Monday, November 29, 2010

And now we are farmers - Part Three

I'm sharing the story of how we came to live on our homestead. If you missed the beginning, And now we are farmers - Part One and Part Two 

Property: check. Job for my parents: check. House for my parents: check.

This is where we last left the story in the year 2005. My parents were on the their way to West Virginia, and working hard to clear a spot for their mobile home, and to get the driveway in shape so the house could be moved onto the property.

My brothers and I are still all in Northern Ohio thinking that we will move to West Virginia someday, but not really expecting it to happen anytime soon. Then my brother sent Tim a couple of want ads that he thought might be interesting to us. Kind of on a whim we put together a quick resume and sent two off to West Virginia. Tim got interview calls from both places.

July 4th weekend we came to West Virginia for a visit, and for Tim to have two interviews. One interview was with a private school for a music teaching position. The other was with Sweetman Music, a company that supplied local schools with band instruments and supplies. Both interviews went well. A week later Sweetman offered him a position. The catch? He had to be there by August first.

That threw everything into high gear. We started making preparations to move from Ohio to West Virginia. My parents started looking for a trailer to move onto the property that was large enough for my family. It was a blur of activity, and in the middle of that Tim and I had some more news. 

My dad and I were talking on the phone about the preparations, plans, and potential houses. I broke the surprise to him over the phone. Causally I asked him, "Do you think there is room for one more there in West Virginia." He hesitated, but it only took him a minute to realize what I meant. Appleton baby number four was on the way.

There was no way we were going to get everything figured out and ready on both ends in time for us to move by August first. Tim moved in with my parents in their trailer, started the new job, and helped try to get the property ready.

They did find us a house, an older double wide for a great price. The catch? (Why is there always a catch?) The owners were purchasing a new double wide to put in the same place. So, any option of us being able to stay in the house, where it was, until the driveway and the property were ready for it to be moved, was ruled out. Things had to move fast. 

Meanwhile in Akron, with three kids and one on the way, I was trying to finalize things and pack. I got our house rented for September first. I knew we had to down size. The new house was about the same square footage, but there was no basement or attic to store all the stuff we had accumulated while living in Akron. I gave away truck loads of items on freecycle. I threw out a ton more, and then tried to get everything else into boxes hoping it would all fit on the truck and into the new house.

Moving day came all too quickly in some aspects, but with our family separated it also seemed to take forever. I remember when Dad and Tim came with the truck, I still had a lot to pack, but was so proud of the whole wall of stacked boxes waiting for them. I think it took them all of an hour to stack away my month of work onto the truck.

The rest of the day was a constant struggle of trying to get things packed fast enough to keep the loading moving. Friends came over to help with the heavy items. Every inch of the truck was packed, and there were still a few things in the basement we had to come for later. Dad headed home. We went to a friends for our going away party. After the party Tim and I went back and cleaned the apartment.

Did we drive to West Virginia that night? Where were the kids? Did we have two cars? For the life of me I can not remember. Also, I have no pictures for several months during this time. We'll have to chalk that up to sheer exhaustion.

Oh, but I didn't tell you the best part of this story yet. Dad and Tim moved fast for sure. The drive was ready for the house movers. The spot for the house was cleared, leveled, and the footer was poured. In fact, the house was moved into its spot. But on the day we moved from Ohio to West Virginia the house was in two pieces.

To be continued. . .


  1. Oh, you always keep us wanting more!!!!!

  2. from Susan Harrison:

    I'm enjoying your story, Stephanie.