Time to Move - Chapter 17
Time to Move
Richard showed a sincere interest in the brief stories of my life before I met and fell in love with him when I was almost forty years old. I continue the emails telling him about the time when I was still in my twenties, when my husband, James, twenty-seven, had started a new job with a trucking company, and the boys were one, two, and six.
The emails continued as I remember with clarity the events of my past.
"During this lifetime here on Earth, I have believed in guardian angels and the power of prayer. I needed spiritual help and inner strength as I set forth to find a house that I would turn into a home for my family.
I was led to the neighborhood where I had lived when I was in high school. My parents, younger brother and sister had moved back to the old homeplace in October 1960; this was now 1967.
The real estate man met me at 1428 East Blvd to show me a house that was built by the superintendent of schools in the 1930's and was located across the street from the present elementary school.
The concrete front porch stretched across the entire width of the front of the solidly built frame two story house. The rooms were large: living room with a working fireplace, dining room with two beveled glass windows that I immediately visualized as a "family room", a fifteen square foot kitchen with stove, refrigerator, a pantry, and lots of updated cabinets, three bedrooms with closets, and one bath. And this was only the downstairs. I was excited.
The upstairs consisted of a two bedroom apartment with another large kitchen, living area, and bath, suitable for renting out.
Mr. Johnson, owner of the real estate company, told me that he liked the thought of a young family living in this fine home, and he would rent it to us for $99.50 per month with an option to buy. I was so thankful and immediately said, "We'll take it."
We moved in on my twenty-sixth birthday in January, 1967. Dave was a ten month old baby who stood in his playpen watching his family come and go carrying boxes, furniture, clothes, and all of our belongings. Every time I passed him, I would rub his little cheek and tell him, "You're such a sweet little boy." He was so adorable with his blond curly hair, green eyes, and loving disposition.
Chase, with soft brown hair, green eyes, and so precious at two, was the little helper, bringing in the boy's toys. Blake, the oldest brother, now six years old, with blond hair and blue eyes, was the explorer. He went to scout the neighborhood including the spacious school grounds across the street.
We were in the perfect place. The house was much larger than where we had lived previously and our things were soon put away in a speedy manner. I was delighted. As time moved by, I spent some of the best times of my life in this house - but also the worse.
We signed the papers to purchase within a year. I rented the upstairs apartment, furnished, for twenty-five dollars per week which was enough money to cover the monthly mortgage of $99.50. My neighbors were friendly and we shared conversations and meals, and swapped out time for looking after our children.
After a local minister came by, we visited the nearby Baptist Church. James, Blake and I joined quickly. The folks were friendly and we felt loved and wanted. Chase and Dave walked down the aisle making a commitment to the Lord when they were six and five and were baptized within the month.
During this time, while working at Roadway Trucking, James brought some items home from work that he called O.S. and D. merchandise. He said that the items were overage or damaged stock and the guys on the night shift were able to purchase the things at very reasonable prices.
Since it was the Christmas buying season, I was glad to have inexpensive clothing to use as gifts. I mailed a beautiful white cashmere coat to my mother in just her size. I wtapped other things and placed them under the tree.
One week before school was out for the Christmas Holidays two FBI agents came to my door with a warrant for James' arrest. He and the entire midnight shift were charged with stealing alcohol, firearms, and assorted merchandise.
James was a "Sunday morning Christian" who followed the ways of the world the rest of the time. I knew that James walked very close to the limits of the law, but I believed that if he didn't love me, at least he would stay out of trouble for his sons. I was wrong. All these things I kept to myself, and the boys never knew about their dad's trouble with the law until they were adults".
CONTINUED in CHAPTER 18