she hadn’t been getting enough exercise

slick with mold and algae. It became a real problem when you had to go down under the house to use the toilet at nig ht, and each of us had slipped and fallen off the porch at least once. It was a good ten feet to the ground.
„We have to do something about the porch situation,“ I told Mom. „It’s getting downright dangerous to go to the bathroom at night.“Besides,the toilet under the house was now totally un nike air max classic usable. It had overflowed, and you were better off digging yourself a hole in the hillside somewhere.
„You’re right,“ Mom said. „Something has to be done.“She bought a bucket. It was cheap nike air max made of yellow plastic, and we kept it on the floor in the kitchen, and that was what we used whenever we had to go to the bathroom. When it filled up, some brave soul would carry it outside, dig a hole, and empty it.
Chapter 7
ONE DAY WHILE Brian and I were out scrounging around on the edge of our property, he picked up a piece of rotting lumber, and there among cheap nike air max the pill bugs and night crawlers was a diamond ring. The stone was big. At first we thought it was just neat junk, but we spit-polished it and scratched glass with it like Dad had shown us nike air max 90 , and it seemed real. We figured it must have belonged to the old lady who had lived t nike air max 95 here. She had died before we moved in. Everyone had said she was a little loopy.
„What do you think it’s worth?“ I asked Brian.
„Probably more than the house,“ he said.
We figured we could sell it and buy food, pay off the house桵om and Dad kept missing the monthly payments, and there was talk that we were going to be ev nike air max 2013 icted梐nd maybe still have enough left over for something special, like a new pair of sneakers for each of us.
We brought the ring home and cheap nike air max trainers showed it to Mom. She held it up to the light, then said we needed to have it appraised. The next day she took the Trailways bus to Bluefield. When she returned, she told us it was in fact a genuine two-carat diamond.
„So what’s it worth?“ I asked.
„That doesn’t matter,“ Mom said.
„How come?““Because we’re not selling it.“She was keeping it, she explai nike air max canada ned, to replace the wedding ring her mother had given her, the one Dad had pawned shortly after they got married.
„But Mom,“ I said. „that ring could get us a lot of food.““That’s true,“ Mom said, „but it could also improve my self-esteem. And at times like these, self-esteem is even m nike air max 90 sale ore vital than food.“* * *Mom’s self-esteem did need some shoring up. Sometimes, things just got to her. She retreated to her sofa bed and stayed there for days on end, crying and occasionally throwing things at us. She could have been a famous artist by now, she yelled, if she hadn’t had children, and none of us appreciated her sacrifice. The next day, if the mood had passed, she’d be painting and humming away as if nothing had happened.
One Saturday morning nike air max 1 not long after Mom started wearing her new diamond ring, her mood was on nike air max an upswing, and she decided we’d all clean the house. I thought this was a great idea. I told Mom we should empty out each room, clean it thoroughly, and put back only the things that were essential. That was the one way, it seemed to me, to get rid of the clutter. But Mom said my idea was too time-consuming, so all we ended up d nike air max sale oing was straightening piles of paper into stacks and stuffing dirty clothes into the chest of drawers. Mom insisted that we chant Hail Marys while we worked. „It’s a way of cleansing our souls while we’re cleaning house,“ she said. „We’re killing two birds with one stone.“The reason she had become a tad moody, she said later that day, was that she hadn’t been getting enough exercise. „I’m going to start doing ca

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