The old two-story house, devoid of any sign of paint having ever adorned its outside, sat on water thirsty soil in the middle of the California farmland beset by drought. Running barefoot through soft green grass was a pleasure some children enjoyed elsewhere, but this wasn't to become her memory in this arid plot where a tire swing hung from a tree and where her shoes scuffed at caked dry dirt beneath.
Water was needed to irrigate the crops, and give water to the farm animals and to a few roses on one side of the home. It would soon become necessary to move on to where water fell freely from the sky, where wells didn't dry up, and maybe to a home that had been painted and where there weren't any dust storms that blew right through the boards of the house.
In years to come she would recall how she and her brother on some warm summer Sunday afternoons would lay on the plush green grass surrounding their next farm home and watch the clouds adrift in the sky. The yard brought with it hours of weeding, mowing, raking, and mulching, but also feelings of accomplishment, and toned bodies from hard work, and of course some grumbling when starting the mower was difficult to do, and pushing wheelbarrow loads of mulch tiring.