The Small Print

OK – I’m just back from signing our lease (9 months!) and getting a tour of the laundry room/showers and receiving a copy of the rules.  No storage permitted outside, although I told Glenda we have a table with a tablecloth that reaches to the ground and we keep a rubbermaid tub under there with bike helmets and Legos and she was fine with that.  Kids must be accompanied to the restroom, pool, club house or playarea.  Only 1 small pet (ooops – I confessed to owning 2 rat terriers and that was given the ok but I’m afraid we will have to find a new home for our cat).  We pay electricity (that wasn’t mentioned, I should have asked) so that will offset the small savings in rent. 

After that I drove over to our spot to assess it.  I have to say that while the park as a whole should be better our personal space will be worse- much reduced in size and there’s no vegetation anywhere – just an asphalt strip.  We are in the middle of the row and the space between trailers is only around 3 or 4 feet wide.  Right now “our” space is filled with 3 cars, one of which has a flat tire!  There’s just no place adjacent to the trailer for the kids to play and they aren’t allowed in the pool or at the small play structure without an adult so there’s no sending them out to play while I work inside.  Which means more time inside the way I see it.  We are so cramped inside and with no space outside I foresee some difficulties. 

Which means my #1 goal now is trying to come up with enough money for a larger trailer!  There’s a 31 ft Holiday Rambler on our local craigslist – down to $9800 from $12,000 at the beginning of the summer. It has 2 bunk beds and a full slide out and a kitchen with counterspace!  I wonder if someone will snap it up now that the price has gone down.  I’m printing up business cards today – offering eBay listing/shipping for folks who want to sell but don’t want to bother with doing it themselves.  I’ll cut whatever corners I can. And my daughter is going to see if the mobile home residents might need a babysitter and will add her money to the pot (although I’d rather she save towards a trip to Europe that the art teacher is going to conduct next summer).  I’m going to clear out as much as possible from our storage unit and sell, sell, sell! 

In the meantime today we are sorting and cleaning and getting ship shape – we pull out tomorrow morning!

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21 Responses to The Small Print

  1. Shannon says:

    I must say I cringe at many of the things you post, as to me, your priorities seem a little off.

    No money coming in, but your #1 priority is a bigger trailer? How about #1 priority is getting an income to support yourself and your kids, while simultaneously maximizing your use of the shared common spaces at the trailer park to compensate for the limited space in the trailer you own? And save that money for food or other necessities down the road.

    You are keeping your pets in your small cramped trailer (while complaining about how little space you have in your trailer!), and spending food money to feed them, instead of finding a local friend or acquaintance to take them in (optimally)? And you pay god knows how much to ship one off on a plane — again, with no money coming in? I understand your daughter loves her pet, but to me this is financial foolishness.

    You are going to write a book? Well good for you! But I’m sure you realize that even if you write the best book you can, there is no guarantee that someone will publish it for you. If you do find someone to publish it, there is no guarantee that it will sell many copies. This is especially true if it is just a compilation of past blog entries that are freely available on the internet. There are many very talented writers in this country who are unpublished despite their best efforts to the contrary. Please tell us that you are writing it on the side, while focusing most of your attention on getting a more reliable, steady income to support your kids!

  2. zelda says:

    My friend doesn’t have internet at her place and she buys a pay as you go hookup and can take it with her. She plugs it into her laptop and then she gets internet. I think it is made by Cricket. She was even able to access the web from her boyfriend’s boat.

    • boxcarkids says:

      Thanks- I checked and unfortunately Cricket doesn’t offer service in our area yet. I’m still looking for a solution – really don’t like being internet-less!

  3. Lynn says:

    Looked up Holiday Ramblers on google to see the 31′ model and it looked like it would have to be pretty old to be this price. I remember before you could not find an rv park that would rent space to an rv or trailer over 10 years old—but of course you would check that out before buying. Are they a dealer, so you could trade in the one you have now and only have to make up the difference?
    I wonder if your current one and current space would work if it was just being used for sleeping? Maybe there is a day space where the kids could do homework, play, hang out? If not at the park maybe an after school program? Library? Y?

  4. El says:

    Glad to hear you have a place for at least 9 months, but sorry some of the other things are a little more restrictive, although I can understand the pool/play ground and adult supervision from a liability stand point.

    I hope you can figure out a way to work at the playground/pool so you’re not cooped up inside all the time. Since there is no internet in either location maybe pick the one that saves yours and the kids sanity.

  5. beenthere says:

    I must ask- why only a nine moth lease?

  6. Jacqueline says:

    Might you be willing to go on national tv with your story? If so, check out OPrah’s website:

    The producers are looking to feature individuals/families who have suffered financially due to the recession. I think your story is so compelling and so inspiring. I hope you write to them!


  7. Nicole says:

    In the new spot, will you be able to use the local public library?

  8. Donna says:

    I am glad it has worked out for you to be in a better park and with 9 stable months. Maybe you can work at the play structure since you won’t have internet in the trailer anyway? I am sure you will find a way. Hopefully the kids will make friends with kids with bigger trailers. 🙂

    • boxcarkids says:

      No internet at the playstructure either! And the kids are not allowed in anyone else’s trailer even though a check of the sex offender database didn’t show any registered offenders in the park. I guess I’ll hit the coffee shop with wifi after dropping the kids at school!

  9. beenthere says:

    Your feelings about your trailer space are perfectly normal. After the nerve wracking time you had looking for a spot, the pressure is now somewhat alleviated and you see things a little clearer now. But , you will adjust. The main thing is that you have a secure space for the next nine months and that’s all that matters.

    • boxcarkids says:

      Yes, I expect you are right. I’m a little claustrophobic and don’t like being hemmed in. The kids will be at school most of the day and Glenda said we could use the clubhouse to do homework. Still I’ve been lusting after a bigger trailer since a month or so after we moved into this one so I hope I can make it a reality one day.

  10. Linda says:

    Any chance your oldest daughter is old enough to “accompany” the little ones to the play area? I guess everything in life has its good and its bad. Hopefully the good outweighs the bad here! Good luck!

  11. Barb says:

    I am happy for you that you found a place. And I hope it works well for you. I wish you all the best. But I am sad for your cat because they are always the ones who suffer. I understand your struggle, but maybe you could sneak her in? Cats are quiet. I hope you find an awesome home for her. I guess I am just a real cat lover and I feel sorry for them. Maybe it would be easier to find a home for one of the dogs?

    • boxcarkids says:

      We will attempt to sneak and hope for the best – she has become (against my wishes, but very much in line with her wishes) an indoor/outdoor cat! I got her just before we moved out of the tents – was approached outside a store by a little boy who said his dad was going to kill the kitten if he came home with it! Being a cat lover I couldn’t say no!

      • barb says:

        Bless your heart for trying! I will pray for you. I have 4 cats largely because I can’t say no either. One always tries and mostly succeeds to get outside. I don’t like it either, she is declawed. It’s really tough to find good homes for cats, I know. Is she fixed? Maybe it would be easier to find a home for one of the dogs?Keep us posted.

  12. boxcarkids says:

    Oh – I forgot to mention. No internet – so it might be awhile before I can let you know how things are working out.

  13. Jerry says:

    I hope you can find a loving home for your kitty.

    Are you permitted to put out plants in small containers? They can make a big difference (if they don’t render the space between trailers impassable. Four feet? Yeesh).

    If there are other parents, maybe you can take turns supervising the play area.

  14. Kace says:

    Sounds like it will be just fine, despite the “indoor time”. SO glad this place worked out!! =)

  15. John says:

    Ebay is a good place to sell stuff. I would like to sell something on Ebay (if I could find something), but I do buy stuff on Ebay.

    I can always find my music.

    An art trip to Europe! Now that is cool.

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