Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas in California

We lived in Nevada for 9 months and then moved to California. We thought the job situation, at least for Brian, would be better and I was hopeful to finish school. Brian had family in California that we moderately liked and they really talked up the place so in July we moved from Nevada to Modesto, California. Which is farm country, not beach country, in case you wondered.

We had a small Ford Ranger truck and a GMC Safari mini-van so we left a LOT of stuff in Nevada and either sold it or asked my father to store it. Particularly the Christmas items. He promised he would ship them to me when the time came.

He lied.

As December approached I asked him to ship them to me. He instead sent me $20. Neither Brian nor I wanted to buy yet ANOTHER fake tree when we had a small but good one in Nevada. I was also disturbed that many of my Christmas ornaments were at his house.

California had not quite turned into the money pile we had hoped for. Brian was working as a courier for a pet laboratory using his own truck. We couldn't afford child care so Kylie, at age 3-4 rode around with him all day on his runs. I worked part time as a puppeteer (3 ft tall puppets) and also part time at Jo-Ann Fabrics. On the weekends I was also the mascot Splasher the Frog for the water company. I sold Mary Kay on the side as well.

We had more money than in Nevada but we had less to work with over all. We were using a card table and 3 plastic lawn chairs for both dining and watching TV. We finally got a couch from goodwill for $25 that was brown on brown flowers from the 70's. We didn't have a washer and/or dryer. When we finally did get them the dryer almost immediately had issues and I ended up hanging wet clothes around the house in November.

Because we didn't want to buy another tree and frankly didn't have the money to do so I bought a string of red Christmas lights and taped them to the wall in the shape of a tree. I think Brian later came in and put push pins in to better hang the light tree up. We taped some very light wooden and plastic ornaments up inside of it and them placed the gifts at the bottom.

It was stark. It was sad.

It's not a favorite Christmas memory for me because I am reminded that I tried to separate from Brian during this time. I had had enough. I hated California. I was sick with hypothyroidism but didn't know it yet because we didn't have medical insurance. Kylie had no friends. Brian and I eventually worked it out that time but it was a rough season for sure.

After we patched things up that month Brian went and enlisted in the Active Duty portion of the Air Force. January 4th we were moved to Tucson. Life got a LOT better then.



Wow, I'm learning a lot about you, Lacy. I will love to hear more about your life as a puppeteer. My kids are enthralled with puppets right now.

Also, I wanted to email you but can't find your email. Can you email me?

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