“Easy Living, Country Style, Mt. Calm Texas, One More Mile” …that’s what the sign read as we pulled into this tiny little dot on any map of Texas.
To this day I still don’t know quite how we ended up there. Mostly do to poor decisions I suppose. All I can remember is waking up one day and realizing that this was the new norm. A dilapidated old victorian farm house with barns and chicken coops that barely resembled their heyday.
In one of my earliest memories of Mt. calm, the day was cold and wet. It must have been spring, maybe late winter. I was probably eleven and I remember my father trying to get the house into some kind of livable state. The rest of us may have been helping, but most likely we were trying to stay out of the way.
At some point in the process I remember feeling really sick and very cold, so I headed to an old RV camper someone had loaned us. It was a tiny little thing, but it was the only warm place I could think of and all I wanted to do was sleep. Traipsing inside, I found the long wooden matches and attempted to light the pilot on the stove. It took some time and lots of little clicks, but finally I got it lit.
I lit the first burner and the warmth felt so good that I decided to light the other one too. After that I went and snuggled under a big pile of blankets on the little bed that doubled as a bench. Looking back that could have been my very last day on Earth. I mean who, in their right mind, would turn on propane burners and then go to sleep? Someone must have been watching over me that day…
I don’t know how long I slept, but when I woke there was the chill in the air, my feet were freezing, the blankets weren’t helping, and both burners had gone out. The smell of propane hung thick in the air. I tossed and turned, trying to get warm. No luck, I was having trouble warming my feet. It was time to get up.
As I sat up and pulled the blankets back, I realized that my socks were soaking wet. I was so tired that I hadn’t noticed. In that moment I felt cold and miserable. Thinking about it now, that was probably a defining moment in my Mt. Calm life, but don’t feel too sorry for me. For all Mt. Calm’s upsets and sadness’s, there were crazy, wild memories that brought this Quirky Redneck Girl into existence.