3 of 479: Stealing My Stuff

Dear Lord, please forgive my brother for stealing my collection of 50-cent pieces and 2 dollar bills even though I know it did not go to a worthy cause.

We moved to Anderson Camp just before my 8th grade school year. My mom and dad were spending all their available free time working on the house. Usually I would go with them out to the property to help where I could. But sometimes they would leave me alone at the camp. Someone had to periodically hold down the fort. It’s one thing to worry that your house might be robbed…

…It’s another thing to worry that your whole house could be hooked up to an F-150 and hauled away. Continue reading

2 of 490: Anderson’s Camp

Dear Lord, please forgive my parents for ever choosing to live at Anderson Camp even though it is sure to cause me long lasting emotional and social damage.

So there we were. In the process of moving into the boondocks in a desperate attempt to escape meth hell.

I know I used the word “journey” at the end of the last chapter, but journey is the wrong word for what we were embarking on. A term like journey carries with it a certain sense of optimism, as in, “Focus on the journey, not the destination”. For what awaited me in that upcoming year, had I focused on the journey, I probably would have proven the myth of spontaneous combustion.

“What happened to that boy?” some agent from X-files might have asked.

“Very strange indeed,” his partner would have answered, removing his sunglasses. “He was living in this travel trailer for over a year.”

“Wow, he lasted that long? I’ve seen others spontaneously combust under much less strenuous conditions.” Continue reading

1 of 490: Intro to the Travel Trailer

Dear Lord, please help me forgive my parents for their dumb idea to move out to the middle of nowhere even though it is a huge mistake.

I’m starting this series of stories with the year our family moved into a travel trailer. I’m starting here because it is what I consider the first of 490 emotional, dramatic, horrific tales of forgiveness.

It was the summer between my 7th and 8th grade years when my parents decided to move. Okay, that’s pretty normal, nothing horrific yet. Many kids have to move. However, my parents also decided to build their own house. By this I mean, they were going to be the ones actually building the house: digging the basement, framing the walls, and even going as far as installing ceiling fans…

…all without professional guidance.

The normal time frame for building a house is, what would you guess, six months…sometimes less? It would be no big deal to do as normal people do and rent an apartment during that period. What would be weird is if my parents bought a 20-foot travel trailer and said, “Let’s live in this!”

Needless to say, my parents are weird, and this is where the horrific tale begins.

Continue reading

Introducing 70×7 Stories

I don’t know you, but if you are anything like me, then it is highly likely you have a family. And based on my experience, I feel sorry for anybody who has one.

Back in the days of Jesus, Peter once asked the Lord, “How oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?” Upon reading this, I immediately empathized with Peter’s frustration. No doubt, that very morning, Peter just found out that his brother stole his Gameboy (or biblical equivalent) and pawned it for drug money. Peter was hoping for an easy way to write off his family, guilt free. The Lord’s response must have been disheartening, “I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”

Many claim this is a figure of speech meaning eternal forgiveness, but I’m motivated to takie it literally. Is this an unachievable goal? Well, my family experience has certainly made it a goal to shoot for.

So join me as I chronicle my attempts to forgive my family for everything they have done to me over the past 3 decades with the objective of relieving me from this commandment once and for all.

By the way, as you read these stories, understand that the first names of my family have been changed in fear that their identities might be stolen, and mostly because I feel sorry for the people who ends up with those identities.

Now let’s meet the family: Continue reading