I guess it all started around age 2. My dad had banged my mom's best friend shortly after they were married, so mom and I moved in with my aunt and uncle and two older cousins. They were both girls, one was 9 months older than me, the other 3 years older. My mother was 18 at the time, and my aunt and uncle weren't much older. Now that I think back it's actually a miracle the three of us survived.
We didn't have a lawnmower (huge shocker!), so we were each handed a pair of scissors and my aunt told us to "get after it", in her uneducated country twang, while pointing at the front yard. I shit you not. We had to trim the grass around the front walk with scissors. It was a painstaking process to say the least, and our little fingers would be sore from all the chopping. But we did a damn fine job if I do say so myself. I personally would never in a million years trust my three year old with scissors, but I guess that was a different time.
We didn't have a vacuum cleaner either. Actually we didn't have much in the way of "luxuries". No worries for them though, they just made us pick the carpet lint and other debris off of the carpet with our fingers. We would each be handed a grocery bag to put the crap we picked off in. Even after all of this, I never realized how poor we were. That was until the day my uncle was drinking hot water from the tap. I said, "why are you drinking hot water?" He looked at me and said, "it's cold outside." My young little brain still couldn't process what he meant, and I guess I had a confused look on my face. He rolled his eyes and said, "you drink hot water when it's cold out, and cold when it's hot." It was at that moment I realized that we may not be like the other kids we went to school with.
One thing we did have was a rusty old ford that my uncle drove. One day my aunt set us up for washing dishes, and she went to do something outside. We heard a loud crash and then lots of yelling. Turns out she had pulled open the tailgate of this rust bucket and the sides of the truck fell clean off. I'd never seen my uncle so mad. He kept yelling, "I told you once if I've told you a thousand times, you do NOT wash my truck and you do NOT open the damn tailgate because the mf'er will fall apart!!" It was pretty fucking hilarious even at the age of 4. The truck looked very similiar to this one:
Oh, and we had weed in our fruit bowl on the kitchen table. Most people have, oh, I don't know, FRUIT in their fruit bowl. And that led to what I'm about to tell you. We were in the 4th grade, I remember it like it was yesterday. McGruff the D.A.R.E. dog came to our school along with some police officers to teach us about drugs. They had samples of some of the drugs with them. (Now that I think about it, it seems a little weird that they would bring drugs to an elementary school, but I digress.) He pulled out a baggie of dried marijuana leaves, and before I could stop myself I had an overwhelming urge and shouted "heyyyy, we have that at our house!" And that was the last day I saw weed in the fruit bowl. Not the last day I smelled it, but the last day I ever saw it out in the open. With the exception of the occasional roach in an ashtray.
Things that were seen a lot in our house growing up: