Sometimes I read what I've written about our old house and wonder if I've give folks the wrong impression. I hate to hear people "poor-mouth". You know, "We never get anything." "I can't afford it." We'll never be able to... " blah blah blah, fill in the blanks here.
I'd love to have a simple, one-story modular home. Our credit is good, and we could have one. It's just that the payments would hinder our lifestyle.
When we'd been married a little over a year, we found a twenty-acre place with a dumpy little drafty house (that's it in the faded picture), and bought it. We've never looked back. Many people don't realize that it's expensive to live in the country. Propane makes heating very pricey. Fences and outbuildings must be built and maintained for the (un-necessary) livestock. It always seemed like doing anything to the house was on the bottom of our list of priorities. It's about choices.
Now we're about twenty miles from where we started, in this old, drafty, two-story house. We finally put siding on it just so it wouldn't be such an eyesore for our neighbors to look at.
Through my children's growing-up years, I chose not to work. I stayed home and enjoyed my babies and tended my livestock: in short, I did everything I wanted to do. As the kids got older, I worked occasionally; I've never had a driver's license, so any job I've had was hinged on my getting a ride with someone; but that's just another choice I made... not to drive. Cliff worked for a small family butcher shop in the early years of our marriage, and, looking back, it amazes me that we not only survived, but maintained excellent credit.
We've always chosen cows, horses, tractors, and even computers and an expensive Gibson guitar, over remodeling.
Five years ago we refinanced this place in order to build a shop for Cliff... not because he needed it, but because I felt he deserved it for all the years he spent doing without things while our kids were growing up. He spends almost all his waking hours there when he's not out earning a living, so it's money well invested; he's living his dream. He has a variety of old tractors to tinker with, and a new, rather expensive little John Deere just because, once again, he deserves it.
My point is this: if a new house had been at the top of our priority list, we'd be living in one now. Cliff and I just happen to have peculiar priorities! And every time I catch myself griping about "this old dump", I remind myself of this fact.