When I was nearing the end of my Air Force career, I knew we would be needing a large house for my size family. We bought this house that had been at a standstill for many years for a good deal. We were blessed to design the floor plan to suit our needs for six children with one on the way. We moved here after retiring from the Air Force in July of 2010. There were no walls in the home, no windows, no interior doors, no plumbing, and no wiring. The basement had previously been occupied but due to an unattended water leak, black mold had grown into all of the sheet rock and studs behind it and had to be completely gutted. This was devastating to my family since we were planning to live in this small area while finishing the rest of the home. We lived in a borrowed camping trailer until it became too cold to stay inside of it. By the time October came, we would have to chip ice around the door on the inside of the camping trailer in order to get out in the mornings. We moved into the house and used kerosene space heaters initially until we finally got our boiler working and found some wood burn. The rest of the winter we were constantly scrounging wood and occasionally people would bring some to us. We had no kitchen nor refrigerator, so the back porch became the refrigerator and my wife cooked outside on a gas grill, unless she could come up with a new creative recipe for a crockpot. We finished the plumbing and wiring that winter. We finally had enough money to sheet rock the walls in February of 2011. In March 2011 a widow lady in one of our supporting churches sold her engagement ring to buy cabinets for my wife to have a kitchen. The ladies of another supporting church got together and bought my wife a refrigerator for Mother’s Day. My wife had gotten her dream stove from a donation given by an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel that used to work with me while I was still in the military.
It wasn’t until after the garage addition was put on and the house sided in 2013 that we could think about doing the remaining plumbing, light fixtures, and interior doors. By the end of the summer of 2014 our building project was finally complete. By getting siding on the house we were able to use a traditional bank loan and get enough equity to borrow money for finishing the inside and put three nice porches on the outside the home. Since the fall 2014 all of our extra money each month has been sent to the Wooldridge Boat company to build a premier, shallow running, long range, diesel powered riverboat that will be large enough to carry my entire family.
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