Courting a Trailer Court


Confession: Back in the 1980’s I used to secretly tour mobile homes on Saturdays. I often took Brad & Amy with me, who were toddlers at the time.

I was fascinated by the way designers would pack so much stuff into a little space, and was compelled to check them out. Yes, compelled. I lied to more than a few eager salesmen and pretended to be interested in costs, although I didn’t want to waste their time, so I’d tell them I just wanted to walk through myself.

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The scent of formaldehyde from new carpet was intoxicating. The new furniture still made a scrunchy sound when you sat on it – and all of this could be ordered complete.

Visions of new appliances danced in my head. The expansive kitchens and polished (paper-covered, faux) wood were fit for a Missouri would-be-domestic-goddess, like myself. By this time the diamond-pin-striping on Elvis-era smoked glass mirrors was long passe’. Trailer couture featured sleek new 1980’s stuff, like the Wedgewood blue kitchen geese canisters collection I lusted for at the time.

This was an air-conditioned fantasy to our first, dismal, insect-infested St. Louis flat. Even if a a trailer continued to be a bad investment, the furniture was new and the central air was heavenly. When the kids and I went inside and closed the door, the insulated silence was enough to make me pretend it was a lazy Saturday morning in someone else’s reality.

Yet here, long at last, my dream may come true… as it turns out, I might be the Dolly Parton to Kevin’s Kenny Rogers in our own “Islands in the Stream” reality: our own address on a tranquil street of manufactured homes in Marion.

I told Kevin, if we have to do this, think of it as living in a Winnebago for a year in a giant campsite – every deck has some type of bar-b-que apparatus.

Our potential home-sweet-home features 2 bedrooms, 1 full bath, 1 pimped out master bath that’s a little on the jank side, and a ridiculously large (but pretty) kitchen. Clearly our hobbies will be cooking and bathing. I told Christopher he could make a room out of our master bedroom walk-in closet. We couldn’t understand why the designers didn’t allocate this space to the spare bedroom, but our clothes like it already.

The spare bedroom is large enough for the boys’ bunk beds and one small dresser, which is all you need for video games!

We’re not sure yet, but this might be a great deal. As it turns out, the guy renting out the mobile home is very interested in buying our house. It occurred to me yesterday that I might be able to see if he would simply trade us the mobile home since his profit will be very good if he flips the house this spring or summer. He could then negotiate the purchase from the contract holder. We can sell it ourselves too, if we can hold on long enough, and get it in ‘showable’ condition. However, a trade would simplify everything and get us into a place for as little as $350 a month (lot rental) and much lower utilities. Plus, the dogs can come with us.

We really don’t want to go, but we might have to. It will not be a happy thing, but we can still laugh.

We’re not sure what we’re going to do yet, but here are some photos of the place.

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Living room – photo taken from kitchen.

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Divider between living room and kitchen.

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Mom checking opening up a cabinet to see where a dishwasher might go.

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Front door

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Boys’ bathroom

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Landry area. *Gasp* There are cabinets for (shedding a small tear) for laundry soap and stuff!

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Our bedroom facing the over-fancy-fied master bedroom bathroom with etched glass doors. Not great for privacy, but nice when the doors are shut – see below.

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But hey, it looks great!

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How much does cancer cost?

No one can seem to answer this question – probably because each person’s situation is unique. I’ve heard cancer treatments can cost as little as your deductible for the year (so like $3k). I’ve heard once you participate in clinical trials the insurance company will no longer cover you at all. I’ve heard to expect to rack up hundreds of thousands in debt that you will never be able to pay. We don’t know which is true. I only know I’m doing whatever I can to cut as many costs as quickly as possible, with no damage or inconvenience to anyone outside of our home, if possible. Like the cancer, we want the financial damage contained as much as possible. We don’t want it to spread to others.

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