Hauling wood is a hard job for a little girl. My parents, brothers, and I carried wood in the fall from our wood pile in wagons and wheelbarrows to the back door of our garage which had a back staircase into the basement. We stacked the wood in the basement to fuel our wood stove back before it was removed as an allergen. 

I was a strong girl and tried to make my parents proud by lifting the heaviest piece of wood that took up half of the little red wagon. Instead of making everyone happy, I got sequestered to indoor chores like laundry and dishes. Mom said I shouldn’t have lifted that heavy piece of wood because I could get a hernia. I almost felt guilty reading books and playing Barbie dolls while my brothers were outside working. Matt didn’t have any chores because he is autistic. 

One day while I was washing dishes, Matt came into the kitchen. He opened the silverware drawer and pulled out a knife. He waved the knife in my face and told me that he was going to poke my eyes out. I ran away. Mom put all of the knives up in the second row of the cupboard. Matt could no longer reach them. I had to stand on my tiptoes to put them away. The knives are still there to this very day. 

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