She was barely sixteen and leaving home all alone for the first time. We had two bad seasons in a row on the farm. The weather was bad, a drought one year and flooding the next. Daddy always said God willing and the creek don’t overflow. Well, the creek overflowed and flooded the crops. Carol had a lot of inner strength and courage in deciding that she was going to the beach to find a summer job and to work after school the next winter.
All she had was a small suitcase and her favorite book. She would take the train to town and live with our Aunt Irene. Carol had outgrown the farm and had ambitions of her own on how she wanted to live her life. She also knew that Daddy needed help paying the bills accumulating from two devastating seasons. She sat quietly by the tracks reading her book. She had butterflies in her stomach as this was a big step for her. She was a young adult going to live in a grownup world yet in truth she wasn’t afraid. She had twenty dollars in her purse and a job waiting.
She stood up brushing off her dress, picked up her suitcase and walked toward the gate to wait for boarding. She wouldn’t let us wait with her for the train.
In the distance, she could hear the train whistle blowing and feel the rumbling in the tracks. She stood up brushing off her dress, picked up her suitcase and walked toward the gate to wait for boarding. She wouldn’t let us wait with her for the train. She said her goodbyes that morning to the family and Daddy drove her to the train station. Carol and Daddy had a special bond. Even at an early age she did Daddy’s books and kept a budget for the farm. They said their farewells knowing that she would see Daddy often as he worked as a cabinet maker on weekends and winters for my Uncle Grant in Myrtle Beach to help pay bills and put food on the table.
The ride to Myrtle Beach was slow and the train stopped several times. While she was excited to leave the farm to make her mark in the world she still felt a little sadness. She knew the rest of the family was in for hard times. It was predicted to be a cold winter this year which was just more bad news. It always made her sad when she saw Daddy worrying. He would walk the perimeter of the farm and ponder the options often with me and my dog in tow. I knew not to talk but you didn’t have to talk to know what Daddy was thinking. His silences were powerful.
Point Of View
It was a frightening time in my life. Filled with uncertainty and fear. I could feel the burdens that my Daddy was carrying on his shoulders. He was unusually quiet and the supper table that once was the social part of our life was quiet and the food a little scarcer.
I longed for my sister and her new world. I cherished her letters as they gave me hope. I was proud of her going out into the world with only twenty dollars in her purse, a small suitcase and a book, with her head held high.