My husband Anthony and I had just come back from a visit to his parent's place. They have about 15 acres of land. It is a nice property with one small residence, an above ground pool, an orchard, a large vegetable garden, a grape arbor, a flower garden, and rocks and weeds. A lot of rocks and weeds. It was my husband's dream that someday...when his parents built a larger home on the property, then we would move into their small residence (which was originally only meant to be a garage but they ended up living in it for 30 years) and eventually build our larger home on the property. At that point, the garage/house would actually be used as a garage.
Anthony and I had only been married for two years. We lived in a 2-bedroom rental a few miles away from his parents. Rent was cheap, and the house was hideous outside, but inside we'd created quite a comfortable little home for ourselves. A home where I felt safe and happy. Anthony often discussed the "move-up-there-and-build-our-own-house" plan, but it always seemed to be far, far away in the future like some kind of imagination game that we would play together. It was supposed to happen sometime after my in-laws built their house, which didn't exactly seem imminent since they hadn't finalized blueprints or broken ground in 30 years. So as a young bride I felt pretty secure knowing that we would not be moving from our cozy home anytime soon.
But then Anthony said something chilling.
"Sandy, I had an interesting talk with my father tonight."
"Oh?" I responded cheerily, unaware that my future was about to be irreparably changed.
"He said that he doesn't think he'll ever build their house."
"Oh... hmm...that's too bad," I said.
"So he told me that when we're ready, we can go ahead and start building our house."
"Yes, he is going to let us build on their house plot. We just need to move out of the rental."
"Umm, Anthony...if we move out of the rental, where will we live?"
"I think we can pick up a nice used travel trailer to put on their property and live there while we build the house."
Anthony was trying to make all this sound like a wonderful, wonderful thing that was happening, yet I felt something like the icy hand of death close around my stomach. I wondered if I was going to start vomiting.
"So...we're going to live in a trailer in your parent's yard?" I said, trying to control the rising hysteria in my voice.
"Only while we're building the house."
"How long do you think that will take?" I asked.
"Oh, a few years- however long it takes us to save up the money for the house."
"You think it's only going to take us a few years to save up enough for a house?"
"How hard could it be?"
"But...what about having babies?"
"I'm sure we'll have the house done in plenty of time for you to have babies."
A few days later, we started looking at travel trailers. By the end of two months, we had successfully moved out of our comfortable two-bedroom home into a 30-foot travel trailer from the 1970's. With fake wood paneling. Lots of peeling, fake wood paneling. The trailer was only 20 feet away from my in-laws house. What had I let that man talk me into?
I wish I could say I had a good attitude at this point...that I embraced the dream easily and was willing to do whatever it took to fulfill me and Anthony's dreams...but most of the next few months, I spent just going through the motions, trying not to sulk or act unhappy, and generally feeling miserable.