mobile home

My son-in-law, Kevin has always been a capable home renovator. He has fixed up and beautified each of the homes he and my daughter, Corrie and their family have lived it. It was a big part of what made him feel useful. Since he became disabled, I worried that he would no longer be able to do the projects he wanted to do on their home. In some ways, that has been the case. He is in pain often, and that limits the activity he can do. Nevertheless, Kevin is a very determined person. When he sets his mind to a task, he sees it through, even if it takes him much longer than it would have years ago.

This summer found Kevin deciding to reside their mobile home. They sold their house and paid cash for this mobile home when Corrie went back to school. They knew that with school and Kevin’s disabilities, they would need to reduce the family budget, and since their sons, Chris and Josh, are now grown and living on their own, they could downsize and save money. They bought a two bedroom mobile home and paid for it in full. It was nice, but it was older.

Kevin has worked on the interior, whenever his pain level allowed, and it looks very nice now. Still, the exterior was very dated and dingy looking. It was not what they wanted it to be. Corrie worked a great deal of overtime hours this summer, and it allowed them to buy new siding. They were very excited. Kevin has worked off and on putting up the siding for several weeks now, and the results have been amazing. Kevin even surprised Corrie with a cute floral “Welcome” sign for the front of the home. She had no idea he was doing that. The siding looks very professional, but that is how all of Kevin’s work looks. He doesn’t like to do a job half way or sloppy. That’s just not Kevin’s style.

We are all very proud of the beautiful job Kevin did on the siding. We know the sacrifices he made to get this done…and done right. We know the aches and pain he went through, and we are very proud of his accomplishment on the house. Once again, with determination, he persevered; and the work he did is just beautiful. Today is Kevin’s birthday. Happy birthday Kevin!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

scan0036 (2)As a young family, my in-laws lived in Montana, and my father-in-law worked for the railroad. Their family was growing, and now they had 3 children, Marlyce, Debbe, and my future husband, Bob. My father-in-law was working for the railroad, and the family was living on railroad property.Things were going well enough, but in 1956, the decision was made to move the family from Dalin, Montana to Martinsville, Montana…neither of which still exist today, as near as I can tell, so unfortunately, I can’t say how long the trip was. That doesn’t really matter, because, any trip with three children under the age of 7 years, had to seem like an eternity. Nevertheless, this trip was about to get a little bit longer. They loaded their belongings into a 1951 Ford pickup truck, which was the first vehicle my father-in-law had ever owned, and it had been purchased brand new in 1951, so it was a nice vehicle. Everything loaded, they set out for Martinsville.

Along the way to Martinsville, a pickup pulled out in front of the 1951 Ford. The accident destroyed all their furniture and totaled the pickup. I can only imagine how awful that was. In those days, seat belts and car seats were unheard of, so I’m sure my in-laws thought they were all about to die. It was a devastating event, but the family was all ok, but, now they were stuck waiting for the police and tow truck, and had to figure out what to do next. The trip took just about the worst possible turn. I can hear the kids now. The girls were most likely crying because they were cold or hungry, and Bob being only 2 years old was either scared, or more likely curious…if I know him. It would be my guess that both of my in-laws had a massive headache from the trauma and worry, both for their family and for their future.
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In the end, things turned out ok. The insurance money was enough to buy a 1953 Ford pickup and a 33 foot mobile home. I can’t imagine three kids in a 33 foot mobile home, but I’m sure they felt like it was practically a palace, considering the way things could have gone. Car accidents can conpletely devistate lives, but their little family was alive, and no one was hurt badly, so the rest of it was just stuff. If you can walk away from an accident like that in one piece, you thank the Lord, and count your many blessings.

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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