Not Again

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your patience in following me, even though it’s been over 4 months since I last posted in my blog. Life continues to be challenging. With illnesses and a couple of trips, time didn’t permit me to blog. However, I’m now back and will attempt to be as consistent as possible with my postings. Thank you for continuing with me on my journey.

1981 would bring more changes to the lives of the Wood family. Jalene remained involved with Camp Fire Girls, Boy Scouts, teaching Sunday School and working several part-time jobs while becoming closer to completing her Bachelor of Science degree. By March, Chuck was ancy to make another move. Jalene grappled with Chuck’s chronic yearning to appear more successful. A more expensive home only signaled more stress for Jalene; not success.

The brand-new home in the newly developed neighborhood was cherished by Jalene. It not only met all their family’s size requirements, but it was a lovely home. Having purchased the house when the construction had just begun, it was akin to a custom-built home. Chuck and Jalene completed the construction with their personal choices of colors, flooring, fixtures, etc.  The children loved their rooms and Jalene cherished the extremely large kitchen. She hosted countless community events, family and church parties there and it held some memorable times from the short 4 years of their residency.

To exacerbate Jalene’s frustration with the desired move, Chuck wanted to move to a neighborhood approximately the same age as the one where they currently resided. The house was almost identical in size, but for a cost of over $30,000 more. The increase in mortgage payments would put a strain on Chuck’s modest income. However, he reminded Jalene often of his mandate she find a full-time job as soon as she competed her college degree. Chuck cited the degree was not to be wasted as a stay-at-home mother.

Jalene reminded Chuck the degree was an insurance policy for if she must return to a full-time career, but that she never desired a career. This was not a topic for discussion. Chuck mandated Jalene would indeed become a career wife. Jalene’s stomach tightened at the thought of leaving home daily to work full time, but return to all the responsibilities of a  wife and mother. She also understood many women had to earn a living for survival. When Jalene realized her work ruling was for Chuck to purchase more expensive cars and larger homes, she felt his edict was not justifiable.

Nonetheless, Chuck was the ruler of his home and he insisted they move across the street to the more prestigious neighborhood.  When Jalene said no, he became aggressive with the realtor, requesting she telephone Jalene urging her to sign the contract on the home which Chuck desired. Jalene didn’t like the home. It was the same age as the one they owned, but it was someone else’s home; not theirs, not the one they had chosen together.

Jalene’s pleas to remain in their house failed. The battle was fought and Chuck once again was the victor. The owners of their second house would not budge. They were having a home custom built and informed Chuck and Jalene they would not move until their new home was totally completed. There were no negotiations on this. Jalene became even more remorseful when their house sold quickly and they were compelled to move into an apartment over 25 miles away from their community and new home.

Why oh why was Chuck so selfish? Jalene spent countless, sleepless nights pondering her desire to marry a man whom cared nothing about his wife or children. His interests were the only ones which mattered.

In less than 24 hours after moving into the roach infested, ramshackled 2 bedroom apartment the children’s legs were red with welts and severe itching. The apartment was flea infested. When complaining to the apartment manager, Jalene was accused of being dishonest. Jalene purchased white knee high socks for each of the children to wear. When they stepped out of their beds and onto the carept the white socks quickly became dotted with hundreds of fleas.

Jalene marched to the apartment office urging the manager to hastily return to their apartment.  Upon inspection of the children’s red, swollen legs with dozens of bites, the manager ordered the extermination of the fleas.

Jalene was hopeful the worst of the problem was behind them, even though she constantly battled the excessive roach problem. As she laid in bed at night sobbing about the living conditions of her family, Chuck had no sympathy. He knew only that when they moved into their next home, he could tout he lived in a more prestigious neighborhood.

Shortly after the fleas had vanished, the rains came. Due to the extreme dis-repair of the apartment, the room where the children were sleeping was flooded. They awakened one morning to not only a soggy carpet, but stepped in several inches of water. When oh when would their lives have any normalcy? Jalene didn’t realize in the summer of 1981, there would never again be normalcy to her life. When she married Chuck, any aspirations for a normal life as many families knew, would not be for the Wood family.

Please follow Jalene as she continues her journey with Chuck and their children. This blog began in April 2016 with her childhood journey.

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