As a child I enjoyed time alone in our large back yard and old orchard. I watched and wondered about small creatures there-various birds, cotton-tail bunnies, an occasional snake and once a baby bat. In spring and summer my sisters and I searched the pastures for wild flowers and fruit and gathered nuts in the fall. But years of extreme drought robbed my older brothers of their usual places to swim in the river and left nothing but sand in the creek. When I was 12 we moved from the property where father, my nine siblings and I had lived all our lives. We moved again when I was 15. By then I enjoyed wandering alone about the pastures and woods. My favorite hours were early morning. I meandered through the grass, unmindful of the crystal dew chilling my bare feet. Often my destination was a special spot, the trunk of a large fallen tree. It was there I sat to record my private thoughts, a habit I still practice and find useful in writing.