Monday, September 06, 2010

How two city folks bought a place in the country

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.


  1. I think moms and daughters have a tendency to to rub each other the wrong way. Your mom did exactly what my parents would have done had they had the means to do it. Did I ever say, I love your header. I go back in time to where I remember my brothers doing that.

  2. My mom and I had a difficult time between 18 and 21, but when I got married we seemed to have something new in common and it helped. Now, 20 years later we are very close, but have very different ideas about a lot of things.

  3. What a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing with us!

  4. Very interesting Mosie. I was born in the country and moved to the city but now I'm back in the country. Thank goodness!


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