoed on in a continual, predictable throb.  I found this comforting, strangely assuring and to be counted upon during those quiet times when my child’s mind wandered into fantastical musings, lost in a world of my own.

During these days and months our regular visit with Father continued. Brother and I would hike the open fields of my father’s ‘new’ home, exploring the rolling hills which led to breathtaking vistas overlooking our valley. From this vantage point, we could actually see my Grandmother’s commercial/residential community, the large hospital located on the town’s main street, our former home with it’s big garage and high roof peaks which stood out from the other homes around it which were ranch style, one story, boxy buildings.   We’d sit for hours, gazing out at the horizon and watch clouds drift by, casting shadows on everything below. It was magical!

Once again, we were exposed to two completely different life styles, two environments which were at opposite ends of the spectrum. (Looking back, I believe this was a good; no, a GREAT thing, as it allowed our young minds to gather much in the way of experience and information which might not have been available to most young kids; resulting in a broad scope of attitude and ideology).

Having been introduced to another part of life as represented by my Grandmother’s environment, I began to see the world a little differently; with inquisitive eyes and curious questions. No longer were the controlled, comfortable, unusual but reliable years of my early childhood the only option ‘out there.’ There was more…an exciting, alluring more!


Coming: In order not to make these hubs too long and, therefore, perhaps less read due to time constraints of other hubbers (Oh, how this is so true…I wish I had the time to read ALL the offerings of ALL my favorite writers…there just is NOT enough time!)..I am breaking this up into shorter pieces…


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    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Teylina, thanks for visiting and your right on comment. We sure are overloaded trying to read so many many wonderful writers' works and also creating some of our own. I'm trying to come up with a system that rotates so that I can read something of all my favorite writers. Then, there are always new "hubbers" to meet and read. I wish I could do it all the time because the talent and heart here is so deserving of attention and support.

      I agee with you...I do not like the cookie cutter sameness of 'tract' housing...makes me think of the song "Little Boxes" (on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky takky..little boxes little boxes..and they all look just the same...there's a red one and a green one and they're all made out of ticky tacky....")

      Thank you for reading and commenting...always appreciated!! kathy

    • Teylina profile image

      Teylina 6 years ago

      Appreciate your decision to shorten for us overloaded hubbers! But looking forward to the rest! Oh, could I feel your pain--the "prison" "tract house" as opposed to wainscoting and stairs and all the other goodies that make homes different. Does that fall in the category of culture shock?!

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      AA, marcoujor, are really too kind and I LOVE happy that you are enjoying this little carthartic expression of mine. It started because, right now in present time, I am, once again, under the influence of those nomadic years. There is so much more to share with everyone. glad you have faith in my ability...let's see what happens! yikes..and THANK YOU! are such a great inspiration and your story is familiar to me as I read some of the emotional roller coaster instances...thank you for visiting and for your encouragement.

      Stephen, MM...thank you so much for romping through my childhood with me!

      DIM---w0w! such a nice thing to say. I'm very happy and feel that this excursion might be something, afterall.

      Alastar...gee. your words are really such a wonderful source of support for my efforts here. Thank you so much and I hope to continue to 'entertain' you guys....that's what we are all hope to do, huh?

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Lucky by the time I got to "Business As Usual" my heart was beating a little faster. There are parallels in our childhoods and again, I'm so happy you and your brother were close and experienced life's directions in comrade-ship.Its stories like yours that make it all worth-while on HP.

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain

      l´m hooked!!!! Very good idea to ´break it up´´

      Well done. You are obviously more than capable of writing a book !!!

    • Mrs. Menagerie profile image

      Mrs. Menagerie 6 years ago from The Zoo

      Very nice...both parts! UP, UP!

    • StephenSMcmillan profile image

      StephenSMcmillan 6 years ago

      Nice hub.

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Dear LC,

      Excellent writing! Again, look forward to more soon. Have a great day!


    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from California

      You are a wonderful writer Ms. Lucky Cats! And you also have the beginning of a great life story - It's funny how we look at things growing up, then we look back and wonder how we ever survived?

      ~ I like the way you are breaking up for HP though-great idea, tune in next week....then just paste it together as needed!? Good job, rated up.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      This is beautifully written and very interesting. Your Mother reminds me of my Mother in a way. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      I LOVE the anticipation of "more to come", Lucky Cats.

      Your writing style is so readable and it flows very much to my liking! Your strength and resiliency is showing... the older you get!


    • A.A. Zavala profile image

      Augustine A Zavala 6 years ago from Texas

      Good memoir, please continue!