All of us were packed inside our family's car for the 500 mile move from southern New Mexico to northern New Mexico. It was hot. It was crowded. And, each of us anticipated with glee and apprehension the first moment we would see the area we would now live.
“Oh no!” I complained. “It is UGLY!” All I saw was dirt, weeds, short mountains with flat-tops, and scrubby looking trees. My excitement dropped to the bottom of my stomach. Tears threatened to seep out of my eyes with uncontrolled abandon. (Nope! I dare not cry, it would make my father angry).
My sister, two years younger than I, agreed with me. My little brothers were both simply too young to care. Between my sister and I, I was the more forgiving one toward this move. She was devastated that she had to leave her Junior High School and all her friends to move to this gawd awful place. It was hard for me to leave my friends too, but because I was only in the sixth grade it didn't really seem to matter all that much.
We were all excited over the house, and me especially. We moved into a nice home across the street from my favorite cousin. She and I would be going to the same school, except that I was twelve years old and she was only eleven years old and would be in a different class.
My cousin and I would hike to the canyon that existed right behind our home. We had many exciting adventures in that canyon!
Our mother was able to stay home for about three or four months. Every day she made fresh eclairs for us to eat when we got home from school. That was heaven!
I was so excited to start a new school in the middle of the school year. I was excited to make new friends! It turned out to be one of the most difficult things I had to do as a young child (almost teenager). In my class at my old school we were learning fractions; how to multiply and divide fractions. Not in my new school! No! They were doing “new” math. I had no idea what “new” math was and I was much too shy to ask for help. For the remainder of the school year I was a wall-flower, made only a few friends, and remained confused in math.
That was also a difficult time for me. Not because of my new school, but because of my relationship with my sister. She was angry, took it out on me, and just happened to be my room-mate. It was difficult, as well, because of the rocky relationship between my parents. Although I don't quite remember why, I believe it was because of my father's alcohol consumption. Alcohol made my father angry and mean. We quickly learned to avoid him, but our mother could not.
Why I thought the Four Corners was ugly I don't really know, because the place we came from was flat, dry, with a lot of tumble weeds and sand storms. At least the Four Corners had mesas and interesting rock formations and is close to the mountains, lakes, and rivers. (Three rivers to be exact).
At the age of twelve years old I was at the cusp of becoming a young woman yet still fully a child. I lived in fear at home and in solitude at school.
This is about all I can remember at the age of twelve. Maybe there is a reason why. I don't remember.