- Posted September 26, 2011 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The new faces of poverty: How are you getting by?
Can a country man survive?
Beyond the suspicion and the distrust in government these days it seems as if even basic hard work and common sense can't stop the downward spirial taking place for so many families. We've heard so many sad and heart breaking stories of families struggleing to just hold on that it from day to day that you feel that even though so many people are going through the same thing nobody cares or wants to hear about what's going on in someone elses life.
This past year we lost the only house we ever owned to foreclosure, even though we had hired a lawyer it did us absolutely no good or should I say he did us absolutely no good. With every letter that we received and turned over to him he simply advised us to disregard it while he took care of things for us. So in June of last year the house went up for auction on the steps of the court house and we had 90 days to get out. After living there for 18 years and putting a lot of hard work and renovation into an old 1940's Union Pacific structure we had a warm and comfortable home with a landscaped year full of trees and fruit baring bushes. The on top of that we were forced to file bankruptcy while our lawyer sent in some other lawyer to meet us at the court house and the only information he was able to offer up was "That this will be the easiest day of your life!" I was in shock and couldn't beleive what I was hearing. It was devastating to have to first loose our home and then sit before the judge and make it seem like we where there only to abandone our finanical resposibilties and go skipping merrily out into the sunset.
Finding a place to live for five people was hard to do especially in a college town where the rent now averages $1500. and that's without a deposit and then having the utilites turned on as well. We did find a two bedroom town house that we thought we could manage to pay for but after a month we started discovering black mold all over the structure. We called the manager over to take a look at the mold and while he was their our neighbor came to the door demanding that the manager come take a look at his side of the structure. There was black mold everywhere any furniture that had been placed up against a wall had black mold growing on it....the baby's crib and mattress, the head boards, cabinets and many other things, all which had to be thrown out.
And while they let us both out of our leases they kept the deposits even though we cleaned to purchase more paint to cover up the black mold and re-rent the place again with in a weeks time. During our time there both families suffered multiple repeats of upper respritory issues, especially the children. We finally were able to move into another rental but there have been numerous meals of hotdogs, or dishes can be made with hamburger, spaghetti, lasanga, hamberger helper and hamburgers. We shop at the Goodwill stores, Big Brother and SIsters, flea markets, and raise our own chickens now, as well as hunting our own meat, deer and elk to put up in the freezer. Yes... we still hunt to put meat on our tables out here and sometimes that the only thing that makes a difference between eating an elk roast or throwing hotdogs on the grill again. Canning fresh produce and making jerky are all part of our daily lives as well Continuous repairs on three vehicles older than twenty years is a must just so we can go to work, Thank God my husband is a decent mechanic otherwise I would have to ride a horse to work at the Forest Service. But then I see stories about other families struggling and I feel bless that I still can at least put something on the table for my family to eat even if it's the same thing night after night. My husband had to retire after thrity years with the railroad and has to have both shoulders replaced because he can no longer pick up any thing over a couple of pounds or raise his arms over his head. I was hoping to be able to retire in the near future but it looks as if the only reitirement I'll be able to look forward to is when they bury me. My son-in-law works full time and our daughter just found out she was five months pregnant after the removed her in place birth control device apparently didn't work. So with one five year old grandchild who just started kingergarten, one on the way, two who aren't able to work and two who do it gets pretty dicey between pay days most times. We've been living altogether now for the past four years struggling to keep each other from falling into the abiss. It's difficult some days but it's the only way we can keep our heads above water until things hopefully get better.