We moved in and soon realized the troubles we had gotten ourselves into. It wasn’t long before the water line formed a leak somewhere within the mile distance we were responsible for. It was common for us to receive $300 plus water bills as we struggled to find and fix the leak.
We married in August so heating wasn’t an issue at the time but soon we would start receiving $300 propane bills as we did not realize at first the propane heater was running all the time and that the thermostat wasn’t working correctly.
My biological father was incarcerated and my wife and I raised my brother for two years while we waited on my father to get out. All WITH OUT government assistance.
We had started planning for a family about the same time my father was incarcerated and my daughter was born soon after. I had a few medical bills as did my wife. We lost our middle child during pregnancy. My son was born four years after my daughter. Again, we tackled all these troubles without government assistance.
Now, we soon realized as the children grew we were going to outgrow our old farm house soon. I work nights and my wife is a homemaker. Our schedules clash as far as sleep is concerned so I took the bedroom and she took the living room to be close to the children at night and to allow me to sleep uninterrupted during the day.
We converted what little space we had in the house to bedroom quarters for the children but they soon outgrew it. We did some remodeling but soon our finances brought our progress to screeching halt.
There was a small space in the attic that had not been touched. It wasn’t really what you would call an attic. It only had an access hole in a closet and was mainly just for access to work in the attic if necessary. It was never intended to be living space when the house was built.
There was an old red shed in the back yard that had at some point in its life served as a smokehouse. It still had the salt box inside and nails everywhere in the rafters for hanging meat. We had used it for storage through the years.With debt piling up, a new electrical issue cropping up and running out of options I ask my wife, “Do you want me to go up or out?” , meaning try to remodel the attic space or the shed. We decided to work towards getting the red shed in shape and convert it into usable space.
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness”.
We dated throughout high school. She was two grades ahead of me. When she graduated she got a job and we started saving for a house. I saved my lunch money and she contributed from her check. Our weekend dates usually consisted of dinner and a movie or sometimes we would go to Buds and thrift shop for items we would need for our home.
By the time I graduated we had saved $10,000 dollars for a down payment. Not too, bad for a couple of teenagers. No one helped us or gave us money. This was how we were raised.
We spent the next year trying to find a place to buy. Let me tell you, we were shown some awful places but finely we found something we could afford. Driving to the site we were so excited. Our future together was about to begin. It was a house and twelve acres. After the real estate agent showed us the house I remember my now wife asking “Did you see a bathroom”?
It was a two bedroom fixer upper and to her relief did have a bathroom. I remember walking through it the first time. There were naked light bulbs hanging from the ceiling and a ceiling fan that was hanging by the electrical cords. Needless to say it was a real fixer upper.
The water meter was a mile from the house and the home was being heated with propane at the time. We were young and happy and didn’t care at the time of the work that lay ahead of us.
“Though thy beginnings was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase”
… Before I explain The Red Shed Project I would like to take a moment to catch you up on a little history.
My wife and I have been together since 1991 and married since 1995. She is my rock, my leaning post and my angel. We met on school bus 7. I both ask her to be my fiancée and wife at the same county dumpster. LOL Yes, you read that right, dumpster. My grandmother helped me pick out her first ring. Money was tight in our family so after a bargain was struck (I pay half and my grandmother would pay half) , I bought the ring.
I got on the bus on a crisp Thursday morning , December 12th 1991 with the ring in my pocket. As I sat down I thought ” Where can I propose”? The dumpster was just a turning point on the bus route but it served as my turning point or “You better have ask by now” point. She said yes.
Fast forward a few years, on the way to her house after renting movies and buying Taco Bell, my truck just happened to start spitting and sputtering as we neared the dumpster ,I pulled over and pretended it was engine trouble and ask her to step out. As she came to the front of the truck she found me on one knee and I ‘popped’ the question. She said yes but still to this day aggravates me and says our relationship started in the dumps.
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”
Thanks for stopping by and come back soon for more history on the origins of The Red Shed Project.