After several weeks of the illness which Jalene had experienced with the two previous pregnancies, she made an appointment to see her gynecologist. He confirmed what she suspected, but nonetheless she was perplexed. Jalene and Chuck had taken not one, but several precautions against a pregnancy for at least another year.
Jalene had been pregnant for two consecutive years and with the frequent and intense migraine headaches, she realized her body needed a little more time to heal. Hysterically, Jalene said “Dr. Perry, how can I be pregnant when we were using not one, but two contraceptives?” Before, Dr. Perry could answer, Jalene spoke in broken sentences between the sobs, “I desperately want another baby, but had planned on waiting until next year to become pregnant”.
Dr. Perry explained that due to their infrequent sexual intimacy, contraceptives had a great challenge in fulfilling their task. As he cited, “physiologically the human body and its’ functions are stronger than man-made contraceptives”. Jalene left her Physician’s office with great joy in her heart, but fearful of the outcome when she informed Chuck she was pregnant again for the 3rd time in less than 1.5 years.
As the weeks passed, Jalene’s nausea and vomiting increased. Her ability to care for Marie and her full time responsibilities of the home while providing excellent customer service to her sewing clientele were a challenge.
Because they would now be a family of 4, the urgency to move into a house was more of a priority than ever before. Living in a small community, the offerings for homes were limited. Most of the homes were more expensive than Chuck and Jalene could afford. This didn’t dissuade her from weekly visits to homes for sale. One day while driving through an older neighborhood of small post WWII homes, Jalene noticed a ramshackled home with peeling paint which was for sale by owner. Excitedly, she informed Chuck of the house in a quiet neighborhood, which she believed might be affordable for them.
They telephoned the home owners to set up an appointment to tour the home. Prior to entering the house Chuck and Jalene noticed the drive and sidewalk were abundant with healthy and vibrant weeds among the broken pieces of chipped concrete. Jalene’s heart sank when she walked through the front door of the house. The exterior was merely the inauguration to a lengthy list of required repairs and updates for the house. There was no foyer, but the walls of the small living area greeted them with stained, peeling paint and holes throughout the room. Jalene jokingly said “it appears these walls were used for dart boards”. The owner proudly shared she was correct. He had not worked for several months and throwing darts at the walls had been his pass time. Even though a young couple currently owned the home, it appeared it had been beaten and battered for decades. The carpet reeked with pet odors, while also bearing tattered holes and frays.
The kitchen floors and counter tops were not sporting the trends of the 1970’s, but possessed the characteristics of the vivid and flashy days of the 1950’s; turquoise and pink. The linoleum floors were peeling from their foundation and the speckled Formica countertop banded with metal trim were obviously in vogue when the house was built, but had never been updated. The kitchen lacked any modern appliances. There was no dishwasher or microwave; the only appliance in the kitchen was an old, dysfunctional free standing range.
The miniscule bathroom mirrored the kitchen with the linoleum and countertops. Each room of the house had its’ problems, but Chuck and Jalene could see a bright and joyful house shining through the depression of neglect and abuse.
Not much larger than the 900 square foot homes which Chuck and Jalene had called “home” when living with their families of origin, this small house with 1,100 feet boasted 3 beds, 1 bath, 1 living room and a tiny kitchen. However, the single car garage with a washer hook up provided them the necessities for their young family. There was not a space or hook up for a dryer, but homes of the 1950’s always provided the luxury of a clothes line. Sunshine and nature would be the family clothes dryer for the duration of their residency should this home become theirs.
Aside from all the work which Chuck and Jalene would be required to do to make this house habitable for their family; the greatest obstacle was obtaining money for a down payment. As mentioned earlier, Chuck’s assignment to a local Army Reserve unit provided them a meager supplemental income to assist with their needs. There was never money for “luxuries or extras”, but with Jalene’s sewing, Chuck’s full-time employment and his small check from Uncle Sam, they managed to survive.
Where could they locate the money for a down payment? Chuck and Jalene visited their local bank. As Jalene would cite countless times over her lifetime; God was in the details. The banker was in the Army Reserve with Chuck. He agreed to loan them the down payment and the mortgage. Now finances would be even tighter than while residing in the small apartment. In addition to the payment for their single car and other miscellaneous expenses, they would have both a monthly down payment obligation and a mortgage payment.
Life for the Wood family was changing once again. A new baby was on the way. They were purchasing a ramshackled home which was almost unfit for residency, but with much time, love and dedication, Chuck and Jalene believed this little house could be a “home” for their soon to be family of 4.
Please continue Jalene’s journey as a wife and mother. If you are new to the blog, you may desire to begin the journey from Jalene’s early life. Jalene began this timeline in April 2016, from her childhood through today. Thank you for following. May you be blessed as you share Jalene’s challenges of life.