birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Only Once

I'm an only child and my family has always been small. Mother had a brother. Dad had a brother. None of them were close. The only time I remember an event that even remotely marked a gathering of sorts is still vague. Maybe I was eleven. My father had gambled our savings away, and my mother and I had to move in with my grandmother in another state where she had grown up.

I just remember going to someone's home that seemed like they lived on acres and acres of land. I remember them being so friendly and happy. That's it. But, it's a memory I hold onto today and that was more than forty years ago.

Maybe because I wasn't happy. I'd left my friends, my home, my dad, and everything I'd known for the past eleven years. I think I just shut down for a few years and don't remember a lot.

In fact, I was in the ninth grade when we had to move. I don't remember that year at all. Not a teacher, not a hallway, not a friend. I really only know I went there for sure because my mother took a picture of me outside the school while I was holding my diploma. I've tried on my own to remember. I've tried with a therapist. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. It used to bother me. But, I figure my brain knows best.

Family Gathering in Texas

Birds of a Feather Flock Together