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Pleasantly Going Backwards In A Forward Society: CHAPTER 3; Put The House WHERE?
Pleasantly Going Backwards In A Forward Society
My New 3 Favorite Words: IT’S PAID FOR!
An ongoing essay of truths, mishaps and growing experiences by Sarah Jackson
CHAPTER 3: PUT THE HOUSE WHERE?
My husband and I agree as we stand inside the kitchen of a 1974 (it’s as old as me!) mobile home that we see great potential within these walls. We’ve looked everywhere for a suitable home, including one out in the middle of nowhere (there were banjos playing) that was stated to have a “small leak” and in fact barely had a roof at all because it was now on the floor! Those wily ads…always sending us on a wild chase. Now is different. We say the “p” word out loud to each other, nodding in approval. “Potential….yes.” Visions of hardwood floors and craftsmanship dance in my head. We agree to buy.
We found a home! And we bought a whole house (well, two halves of a whole house) for only $3,500.00! That leaves us lots of room to create. I think by now a burden should lift, but instead I feel indigestion. I watch my husband sign a check and we wave goodbye. Apparently that was the fun part. Shopping. Now we have something with which we’ve never dealt; moving a house. Time to call friends and ask questions.
Before we get into the anomaly that is moving houses, let me brief you on what has had to occur up to this point. My husband literally and physically carved out a place into which we can place a house. Since our chosen paradise is amidst a wooded area fit to make a boy scout drool, we had to “bypass” a few trees to create a “space”. Then we had to “displace” a few more trees, and then trim a few branches…this took my husband close to three months! A man, a chainsaw, a stump grinder, and a dream. Oh yeah, in June, July and August in the hottest part of the Southern United States. Factor in 497 Gatorades, 134 bottles of water, 2 bonfires, 60 trees and a heat index of 105-110 degrees and you have the precise way my husband spent every one of his off days for months. You see what I mean by tough?
The kids and I would visit him often, bringing food and drinks, dragging limbs to the burn pile. We’d pick up sticks. We’d catch lizards and Luna moths. We’d celebrate with each bonfire in the humidity of a summer night. Druids at Stonehenge had nothing on us. We are strong, focused, and exhausted. And yet, when my husband and I would catch each other’s eye there in our wilderness, we’d grin because there is something about being at peace in your surroundings. (It’s even easier once the chainsaw shuts off). Just make sure you bring plenty of mosquito repellant.
Back to moving our home. After months of preparation, would you believe that we still have stuff to do??! We call several movers, and finally find a company that can move us promptly. I say promptly because the gracious couple from whom we purchased the home has a new double wide coming in a week! We have to hustle! We end up using a fellow who is certified and very thorough, and my favorite part is that he answers all of my silly questions. (There are no silly questions, just silly people). He tells us we have to prepare a level “pad”. (Thanks Mike for that bobcat ballet). We have to put gravel on the pad! (Thank you dump truck man with the super-cool hydraulic lift…my sons will never forget you). He even allows us to help “strip” the trailer (woo-hoo!) and prep for its journey. Oh, and one half is missing a tongue. Thank the Good Lord my father-in-law is a precision welder and just happens to have an extra tongue lying about. Coincidence? I think not. So, now the home is stripped and separated and loaded and tongued and it decides to storm.
The house makes it the 20 mile trek to our land. I commend the moving team for not laughing hysterically when they see that they have to cut through the back of the cemetery to even get onto our property. Or that the narrow gravel and red clay road that is our driveway has more dips than the spittoon at the Lucas Tavern. If there is a problem, they never let on. They finagle and wiggle and eke that trailer until it is on the exact spot we determined. I’m just glad we have a tractor that can pull their truck out of the mud! $500.00 for gravel. $3,200.00 for movers and set-up. $6.97 for economy size bottle of Aleve. 100 “thank you’s” and plenty more from whence they came. The hard part’s over. Right?