A very long time ago in a tiny village there lived a woman with two children. She was fortunate enough to have a neighbor with a very responsible teenaged daughter who loved babysitting. The woman's job paid very little, but was located near home and her benevolent boss allowed her to work 2 shifts punching two different time cards. This way she didn't have to coordinate this job with another and attendance was bound to be dependable. Oh, he also didn't have to pay overtime because the cards and records indicated two separate people. She, however, did have to pay taxes on all the money because the social security number belonged to her on both time cards. Her biggest advantage, the real reason she agreed to this nonsense, was that he was a family man who understood her need to mother her kids and freely allowed, without pay, days or half days as needed at home. She also scheduled herself in both positions so she could be home with the kids for dinner every night.
This mattered to her, more than the long hours and exhaustion. She loved being with them at dinner and bath time and for 2 years, that was her life. Work, kids, bills and fighting her way through a divorce that involved custody and thereby, home visits from the court staff. It all worked out as it was meant to, eventually. This chapter in their lives would one day be seen as the test of strength and durability as well as the time they learned that love really is the most important thing to a family.
One day an old friend casually mentioned to her that he was moving the location of and growing his business. He explained his plans and in the weeks following, mentioned that they would be hiring one person to learn their business. It would be their first outside-of-the-family employee. The position was being offered to her. The pay would equal a tad bit more than she was making in her present 78 hour position and it would be 40 hours except during the peak season. At that time, he said, some evening hours and late Saturday hours would be necessary with time and a half pay.
The New Chapter. She accepted the job. Her life changed dramatically. She loved learning to engrave trophies, expensive silver platters, plaques that would hang in public buildings for years after she was gone and jewelry and all kinds of personal silver gift items. The engraving was her specialty in short order. She took to it, fish to water type attraction. The work was good, creative and dependable.
On the home front, the babysitter stayed on and got to go home after or before dinner. The mom was home within a few minutes of the same time daily and was done working! The family had a schedule they could pretty much count on and enough money to pay bills, buy food and gas and for a real treat even take a vacation. The babysitter came along because otherwise, she wasn't getting a vacation either! It was wonderful. Life was not easy yet, but it was at least, a mom actually raising her kids
while still earning enough to provide necessities.
In only a little over a year, she had put enough money away to start looking for a home to buy. Yes, buy. She moved from the mobile home they had rented into a much less expensive apartment and began the search. It was a 5 month search that resulted in purchasing an 1800 sq foot home in need of a LOT of clean-up and fix-up. It was a government repo and she bought it for the balance of the mortgage, $18,000. Payment was $125 a month and that did not include taxes or insurance, but was an installment loan. So, $125 for 12 months for 12 years. No penalties for paying ahead and no interest on the $18,000. The catch was $1000 down for processing and that had to be cash at closing. It was a gift to them, really a gift. Her new boss even signed a guarantee to the Farm Home office for her loan. It's like co-signing, except he had no claim on the property.
That was the best life she could offer her kids at the time and she had done so on her own. She
had earned this house and all home ownership entailed. Pride, sure she felt that, but mostly relief.
Her family was in a home they could grow in. A home they could stay in and everyone should have a home, she thought.
There were many more chapters to this little families story, but here is just one new one that brought many happy years. She lived in this home for 22 years before moving into a smaller one where she and her Prince Charming could reside until they were ready to hit the road!