ã€€ã€€Dad took us kids across the street to a bar, then went back to help fight the fire. A waitress with red fingernails and blue-black hair asked if we wanted a Coca-Cola or, heck, even a beer, because we'd been through a lot that night. Brian and Lori said yes, please, to Cokes. I asked if I might please have a Shirley Temple, which was what Dad bought me whenever he took me to a bar. For some reason, the waitress laughed.
ã€€ã€€"We haven't had anything to eat but popcorn for three days," I said.
ã€€ã€€"Cats don't like to travel," Mom explained.
ã€€ã€€After one block, Evan put down my suitcase. "This is heavy," he said. "What do you have in here?""My coal collection."He looked at me blankly.
ã€€ã€€Just then the door burst open. Someone was calling our names. It was Dad. Lori and Brian woke up and ran to him, coughing from the smoke. I still couldn't move. I watched the fire, expecting that at any moment my blanket would burst into flames. Dad wrapped the blanket around me and picked me up, then ran down the stairs, leading Lori and Brian with one arm and holding me in the other.
ã€€ã€€* * *At first Mom tried to make living at 93 Little Hobart Street seem like an adventure. The woman who had lived there before us left behind an old-fashioned sewing machine that you operated with a foot treadle. Mom said it would come in handy because we could make our own clothes even when the electricity was turned off. She also claimed you didn't need patterns to sew, you could get creative and wing it. Shortly after we moved in, Mom, Lori, and I measured one another and tried to make our own dresses.