Since I don't have any recollection of my infancy I have to rely on Carol's stories. I was lead to believe that we moved a lot in the first years of my life. Someone explained to me that it takes about 3 months to get evicted from somewhere so that was our average stay in one place. Carol became pregnant and Bob was not happy. He found it embarrassing that she was pregnant so quickly after my arrival. Bob urged Carol to get an abortion. Carol was not going to give up a baby, she had lost my older sister Paulette just 24 hours after she was born and wasn't about to give up a baby on purpose.
I was a happy content baby. I would occupy the top of the refrigerator in a baby seat during parties were I would great those coming for a beer or I would sleep seemingly unaware of all the noise around me. To this day I sleep better with some type of noise, a radio, TV and if I really need to concentrate there is nothing better than a room full of noisy/active people.
Remember when I said that Carols naming me would be bad for my sister, well Bob was ready for her when the second girl showed up 1 year, 1 month and a day after me. He named her Colleen Andria. Never in my whole life has anyone ever called my sister Colleen, she is and always has been Chelsea Eve. Legally however her drivers license says Colleen Andria aka Chelsea Eve. Tell me that isn't cool, Chelsea has an alias. Way cool! What's funnier years later Bob would name another daughter Chelsea. We'll get to that.
Chelsea was born in Long Beach. We continued the hippie nomad thing moving every three months until I am not sure what lead to the decision entirely but Carol had enough of Bob (I think he was cheating but I really don't know) and packed up. Carol paired up with her best friend grabbed everything that would fit in the car and drove to Virginia. I was two and Chelsea celebrated her first birthday on the road. By then I had named her DeeDee because "I am the baby...she is the DeeDee." I don't think that Carol never intended to return to California, but I wouldn't go back until the summer I was 14 and even then it was briefly. However thanks to the blue eyes and blond hair I have been identified as a "California girl" my whole life. I love it when that happens.
I believe I remember walking to the front door where I saw my grandma for the first time. Papa and Grandma were thrilled to have the grand babies there but immediately decided Carol's dirty hippie friend was a whore and druggie. Didn't help that she gave everybody crabs (not the type that come in a bushel). And it didn't take long for her to wear out her welcome and move on. Carol was not adjusting to rural Virginia well, she missed California and the many free thinking friends she left behind. New Market was a Civil war town and many of the families had been living in the valley for generations. Closest thing to civilization was in Harrisonburg where James Madison University provided more people her age and more free thinking.
Despite being a California girl, Virginia plays a crucial part in my life. I think of it as BASE, when ever things don't go well, when ever Carol has no where else to go we always return to base. Even when I get older and go through my divorce, I too, run to BASE. Virginia is for Lovers is what the old State campaign used to say. Virginia is where I start school, it is where I spend my summers as a teen it is where my grand parents live for 40 plus years, it is where I take my kids for a hometown 4th of July every year for 13 years, it is where Bianca is born and it is where I meet and marry Damin. Coincidentally it is where I will spend Christmas this year. Yes, Virginia is Home.