I'm participating in an online writing group hosted by Ann Dee Ellis. She gives a prompt and encourages 8 minutes of uninterrupted writing. Here's the most recent exercise:
In the first house I remember, there were train tracks through the backyard. I wasn't allowed to go near them.
Another house in the same town, there was a cement wall. I sat on it once and went to the bathroom over the edge. To this day, Seth still can't believe I did it. Down the hill on the side of the house was my brother's friend's trailer. I remember trying to follow him over there but not being welcomed to play with them. I was probably a huge brat.
A new town, with lots of trees surrounding our house. I rode my bike up and down the driveway. The wind made the streamers on my handlebars fly. My brothers wouldn't let me play with them in the woods. I threw Jeshua's toys at rocks to break them. I was definitely a huge brat.
Across the country, another new house. There was a puddle in the curve of the sidewalk. I played in it after the sprinklers turned off or the rain ceased. My grandmother came to visit and couldn't stand it since it was basically a glorified mud puddle. But I loved it. The water was warm from the cement and sun. Eventually my dad dug a drain through the grass to the curb so the water wouldn't build up there anymore.
Our backyard had a rickety playhouse. The bottom was an old dog house. The middle and top floors were difficult to climb up to without a ladder. It had been exposed to the elements for years and wasn't even enclosed. Next door, my neighbor had a playhouse that looked exactly like her real house. It had walls and windows and carpet and a real roof. I liked playing in hers better.
In the front yard, near the puddle-that-once-was, a collection of overgrown trees and shrubs provided a fairy-like house. A huge pine tree created a tent with its boughs. I hid in either place when I pretended to run away.
Same city, different house, we played night games with the neighbor kids. The cul-de-sac was full of our yells and music and laughter. And although I was probably too big for it, I still used the swing set in the side yard that came with the house. I liked the monkey bars.
Across the country again, in another new house. Outside was thick and wet. I'd forgotten what humidity was like. I didn't take advantage of being near the ocean. I didn't go to the beach much, mostly just when I worked at summer camps. My time outside was mostly spent walking to and from school or work. I graduated high school and left home, moving across the country again.
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