Part Four...I'm alive!
Evacuations mean NO hotel rooms anywhere! After calling around we managed to stop in Lake City Florida. We found two rooms at a hotel right off the exit. The one we chose was in the process of remodeling and all the upper floors were without door knobs. And people were staying in them! It was late... we were tired when we unloaded the kids. The two boys in one room with their dad and me in the other with the 4 girls. Baths and ready for bed ...I pulled down the sheets for the kiddos to jump in for a good nights sleep. NOT! There was a huge dry yellow stain right before my eyes. Mind you we haven't been in the room for more than an hour. I call the front desk to request clean sheets...and I waited. And I waited. Moving day and traveling with six kids under the age of 10...no patience! So I walked next door to get some help from my husband. And let's just say all you know what broke loose! My husband walked down to the front desk to get some fresh sheets. I offered to change them myself ! We ended up being accused of letting our kids wet the bed and then blame the hotel for not changing the linens. After being humiliated in front of other customers we decided to leave...not before calling other hotels a few exits down. Trust me...God whispers. Long story short the hotel did not want to refund our money and we ended up in a battle with the credit card company. The hotel said our child wet the bed and we had a dog with us...A DOG! LOL! Our kids wished! I guess they saw me carry the baby and mistook her for a dog. I can laugh now....I wasn't then. All this in less than two hours...at a time when all I wanted to do was have a place to lay my head.
The next day... the hurricane missed the area and residents were allowed to return home...us to Motel 6 on Cocoa Beach! New town ...new home...a new chapter. For weeks we looked for houses. Finally finding one on a golf coarse not far from our new church. Sound exciting? Well....we were taking over a lease from the previous renter. Renting for a while is what we decided was best until we got to know the area. The home owners...they were in the middle of a nasty divorce and the house was on the market. It was a beautiful home in a new community. Not many homes were being built and not many selling...we thought we would be ok for a year. We found out after moving in ...the owner still had some things stored there. So what storage space we had ...we shared. Months after moving in... an investigator came looking for the previous renters. I don't like renting! After our year was up we decided it was best to find a different home. We looked at many options and decided to continue renting. Not really feeling we would be here too long. Another year of renting and new friendships made. We did a lot of traveling back and forth between Georgia and Florida for many many visits home. Still our hearts longing for home...longing for Georgia. We saw a lot while living near the space center. Many shuttle launches...exploding rockets...and our daughter getting to meet John Glen. Florida fires and smoke so thick you couldn't see but just a few feet in front of you. And a new gift for our family of 8. Before we knew it my husband took a new job back in Atlanta.This time...no moving expenses. Now I see Lord why we couldn't seem to find a house to buy. We were free to move...no worry with selling our house. The only thing...I'm pregnant and I'm not much help.
Three years in Florida and it's time to say good bye. This chapter closed and a new one to open. We said goodbye to the friends we had made. We were going home! But as before... home would be different. My husband's dad had suddenly passed away while we were in Florida. Friend's kids have grown. All would be different...all would take time to adjust!
My husband's mom came down to help us move. This time our trip consisted of... driving a moving van towing one car and pulling our camper behind the other. Back to Georgia...back to living with my mother in-law while we searched for a home. Once again our life back into storage...but not our friend's basement. We wanted to keep our friends!The end of March to mid July we searched...and searched....and searched. Do you know how hard it is to find a house big enough for 7 kids and two adults? One we could afford with plenty of outdoor space. I wish we had made that list again!
Having grown up in Gwinnett county...we looked there. It was no longer a small community like we had known. Traffic was real busy and people everywhere. So we began to look further out...out to where our kids could run and play...and just be kids.! My husband had a commute that took him into the heart of Atlanta. That commute would limit us as to how far we could be. We ended up finding our current home...one hour commute to his office door. Perfect! The house was empty waiting for our large family to
To be continued...the growing continues! And the laughing!