When my girls were about 4 and 3, my in-laws sold their place west of Casper and bought a place north of Casper, because the old place was becoming more and more a part of town, and they wanted to live in the country. We had moved our mobile home to their old place while we got our new place east of Casper ready, so when they sold the old place, we moved with them. The new place had a 14 X 60 mobile home on it, which would definitely not be big enough for the family. So began a family project. We would build them a house, and everyone was going to help. It was rather exciting for me, since this was something I had never done before…much less ever thought I would do.

I had the initial job of running the tractor while one of the guys went behind me with a scoop to move the dirt and level the site. This was a big job since the home was to be built into the side of a hill to help with insulation. I had never run a tractor before, much less with a person hooked up behind it, so I was a little bit nervous, but in time, I became an expert through repetition. Finally the site was ready for the home to be built. The foundation was laid, and the next step of the family project would begin.

The home was to be built out of cinder blocks. For those who don’t know, cinder blocks are like a very large, usually gray, brick. My father-in-law, it seemed, could build just about anything he put his mind to, and I don’t know if he had laid bricks before, but he did this job with the skill of an expert. This was to be a big home with a huge garage attached. The family would no longer be cramped for space.

Everyone helped, right down to the little kids. Barry, my nephew, was just about 1 or 2 when we were doing some of the finishing touches to the house, and he helped too…even if someone had to lift him up so he could reach. Every family member had a hand in the building of the house, and we can all take pride in the accomplishment.

While my in-laws have long since moved to town, my brother-in-law, Ron bought the land next door to the house, and still lives out there with his family. The home that was our family project is still there, of course, and houses a different family now. Whether they know it or not, the house they live in has quite a unique history…and they are very blessed to be living in it.

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