As soon as Cliff and I were married, I began talking about buying a house; I perused the want ads, reading aloud to him the ones with houses that seemed not-too-pricey. He'd grunt in response, but didn't seem enthusiastic.
Finally he voiced his opinion: "People like us don't buy a house."
He explained to me that his parents had never been able to afford to own a house; they tried once, but ended up losing it after perhaps a year. He felt that nobody in our position, with our income, could possibly think of owning a home. I dropped the subject.
Weekends we'd go visit my parents in the country and Cliff would hop on Daddy's Sears garden tractor.
"He acts like a man that just got out of prison," my dad said many times, as we sat in lawn chairs and watched a smiling Cliff ride past on the little tractor, mowing my parents' yard.
When I was pregnant with my first baby, the folks bought a used trailer house to put on the property they rented, "just to rent out for a little extra money".
Guess where we moved?
Somebody gave Cliff a sickly little pig with a crooked nose, and I got some banty hens.
I gave birth to our baby boy.
An old man down the road had a polled hereford heifer who calved at the age of eighteen months; she and her baby were pretty small, and he sold her to Cliff. I'm sure we borrowed the money from my parents and paid them back a little bit each week, because we never had that kind of money saved back. We borrowed a lot from them, back in those days. We always paid it back a little at a time.
My mother and I always rubbed one another a little wrong, mostly because of my "don't-try-to-control-me" attitude. I thought it might be nice to move to another location where I could enjoy my personal space. But here we were with chickens and a pig and a cow and calf; we certainly couldn't move back to the city without giving all that up.
I guess I must have told my parents we'd like to buy a place of our own.
Mother (the person I refused to allow to control me) came through, finding out about a little house on twenty acres for $14,500. An old gentleman had bought it as an investment. He let us set our own payments at $100 a month. Interest was very low. We moved in on Labor Day weekend, 1967; we were homeowners!
And that's how we ended up in the country. Thanks, Mother! Looking back, I know we would never have managed that move without help from you and Daddy. Sorry I was such a pain in the neck sometimes.