Friday, October 21, 2016

This is Me: Part 2

     Yesterday you saw my story, part 1. Here is my part 2.

     Back in 2002, I moved to a cute little house on twenty acres. I am a country girl, so this was my heaven on earth. It was a boarding stable and my horse was there. There were three other families living there on the property - it had a total of four homes plus pastures, barns, and an arena for riding. I lived there with my second husband and things were very good for a while.

One of the barns

I rode my horse in this arena countless times over the years I lived here

     I lived here for about five years, mostly happily. But, then, we began having problems paying the bills. My then husband and I had a lot of stress and we were fighting a lot. In the middle of 2005, he left after a big fight and never returned home, except to pick up his things. My world turned upside down. I struggled to continue paying the rent for our home, barely manageable for the two of us and impossible for me on my own. I found a reliable roommate and things were going okay, I was figuring it out. Then my car was repossessed. I was supposed to be going to meet my sisters as I watched my car drive away, back in the possession of the lender. My kids and I walked to the bus stop and went to meet my sisters anyway. I didn't know what else to do. 
     As I was still reeling from the loss of my vehicle, my landlord gave me a sixty day notice to move. They were moving back in to the property and I had to go. This was the lowest point in my life and I felt completely, utterly helpless. 
     I ended up finding a little single wide mobile home (we called it the Tin Can) out in the mountains. The location was gorgeous and charming, and fairly remote. It was peaceful and lonely at the same time. We struggled. When my kids were not with me, I left the heat off in order to save money. The inside of the home was 40 degrees in the winter and I would invite the dogs into bed with me so I could share body heat with them. We often did not have enough to eat. 
     As the holidays approached, I was quite agitated about giving a Christmas to my two young children. I took a leap of faith and quit my job, partly so I could have my vacation pay-out for the extra cash. My gamble paid off and I found another job and eventually made enough money to be able to provide for my little family. 
     Fast forward three years from this and at this point, I had keys in hand for my own house. We were at the bottom of the housing crash and I had lost nothing (I had nothing to begin with) and I had been able to save for a down payment. I benefited where others had lost, unfortunately, and was finally able to afford my own house. 
     My kids are adults now, my youngest having just turned eighteen. We are still in our house and we now have plenty to eat. I am married again, to an honest, hard working man and we hold the title to our cars. 
     During my tumultuous years, besides my kids and my horse to keep me busy and happy, I had books to turn to. I was ALWAYS in the library, checking out new stories to read. It was then that I discovered Nicholas Sparks. I discovered historical romances. I discovered Ken Follett. Reading was my hobby, my greatest escape, something to keep my mind busy as I warmed my body during those 40 degree nights. This is when I discovered what a book hangover is. I mourned the loss of a character as if they were a friend who left me. This is why I do what I do. I love creating souvenirs, if you will, of your favorite literary experience. A reminder of the emotions that you felt while reading this book. Whether it was passion, pain, discovery that you felt, my handmade items will keep these experiences close to your heart. I once had a customer say that wearing my bracelet was like keeping her favorite characters close all the time. Reading a good book is a delicious experience and being able to wear a piece of that book can really extend the experience and heartfelt emotions, providing a way to gently ease your book hangover. My literary hair-of-the-dog. 
     So, to finish the story, my dog, Murphy, and my horse both crossed the rainbow bridge. My other dog from the Tin Can days is old and struggling. I don't think it will be long before he joins Murphy. Of course, I never saw my cars again but I did scrape together cash to buy an old Ford Explorer 4WD that I continue to drive now. That car is twenty one years old now and I still love her dearly. 

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