This is day two of my “Things I’m Thankful For” series.
While my husband was in the military we never had a place to call our own. We rented apartments (our first was a roach infested complex, which we were unaware of until we moved in, and couldn’t afford any of the other complexes in town) or other domiciles. When he was in the army, stationed in West Germany, we started out renting from a German couple, but ended up in base housing (really nice).
When we got back to the U.S. we ordered a brand new mobile home. I loved it. It had a buffet in the kitchen, a bay window, washer and dryer, and a built in wood-burning fire place. It was beautiful. I had built in book shelves with glass knick-knack shelves above.
We had to move from West Virginia to North Carolina a few years later in order to find work. That meant moving the mobile home. Due to storm damage my hunsband had to replace part of the roof and it leaked thereafter during every rain storm. There was no way to fix it without replacing the whole roof, which the insurance refused to do, since only part of it had been damaged.
When we moved back to Maryland (where I graduated from high school) we decided to just sell the mobile home and buy a house. We got an FHA loan and bought a house. It was a nice house, in a neighborhood where a couple of my former classmates lived. What a surprise to find one of them living across the street when she brought a homemade coconut cake to welcome us into the neighborhood.
It was a nice area, mostly quiet, and great neighbors. We even had jobs we liked. Until. . .
My dad died in 1991, my mom in 1994. Our son was grown and living in Indiana. Our daughter was nineteen and creating a life of her own. In 1992 or 1993 (I forget which) my husband’s parents returned from a trip to Alaska and dropped off their 26-foot Airstsream travel trailer in our driveway. They said we could keep it if we wanted. If we didn’t want it and decided to sell we just needed to give them back what they had put into it. That winter I was homeschooling our daughter and we decided to take our vacation in February or March and go to Florida for a couple of weeks to visit my in-laws. We took a boat tour in the Gulf of Mexico and watched dolphins play in the boat’s wake. We toured the Everglades, and the best news of all: we missed the biggest (at that time) ice storm to ever hit the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Wow! That was pretty cool. Hmm.
We began to talk about selling the house and living full time in the camper. We found a used one for sale at a price we could afford–a 31-foot Airstream travel trailer 1973). We parked it in the driveway, put the house on the market (our daughter was moving out anyway), and tried living in it as much as possible to see if we could get along in such a small space over the long haul. It also helped me to figure out what we needed and what we could do without. We had a yard sale for three weekends.
In 1997 we sold the house and became full-time RV’ers. We spent a couple of winters in Quartzsite, Arizona (a fascinating place, quite unique), then started spending our winters in Florida. Then we went to work full-time and stayed here year round for a while. Now that we’re retired we’re back to snow bird status.
Wherever we’re parked we’re home. If a hurricane threatens we just hook up the camper and go. No problem. If we don’t like the neighborhood we just move. Everything we have is paid for, so even though the government says we are poor, and yes, we do have to make sure bills are paid before frivolous spending, we have a great life.
God has allowed this little nobody from the wrong side of the tracks to see parts of Germany; Paris, France; Holland; Alaska, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and most of the Canadian provinces. How amazing is that! GOD IS SO GOOD! I am thankful for my life on this earth, but even more thankful that my Lord Jesus Christ is preparing a place for me in heaven. We may be economically poor, but we are so blessed.