When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade. When Life Gives You Black Mold, Get the Hell Out!

in #freewrite4 years ago

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I mentioned black mold briefly the other day in my post about Miami (and painting on motorcycles)

Well, let's back up just a bit, shall we?

We lived in Broken Arrow Oklahoma and we were buying a house on contract from some guy. The day that the floor fell in, well, that was literally the day before we were to go sign papers at the bank for our mortgage. We were going to have a 'legit' home loan after all this time! We were so excited. The house was huge and perfect for our big family...

BUT... at the time we didn't realize how many of the health issues we were having were due to mold.

The downstairs bathtub had old pipes under the house. Unbeknownst to us, the pipe that drained from the bathtud was broken, spewing all of our hot, used, dirty bathwater into the crawspace benmeath the house. Setting up a perfect environment for black mold.

We had been living there for a year. A year in which my sinus and mood issues were HORRIBLE. My oldest daughter's emotional state and health in general was HORRIBLE. There were other signs I'm sure, but at the time it was all such a gradual change that we didn't even noticed until we left that house on the day the floor caved in. We called the insurance, someone came to check and told us to get out immediately. We were told not to take ANYTHING with us other than the clothes on our backs because everything would be tainted by the mold spores. It was pretty terrifying to be told that you'd been raising your five kids in a toxic home for a year.

That was horrible. We lost everything that couldn't be washed in heavy bleach water. That meant that the kids left with their Legos, their plastic dollhouse and plastic toys and pretty much nothing else. We had clothes, of course and their blankets that I'd made that held up pretty well in the bleach, but we left that house without any furniture, most of our clothes, our thousands of books and homeschooling books/papers, photos and photo albums, etc. We lost a lot.

Still, it was okay. The health shit scared me quite often over the next few years. If one of the kids got sick, I worried that something horrible was going to happen from living in a moldy house.

BUT, this event did lead to us living on the road in the bus. That adventure (although stressful in and of itself) was something I will never forget and never regret. It was an amazing adventure that came out of the ashes of our lives and the kids still remember it fondly as well.

We were completely broke, but the insurance money (which was ridiculously paltry considering how heavily we were insured for an entire house) paid for the old bus we found to live in and travel in, so that kind of saved our hides.

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This prompt made me pull out the old journal that I kept when we were on the road. I suppose I should make more posts about that bus life, eh?

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This was a 5 minute freewrite from the Daily Prompt: Mold thanks to @mariannewest and my entry to the selfie challenge for @freewritehouse

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Oh wow, what a crazy story! I now understand why u can relate to my horror stories lately! Sounds like you really had a tough go at life for a while and with little kids along for the ride, hats off to u for keeping it all together when u lost everything. I really hope you do more storys about ur bus life, I find it rather inspiring to hear stories like this.. Im glad things are much better for u now, but Im sure u learned a lot about what is truly important in life during those hard times.. thanks for sharing, I cant wait to hear more..

Well if it helps, I really think we were very lucky that our marriage was so solid and that our kids were up for the adventure. We didn't treat it as a horrible thing at the time, just a reason to move on and the kids picked up on that. We had a wonderful adventure and it wasn't the first or the last huge upheaval we had in our lives. We just keep bouncing back and hoping that next time we don't have to bounce so far to get back on an even keel, because it DOES get tiring after a while!

Thanks for the support.

That is one thing we have realized too, our relationship is so much stronger than most and we have had eachother to lean on throughout all of this. I feel like most peoples relationships would fall apart if they had as much stress and bad luck as we have, but we just keep helping eachother through.
Since I have been to war twice I find this much easier of a situation than my fiance so I kind of see it as an adventure and try to get her to see it that way as well but she is from a family that never traveled or went camping or was out of their comfort zone ever so it has been much more difficult for her, which ultimately makes it much harder for me seeing her so sad and upset. I tried to get her to look at it from different perspectives to stay positive but that doesn't always work.. I think after 7 months of bouncing around she is over it so hopefully the next few years won't be so rough so we can regroup :)
I have really enjoyed all your comments and stories, thanks for always making me feel better when Ive had a bad day... It really helps alot! ;)

very interesting to hear about other people's tragedies! I agree with moderndayhippie, you kept your family and your wits together and wrote a new chapter in your life which you treasure.
bythe way, my wife and I dealt with black mold all the time in our real estate business, 12 years, and almost everything except the cloth furniture could have been totally cleaned and restored so I don't know who you got your information from but they're dead wrong. you didn't have to lose all your stuff.

I didn't and don't consider it a tragedy. It was an upheaval, for sure. But it was 16 years ago and do you know how many of those things I've truly missed?

A video tape that I made, interviewing my grandma before she died (I tore the house apart looking for it and never found it) and the photo albums of my kids.

That's it. It really REALLY brought home how unimportant "stuff" is to me. Before that I saved everything and considered everything to be important to remember things by. It really isn't. We had our health and our family and we got to go on a grand adventure.

It wouldn't have mattered if we could have saved all of the 'stuff' because we were poor and really got ripped off by the insurance company. We wouldn't have had anywhere to PUT all of the 'stuff' anyway. So in the end, it all evens out. That's what I've learned from several of our ups and downs.

yes you learned an important lesson early on.
thank you Byn and God bless you guys up there!

Thank you @janton You are an awesome guy and such an encouragement. I appreciate all of your comments.

oh thank you...well ya know, your gift is creating worlds where
people can get absorbed into and escape whatever is going on in
their lives and I think that provides a restorative break as well as
entertainment of course and I believe such a gift is going to be
recognized and rewarded somehow and hopefully sooner than
later!
hey you're almost at 60! that's a milestone no?
I'm just trying to get to 50 and it seems like a struggle.

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I thought you were asking if I was almost 60 years old! :) Lol. I thought, "Wow, that is the first time someone has thought I was older than I really am!"

:) Keep posting, commenting and voting. Your score will keep rising. TO be honest, I don't understand all of it myself!!! It gets harder the higher your score goes, too.

lol! had you wondering what kind of question is THAT?
yes I heard that it slows way down the higher you go..
that's just..great.
ok your Rep 60 number is quite a milestone.

Check out steemauto.com I believe that you can set your auto votes to vote at less than 100% and maybe making more votes will make it raise faster? (I don't REALLY understand how these things work!!!) Or invest some cash to bump it up a bit so that your steem power goes over 500. With steem being so low right now, that might be the way to go.

I really wish I understood it all more, because even watching my own reputation rise, even when I'm paying close attention, I don't understand why it seems to go faster at some points than it does at other times!

ALSO, @janton if you haven't yet, you should check out @steemitbloggers It is a discord group but it has been a TREMENDOUS help to me in learning how to grow on steemit as well as connecting with a lot of others on here.

Also check out the #freewrite challenges with @mariannewest because that is the first thing I found on steemit and was also an amazing help to me as far as networking, meeting likeminded people and growing my account.

Mold is terrible!!! We have an old house and I am often worried that the pipes might not be good and we have leakage... It can make you so sick!!

The health side effects are the only part that really scared me for quite a while. The "stuff" wasn't as important as our health. Especially since Abyni was only 6 months old when we moved in there and lived there for a year! I was terrified any time she got sick for years. We're so so SO fortunate that we've always all been so healthy.

I feel you. We always worry about our kids - well, I do. And the idea that we expose them to danger... If I read it right, you got out right before you signed the contract?
And yes, you need to write more about your bus adventure!!

Yes, we literally got out the day before we were to sign it! It was another one of those things that in hindsight was just miraculous timing.

Now that I've found the old binder of photos and journals, I will definitely write more. If nothing else, I want to have the memories written somewhere a little more permanent for my kids!

Fighting mold is quite a bitch. Used to get some on a wall in the house we lived before .. yuck...
Just in case you're wondering about today's prompt:
https://steemit.com/freewrite/@mariannewest/day-242-5-minute-freewrite-monday-prompt-herbs

What a frightening story!    I am glad you were able to find other living arrangements so quickly! I, too, have a "black mold" story, but it didn't go as long as yours; the short version was the apartment was damaged by a hurricane and the landlord literally painted over the mold and didn't want to do more until we took legal action. It sounds like your finding the bus was definitely a blessing plus an adventure-in-living! Thanks for sharing this freewrite with #steemitbloggers and #thealliance

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