Or - buying your first home when the economic conditions are sh**! So many young families are ready to get into a home and the world around them seems to be collapsing. This is for them!
I wrote this in my journal in 1985 when we were preparing to move to our first home. We had lived in our little mobile home since marriage but now had a baby and a toddler. My husband was making $8.25 an hour and bringing home $300 a week with overtime. He was and still is a carpenter. I was home caring for babies. We knew this was exactly the house we wanted so we made an offer during a time when the best interest rates were 14% variable. We signed the offer papers then immediately called my parents to make sure they would "buy" our mobile home from us for $6,000 so that we could put that money down on the loan if it were approved. They agreed, but weren't happy about it. We had nothing in the bank but love. It was a very scary time and I felt I needed to write about it - hoping it would be funny looking back at how scared we were!
July 22, 1985
One more week! Can I make it? And how much worse is it going to get before it gets better? Have I set my hopes too high on how much better it will be? I have decided to write down all of the things that drive me crazy about this trailer so I can look back and know that spending all of our money on a house is worth it. Okay here goes..... I can't reach but the bottom shelf of the top cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom. I have all of my spices, food, foil, baking supplies, cereal boxes and chips in three cabinet doors plus in there is a large butter tub of nails and screws for the house. My drawers (all four of them) are about 3" high. I do good to stack three dishtowels in one and the bottom two are always full of mouseturds. My oven doesn't bake right. The freezer on the fridge never works right and now the plastic door fell off so my eggs freeze if I put them in the slots in the door. My dishwasher is right in front of the two cabinets where I keep dishes so I have to unload the dishes onto the countertop, shut the dishwasher door and then put the dishes away. My trash can has no where to be except in front of the cabinet where I keep all of my skillets, pots and pans, pitchers, potatoes and cleaning supplies. My potatoes and onions have to be stored in my mop bucket so they will fit under the sink. I would rather not use my mop bucket, but everytime I try to go without it the first time I put my mop in the sink to rinse it out the strings catch on the sink stopper and all of my mop water drains. Then I have to take the sink stopper completely out and work on it several tries before it will hold water again.
I sort my dirty laundry in the three foot by three foot hallway that has four doors going out of it. That's plenty of room considering the clean laundry is all folded mostly on top of the washer and dryer in the bathroom, then scooted back and forth to reload the washer. The diaper pail stays in the bathtub most of the time unless someone needs to use the bathtub/shower, then the diaper pail is put on top of the toilet. Zachary's (my one year old son) room is where I keep all of my bookwork, the freezer, my sewing machine (no sewing supplies anymore - they have all been packed away or thrown away and I have no idea where to even look). So, if he takes a nap I can't sew, do bookwork, make a cold drink or get out something to thaw for supper. My living room always has a shredded newspaper covering the floor. The tv is covered with fingerprints and my plants droop because the only place to keep them is on top of the wooden speaker cases that will get ruined if I water the plants and it seeps through. My front entryway is three foot by three foot which means you have to open the front door then step out of the entryway to get the door completely open. If you are carrying a basket of laundry this is almost impossible, especially if Sabra (my three year old daughter) is helping which means her head is just under the laundry basket. Sabra's room isn't bad, mostly because all of her toys are in the living room. Our room is fine as long as you don't use it for anything except sleeping. It is wall-to-wall bed (double size bed even!). What dresser drawers I do have are, again, about three inches tall. and if I'd like to wear a belt or a scarf or nightgown, its tough luck. All of those things have since been packed away somewhere along with any clothes that aren't worn everyday. Kenny's side of the closet is also his space for his hunting supplies, guns, work boots, coveralls and his hat collection.
My new couch in the living room has been the only place to sit for the past year. My new pots and pans have to be stacked on top of the stove at all times. They make quite a racket when the washing machine is in the spin cycle. The dishwasher is old and won't clean plastic cups (which is all we use), pots or pans, large bowls, baby bottle nipples, good knives, large spoons and spatulas, melmac bowls or plates. It takes a long time to get a full load at that rate and when they are clean I have to wait until we dirty enough out of the cabinets before there is space to put the clean ones away.