I didn't want to move to Colorado. I didn't want my dad to die
or my mom to ever get married again either. And I sure didn't want
her to get religious all of a sudden. But all those things happened to
my brother and me, so I guess you'll just have to get used to it like
My name is Ashley Timberline, and my younger brother (by 57
seconds-but he's still younger) is Bryce. We're almost 14, if 217
days is almost. Our last name used to be Bishop, but our new dad
adopted us, so now we've got his name. Good thing Mom didn't
name me Fern or Tabby. Imagine that with my new last name. Mom
said we didn't have to take the new name, but I would have felt bad
hurting our stepfather's feelings.
My youngest brother, Dylan, who is four, was born before our
real dad died. He's a pain, but he's a lot cuter than Bryce, and I can
get him to do stuff just by offering him a couple of Smarties.
We also got a big sister thrown in with our new dad. Leigh's 16
and learning to drive. She has a boyfriend named Randy, but Bryce
and I call him The Creep. He's actually kind of cute, with hair he
never combs and big muscles. But we give her a hard time about
Randy played on the varsity football team in the fall and now varsity
baseball this spring. He's always getting his name in the paper,
and once there was a picture of him making a big tackle. I wrote
"The Creep takes down his opponent" underneath it, and Leigh got
mad. Not as mad as the time Bryce dipped her hairbrush in the fish
tank, but mad enough to tell her dad. He came in and sat on my bed
and grinned for about five minutes, then left.
The hardest thing we've ever done is move from Illinois. When we
drove away from our little house, it seemed like we left every friend
we'd ever had. The new people were already moving in, which was
sad. We'd written our names in the cement by the driveway. Half of
Dylan's car collection is still buried in the backyard. The cheap swing
set my mom bought at a garage sale is still under that big, leafy tree.
My friend Carolyn said she was jealous of me getting to move out
west, making a new start. I would have traded places with her in a
second. There were enough new things going on without having to
move 1,000 miles. Mom said "the Lord" was guiding her even back
then before she knew him. But whoever the Lord was, he wasn't doing
anything but making me cry myself to sleep in the backseat of our
Ford Taurus Wagon.
I stopped sobbing when we hit the Illinois/Iowa state line and
snorted myself to sleep. I woke up long enough to eat in Missouri,
then cried again after dessert-a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard.
Bryce didn't sleep at all and said I didn't miss much on the drive, except
a guy hitchhiking near Salina, Kansas. Bryce said the guy had a
beard longer than we were tall and he was sitting by a dead deer with
a banjo. (The guy had the banjo, not the deer.)
When we got to Colorado, the first thing Dylan did was throw
up. That made me think things were going to be really yucky here,
but Mom said it was only the altitude-living so far above sea level
where the air is thinner. Less oxygen for some reason. If you ever
come here, you might throw up too.
A year later Mom fell in love with The Cowboy, as we called Sam
back then. They were married, and we moved to his place. Then
Mom became a Christian, and not because of our new dad, because
he wasn't-and isn't-one. Bryce and I thought Mom was just going
through a holy phase, but when it stuck, we got interested too.
Finally, Bryce and I became Christians.
I thought I'd always been one, but that's another story.