This I Believe

Remington - Klamath Falls, Oregon
Entered on May 11, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

My childhood was wonderful. Was my family rich or did I have lots of friends? No, We were very poor and my sister and I were home schooled. Were we happy? Yes, even though my parents had countless troubles with money and the government our family was happy.

We lived on twenty acres of forest with a creek and a train track running through it. We had no Electricity, plumbing, or running water. In the winter when bathing in the creek was too cold we heated up water on a propane stove. Occasionally for a special treat we would turn on the generator and watch a movie over the loud roar.

Poison oak grew in abundance and we unknowingly walked through it on a number of times and suffered the consequences for days afterwards. In the summer months when we spent most of our time in the creek our skin would dry out to the extreme that they would crack and bleed. For this too we suffered for days afterwards even with healing balm that stung. Rattle snakes and scorpions came out in the summer and threatened the safety of small children that didn’t have parents that could be watching them all the time. Were my parents irresponsible? No, They were constantly worrying about us playing by the creek and about the insects and animals that inhabited it. Just like any other parent they told us over and over again how dangerous it was and ran us through the different scenarios and what we should do if any of them should happen. Luckily through all those years we never came close to drowning and the dangerous animals left us alone.

As uncivilized and foolish as this life style may seem to you, it was the happiest time of my life. I will always remember those days with fondness, when small children could run around through the woods and water and never grow tired, when we could pull black berries off the bushes by the handful and scoop cold water out of the creek, when we went to sleep every night listening to our parents read to us in the light of a lantern.

This may seem silly to you but as I write this I can’t help by smile as I remember so many happy moments that I could never relate all of them to you. Needless to say our family is still held together be those strong bonds we made as we lived in those humble circumstances. We own our own house, my father has his own business, and my sister and I are in college. There are no mental or emotional scars that friends and family silently predicted. The hard life was for our good and made us stronger.

This I believe; humility and hardships bring families together. I would not trade those hard times for anything in the world.