Those pictures I added to this story were taken before the arrival of digital cameras. (Those pictures were also taken with the camera I could afford, which wasn’t exactly top of the line!)
Last week I began a topic with a specific purpose. I want to discuss how change isn’t always welcome, but if we embrace it change can be the catalyst for a new beginning. I described my initial start in business built from a hobby and as I practiced, like everything in life, I became better and more successful.
I moved from the original Wilton skill set to the advanced, although I did that through books. I certainly didn’t have funds to travel to the Wilton School or be able to pay for their courses. At the time I was developing my skills, I had no computer and in fact, the internet was still far ahead in my future. I admit it crosses my mind occasionally what financial success I may have achieved if only I had access to the best teaching tool in the world: the internet!
While we were deciding whether to retire and settle here in Virginia, we were renting a house from an Army Colonel. He and his family loved Arizona, elected to retire there and offered to sell us the house we’d been renting. We were giddy with excitement because we had never owned property in our military life. Buying a home on Paxton St in Lake Ridge seemed like the perfect way to really call Virginia home.
Then we learned that the Veterans Administration loan, didn’t begin to qualify us to purchase the house we were already calling home. We had no money saved for a down payment. (We’d been living with three children on Tech Sgt pay. There just was no money to save!) Nonetheless, we had to find somewhere to live, because our current house was going to be sold.
I became adamant we were going to buy a home instead of throwing away money on rent. My husband, Bill, took a second job at night hanging tapes. (I bet you had to click to see what the heck that was.) We spent the next six months with Bill leaving in the morning, going to work at the Pentagon, leaving the Pentagon and going to work in McClean, leaving McClean driving home to Lake Ridge, five days a week.
We saved everything we could just for closing costs and a very small down payment. I went with a local realtor searching for a house in our price range. That was actually pretty easy, since there were only about a dozen of those in the nearby communities! The house we were qualified to buy was in a relatively new community of solidly middle class incomes, surrounded by lots of military. Nearly everyone was an original homeowner, having purchased new around 1972.The house we live in today is the same house we bought in 1988.
We bought our home for $106,000 because it was what we could afford. We bought this tiny house on a big lot (1/3 acre seemed like a big lot to us!) because being blessed with the same imagination that allowed me to carve cakes led me to think we could do the same with this house. Was it my dream home? I don’t know…I never dreamed of owning a home!
So, changes wrought from everything prior to this point were not really by choice. Every change in my life had been forced by some other factors, and really, this was not so different.
I can’t give you some inspiring philosophy to live your life. All I can do is relate my own experience. I can’t share instructions on embracing change. I can only say you must be willing to do so if you want to be happy. I can’t explain what drives anyone to achieve or accept, nor can I coerce you to try.
What I can tell you is every change in my life has brought good. It was perhaps not what I anticipated, but it has been good. I can hardly wait to see what happens next!