Charming and I were able to get away for a three-day to celebrate our thirty-fifth anniversary. Our daughter Violet, who works at Notre Dame, was able to secure a guest apartment for us to use. What a blessing! A place to be alone when we wanted, to eat "in" if we desired. Because we met at Notre Dame, we planned to stroll the campus on Saturday. When we woke, Charming had a different idea. He thought it would be fun to go find all of the houses we lived in when we lived in South Bend (which happened in three different spans of time).
Here is our first crummy little apartment, upstairs at 2428 West Monroe. It was partially furnished, and we paid $95 a month. The Polish landlady lived downstairs:
A year or so later, Charming was promoted at his job, making a big $230 a week, which meant that I could quit my job and be a homemaker. We found this little house, 214 Riley Place, for $135 a month. It is the first of three little houses-in-a-row. Riley "Place" is really an alley with four houses on it:
This house is a really important house. Here the Enemy tried to steal our marriage, and Here the Lord prevailed, healing it to a better-than-before state (the only way He does things, don't you know?). One of the big Ebenezers in our life.
Just a bit of fun trivia. During the Blizzard of '78, Charming braved the chest-high snow to walk to this neighborhood market to buy milk and Pepsi.
Now we have a little break in the action. We moved to Lebanon, Indiana, then to Decatur, Indiana, Fort Wayne, and two houses in Noblesville, Indiana. Five houses, five moves in the next eighteen months. At the end of that time, Charming once again got a job in South Bend.
He went ahead of me, in order to secure a place to live for us. He found a house that was actually less than ten years old, that was for sale, but empty. The owner was in Texas, and told Charming he wanted six hundred a month. Charming told him he could pay $325. The owner declined, but called him back four hours later to accept. Thus, we lived in a really-cool-newish house for the first time in our lives. It is at 1215 Priscilla Drive:
Eventually the owner sold the house. A lady knocked on the door one Sunday night and told us we had to be out by Wednesday at midnight. (now we know that this is not legal, but back then we didn't know so much...) Charming had the next two days off, so we thought we would be Just Fine.
Those two days went by, and Nothing happened. So here we find ourselves at Wednesday morning, Charming heading off to work, no telephone (another story), and we (us, three kids and one-on-the-way) had till midnight to get-out-of-Dodge. No home, no husband to help pack, and not enough boxes, either.
This was going to be a walk of faith, of trust that, not only "could" God do it, but that He "would!"
I walked to the Seven-Eleven to make a phone call, and on the way home, I passed the home of somebody who drove a potato-chip truck. He was throwing a number of boxes out of his truck, so I walked up and asked him for them. That little thing helped me carry on with my "you can do it, God!" thing.
I worked all day, still trying to trust, and, sure enough, at seven p.m. Charming drove into the driveway with a U-haul, followed by two or three guys to help. The Lord had provided a little house at 1134 Rose Street:
I loved this little house. It had asphalt linoleum that you had to wet-mop every day or it got really dusty. It had a lot of built-in dressers and other cool things. AND a big-honkin' air conditioner that cooled the whole house.
Then we have another break again. We left South Bend for Louisville, and lived there for three years (and two more babies).
When we came again to South Bend, we found a little house at 626 East Fairview:
I don't know how we got eight of us into this little house, but I liken it to birth: when we moved out, we never could go back in!
In this house, Violet turned twelve, so she was finally old enough to leave our other kids with. Charming and I developed a habit of long walks in the morning. We had never owned a home, and decided on one of our walks to just start the process. We found a really lovely home in an older neighborhood, at 1037 North Brookfield:
We lived in twelve houses in sixteen years, and next month, we will have lived in our present home for nineteen years.
Maybe we've finally settled down?