On her part, Kathy labored diligently to spruce up the interior of our new abode, scrubbing clean years of dirt and grime from the inside of cabinets, cupboards, and other concealed places where muck had accumulated. While sprucing, she noticed that the large air return in the floor of the hallway felt dangerously fragile and she insisted we would have to step around it until we located new one. Alas, my better half did not practice what she preached and while chasing our two cats about the house fell through the return. “I can’t believe the pain,” she cried. “Call911.”
Kathy was taken by ambulance toPeconicBayMedicalCenterwhere the diagnosis was “Nothing broken, just a very bad bone bruise. Take Vicodin if the throbbing becomes too uncomfortable.” The next day we went back toQueensto take care of some business and to take a break from construction and cleaning.
When we returned to our mobile home a week later, we detected a bad smell coming from under the master bedroom. We figured maybe an animal had died under the trailer. No such luck. A leak under the bathroom sink had become so severe it traveled to our bedroom, seeping under the very thick carpeting and literally flooding the padding and sub-floor beneath. When the Sears carpet guy arrived, he found moldy wood tack strips everywhere, which meant there was a long history of pipe leaking.
Enter the plumber: “I crawled under your trailer folks and the piping is no good. It all has to be replaced if you don’t want to get more leaks.” We didn’t want to get more leaks so we told him to go ahead with the job.
Now that the inside of our home had been righted, Kathy turned her attention to The Yard. From our living room window you could see the next-door trailer, a view that I had no problem with. The previous owners of our mobile home also had been content with this scene, as they had done nothing to alter it. But Kathy wanted to plant some trees between the two trailers to give us greater privacy and a more attractive vista.
“How many trees do you want to plant and what do you think you they’ll cost,” I said.
“Not that many and don’t worry about the cost,” she replied.
I liked the first part of her response but the second part gave me pause. Twenty-eight trees and many dollars later, we had a lovely natural separation between all of our neighbors and ourselves.
Next year, we are planning to change out the old windows, paint the kitchen, and refurbish one of the bathrooms. I’ve upped the insurance on our home to double what it initially cost us. And, I’m preparing to reflux over next year’s bills.
But here’s the kicker. Despite suffering the trials and tribulations of mobile home ownership, I find I really like living in a “house.” Sure, things have gone wrong but plenty of things have gone right. Things like sitting in the yard on a sunny day reading the newspaper and observing all the woodland creatures at play; popping up the little red flag on our mailbox and watching the mailperson whisk my correspondence away; enjoying a kitchen bigger than a closet, where my wife and I can satisfy our culinary interests without heavy duty skirmishes; and listening to the birds chirp happily from bird houses that my wife also managed to “renovate.” But the icing on the cake for a city guy like me is no longer scrounging around for a parking space at night. I now pull into our own newly asphalted driveway.
And, hey, we’re not just living in a doublewide; we’re living in a doublewide on the East End of Long Island. That means a short drive to Briermere Farms for fresh vegetables and homemade pies, long lazy walks at the Quogue Wildlife Preserve, meandering on the horseshoe beach at Indian Island County Park, hearing famous authors speak at Fridays at Five at the Bridgehampton Library, and heading up to the Sound to watch the sun set and then down to the ocean to watch the moon rise.
Dare I say it? We no longer view our mobile as a stepping-stone to a “real” home—it is our real home. And we seriously are thinking about giving up our small city apartment altogether sooner rather than later. You just never know how situations will turn out in life.
Pages: 1 2