Living in Pensacola Florida, there are many things that some would deem as poor living situations. Now before I get into that, I just want to point something out. My lovely wife, was born and raised there. her family was also in the city limits. It was all she knew. The hot sub-tropical climate made good for a long growing season. There is a stark difference between an orange, and a Florida orange. And then there is the award winning Pensacola Beach. And the positives seem to stop there.
In the span of five years, I shuffled around in that city for far too long.
In December of 2011, I flew in to Pensacola on a one way ticket. I spent the next 4 months securing employment, getting my own place, and beginning the steps for marriage. The first house I found for rent did the job. In April of 2012 I moved in, two months later I was married, and as such, my bride moved in too. It was a block house. Meaning, it was constructed out of cinderblocks. We called it the cell. During the summer, the house was cool. It trapped all the cold air. It was nice.
I am going to stop for a moment and explain something. In Florida, there are two seasons. Summer, and not-summer. Summer begins in late February, early March. One can expect to experience 90+ degree temperatures, coupled with humidity consistently above 70% for about 8 months. One can take a shower on Monday, and not dry off until Friday. The very air you breath is a poisonous fume. It is not until mid October when what the locals call a “cold snap” happens. And that is the first time since summer began the thermometer dips to less than 60 degrees at night.
Mid October comes around and there is a brief 3 week timeframe when the temperatures are comfortable, and the air is breathable.
When not-summer takes its place the temps are colder, between 40 and 55 degrees on a regular basis. There are instances when it reaches freezing, but those are very uncommon.
Back to the point.
Not-summer comes around, and the cell proves to be a cold hold. There were frequent times, when my yankee blood was unable to cope, and I lost feeling in my toes, fingers, ect. And it was around early November of 2012 when we found the black mold.
Black mold is toxic. And can produce a wide variety of severe to deadly symptoms. A shoe of mine had rolled too far under my dresser to easily grab, so I moved the dresser, to get it that way. I looked at the wall, and the mold was so wide spread, it looked like it had been painted that way. It was later found on our mattress, our clothes, and inside every room in that house. We got up and we got out.
We found a one bedroom apartment on the other side of town. It was less than I mile from the airport. My son was born while we stayed in that…place. We didn’t have any problems with the landlord, or our neighbors. I was working at a thrift store for minimum wage with less than 30 hours a week. We survived on less than 1000 every month for far too long. We didn’t stay in that apartment for very long. Because it is only meant for two people, and our infant son counted as a third.
Just after thanksgiving, we moved to a trailer. It was old. And cramped. But it had the necessities, and rent was free.
It was then that we were introduced to the tenants. Oh no… not more people. The roaches. We fought those things for over a year, and we never really made it work. In January of 2014, we couldn’t take the bugs anymore.
February 13th came, and we moved into a duplex with so pretty stingy landlords.
On Father’s day 2015, I was admitted for appendicitis. Now, a routine appendectomy is easy enough, but my appendix was wrapped around my colon. The doctors had never seen anything like it. I was out of work for a week. Then an abscess the size of a golf ball grew in its place. And that put me out another week. This absenteeism created a race to stay a head of the curve for the next 5 months. This cause two things. Number one, I lost my job the day before thanksgiving. And every month from July 2015 to June 2016 we were a month late on rent.
December 2016. It looked bad. Christmas was coming. No job, meant no income. We were at one of our lowest points. And all through December, I tried to find something, anything. Nothing came. New years rolled around and I get a random call saying that a company wants me to work for them.
January 2016. I began my task as an assistant manager of a loan office. I stayed there for a exactly one year, barely surviving. There were times when we didn’t even so much as have a dollar to our name. we had to cancel our garbage removal services. And almost on a weekly basis, drive to gas station after gas station dropping of a few small bags at a time until all the garbage was gone.
In January 2017 we left our duplex, headed to south Florida and stayed with my wife’s “sister from another mister” for two weeks. Then we made the argues journey to southern Iowa. We arrived February 7th. Just 4 days later, Bethesda house was launched.
I mention all of that as back story. In the span of just over 5 years, I moved six times. I have experienced destitute times, and what I will call times of plenty. There has always been some hurdle that me and my wife have had to overcome. But we always have.
One cannot fully appreciate the good times, until after they have been through the bad times.
This is Pastor Amos, reminding you to keep it in Jesus.