My husband and I moved to Georgia for a city job with a zoning department. It was a meager salary but was enough to live on. We were thankful for work after a long season without it. We found a small rental house in a decent neighborhood where we felt our little family would be safe. It had a circular driveway and a nice front porch. The neighbor’s friendly cats liked to hang out and perch on the front window sills. This delighted our little daughter who loved animals. There was a large prickly cactus by the front curb. We remarked that we would have to avoid going near it for it was at eye-level for a small child. The house literally had no yard for our daughter and dog to play in but there was a nice-sized deck overlooking some woods. Our daughter was still small so we felt the deck had adequate room for a sand box or kiddie pool. Since she was still a toddler, that was all she would need.
One negative feature of the house was that the laundry room was outside the kitchen in a covered shed. I had to take trips back and forth through the back kitchen door to do laundry while trying to keep an eye on my daughter. I learned that to keep her safe, I had to leave her in her gated bedroom playing whenever she was out of my sight.
I began potty training her in this house. It was fairly successful when using M and M’s, or “MMM’s” as she called them, as bribery tactics. One time she got hold of a red crayon and began drawing a “picture” on the wallpaper in the bathroom before I could catch her.
We were living in this house when Hurricane Hugo came through the southeast. We had some rain and fairly strong winds during the storm. My husband and I were in the living room watching television when we heard a cracking sound then loud thud. We raced into our daughter’s room where she was sleeping and saw that a tree had fallen in the yard next to our house and had come within inches of her bedroom window. We were definitely grateful and astonished at God’s protection over us.
During that winter, we had another freak event of nature. It snowed in our area of Georgia which almost never happens. We had no snow shoes or boots for our daughter so we put plastic bags over her tennis shoes so she could walk around outside and enjoy the snow while it lasted.
When our house in North Carolina sold, we felt a financial burden lifted and began looking for another house of our own. We found a house in foreclosure near the affluent section of town. We got permission from the bank to go in and begin cleaning up the property before the sale went through. We had a strange feeling about this house because we were told someone had died in the house by suicide. It had been for sale for a long time as no one wanted to go near a house that was potentially haunted. We prayed over it as we began to haul away debris outside and clean its very dirty floors and carpets. Perhaps, we were desperate for a home of our own and were willing to overlook our misgivings. However, God had other plans for us. Before we signed the final papers, my husband found out that his job was going to be phased out…..again.