This week I thought I’d share some fun stories from when John and I first married. I hope you’ll enjoy this trip down memory lane!
Laughter is what makes a home warm… ~ Catherine Pulsifer
I have nothing against mobile homes. As a matter of fact, some of the sweetest memories of our first years of marriage took place in one. However, I’ve had more than my share of exasperating moments there as well.
When John and I married nearly thirty years ago, we were blessed by the fact that John’s parents were co-owners of a mobile home dealership. I was so excited the day we went to the lot filled with mobile mansions, as our friends liked to call them, to choose which 14’x70’ home we could 1) afford- we got a discount, but not a free trailer- and 2) envision us starting our lives together in. We finally settled on one with a bay window and garden tub. Soon after, we had it moved to John’s family farm.
Our trailer wasn’t the first to be moved to the Roper farm. Three and a half years before, John’s brother, David, and his wife, Sandra, had bought a smaller, used trailer when they first married. They got a really good deal on it because it had been wrecked (I still laugh when I think about that. Whoever heard of a wrecked trailer?), but you could barely tell there’d been any damage, so it wasn’t as bad as it sounds. It was small, though. Tiny.
Now, Sandra was–and still is–a very petite, thin woman. She’s the perfect size for a small home. David, however, is
built like a lumber-jack. He felt like the Jolly Green Giant compared to the tiny rooms, doors and bathroom. Once, he became so aggravated trying to find something to wear in the minuscule closet, he ripped the door off its hinges and threw it in the backyard.
Another important feature their home lacked, besides space, was air conditioning. David and Sandra invited us over for dinner one night and it was so hot, an entire stick of butter melted in its dish before we finished eating. I thought David was going to melt into a puddle right along with it, he was sweating so profusely.
Despite the fact that little trailer fit Sandra’s size, it was far from her dream home. Hoping one day soon they could move, she squeezed every penny until it screamed. Eventually they did move, to a very nice, brand-new double wide mobile mansion in the same spot. It still wasn’t her dream home, but at least David’s clothes could actually fit in the closet.
We had things to deal with in our new home, as well. Because it was cheaper to have a bored well than drilled, we thought that to be a practical decision. Not long after we moved in, though, we discovered why we should have spent the extra money–brown water. Every time we had a hard rain, mud would slide into the well, preventing us from drinking our water for a couple of days. We could, however, shower with it. Let me just say that muddy water doesn’t do much to enhance your hairstyle.
Trying my best to make our little house into a welcoming home, I decided one Saturday to brighten up our little corner of the cow pasture by planting some lovely impatiens. I was so proud of our newly landscaped yard.
Coming home from work the following Monday I was anxious to behold my handiwork. Pulling through the gate of our gravel driveway, I looked up and, instead of seeing my beautiful impatiens, saw Black Angus scattered all over the yard. They’d eaten every single flower.
I’d just discovered the perils of living in a cow pasture–cows. We’d fenced off a small portion of the pasture for the trailer and driveway, so the cows had plenty of room to wander. But if they found one little hole in that fence, they’d make a run for our front yard. And run they did, straight to my flower bed.
Shooing them away, I bolted out of the car, tears of frustration spilling down my face. Why bother? became the motivating question for having an unadorned yard for the next three years.
Cows weren’t the only animals on the farm that interrupted our little paradise. One warm spring evening, John thought it would be nice to turn off the air conditioning (a window unit in the kitchen) and open the bedroom windows for some fresh country air. I had to agree it was nice, until we heard something right outside our bedroom window. John and I looked at each other, terrified of the lurking intruder. Slowly, John sat up and turned toward the window at his side of the bed. He nearly jumped out of his skin when he saw a huge nose pressed against the screen with eyeballs staring back at him. Tilligan, the old white horse who shared the cow pasture, had gotten out of the fence and wandered to our window. I’ve never been so glad to see a horse in my life.
Join me next week for Part 2 of The Misadventures of Life in the Trailerhood 🙂