Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord … Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her…
Ephesians 5: 22, 25
Our first house was a ranch on Private Robert Bulmer Drive at the base of a mountain overlooking a valley and another mountain range in Sussex County. They say Babe Ruth walked the woods hunting there and, at the time, it was just pristine country. Of all our houses, it certainly wasn’t the biggest or best, but it sure had the best location.
As I said previously, to get into the house we did a lot of the work ourselves. Okay, Mom did most of the work herself. She painted and stained. She cleaned up the contractors’ mess. From day one she put her imprint on that home. My Dad and Arlene Rippey helped with the painting and staining, but it was Mom overseeing the project … to her exacting standards.
I remember the day we closed on the house in late 1973. After a check for the escrow … and another for the taxes … and another for the insurance … and another for the points … and another for, I don’t remember what, we were both in shock. I almost ran out of checks! When we got back in the car, Mom said – as only she could – “What did we just get ourselves into? Are we going to be okay?”
I lied. I said, “Sure we are.” Well, it really wasn’t a lie. It all turned out fine … just don’t ask me how. I guess it was another dose of divine intervention.
But that’s only half the story. We picked up the kids (Joe and Deanna) in Clifton and headed home … our home. Mom and I just held hands as we headed to the wilds of Sussex County. It poured that Thursday in Clifton … it snowed in Ogdensburg … about 10” worth. As we traveled from highway speeds to a crawl, Mom’s hand tightened on mine.
The back of the house faced Main Street and there was only one road into the development. As we passed the house she said, “What are we going to do now?” I answered matter-of-factly, “Drive in there.” (We had the only “sold” house in the development). I got that look.
I stopped at the hill going into the development when, by luck (???), a plow truck showed up and stopped. I got out and told him our situation and he said, “Follow me.” He actually plowed up the hill, around the corner and into the cul de sac … and we followed him to our front door! “I told you,” I said, as she hit me in the arm – hard.
We didn’t have furniture yet, but we managed to keep the kids in the playpen and we “roughed it.” Another magical moment in our young lives.
To be continued…
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.