We didn't stop at the first place because the residents were home. There were cars in the driveway at least, but the place looked much better than when we lived there. My husband actually milked cows for the homeowners grandson when we were there and I saw several calves being born. Including one that was breech and had to be pulled out via a rope around it's leg. Weird. It was just an old farm house back in 2003, but it looked like it had been remodeled. New roofing and siding.
I really didn't expect that the next place would still be there. We call it the "Crap Trailer". We lived there in a very low point in our lives. The lowest. It was a single wide, two bedroom (one on each end), one bathroom, no backdoor (two front doors!) piece of crap. It was a salmon-y pink color when we lived there. Our rent? $105 a month. I worked at Wal-Mart, Chris worked at a local gas station where they actually pump your gas for you. The washing machine was in the tiny bathroom and the dryer was in the kitchen. At one point, the dryer heating element stopped working. We replaced it twice and couldn't figure out what was wrong. My then step-dad discovered that the socket, that should have been attached to the wall, was just hanging off of the wall and the plug was melted and black on one side. We were so lucky that the socket was separated from the wall because it would have surely burned the place down. I was so embarrassed to live there that we never had company. Occasion visits from family, but they were brief.
We re-planked that tiny porch with those very boards. My husband slipped and fell on that porch, breaking his hand. This was where we lived when Kaia was born. She and Neil shared a bedroom. I was sleeping in the bedroom on the far left of this photo when the first plane hit the World Trade Center.
Chris's great grandfather died the week we were moving out of this place. We'd gotten most of our things out, but when we went back to get the rest, we discovered that the landlord had moved it all out to the front yard and burned it. I have no idea what all he destroyed. We were so poor and had no way to hire a lawyer. What good would it have done? Our things were gone. It was kind of symbolic, having the last of that life burned.
I'm glad we drove here. Perspective. We've come SO FAR in such a short time, but it feels like lifetimes ago that we weren't so lucky as we are now. Sometimes it takes going back, looking back, at the life we didn't have to appreciate the life we have now.