“There’s more to life than what you see,” My mother used to say to me as we drove through town in the dead of night. She delivered newspapers to every home in our tiny village of Sabina, Ohio, and once I turned ten she finally allowed me to stay up late and join her on her escapade. I can’t remember what possessed her to want to stay up after midnight to deliver papers and then get up early in the morning to deliver mail for the postal service, but my mother was always one to keep herself busy. She hated sitting around and doing nothing; it made her feel useless. “There’s a whole ‘nother world out there,” She pointed to the night sky, millions and millions of stars blinking at us, and the moon that provided a dim white light.
I grew up in these Bald Cypress trees, having spent the majority of my childhood on the boat with Pop and my older and only brother, Carl. I was raised in the sawgrass prairies, hunting and fishing every weekend with Pop. He taught Carl and I a route that took us from our backyard to the Gulf, and only on occasion would he venture out and show us different parts of the Everglades. He worried that we would go off on our own, get lost and not be able to find our way back. I used to argue this, telling him that the only way to ensure that we didn't get lost would be to explore the area. Pops declined and would hide the keys to his boat every time he left for a business trip, but Carl and I knew all of his hiding places. He would hide them in Ma's old shoes in the back of the closet, or at the bottom of the laundry basket because he knew that we wouldn't do the laundry while he was away...or in general.