My HomeWe were a large family. Mom And Dad and then the six of us children. Because of that factor my mom planned out meals for the entire week, would make a shopping list and then go shopping for the exact items that would make sure she would have enough to feed six kids and two large hungry adults who had worked all day. My mother was amazing in her calculations. There was always enough cooked for our plates to have healthy sizes of vegetables and also a large piece of meat. Whether that was pork, beef, or chicken and on the holidays Turkey or Ham. We raised our own pork and beef to slaughter and package because they were so expensive in the store. We never did raise chickens and I was so glad of that because I hated the taste of fresh chicken and from being at a friends house when it was chicken eating time you had to go and wring your own chicken’s neck. It sort of made it inedible to me. The beef and pork were taken to the slaughter house and came back in nice little white paper packages marked “ground beef” “steak” or “pork chops” or their famous “pork sausage” of course there were lots of roasts, ribs, and other high ticket items we would never have ever been able to afford to buy in the store. We always felt rich when we had a freezer full of beef and pork. We also grew some vegetables corn, carrots, radishes, tomatoes, Green onions, and of course watermelons!
Those days were the days we felt rich. Compared to other children’s families we actually were rich. My parents always made sure we had enough food to eat and that was a chore when you had six children just a few years apart from one another coming with starving bellies to the table to be fed. That’s one thing I can say about the years we lived on Ed Wells Road we always seemed to have food. The places we lived before I can remember going hungry and having very little to eat. Both my parents were ravaged by alcoholism during that time period. If it hadn’t been for my eldest sister making the simplest of dishes like pancakes or eggs or oatmeal and sometimes grits, I tremble to fear what would have happened. Our saving grace is we lived in the orange groves and during the season for citrus we could just go outside and get an orange, grapefruit, lemon, guava and any other citrus fruits that we could wander through the groves find to eat and if we liked them eat our fill. Our dad had a job as a grove maintenance worker and we were allowed to eat any and every fruit in the grove we lived in.
But when we moved to Ed Wells Road Mom would buy the extra foods such as sauces and pasta and vegetables we didn’t grow in the garden. To keep our supplies evened out and to make her job easier Mom had made a menu for the week. Wednesday nights were Spaghetti night. This was my favorite night. My favorite meal. We would have spaghetti and Ragu Spaghetti Sauce, we also had the bread toasted with garlic butter, salads, and fresh cut corn. Times at Ed Wells Road were definitely healthy for our bodies. Not so much for our minds. Alcoholism brings a lot of hurt and fear and always makes a wide hole of fear open up.
Mom got pregnant with the last of us six children in that house. There was a lot of terror we went through living in that house, but the good days during the work week made our family almost seem normal.
The old house was destroyed in a hurricane years after we moved out, it was the closest thing to a home I ever lived in.
The bad times there outweighed the good times while we lived there, but today I want to remember the good things. Besides the good things at that house on Ed Wells Road were good enough to get us through the bad times.