We had been looking for a place to live since the landlord said his wife was going to evict us. Kelvin asked me to check out a house on South 14th St. It was a big house on the corner with a fenced in yard however, it was small but the dog, Lassie, a collie I had bought Kelvin after he sold Chief, the bulldog, was used to a small area and it was probably bigger than the small yard at the trailer court. We also had a tiny Pomeranian who used to dig her way out of the fence at the trailer court when finally, the day we were to live for California; someone kept her and didn’t bring her back.
We boarded the plane in December 1996 and headed for Sacramento. We stayed with his sister, Michelle, her boyfriend Larry and Michelle’s two children, Doug and Lindsay. We were there until after Christmas. They had an extra bedroom which did not have a vent so it was cold and the weather was rainy with a temperature at night and most days of 32 degrees, so much for sunny California. I kept in touch with Jennifer who stayed at the trailer for us and a neighbor watched Lassie. I asked if there was any sign of Foxy, the Pomeranian, and the answer was no. They even checked with the dog pound who said since the dog was a Pomeranian and teacup size she was probably stolen.
The landlord at the house on South 14th St said the place should be ready when we got home in January. He was completely remodeling the house, putting in new cabinets, paint etc… I told him I was going to be working at Caregivers Home Care Services when I got back and that Kelvin would be receiving a disability check which I had directly deposited into the bank account so I could pay the rent myself with that. There would be no more of the “cashing the check first and spending what he wanted” before paying the rent as he had done in the past. We settled on a rent amount of 410.00 a month. The house had one huge bedroom and a small bedroom for Dakota. The bathroom, which was remodeled, was large and was between the two bedrooms. The kitchen was narrow with new cabinets and counter tops. My stove was electric and he designed two twenty wiring to accommodate but said we would need a gas dryer on the back porch because he wasn’t paying to rewire that.
When we came home from California the house wasn’t ready yet so we continued to stay at the trailer until February of 1997. We moved into the big newly remodeled house. The dining area was between the kitchen and the living room. It was huge. We were no longer cramped and the china cabinet with all our precious memorabilia from over the years was placed on the south wall. I had sold my piano to an RN at Heartland Hospital in the summer of 1995; we had gone to World’s of Fun, an amusement park in Kansas City, there we had our annual picnic for employees of the hospital. She decided to buy it for 500.00 and picked it up the following the weekend. I was surprised when we got to the new place and there was an old upright piano there that the previous tenants had left. The landlord said we could keep it or get rid of it at our discretion. I decided to keep it and called a piano tuner to check it out. He said it would probably need too much work. I went to Lanham Music and bought another piano, a spinet, and put it on layaway there. The piano tuner said he would buy the old piano for 100.00 and came to pick it up when I was able to get the new one out of layaway. The new piano cost a little less than a 1000.00. Kelvin helped me with the last two payments. I was ecstatic when the van with my new piano came. I had it put in the dining room along with the dining room table and six chairs I had bought at a second hand furniture store.
I had traded the red Geo for a teal green geo Storm 2+2 coup, 5 speeds on the floor, sports car in 1994. When Dakota was born we had a hard time getting the car seat and baby strapped in. It was a hatchback and Kelvin got frustrated trying to get the car seat through the back hatch and strapping it in. It wasn’t meant for a car seat. I traded that one in for the convertible, red, automatic 1992 Chevrolet. I bought this car in the spring of 1996 from the same dealership in Platte City. They washed it and waxed it and had it looking like new when I went to sign the papers. I wasn’t real certain I wanted to trade my sports car but when they showed me how they had detailed it and it looked like new, only 35000 miles I decided to sign.
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