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  • When we moved onto our 9 acres only the lower field was still that and it had small Popple Trees sprouting up in it. Older neighbors remember the fields and haying them. The farmhouse for the farm was across the road below us, long and turquoise. The barn is now long gone. The name on the mailbox was Treed and that is what we called the wild family that lived there. The house had broken windows and the doors were off their hinges. The yard was full of garbage, derelict cars, whatever landed there. A series of scary dogs were chained out front. They growled and lunged at everyone. From inside you would hear" Shuttt up" The mother was the female head of household and seemed to like her drink quite a bit, especially coffee brandy from the bottles in the yard. She also liked to entice various gentlemen from the area to party with her at night. The trash man says she used to try to get him inside when he came to pick up the trash. Her hair was bushy and wild. She had several children, girls and boys. I never knew what happened to the boys.

    The oldest girl looked a lot like her, rough and stocky, but was more serious and circumspect. She had her first child when she was about 13. Since there had been a series of men through the house, some staying over briefly, some just there to party, there is not telling who the father was. She watched after the younger kids and to go to school .

    The next oldest girl was wild and she was also beautiful. She and mom partied together and soon she was pregnant once, then twice. Eventually she went off with her boyfriend . Mom got worse and worse. Screaming went on day and night. The cops came and went. The kids had scared eyes.The oldest girl was getting near 18 by now and she was angry, at everyone. She had her own kids, sometimes her sister's. Her mom was out of control. It was bad. But then she did something: she kicked Mom out. The street was alive with cop cars. Screaming and howling went on for hours. And then it was quiet.

    Younger sister moved back for a while with a boyfriend and then she was gone. I suspect she was asked to leave too. The oldest had a steady mate and another child. One time they got a goat. Dogs came and went. Once they tried flowers.

    A few years ago when the yard had been really bad with piles of garbage, dirty diapers, and car carcasses, they got a calf. They staked it out in the front yard for some time. The grass it was eating had to be toxic. I never knew whether it grew up and was slaughtered for food or what. I thought I spotted it out back one day that summer. Maybe it fed them that winter.

    There are no new babies. Every year it seems they try to take a step forward . The yard gets cleaned up and mowed once in summer. . They bought a pool.The cars seem to run longer.

    They are still there. They have a pool in the front yard and the same man has lived there for a long time. The cars come and go and so do the animals but this year they are cutting firewood early, earlier than us. They are getting by and seem content. I have a lot of respect for this woman who has had way too much pain. The name on the mailbox was really T. Reed. I think her name is Debby. We make eye contact and we say hi. That's all. I wish I could say that I had made a difference. I haven't. I just know I have a great deal of respect .
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