Tuesday, February 01, 2011

A Love Story continued ...

Our trailer had some unique things about it to put it mildly. Such as …now remember this was a 1960 10’x50’ single wide mobile home. We were in a 3 street little trailer park on the then back edge of Olivet Nazarene College (University now) property known as “Trailerville”. The trailers were all very close together. We didn’t have an air conditioner so in the summer when our windows were open and our neighbor’s phone rang we would get up to answer ours. One of the most unique features of the trailer you noticed upon entering and that was the kitchen, since you were standing on the edge of it as you entered. The thing that stood out was the color of the countertops, fridge, stove and sink. The color was a bright (puke) aqua color. It was really difficult on the eyes. If you were around whenever we tried to bake anything in the oven it was quite the experience. I would not let Jody turn the stove on, the reason is that you had to light the oven every time you used it because the pilot light would not work. The method to light the oven was to light a match, turn the oven on, toss the lit match toward the gas, turn your face away quickly and then yell when the flames shot out and burned the hair off your hand. I am a relatively hairy person (with the exception of the top of head) and for the time we lived in that trailer I had no hair on the back of my right hand.

Another special feature of our trailer was that it leaned. It tilted away from the entrance. The result of this tilt was that you had to scoop water toward the drain whenever you took a bath or shower. Another impact of this tilt was that when you sat on the toilet your right shoulder would rest against the wall which kept you from having to hold on while doing your business.

I mentioned that the bedroom was small. We had a full size mattress (do they even make these any more?). You had to be on the bed to get anything out of the closet. Also, my feet hung over the end of the mattress and sometimes during the night I would unknowingly kick clothes off their hangers.

The windows were not energy efficient and in fact they didn’t really close tight at all. In the winter we taped plastic over the windows trying to stay warm and conserve as much heat as possible. One result of this was that you would hear the plastic moving as it tried to hold back the winter wind. You knew the plastic had failed when you began to notice the curtains moving with the wind. That winter I learned about something called heat tape. It is a wonderful thing that you wrap around water pipes and plug in to keep some heat on the pipes and prevent them from freezing. I learned about them when our pipes froze. As I crawled under the trailer I discovered that we already had heat tape on the water pipes, but not being aware of this clever invention I had not plugged it in. Amazingly when it was plugged in the heat tape worked wonderfully.

But with all of the uniqueness of the trailer it is still one of the most endearing places we have ever lived. Because it was our first place. Because it was ours. Because we began our married life in that trailer and as we are moving toward anniversary number 36, I realize that we learned a lot in that little trailer. I am not interested in going back there, unless it was sitting on a lot by a lake then I would consider it. But I do think of it often and most of the memories are very good ones. We were living in that trailer when we had to spend our first nights apart. It was Thanksgiving and …


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