Our Mobile Marriage
In 1995, Sandra and I got married. I was in the Air Force at the time stationed at Offutt AFB, NE. Our first child (“Meagan”) was born at the base hospital in 1996. The hospital experience wasn’t what we were looking for so we chose to have a homebirth for our second child (“Becca”) in 1998. I got out of the Air Force that November and went to Seattle to find work. We moved there in January and stayed all of 1999. Life was good. Circumstances forced a move to Denver, CO in January 2000 (“Alex” born Feb 2000), but we moved to Tampa, FL that July. By August 2001, it was time to go back to Denver. We made another attempt to leave Denver but only spent 3 months in Indiana (where I was born) before going back to Denver for the next 5 years. (“Morgan” born in 2004.)
In 2005, I was picked up by BJ Services to work two week rotating shifts in Farmington, NM. Wife and kids stayed in Denver while I went to work in NM for 14 days. THAT WAS ROUGH! After “Ethan” was born in Feb 2006, we decided to go together as a family, traveling back and forth in our minivan from Denver to Farmington every 14 days. We had it down to a system, but it didn’t really work well for a family w 5 kids to travel around and live in a hotel like that. Still, it was all we had at the time, and it was better than being apart. At this point, I got the idea to convert a schoolbus into an RV. I joined a skoolie forum on Yahoo!, bought a bus, and began the conversion process. Unfortunately, I left that position in Feb 2007 and hadn’t finished the bus yet. Instead, it made a good moving vehicle to transport all our stuff from Colorado to Indiana where I went to help my mom.
Indiana didn’t work out so well. I struggled to make any level of serious money but my paychecks kept shrinking. Finally, we decided to go back west and returned to Denver in October 2007. The bus was too expensive for our dwindled funds so we left it on my mom’s farm in Indiana where it still is w all our stuff in it. I found better employment in Denver, but it still wasn’t to the level we needed. (“Hannah” born Feb 2008.) We ended up in a hotel again for several months. Finally, I landed a job w Key Energy in Fairview, OK which I started in Aug 2008.
Key was good, and Fairview is small. We opted to rent a house, but when Key closed the yard as the oilfield bust of 2009 hit, we were summarily booted from the house and were basically homeless for a couple months. With lots of help from local friends and neighbors by God’s grace, we lived until my old boss there at Key offered me another job w the company in Louisiana.
With my brother’s help, I was able to take the job that is instead in south Texas where I am today. All in all, we’ve moved from state to state over 15 times in the last 15 years as well as a lot of full-time traveler (step above homeless) situations.
Here in Victoria, things really came to a head: rental places are generally small and NONE of them want to rent to a family with 7 children. (“BenDavid” born Aug 9, 2010.) Our only other options are to BUY a house with its attended multi-year loan, taxes, etc. OR buy an RV and live in it. That’s what we chose. I found this FEMA trailer for only $6,000 and managed to fit 90% of the stuff we brought from Oklahoma in it. We’ve reduced and shrank our possessions down to almost nothing. But this trailer isn’t the end for us. We have plans for bigger and better mobile accommodations. Watch this space!