Last week I shared Part 1 of our early years of marriage. I know you’ve been waiting all week to find out what happens 🙂 , so without further ado, Part 2 of our misadventures…
Living in the country also comes with other perils that don’t include farm animals; namely thieves. Since John usually worked late into the night and I was home alone, he wired a burglar alarm to all our doors, hoping that would deter any criminals. The only thing was, I kept forgetting it was on, especially on Saturdays while I cleaned house. I can’t tell you how many times my father-in-law had to come bang on my front door to tell me I’d hit the sliding glass door with the vacuum cleaner again, never hearing the alarm screeching across the entire countryside. How embarrassing.
Unfortunately, David and Sandra had to deal with the real thing. They were robbed three times while they lived in that spot. The first two were in the little trailer and David’s tennis shoes and a couple of guns were the only missing items. One of the guns was found later after being used in a robbery in New York State. But the biggie came after they’d moved into the double wide.
Sandra and I’d been gone all day, spending an enjoyable Saturday together shopping through some cute little shops in the North Carolina Mountains. After dropping me off at my trailer, she headed home, about a quarter mile away. A few minutes later David called, saying they’d been robbed again. Sandra had forgotten to turn the alarm on that morning before we left, only realizing it when she walked through the door and felt that sickened feeling that was all too familiar. But this time it was different.
Sandra had spent the entire evening before cleaning her home from top to bottom, even bringing out the old toothbrush to scrub all of the little crevices that usually get missed. But you’d have never known she’d even picked up a dust cloth. These thieves were just plain mean. They took all of the sugar and flour out of Sandra’s canisters and dumped them over the entire house, as well as pulled the mattresses and sheets off every bed. They also cleaned out every piece of jewelry she wasn’t wearing that day, including some sentimental pieces that were irreplaceable. The violation David and Sandra felt was overwhelming. Not to mention terrifying. What if the thieves came back? Needless to say, sleep didn’t come easy for any of us that night. That was, however, the last time they experienced a robbery in their home. Looking back, we can see God’s hand of protection over them, because they were never home during any of the break-ins.
When I think about the difficulties we all endured during those years in the trailer, I realize how God used that time to humble me. Even though I was excited at first to have our own little trailer, I learned not everyone is impressed with the fact you live in a mobile home on a farm. Especially when you’re an architect, like me, or the assistant manager of advertising at Bi-lo corporate office, as Sandra was. God allowed some things to happen that brought fear and frustration, but through it all, He protected us and helped us learn to rely on Him a little more than we had in the past.
It’s been more than 25 years since we lived in those trailers on the farm. God really does have a sense of humor, because, after we each moved into town for a few years, we eventually all ended up back on the hallowed family ground. Understandably, it took a little more coaxing on David’s part to get Sandra to come back, though. This time it’s different because we were each blessed to be able to actually build our dream homes, directly across from each other, complete with clean water and a monitored alarm system (this time the police come instead of John’s dad when we accidentally set it off!). John’s dad recently sold all of his cows, except for the one that was smart enough to get away, so we don’t have to deal with escaping bovine anymore. But we still have our misadventures every now and then, making new memories for the next generation of Ropers. Thank goodness they usually don’t compare, though, to the good old days in the trailerhood.
What funny memories do you have from your early years of living on your own?
Please share them 🙂