There were many reasons we wanted to move. The house we lived in was the house from my previous marriage. Kevin was from Arkansas. Memphis is nothing like Arkansas. If you’ve read “2nd Chance To Be With My 1st Love, Albeit With a “Scarlet Letter” on My Chest,” you understand how I was feeling. I felt like I was being judged by everyone, especially by friends at church. (I don’t know whether or not they were actually judging me; I just felt that way.) We wanted a fresh start with everything. We definitely didn’t have much money, however, what we lacked in money, we surpassed with desire.
I worked in downtown Memphis. At lunch I would drive across the Memphis-Arkansas bridge. Just across the bridge, was a road that went off to the right that circled through crop fields. I drove that road alone several times a week just to clear my mind and sort things out. It was peaceful. It was Marion, Arkansas. We began searching for a home there. We found one that wasn’t perfect, but we thought it would do. We started the process of applying for a loan. We found out that my credit report was fine, however, Kevin’s needed some work. Let’s face it, he was a single guy for 8 years, and credit wasn’t exactly his priority. To show enough income, we both had to be on the home loan. We got a printed copy of his report, and started making phone calls, clearing debt he forgot he even had. It was a lot of work, but we had determination. Our next obstacle to overcome, was a little thing called money. We needed a down payment for the house.
I drove a mini-van since I had three sweet babies. Kevin had a pick up truck and a beautiful, RED, Toyota Celica, with a SUN ROOF! I drove that car every chance I got, usually blaring our Tracy Chapman CD. I felt like a mom driving the mini-van, but I metamorphosed into a cool chick driving that car. I sold my house to my best friend, who was moving back to Memphis, but there wasn’t enough equity to cover the down payment on a new house. Kevin has always been creative with making things happen. (If I don’t see a way, he finds a way.) He suggested we sell the car. What?!? NO!!!!!!! Not the car! Let’s sell something else! There was nothing else. We sold the coolest car ever, but it provided enough money for the down payment. I loved that car, for so many reasons. To this day, when we hear a Tracy Chapman song, it still takes us back to that beautiful, red Toyota Celica!
Between clearing up bad debt, finding a buyer for my house, and coming up with down payment money, we weren’t sure if we were going to be able to qualify for a loan. We cancelled the contract on the original house that we were settling on. Once approved, we started looking again. We were already driving from Memphis to West Memphis, Arkansas to attend church on Sundays. (West Memphis connects with Marion.) The members received us with open arms, and became our extended family. After church we drove around town searching for a house. Some days after work, we drove through, still searching. We couldn’t find our home and almost gave up. One night we pulled the car over and started praying. We just knew we belonged in Marion. (I can tell you about many experiences that we’ve had with prayer, but for now I’ll just share this one.) We finished praying and he started driving again. He turned the corner and stopped in the middle of the road. I asked him what he was doing. He backed up to the house we’d just passed on the corner. There it was…”For Sale By Owner,” right there in the front yard! It was on a corner lot and had a fenced in back yard! I could hardly contain the excitement! Could this be it? Have we found our new home? How much do they want for it? Is it in our price range? We called the number on the sign and the homeowner was home! He allowed us inside to look around. It was PERFECT! It had 3 bedrooms, two bathrooms (a huge master bathroom), vaulted ceilings, and a fireplace! The best part??…it was LESS expensive than the house we were going to settle for! It was exactly what we needed, exactly what we wanted, at exactly the perfect location. We moved into our new home in Marion, Arkansas!
We became close friends with our neighbors. Ashley, the daughter, babysat our three children. She became like a daughter/sister to me. A little over a year passed and we found out we were expecting baby #4…we found out we were about to enter our next Gate of New Beginnings…