Year 1: Empty

Year 2: Running through the kitchen, my mom yelling at me. Black and white checkered tile. Wood floors.

Year 3:My mom teaching me to throw snails against the fence. Using my dad’s full name to sass back when he said my full name in anger.

Year 4: Crying because my dad had shaved his beard and I didn’t recognize him. Being upset over our move to OR.

Year 5: Paul and his earwax. It was black.

Year 6: Being unable to pronounce “Mrs. Diffenderfur,” called her “Mrs. Diffender”

Year 7: My new kitten peeing on me in the middle of the night

Year 8: My brother being born. He looked like a Klingon.

Year 9: Fighting with the bully on the school bus. He said “You have a soft spot for your mom,” I said “God didn’t love you, so he put your head between your legs so you could kiss your own butt.” I was in 4th grade. He was in 8th. He fucking cried.

Year 10: Moving to Portland–driving through our new neighborhood to tour our future new house–people standing on the sidewalk, my dad making racist remarks, and chiding me when I said the same.

Year 11: Playing in the newly-constructed houses, using a telescope to spy on the neighbors’ housewarming party.

Year 12: Walking to the Thriftway in the parking lot of my homeschool choir, buying a giant Krispy bar, eating all of it, getting sick. I still can’t eat them today.

Year 13: My parents splitting up–my parents telling me my dad was moving out, and why he lost his job.

Year 14: My first time in public school–I had no idea where anything was. Every day, I got a blueberry bagel with cream cheese.

Year 15: Leaving the house when my dad kicked me out.

Year 16: The worst birthday party ever.

Year 17: Trying to get my DL–just barely failing the test for my permit, and getting yelled at all the way home because I embarrassed my mom.

Year 18: Getting kicked out by my mom because I decided to stand up to her and not come home on the weekends.

Year 19: Crying because I got in a fender bender. Calling my mom and trying to get ahold of my deployed husband because I was so shook up.

Year 20: Getting a divorce.

Year 21: 21st birthday: “Honey, you’e gonna be CRAWLING out of here by the end of the night!”

Year 22: Missy’s puppies being born

Year 23: Hunter diagnosed with a brain tumor. My dad dying, boyfriend cheating on me, and it being finals week–the week before Christmas.

Year 24: Living in a shitty apartment in Beaverton, working full time, going to school 3/4 time.

Year 25: Moving to KY–getting pulled over by the cops for speeding and trying to stay calm because I had ‘shrooms in my suitcase in the back seat.

Year 26: Getting fired from Keeneland for being accused of stealing. I later cleared my name.

Year 27: Getting a new job at UK.

Year 28: Breakup, totaled my car, and my favorite cat died…within a month.