It was Christmas, 1993, mere days after our first child was born. We were living in a cute little apartment in Columbia, SC. Jason was still working in fast food, as a manager, and we were not being able to make ends meet. With his whole family in the house to celebrate Christmas with us, we decided that we were going to make a huge change.
My father offered Jason a job, helping out with the pallet business. We were also offered a free place to stay. It sounded ideal. We moved on February 1st.
The free place to stay was a cute cottage with more charm than ammenities. It would have been a fun place to camp out in, but not so much fun to live in. It was a leaky stone cottage that was in need of an extreme makeover. The bathroom was unfinished. The heat wasn't working. Our bed was too big to fit into the bedroom Our table couldn't be set up. We really felt like we were camping for the whole 6 months that we lived there.
The job was not much better. My father has been his own boss for a long, LONG time. He was not used to having employees. He also was not used to having someone who questioned the status quo.
The final blow was the fact that my parents kept pushing ME to do things more their way, and go against anything my husband wanted to do. They didn't want to spend time with our daughter. And my dad? He basically told Jason to stop making suggestions for change, or leave.
So, we left. He got off of work on Friday, and we packed as much as we could and drove out of town on Monday. He didn't have a job. We didn't have anywhere to live. I was terrified.
We got back to Columbia, and found some friends from church were going to be out of town for a couple of weeks, so we were able to housesit while looking for somewhere to live. Jason went back to the restaurant and got his old job back. We finally found a place...
The price was right...and the size was okay...
...it was a shack....next to the city dump....
...it worked for a while. What it was....well, that's gonna take some explaining! Half of this "house" was a travel trailer...that was the half that was made up of the kitchen and bathroom, and a TINY little room that was probably intended as a bedroom. The other half was a room, the same length as the travel trailer, with a roof extending over the trailer. It DID have electricity. It did NOT have heat. We moved into it in September. and almost froze over that winter.
That winter was one we'll never forget.