When I was a kid we moved around so much that, in my mind, security became an issue. I was never sure if we would be in the same place, from one week to the next. That’s not to say that security was lacking. Rather, it was jus’ one child’s perspective. I remember thinking, more than once, that if I wanted a friend in my new school, then I’d best speak up ’cause if I din’t I may not get another chance. In fact, I did attend one school for exactly four days; a very memorable four days, in point of fact. But that’s somethin’ to be shared at another time.
As the only girl in a family with lotsa’ boys, I always hoped there would be a girl my age in whichever area we were moving to. Strangely, girls my age or any other age seemed to be scarce, no matter where we lived. ‘Course, that left me with only two choices; play alone or be a tomboy. If you’ve ever met me, I’m sure you won’t hafta’ ask which I chose. I’ve never been one to miss an opportunity to climb a tree, whether alone or with others.
Unfortunately, bein’ the new kid also meant that I was met with my share of resistance from those who were a’ready established, so to speak. Naturally, I found new an’ interesting methods to smooth the transition. I recall once in the fourth grade I actually carried a picture of myself around an’ told other students that it was a picture of my twin who lived with an aunt. Curiously, that little stretch of the imagination was accepted without the least hesitation. Evidently, blacking out one tooth an’ one eye being blackened in the picture was enough to make me look like my mini-me. Go figure.
I’m not sure if that incident was what sparked my curiosity about orphans, but I do find that my interest in a story is heightened when I learn that orphans are involved. Even more so, when the account is true. As a result, I have read extensively about orphans, orphanages an’ children who rode Orphan Trains. I jus’ never tire of reading ’bout children who reign triumphant over the most devastating of circumstances.
One ‘uh my favorite stories from someone who actually was a rider on an Orphan Train tells about a small boy. He an’ his companions were told that they would line-up on the platform an’ families would choose which children they wanted to take home with ’em. Apparently, the orders were a little less than clear. The children did, in fact, line-up. Then, the word was given that families could step forward an’ speak with the children. When the go-ahead was given, this little boy leaped from the platform an’ headed straight to a farmer who happened to be there jus’ for curiosity’s sake. It had never occurred to the farmer that he might be goin’ home that day with a small child. However, the little guy wrapped his tiny arms around the farmer’s leg an’ declared, “I choose you!”
That farmer later shared how surprised an’ honored he felt that he had been chosen. He further shared his efforts at teaching the boy a bit of responsibility. Upon telling the child that a certain cow was his, to look after an’ care for, the child promptly insisted upon bein’ lifted up to ride the animal. From that day on an’ for many more to come, wherever the farmer went, the child – – – an’ the cow, tagged along, with the boy riding high on ‘His’ pet.
I think about the many circumstances that bring us to where we are an’ can’t help but wonder how some people ever survive. It makes me wanna’ do the very best I can at whatever I do, since mine has been a life filled with opportunities an’ blessings. I would feel nuthin’ less than ashamed if I did not use the many good experiences in my life to achieve all that I could. Knowing how others have suffered an’ struggled, I can only hope that I never take my good life for granted, but always feel grateful for what I have.
May life bring you all the good that can be had an’ all the love to enjoy it.
Until the next time, keep a hug on.