A long time ago, when my husband and I were newlyweds we moved into a single wide trailer. My husband had made the decision to buy a trailer rather than rent an apartment in town. Truth be told, I didn't know if it was the right decision to buy a mobile home, but we'd signed all the papers and the trailer was now ours. Maybe I'd been wrong to question it.
We brought all our wedding gifts home and deposited them helter skelter everywhere. Wood paneling, old carpet, a conglomeration of appliances, and some inherited furniture. We called it good, and here we were.
We soon discovered the trailer had leaks. There was water damage in the bathroom and the kitchen - actually most of the rooms. The roof was made of tar and it hadn't been kept in proper condition. There was no shed. We found out the first winter that the pipes would freeze if it got too cold leaving us without water. (This happened every single winter that we lived there). Greg would usually preemptively heat the pipes, but on the days when we didn't think about it or we weren't home he would have to crawl under the bathroom out in the cold with a torch and reheat the frozen pipes while I angled a space heater at the pipes from the inside.
My husband who was already rather handy was quickly becoming more and more proficient at fixing things. Owning our own home right off the bat was a lot of responsibility and not always fun, but at least it kept us from being bored.
He built a shed (you can see it in the background here), the second year that we lived in the trailer. The shed proved to be very convenient as we started to fill our home and required more storage space.
We had adventures. One day on a whim I decided to paint the spare room that we used as our computer room. I went to the store and purchased a lovely shade of blue paint. I went to work painting the room. I had bought a gallon of paint and as I neared the bottom of the gallon I realized that I wasn't going to have enough paint left to finish the room. I made the trek back to the store to purchase some more blue paint. When I came home and began to paint again it quickly became apparent that the blue I had bought the second time was *not* the blue I had bought the first time. I panicked. So, instead of going back to the store I decided to use other shades of paint that I had in the house and embellish the walls a bit. When my husband came in a little while later this is what he found. (That thing next to his name is a four leaf clover folks). He's my lucky guy. I'm sure he felt uber lucky to be married to such a talented artist.
I'm sure you can imagine his surprise (horror). I knew how terrible it was, but it took me a long time to admit it. I can be a bit stubborn.
We began looking into buying houses a couple years into living at the trailer. We quickly realized that we still owed too much on our home and that we were stuck, so to speak. At that point we decided to start making improvements.
The wood paneling was so dark. We decided to brighten it up a bit with some paint (a neutral normal shade this time). I bought some light colored blue and white curtains and hemmed them up. It gave the living room an airier feel. We needed to start enjoying living there as it was going to be a while longer before we could move.
We found out I was pregnant with our first child. We were going to bring a baby home!!
And then we did. Little teeny Rowan.
Below is the finished product. As you can see from the "For Sale" sign we were still attempting to sell our home. Now that it was more homey, though we weren't as desperate to get rid of it.
Right outside we had a black locust tree. Every year in the spring it would drop hundreds of those brown pods pictured above in that big pile. I cursed that tree. I hated raking up those pods every year and I protested that for all the work that tree required it certainly didn't put out enough shade to make it worth it.
What had once been the heinous blue room was repainted a couple years later and became Rowan's room when he moved out of ours. He still remembers this room as being "purple" although it was more of a wine shade. Wine? Purple? Those two colors are the same thing to a little boy.
The other night Greg came home and told me he had bad news. I braced myself not knowing what to expect. He looked really forlorn and to be honest I was really worried. "Our first home is gone, Mel."
During the time that we lived in the trailer park the management had started replacing all of the old trailers with newer models that they would rent out. It appeared to be pretty profitable, and it also "cleaned up" the general look of the trailer park. Just by yanking the older homes and adding newer homes it put a new face on the park. Funny thing is that after we moved out of our first home a couple months later we ended up back in the trailer park renting one of those newer homes as an interim stint before we were ready to buy.
(Seraphine laying in the grass with the rental trailer in the background).
Warrick honing in his climbing skills.
I cannot forget that first home, though. The home we were newlyweds in. The home we brought our first child home to. The home we laughed, played, and cried in. The home I planted my first garden at with flowers from my great grandma's garden. The home that I disliked for so long, but ever so slowly grew to love... deeply.
I drove by today. I wanted to see it. The shed was still there. The flowers were still there. The tree is still there too. Our first little home was not. Where all of our first memories were made now lies a barren patch.
I'm not going to lie and say I didn't cry. All of those firsts, how could I not? Yet, despite my sadness and the nostalgia I know that those memories will remain. Our family began in that little place, but it has continued and grown elsewhere. We have new memories to make. I'll never ever forget that silly little trailer and all the adventures we had in it. I'm so thankful and happy that my husband bought it. It really was a wonderful place.