"Decoupage hit Mooreland pretty hard, as did antiquing, and hand painting one's own ceramics." Ohhh, I remember this!!!
"My dad asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up and I said I'd have to think about it. I questioned some friends, and discovered that these were the options available to me: ice skater, cowboy, teacher of little kids, large animal veterinarian. I didn't really, in my deepest heart, want to be any of those. I began to fear that I might live my whole life without gainful employment, as most of the rest of my family had.........I went outside, where my dad was puttering in his tool shed, and told him I wanted to belong to the Mafia. He asked what did I mean when I said that, and I said like in the movies, and he nodded........After that my life changed, and I mean for the better. Hardly anyone ever bothered me, except for my sister, who must have belonged to whatever is bigger and meaner than the Mafia. Maybe the Jehovah's Witnesses. She dared even to lock me out of the house one night when my parents were away, when there was a bat on the front porch that was clearly diseased and looking for hair. My brother came from out of nowhere and unlocked the door, and just in time, too. Back in the house I gave my sister a whole host of menacing, Italian faces, which she pretended to ignore."
"I don't think I should be the one to tell you."
"Aaaahhh! Tell me what?!" I knew from Marcus Welby, M.D., that this could and did sometimes happen, that bad news was followed by more and more bad news, until finally the doctor was telling you that you had to give up coffee, which I knew for a fact would have killed my dad.
"Mom doesn't want you to know yet, but I think you're old enough." She paused for dramatic effect, as my heart leaped around in my chest like a bluegill on a line. "You're adopted. Mom was never pregnant for you."
I had to lie straight down in the dirt. Oh, my god. This explained so many things. I couldn't think of any right offhand, but I knew my life was about to become tragically clearer to me.
When the sky stopped twirling I jumped up and ran straight in the house to my mother, who was sitting in her corner of the couch, which by this time was a total nest. She was reading Isaac Asimov, the love of her life, and eating popcorn from the night before.
I skidded to a stop in front of her and gave her a look of hardest accusation. Without looking up at me she said, "You should brush that worm stuff off before you come in the house."
"As if that matters! How could you not tell me I was adopted?! Don't you think I have a right to know? And who were my real parents anyway?" I was trying to be mature, but periodically spit flew.
"Gypsies, honey." She had still not looked up from Isaac Asimov Explains the Whole of Reality and Then Some.
"Gypsies? Really?" This was somewhat compelling. I sat down.
"Yes, I thought we managed a very wise trade."
"Gypsies? In Mooreland?"
"They were just passing through. We heard them long before they arrived, because their horses and their wagons are all covered with bells. It's quite lovely. And they were led into town by a pack of wolves, who, during the full moon, stand up and preach." She looked up for a moment, remembering. "They were such a sight."