The Story of Vera and Her Family, Chapter 7

16 01 2008


By the end of June, Mother called to tell me she had breast cancer. They must have found the cancer in the last stage, because she died on August the 4th of that summer. We immediately made plans to attend the funeral. We didn’t have a reliable car, so we borrowed a neighbor’s station wagon. We stayed at Phillip and Teresa’s home. After the funeral, there was much sharing about mom’s life. We were all together as a family. My youngest brother Brad, had his dog, Harpo, with him. Harpo stayed in the den with us as we sorted through many of mom’s things. While driving home from Birmingham, your Dad surprised me by telling me that he knew we should put our home on the market and move to Kentucky. From the moment we drove in the driveway of our home, our plans began. There was a surge of excitement in our family because of this new plan to move to Kentucky. We soon put our home up for sale and Dad began working on his resume. Phillip took these resumes and passed them around in the various print shops in our little Kentucky town.

Meanwhile, school had started again. You were in the first grade. Like Sandy and Maria, Miss Davy became your teacher. Miss Davy used concepts that were years ahead of Kentucky. For instance, in the writing center, there was no right or wrong way of writing. The emphasis was on your creative flow of thought. You adapted to the learning centers quite well. Sandy had never liked the centers and one day just refused to attend school. She wouldn’t tell us anything specific about what she didn’t like. I went to talk to the principal and Miss Davyabout this problem. Instead of ignoring my request or punishing Sandy, she set up a meeting for Sandy to tell us what was bothering her. We went through the classroom and when we arrived at the creative writing center, Sandy told us that she was scared. At that point , Miss Davy assured Sandy, that she would not be punished for incorrect spelling. Sandy never had any more fears of attending school.

The excitement about moving continued to mount. Our home sold very quickly . It was sold by the end of September. Our home was not in the best of shape, although it was clean. We never had any money to make improvements. The location , I think, was the selling point. We had a large private lot next to a creek , not far from a thriving business area. However, Dad still didn’t have a job , nor did we have any prospects of a home in Kentucky. We knew that we wouldn’t make enough off our home to buy another one. We knew we’d have to rent a home. We didn’t seemed scared about either potentially negative circumstance.

An early morning call the first Saturday of October brought extreme excitement to our family. The owner of a print shop in my hometown, set up an interview with Dad. Our car was now working thanks to our elderly but vibrant neighbor who lived behind us. He helped Dad overhaul the engine of our little Toyota and even paid for the parts. So on Friday morning , October 12 , Dad made the trip to Kentucky for the job interview. He got the job and then began looking for a home. Mimi (Teresa’s mother) and Clark (Teresa’s brother who was in the reality business) drove Jim around to look for an affordable home to rent. The sale of our home was to close on October 15 and we had to be out of our home by the end of October. We planned to arrive in Kentucky on the 18th, but we still hadn’t found a home. I don’t remember being afraid. Perhaps we had blind faith– but we were upheld by an incredible optimism that is not usually a part of my life.

Suddenly, the most exciting event happened. Tuesday of the week we were moving, Phillip, found us a four bedroom home in an older part of town.. It was renting for $275.00, a bargain to us. We told Phillip to get it for us. We knew it was for us although we had never seen it. Teresa told us later that she walked through the house just praising God for His provision. I had been praying for a four bedroom home with a large yard.  That is exactly what we got.  Add to that being neighbors with folks who knew me from my childhood–an added benefit.  I still marvel about finding this home that we could afford.




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