In the fall of 2000, due our financial struggles, we started searching for an existing chiropractic practice to buy. For various reasons, we were focusing our search out of state, and visited several locations in Tennessee and Kentucky, and one in Michigan. We attempted to purchase one in a small town in Kentucky, but the retiring doctor got cold feet and backed out. After that we just laid low for a while, until about February of 2001. The broker contacted us with a large, successful practice that was for sale in a city in Kentucky.
It was bigger, and therefore way more $$$ than we had been looking for, and also we had been looking for a small town and home/office combination, but with a lot of advice, professional and otherwise, and lots and lots of prayers, we went for it. There were many hurdles to get over, including a small business loan, and it took months. In July, we went ahead and made the move, before the deal was even finalized.
The house we rented was on a street lined with trees and charming old Cape Cod-style houses. Our house was one story, no basement, three bedrooms, two baths, with a beautiful yard and a detached garage.
The whole back of the house was an addition that the owner, who was a contractor, had built when he lived in the house. There was a beautiful shaded patio surrounded with flower beds that the wife still came and tended to. From this view, on the right with the large windows was the dining area of the kitchen. The left, bumped out portion was the master bedroom.
Once the deal closed, the practice would enable us to immediately pull a salary three times what we had been. In anticipation of that, we bought patio furniture and a swing set for the boys before we even moved.
There was a pretty gravel path from the house to the oversized one-car garage. All of our stuff that had previously been stored in the basement had to be stored in the attic of the garage.
The original part of the house was a fairly small living room, two bedrooms and a bathroom, and a small galley kitchen. The house used to end right about at the end of this counter.
If you stood right at the end of the counter and turned around, you were now looking into the addition the owner had built. We bought the table and chairs a few weeks after we moved in.
After the dumpy, dark little houses we had lived in for the last six or seven years, I can't describe to you the feeling of moving into this fresh, clean, pretty house. Even though the house was small, this back part with its vaulted ceilings and skylights and big windows was so bright and just...lovely. I remember moving into this house, along with the promising new practice, felt so liberating, like a heavy cloud had lifted both from my surroundings and my soul. I felt happy and hopeful again.
The dining area had this big display shelf, which seemed like a really cool feature, but I never figured out what to put up there. The open door below it is the laundry room.
Off the dining room was the big new master bedroom with attached full bath. These are really the only pictures I could find of it, but it also had the high vaulted ceiling, and light colored berber carpet. It was a big contrast to our previous bedrooms and dark brown carpet.
I guess someone was fooling around with this photo. About a month after we moved in, my sisters came to visit and help me decorate. Here, my sister and I are trying to figure out how to slipcover the floral chair in the above photo.
In the front of the house, the two bedrooms had pretty hardwood floors. We gave Firstborn a full mattress, so guests could stay in his room when they visited. I made the valance to coordinate with his new quilt (see how it echoes the triangle edging on the quilt?) and used an oar to hang it.
Skippy's room was right next door, and was probably the original 'master' bedroom. I found this whole coordinated set of room decor on clearance at Target. I loved those vinyl wall stickers; they were kind of a new idea at the time. I soon did away with the foam mat and replaced it with a rug.
About six weeks after we moved in was 9/11. I remember being glued to the TV for days. This house was near a small airport, and I also remember the eerie silence in the air for the few days that all flights were grounded.
Other than that, though, this was a very happy house for me. The relief of having our financial burdens lifted was enormous. I was able to put Firstborn in preschool and Skippy in mother's day out, something I could never have afforded before. I felt like we were suddenly a normal young family, instead of struggling poor people. I'm not saying that was accurate, or how I should have felt, but I did. Right now as I write, I can feel the relief I felt then, and it almost makes me want to cry. I really felt like this whole thing was an answer to prayer.
With our new-found 'success', though, came the itch to buy our own house. Well, I had always wanted to buy our own place, but it was never even remotely a possibility before. Only I was itchy, really; Craig was perfectly satisfied. But I began my search, and in the end, we only lived in this house for five months.
To be continued...