Some people say that “the past does not determine the future, but it is the raw material from which the future will be made.” From my personal experience I can say that that is true. Where people grow up and the type of people they grow up with greatly affects what their personality becomes later in life. The environment people spend their first years in and what their family life is, can drastically change how a person may think. I am who I am today because of my father and where I grew up.
This place was heaven for my dad, who greatly affected my interests. My old house is between Denton and Lewisville. That little area is called Hickory Creek and when I lived there it was mostly woody area since it had not been developed like it is today. My father bought the place since it has a nice little house in the woods right next to Lake Lewisville. Since we were away from civilization, he could play with guns on the property without getting in trouble with the neighbors and could take us kayaking whenever he wanted to. The house was also close to his “ranch” where he hunts and rides dirt bikes, four wheelers, and tractors. He was the one who taught me how to ride a four wheeler at age seven and shoot guns before I could remember anything. Now every winter and whenever I am not busy, I go hunting with him. He was the one that made me into a tomboy and made me almost the only kid that went hunting in my grade during lower school, and definitely the only girl to do that. I was like the son he never had. Growing up in my old house gave me a great relationship with my father and caused me to like things that are not very common to the everyday girl.
Living in a woody area made me learn to love nature more than most children. On normal days in grade school, my sister and I would go outside and play in the forest everyday. We caught butterflies in spring, had snow ball fights in winter, “explored” our little seven-and-a-half acre domain, holding saws or sticks and pretending to be on an adventure into the unknown, always coming up with a different story to follow and a different mission to fulfill. The interactions we had with nature were very special and sometimes strange. A family of owls lived right above our house and during spring we could see the heads of baby owls poking out from their nest. In the evening, the cicadas would come out and start chirping; and when I went to bed I could hear coyotes howling in the distance. We also had a lot of unusual things happen to us. One day our neighbor came by with a bow and arrows telling he was chasing a rabid dog that attacked him on his way home from school. Since our house was so open and different from everyone else’s, the few friends I had loved coming over. There was a natural rock that we would climb, overgrown fields we walked through, giant mushrooms we threw rocks at, and a nice little area we named Geode Creek, full of small, large and really large geodes. Growing up in a natural environment gave me a strong love for animals, a respect for nature, and creating stories with my sister helped my imagination grow.
Even though I was a weird kid in lower school and parts of middle school, I am happy that I got to grow up in an environment like my old house, surrounded by nature, and I am happy with how I turned out. I would like to have my own kids grow up in a place similar to where I lived most of my elementary school life which might not happen because my parents are thinking of selling the place. Living in the woods is an experience that most people do not have the privilege of having and I am very glad I was able to.