My father had been offered a better position with IBM, and he couldn’t pass it up this time. The downside of this decision, we would have to move, again. I remember packing my bags, saying goodbye to my friends. Loading up in the family van had me filled with sadness and rage. This time, the drive was only 2 hours, but it still felt like forever. As we pulled into our new driveway, I looked to the west and beheld the shadow of Long’s Peak, cast over parts of this new city, Longmont, CO.
My new neighborhood was very new and clean. In fact, they only finished our house weeks before we moved in. I remember the workers coming and laying the sod in our front yard. The street cleaners came everyday for a week to clear away the mud and dirt from all the construction vehicles.
Our backyard had a garden, a dog run for our 2 dogs, and a patio for family night grilling. I spent many hours in the yard. I’d read on the patio, or help my dad in the garden. I was inevitably the chore holder of cleaning up after the dogs and feeding/watering them.
I’ll never forget my neighbors. To the left, the “Ned Flanders” look and act alike. That man mowed his yard at least 3 times a week. To the right, a younger couple with a massive dog. A bernese mountain dog if my memory serves me. Finally, to the rear of us; these neighbors were my favorite. I had a huge crush on the daughter, who ended up dating my brother for a time.
Our new house was equipped with a pool table. I would challenge my brother and almost always win. He would flip out everytime. He’d get so mad, he would throw things, punch walls or break random stuff. I definitely had a love/fear relationship with him.
Sixth grade was a particularly rough year for me. I spent half of the year in one school, and was stuck doing the 2nd half in a new school. Being the new kid can always be a challenge, but I was especially outspoken and hyperactive. I was quickly labeled a class clown and I frequented detention.
My parents did not receive this well. They strongly encouraged me to be more active in my youth group at our mega church. It was easy to meld into this new church youth group. I was handsome and knew all the right words. [Verses and Bible stories]
At the time, I enjoyed the easy network making that the church youth group provided. Aside from those nights with the churchies, I continued being very defiant and stubborn towards my parents, teachers and my “boss” (I was a ranch hand).
My parents decided they had no choice left but to send me to a religiously indoctrinated, military school. I had not really believed in hell up to this point in my life. Upon being sent away from my family and friends, again…
I could tell that hell was right around the corner.