Cliff and I got married in 1966. By the summer of 1967, I was looking at real estate ads. I wanted us to own a home. Since Cliff's parents had only made one brief, unsuccessful attempt at home ownership, he felt this was not something people in our economic group could do.
But my parents (also in a lower-income group) had owned residences, and I knew it could be done.
Mother and Daddy knew somebody at church who knew somebody that had twenty acres for sale, with a four-room house on it. We were hooked as soon as we checked it out, although the little abode wasn't much to brag about. Cliff and I had neither one been accustomed to nice houses anyhow, so in autumn of 1967, we moved to our own home with our baby boy. In 1969 our little girl was born. We had no extra money, but oh, what sweet memories I have of our time there.
In 1974, we found out we could get more than twice as much for the place as we had paid, and figured with THAT much money, we could buy a real farm up in north Missouri. Well, once we were in north Missouri, we learned two things: Number 1, we hated it there. Number 2, the money we thought was so much, wasn't much at all. We lived up there for nine months, and began looking for something back in area surrounding Kansas City.
The only place we could afford with any land at all was this one, where we now live, with a measly six-and-a-half acres. There was enough pasture to perhaps support one cow, which meant I had to sell a half-dozen or so prize Jerseys, my beloved pets. I didn't like this location, or the house; Cliff did. For years, resentment smouldered, but I kept it to myself. My children were six and eight when we came here.
In 1986, we got a chance to buy 37 acres adjoining our place. It stretched our budget, but we jumped at the chance, and I've never been sorry. Somewhere along the line, I started liking it here.
Cliff loves to tinker with old tractors, and he had a shop area in the corner of our detached, two-car garage. We'd always talked about how, when he retired, we'd have a nice big shop built for him. But I kept hearing stories about men who, as soon as they retired, had heart attacks or strokes and weren't able to do the things they'd always planned. So at my urging, Cliff agreed we'd re-finance once more and make his dream come true before retirement. That was, I believe, five years ago. I haven't regretted it once. Cliff spends most of his free time out there.
This coming weekend, Memorial Day, marks thirty years since we first moved here. Had we not bought the added land, it would have been paid off ten years ago. Had we not re-financed to build Cliff's shop, it would be paid off in two more years. As it is... well, you get the picture.
I still don't care for my house that much. But I have come to love the total package that is our home here. It's been an exciting thirty years, and I guess, looking back, I wouldn't change a thing.