I had filled out an application at Housing Authority and was waiting in line for that to be approved. By the end of September I had received my approval in the mail. All I had to do now was find a house that they would approve of and a landlord that would accept. A two bedroom house for Dakota and me the limit was 425.00 for the rent. Anything over that would not be approved by housing. I looked in the paper every day with the help of my daughter. I saved my money so that when I did find a place I would have the first and last month’s rent and a deposit.
When I got home from work one day she notified me that she had found a house on south 20th street. It took us a while to find the house. The landlord was sitting in the kitchen with a pile of applications to go through. His son was outside painting the house white. It was a quaint old one story with a full basement, a front porch, a deck attached in back overlooking a wide spreading back yard. There was a hedge row surrounding the north side of the back yard and a short hedge in the front separating the street from the small front yard leading to the front porch.
I remembered the front porch swing Kelvin had bought me for my birthday one year that Jennifer had at her house. I thought about flowers and where I would plant them. This house would be mine, all mine. I filled out the paper work and talked to the man sitting in a chair in the large kitchen. I told him it would be just Dakota and I living there and how housing worked. In a few days Jennifer told me that he had called and the house was mine if I still wanted it. I couldn’t believe with all the applicants, with housing stipulating their rules that I had been chosen. Now all I needed was to pay the storage bill and get my stuff back home where it belonged. There was a stove already there, a gas stove, I had an electric counter top stove that I wanted to use but he said he wasn’t doing the wiring for 220 in the kitchen. I would have to use the small gas stove already existing. There wasn’t much counter space so I shoved the electric up against the existing counter on the north side of the kitchen for the extra space. I had a washer but needed a dryer; he had a dryer but no washer so that worked out for both of us. There was no fencing to keep Lassie inside the yard except for the hedge but on the East side to the driveway there was no hedge and on the South side there was a house with a family of kids, dogs, Rottweiler’s, at least four big ones and no fence in between. I bought a cable about a hundred feet and staked Lassie out in the middle.
There was a small shed in the back close to the driveway in the southeast corner with no door. There I stored the Sears Craftsman lawn mower, the weed eater and other various tools used for gardening. It wasn’t long the weed eater and hoe, a shovel went missing. I put the lawn mower under the deck and put the remaining tools in the basement. The lawn mower quit working so I had to go to the new Wal-Mart on North Belt that had just recently opened its doors and bought a refurbished, small red one. Easy enough for me to start and push myself. I no longer had Kelvin to care for the yard any longer. In the Spring I bought flowers, Petunias mostly, and planted those in the front of the front porch and the tulips I had planted the fall I moved in 2001 were starting to sprout up. I bought rose bushes to plant in the back yard. They refused to bloom and died shortly thereafter.
The cast iron lawn furniture I had had since I lived with Charles on the farm when Clyde was renting the trailer from us, (he had bought it for me instead of paying the rent one month as I had asked him to, it was the same price) I put on the deck, put an umbrella through the hole in the table and sat out there, ate breakfast, and watched Lassie play as much as she could to the extent of the cable. Dakota would throw a soccer ball high into the air and she would jump up and bat it with her nose. I felt so sorry that she had to be cabled but she wouldn’t voluntarily stay in the yard otherwise.
I worked hard at selling long distance for AT&T and won prizes. We had a contest in the spring of 2002 to see who could sell the most service. The winner would win a trip to Las Vegas! We had a map on the wall with little pegs representing our airplanes. So many sales equaled so many miles and the one to get to Las Vegas first won. I left everyone back in Denver and was in Las Vegas first so I won the trip for two taking Jennifer with me.
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