The Decision


Author’s note: My name is Travis Hodge. I am a student at Mifflin County High School. I chose to write about my girlfriend’s stepdad, Steve, because he had an interesting story. The story is told from his point of view and takes place in 1981 in Juniata County. Steve grew up in a very large family. He had two sisters and three brothers. His life was constant chaos because they were not far apart from each other in age. Steve woke up one morning and decided to move in with his grandmother. He came up with this idea so he would be able to have his own bedroom and relieve stress. Steve had to gain his parent’s acceptance before anything and when he did ask them, he ended up being successful.


Hi, my name is Steve. The year that I am writing about is 1981, and I was in Juniata County. I have five siblings: three brothers and two sisters. My brothers’ names are Harry, Brian and Jim, and my sisters’ names are Jenn and Mary. Living with this many siblings could be tough. I was only 17 years old when I came up with a brilliant idea to move in with my grandmother. My grandmother and I have a strong relationship with each other. My grandmother thought that it would be an amazing idea also, but I was afraid to tell my parents I wanted to move in with her.

“Mom and Dad, can we talk?” I said nervously.

“Yes, we sure can, honey. What’s the matter?” my mom said.

“I was thinking about moving in with my grandmother,” I said, struggling to get the words out. “Why?” my dad said confused.

“I feel like I would be more comfortable there,” I asserted, trying to get my point across. My mother and my dad exited the room to talk. I was pacing back and forth while they talked; I could hear the mumbling and yelling through the door. I loved my gram, and I never wanted to let her down because she was excited to hear what they had to say. My parents came back into the room.

“You can go live with your grandmother, but you better behave and follow her rules,” my dad said sternly.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” I said, thrilled to know that they listened. After that, I jumped up and down, and I hugged them as hard as an anaconda squeezing its prey. I quickly called my grandmother on the phone and told her the good news. She told me to pack my clothes because she was on her way. I wanted to wait to tell my siblings because I was afraid to see and hear their reaction. But my gram was on her way, so I had no choice but to tell them.

I sprinted into my sisters’ room and said, “Bad news for you, I’m moving out and going to live with gram.”

Mary said, “Yes! One less brother in the house … I mean, oh I’m sorry, Steve.”

“Why are you moving? Did mom and dad kick you out?” Jenn asked concernedly.

“No, I just want peace and quiet,” I replied.

“Well I wish you luck and we will miss you,” Jenn said.

We hugged, and tears were shed. So, I went down the hall to my room that was shared with three brothers. “I’m moving out and going to live with gram.”

“Sweet! I finally get the top bunk!” Harry said while moving his things onto my bed. Jim just told me to have fun and left because he had to go to work. Brain cried because we were close.

“I’m gonna miss you dude,” Brian sniffled.

“I’ll come visit; I promise. Now I have to pack because she’s on her way.”

While I was packing my bags, I sure did cry. All my childhood memories were in this house, but me moving was for the best. I made sure to pack pictures for memories if I ever felt lost. I did not know how to feel about moving because of the way my siblings felt. I knew moving out of the house would be a good idea because then my siblings would not argue as much. My grandmother got to my house, and she helped me load my hefty luggage into her green busted up station wagon. My mom and dad insisted on my gram and I staying for dinner before we took off. My mom cooked an enormous pot of chicken corn soup and made her homemade bread loaf. Dinner was so noiseless that you could hear a needle drop on the floor.

After dinner, my siblings and I said our final goodbyes. “When will I see you next?” said Jim.

“If you are not doing anything next weekend, I can come over and we can go fishing in that stream,” I said.

“Plans made, Steve,” Jim said while patting me on the back. Jenn and Mary gave me a hug and wished me luck. No tears were shed between us three because we were hardly close with one another. Harry and Brian hugged me at the same time and said that they were going to miss me and could not wait to see me again. My mom cried and hugged me tightly, but she did not speak a word. My dad gave me a hug and rubbed my head like I was a dog, messing up my hair.

“Are you ready, Steven?” my grandmother asked.

“Yes, Grandmother,” I said cheerfully. We walked out the front door of my parents’ house and right before I stepped into my grandmother’s station wagon I turned around to give one final wave to my family. They were all huddled against each other waving back at me. I got in the car, put my seat belt on, my grandmother beeped the horn, and we drove off. My grandmother lived about 20 or so minutes from my parents’ house, so we had a little bit of a long drive. Halfway down the road, it got really quiet, so I turned on the radio. Bon Jovi was playing. I did not sing along; I just continued to look out the window at my new surroundings, which was mostly just a couple of fields and woods.

“Steve, are you OK?” my gram asked concerned by how silent I was.

“Yeah, I’m just a little tired. That’s all,” I said.

We pulled into my grandmother’s house, and I started to get very excited. Her house was a massive two-story mountain stone house. She only had a front yard, but that did not matter to me anyway because I never did play in the yard. My grandmother put the car in park, and we unbuckled and stepped out. She opened the hatch and got out my luggage. We walked through the front door, and she led me up the steps to my new room. “Go ahead and get settled in. Then come on downstairs, and we will watch a movie and have popcorn before bed,” she said.

“OK, Grandmother.” I set my luggage on my bed. My comforter was a blue and white plaid, and the walls to my bedroom were blue. The room smelled freshly painted. I opened my bag and took out my pictures. I took them and placed them on my four-drawer brown wooden dresser. I put all my clothes in my dresser and hung my bag on my bedroom door. I sat on my bed and smiled. “I’m home,” I said. “I’m home.”