Thursday, July 11, 2013

Moving a house to make a home

Pat and I will be moving before too long. Neither one of us are much for upsetting our routine, but the time has come.

Pat and I live in a little shit-hole. The trailer park we live in looks like it has roads that were imported from Iraq just after operation 'Shock and Awe'. Some of the holes are large enough that they will swallow anything smaller than a midsized four wheel drive. You can forget about getting smaller down here.

But it isn't just the roads. Since we have been here we have replaced the electricity, air conditioner, water, and eventually the trailer house simply because the landlord wouldn't fix them. We did it because we didn't have any choice.

A little over ten years ago I inherited some land and we tried to move out trailer to it. Unfortunately the land was nothing more than pasture land. There weren't any utilities at all around the area. There was no electricity, water, sewer, or natural gas anywhere close to the property.

At the time, we thought we could afford to pay to have the utilities brought in and we could move. We were wrong.

We were told that the rural water lines were only about a quarter of a mile away when we were planning our budget. When we contacted the rural water company, we discovered that we had to bring the water about a mile to our property.

What could we do? We had to have water, and since the property was heavily drilled for oil, natural gas was extracted using fracking, and there were saltwater injection wells still running all over the property, we didn't want to take the chance of getting a good water well. Besides; regardless of how crazy it sounds, I like clean, tested, monitored, and fluoridated water.

The sewer system turned out to be just as problematic as the water. We were required to do a perc test prior to having a sewer system installed. It failed. Failing the perc test doesn't mean that you can't install a sewer system, it just means that you have to install an expensive system instead of one that relies on the natural absorption of the ground to function as disposal portion of the sewer system.

Finally we tried to install electricity on the place. I thought electricity would be easier since there was already electric lines on the property for oil wells. I was wrong. The electric lines that supply the oil wells potentially run at a different voltage and can't be used for residential electricity.

Electricity was the proverbial straw that broke the camels back. We were already out of money, we didn't have any utilities finished, we couldn't borrow anything from the bank because the land was undivided, and we still had to have thousands of dollars to move our trailer house. And that doesn't even begin to solve the logistical problem of where Pat and I would sleep when the trailer was in the process of being moved or where we would store our stuff since the trailer has to be empty to haul it.

With empty bank accounts and broken dreams, we were forced to stay right where we were.

Fast forward a little over ten years. We have given up television and every other luxury that we could to save money. Pat inherited a little bit of money from her family. We paid off every bill that we had. The had the land that I inherited divided so we have a clear deed on it. We saved enough for a down payment. And we are building on all the partial work that we had to abandon over ten years ago. The end result is that we should be moving in about three weeks.

Moving is going to take every penny that we have, and working with contractors that can't give firm estimates for costs is a little frightening. We ran out of money before and had to give up on the move. If things fall apart this time, we won't live long enough to move to our place.

On top of that, we don't have the money to finish everything like it should be finished. There is no money to fence the yard from the rest of the cow pasture, and there is no money to pay for skirting, porches and ramps will have to wait, and the driveway will remain mud and clay.

None of the downsides matter to me. Pat's health won't stand a move if we wait too much longer. I also suspect that if we can actually get out there, we will be able to finish the rest of the work over a period of time. Getting out there is our last hope and dream. Moving takes the place of every vacation we skipped; years of television, movie theaters, and restaurants; and any perks that couldn't be paid for from pocket change.

Pat feels like this is her last chance to get to our place where she can live in peace. I would try to steal the stars if it would put a sparkle in her eyes. Dreams don't die easily. We will move out there or we will go broke trying.

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