I think for women of a certain age, the word “cherish” has only one association (ha ha ha). I was in ninth grade and I was moving away from the town where I’d left childhood and grown into a teenager. 9th grade back then was the last year of the arcane thing known as junior high.

We’d lived in Bellevue, Nebraska for six years. My mom hated it. My dad liked it. My brother and I? Kids just live wherever, I think, little kids anyway. I grew into the small town. I liked it. I was active in Rainbow Girls, I was studying piano and getting somewhere, and I was popular in my school, one of the cool of the cool. Most important, I had my first boyfriend. Rex. He started being my boyfriend in fifth grade.

And we were moving back to Colorado.

My Aunt Martha flew out from Denver to drive one of our two cars. By then my mom had her drivers license, but my dad’s abilities had deteriorated and he tired easily (multiple sclerosis) so he wouldn’t be up to driving the two long days from Bellevue to Colorado Springs. The movers would pack our stuff once we were gone. We spent the night before our move in a motel in our very town. I have no idea how the logistics of this worked. At age 14 I wasn’t responsible for anything but me.

We spent a night on the road. In Colorado Springs, my family spent a few nights in a motel and I went to Denver with Aunt Martha. The following week, we moved into a little brick tract house that was a lot like the house we’d left behind. Our stuff arrived and the movers put everything where it was supposed to be.

The family tried to slide smoothly into a new life.

I missed everything. I missed being cool (because now I wasn’t). I missed my piano teacher (but he wrote me). I missed knowing where I was. I missed my small town. My piano teacher (a German Jew who’d fled Hitler) reminded me how much I loved the mountains and explained that soon I would be happy to be there.

Most of all, I missed my boyfriend. At 14 I wasn’t allowed to date and I don’t think Rex was either, but we HAD held hands (I never told my mom). In 9th grade there were two dances and Rex and I had already agreed we’d go together. I saw a whole future of football games and dances with him.

In my anonymous bedroom in a new city I didn’t even like, I cried and thought of Rex whenever the clock radio on the shelf of the headboard of my twin bed played:

Listening to it now, it was totally non-applicable to my situation. ❤

And, through 9th grade in Colorado Springs, I went to all the dances with my brother.

22 thoughts on “Transplanted

  1. YES YES YES! That’s exactly what went through my head when I saw the prompt. I loved that song and that group (Windy being my favorite). Junior High days not as memorable as yours (I was never cool), but music like that helped get me through – also only applicable in my active imagination. We also moved when I was in Junior High. Not easy. ❤️

    • It’s kind of funny but as we all know, I love the San Luis Valley. One day I was driving and the song “Never My Love” came on the 60s station and I sang along and I was singing to the San Luis Valley. ❤

  2. I was with you all the way – until the dances with your brother. Oh no! Not that! Anything but that! I was not one of the cool kids and I never went to a dance until my Jr. year in HS. BUT if I had and went with my brother (I didn’t have a brother) it would have been the cool killer forever. I don’t think I would have ever socially recovered! I suppose what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. You Martha are one strong woman! (probably why you love those mountains)

    • Strangely, going with my brother was fun. Being the new kids had formed a bond of solidarity between my brother and me. By then I’d passed out in class during an educational film about venereal disease. That killed the possibility of cool forever. So I learned that cool was not caring what the cool kids thought. It was like, “I’m so cool, I can go to a dance with my brother.” It turned out to be an important lesson

  3. Amazing how music transports us instantly somewhere else! I was also transplanted after my sophomore year…I resonated with a lot of what you shared. 🙂 Whatever happened to Rex?

  4. I wish I could relate, but this was one of those ‘sappy’ songs that I turned off when they came on the radio. I liked the faster rock n’ roll songs instead.

  5. I sure remember the song and similar feelings about lost love (although I didn’t have a move to blame:) My clock radio was much like the one pictured, although it’s gray and beige and a Magnavox. And, I have kept it all these year! It’s up on the shelf in my closet, but it’s still with me…

  6. I loved that song growing up! But now…oh my god, I never knew what the band looked like and I wish I had remained ignorant! Oh well.

    What a challenging stage of life to have to move, start fresh in a new school, make friends. Glad your brother had your back.

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