Before the river house, we lived in a house that was on a small street between the river house and the big church on the hill. Although wasn’t a hill as much as a big mound. It rose above all the streets that encircled it. It was the big green island in the middle of town. Parades used to end there and begin there. The foot-paths were wide with little walls on the sides holding back lush bushes, trees, and lawn.
It was mostly shady there and flowers were everywhere. We would walk around, and through the grounds on the way to town sometimes. Later when we moved to the hillside house, I would sometimes walk through the cathedral grounds on the way home or rarely, to school, only if I saw Ollie. Then I would follow her in case some mean boys would taunt and throw stones at her.
The frilly house was white with a white fence, and a little black mailbox attached to the fence outside. It was a sweet and dainty temporary house, like the others, offered up to help us, the poor refugees, out for a little while. It was right up close to the houses on each side of it. I think many memories of this house were shoved out of my brain by the big Alsatian shepherd dog who lived next door. Every time he saw me, he jumped against the fence, barking, and growling. He scared me so much, that I was in a constant state of terror. One day he got out. My mother was pushing my brother in the pram when he jumped on me. She let the pram go. All I remember is the screaming, she screaming, me screaming, the dog growling, all teeth and spit, and then the pram rolling away with my brother in it.