Let me just say from the outset that buying a house at this point was unwise. We should have just continued to rent for at least a year and let Craig focus on the new practice. But somehow I convinced him that we should start looking.
At first we thought we wanted a little bit of land, with the idea of eventually getting a horse. It was Kentucky. Everybody had a horse. But after seeing the houses that came with the land in our price range, we changed our minds.
My internet searches led me to this two-story, three bedroom, two and a half bath, on a beautiful large lot. It had a deck and a swingset, and sat next to a big wooded area with a creek running through it. Perfect for exploring with the boys. But the clincher was that it was red.
I. Loved. It.
We moved in in December 2001. We did quite a bit of redecorating. The boys played in the yard, we went for walks in the woods, Pinkerbelle was born in this house, we had a campfire in the backyard for Firstborn's fifth birthday, Skippy left the house unnoticed and rode his Tiny Trike down the street and up the hill at 23 months old (we found him). A lot of memories, mostly good, were made in this house.
It was our first house. It was ours. It was red. It was beautiful. Did I say I loved it? My tastes have changed somewhat now, and I've wondered if I would even have picked that house today. But it still has a special place in my heart.
But, right around the time Pinkerbelle was born in June 2002, things started happening with the practice. The doctor who sold it to us changed his mind. He began to do things to undermine Craig and make things very difficult for him. He spent the next year doing everything he could to make the practice fail. To tell the whole story would take its own blog. But in summary, what we later realized is that we were pawns in the doctor's scheme from the very beginning. In the end, he got what he wanted. The lender called our loan (nearly a million dollars), we had to declare bankruptcy, and he got his practice back.
Fortunately, we had no other assets to lose, but couldn't stay there (the doctor's family was pretty influencial in the small city, almost mob-like) and we had to leave the house lumped in with the whole bankruptcy mess. I was confused, almost mad at God. I really felt like He had led us to this whole deal in the beginning, paved the way for us, even. Defeated, disillusioned, discouraged, we dragged ourselves back to Missouri like the proverbial dog with its tail between it legs. It was May 2003, twenty-two months after we had moved away.
To be continued...