When we bought the house in De Leon Springs, I had a very clear impression... a sure knowledge sort of experience, that we would live there for three to five years and then the Lord would move us. We would make enough from the sale of the house that we would be able to purchase something somewhere else. I had no idea where we would end up, just that we should move. We bought the house for $89,000, I think... or maybe it was 86. Either way, it was a really great deal.
During our four years there, the market went down and then back up. And up enough that we were able to sell it for 145,000. We had a profit of nearly 60,000. With that money, we were able to pay for all the expenses of moving, including our living expenses while we searched for our homeplace.
Backtracking a little... I was absolutely sure we would move sometime after living in the De Leon Springs house for three years or a little more, but less than five. We had to be there for at least three years so that we would not have to repay the incentive money we'd received for buying it when we did. We received nearly 8,000 all at once after we closed on the house and accepted the burden of a mortgage for it. That money was a tremendous blessing because we used it to pay off all of our credit debt.
Your Daddy was not of the same mind as me concerning a move. He did not have the same clear impression or sure knowledge. I didn't argue the point in the early days of our time in that house. But I knew from before we closed on it that house that it was your Daddys' house. Why?
It was a huge house. Showy. Very unusual. That last bit about being unusual is fitting for me, but the other two, not so much. I wasn't too keen on it. Your Daddy loved it before he saw it in real life. The size of the land was a greater priority to me than a huge house. I wanted a big piece of land. I'd been focusing all my hunting on acreage with trailers because I wanted land so much.
When we went to see the house, his love of it was confirmed and he definitely wanted it. I was okay with that. After we visited it once before the closing, as we pulled out of the driveway, I asked Jessie, "If we're able to close on this house, are you going to be able to see that Heavenly Father has provided us such a huge house so that we would have enough room for eight children?" He said he probably could. Then I asked, "Would you be willing to let us have eight children?" He said that he might be able to, which was a huge change from the negative answers he'd given me before that.
As a result of that interaction, I knew we would close on the house. I knew we would live there. I'm not sure when the knowledge about how long we would live there came, but it was definitely before we moved in completely.
So, Jessie loved that house. He called it his castle. He wanted to paint it to look like it was built with large stones with a dragon on one side of it. He seriously loved that house!!
After we'd lived there a little more than two years, I started to suggest moving. Jessie was not willing to even consider it. Remember, he loved that house!
Many things happened over the course of those few months and eventually he wasn't so fully against the idea. He definitely wasn't FOR moving, yet, either, though!
A little after the three year mark, I started looking at places we might move to... like Montana, Alaska, Minnesota... places up north. I would mention a bit of information about them here and there. Jessie was not at all excited about the prospect of moving to a place where it was seriously cold. I didn't care for the cold, either... I was just looking at places I thought might be conducive to our somewhat "alternative" choices.
I don't know exactly when it happened, but your Daddy agreed to put the house on the market. We thought we should use a real estate agent, so we went with a member of my ward. Neither of us did our own due diligence... and given that this man, whom we hired as our realtor, was an upstanding member of the ward (had been Elder's Quorum President and was in leadership at the time), I thought we could trust him as a man of God. HA! He totally listed our house WAY higher than what anyone would pay in that market just to serve himself and what he wanted to make off of it. I learned that later and experienced a tremendous shaking of my trust in males (I'd already had plenty before that... but this shake pertained even more specifically to member males). If I've learned anything it must be this: just because you're Mormon, doesn't mean you're going to do the right thing. I know that's true for me... I try. But I also fail.
As it happened, Heavenly Father didn't provide for it to sell. I believe that part of that had to do with the possibility that we were trying to sell too early... and that He wanted that man to learn something from the sale not going through. I do not know if he did. But I sure learned that I could not and would not simply trust anyone... especially a man... who was a member of the church just because he was a member. I'm sure that my experience of being ostracized in that ward was, at least, partially due to that messed up business deal. I truly believe that I am only guilty of trusting too much.
So, after our contract with that realtor expired (which I found out was ridiculous for us to be in, compared to the market in the area), we relisted the house a couple months later on our own. Thankfully, the pictures I'd taken were already up and I was able to utilize them... that saved me a little time. The funny thing is that the realtor told me to take them down and not use them because they had a stamp from his place of employment... thinking that he'd taken them, I guess. But he had not! I had! The gall of that man. grrrr. Obviously not over the emotional side of the betrayal I felt as a result of him seeking his self-interest.
We had only one showing of the house. We may have had a couple calls about it, but I think, really, the only calls were those of the eventual buyers. Mr and Mrs. Hampton. Doug and Anita. I am still so grateful that she fell in love so completely with the house and that he was willing to buy it with her!
There were some delays in the whole process. The closing took about a month longer than any of us expected. But we did close. And, indeed, the delayed process was, of course, a gift from God (for us and hopefully our buyers, too).
The land we eventually bought, our homeplace, was put on the market only 18 days before we found it. If we'd been looking in our new area when we planned to be looking based on our original closing, we may not have found this particular place. And, in reality (contrary to our expectation), it was relatively difficult to find a place that was 10 acres and relatively level AND not under water after heavy rain. Our homeplace was a gem among stones... especially in our price rage, which was, at most, $35,000.
I'll tell you more about all that (and maybe repeat some of the above) in a story about our land. Look for it next week and thereafter.
The main reason I felt like we had to leave Florida is that it is illegal to homebirth multiples in Florida. It is also illegal to homebirth breech presentation in Florida. Because I believe homebirth is the ONLY way to go for both (and singles, too), I felt very uneasy about staying in Florida much past EmJ's birth.
Amazingly and interestingly, we learned only after moving away from Florida that there was a law up for voting to make living off-grid illegal in Florida. Sickeningly it passed. We live off-grid in many ways and had a desire to do so long before we moved away. Interesting, yes?
There are a few stories I've already shared about our time in transition:
Our Move: Van Living
Last for the Van Living Series (at time of publishing this post, the story is not yet posted, but you can search for it!)