If you have been following my blog, I am telling a story about myself and my marriage to my husband, the father of my son J.O. If you want to start from the beginning please read my post called Another story begins . . . , or to learn a little bit more about my son, read: And then it begins .
When we moved to Chicago it was hard to decide where to live. We drove around looking for the best area. We started downtown, and after seeing a car burning in the street and buildings all squished together, I told my husband I can’t live here. We kept circling away from down town but the residential areas had houses all tightly fitt together. Finally we got to Schaumburg. It was perfect. Housing was not so cramped.
So I commuted to downtown Chicago for my job. We tried driving it, but it took more than three hours to get there during rush hour. Three hours in and three hours out. Also, if you drive you have to rent a place to park. Forget that. It was a beautiful sight in the winter when five or six snow plows in a synchronized manner plowing the snow off the interstate highway.
I then learned how to use the trains, which worked out real well. The only issue was still an hour commute each way. I worked on the 20th floor of a building. It was a different world working in a high-rise building. For example, when they had fire drills the building management served free food in the lobby to entice people to participate in the fire drill. Downtown was cold. The wind in the winter would whip between the buildings. At that time I was a smoker, and my co-workers would judge the weather by how much of a cigarette I could smoke in the cold. I loved downtown Chicago at Christmas time. The stores were all decorated and minstrels played at the bus station.
In the meantime, my family lived on a dairy farm which was about a four-hour drive from Chicago. The farming was not going very well. This was the Ronald Reagan times. Farmers were dealing with grain embargos, seasonal drought, falling land prices and a world recession.
One of my uncles, in the guise of charity, took over the loans and deed of the farm which made him the new owner. My parents continued making payments to him, rather than the bank. There was no benefit in this arrangement. He was charing them a higher monthly payment than the bank, which is not what they agreed upon in the beginning. My parents lived on the farm and continued farming for about three years. After the three years, my uncle told them they had to move. To stress his seriousness he came with cattle trucks, loaded up the cows, and sold them at livestock auction.
So this was a big crisis for my family. They had no money and did not know where they were going to live. There was no way they could make a mortgage payment with the money my father was making working at a native american casino. At the time I was making pretty good money. I told them I would help them find a place and I would take on the mortgage for it. My parents really did not want to leave the farm. Four generations had lived there. My uncle had a meeting with me and made me an offer, where I would get the house, the other buildings and a little land. His offer was close to $36,000 which was a good deal. My uncle and I immediately measured off the boundaries of the property.
I was feeling pretty good about the deal and after my uncle left we got a phone call. It was my uncle’s daughter-in-law. She told me that their corporation could not sell the place for $36,000 and the deal was off. She wanted double the money. This was all bull! She was just greedy. So we were back in the crisis zone. We continued looking for a place and finally found five acres that was river frontage property on the western side of the county. I worked a deal with a company that built manufactured housing and I found a bank to make the loan. Meanwhile my parents had an auction sale, packed up the remainder of their stuff and moved to their new home.
to be continued . . .