Article by Liz Gill
March 2014 Issue of Hometown Journey Magazine
It is laughable that an ironing board was the first home furnishing we owned. When J.B. and I were first married, we rented a musty, roach and rat infested furnished apartment in Marshall for forty dollars a month. We lived there for three months. He was making thirty dollars a week, and I was making one hundred dollars a month. I thought I needed an ironing board, so I bought one for $7.45 without consulting my husband. He was perturbed with me (maybe for the first time, though certainly not the last).
We moved to Mont Belvieu in August with all our worldly possessions in the back seat and trunk of our “new” 1947 Plymouth. The biggest item we had was the ironing board. Reaching across the back seat, it left plenty of room for a few pots, pans, and dishes. We were moving to an upstairs furnished apartment across from the high school “on the hill.”
We lived there during our first year as teachers at Barbers Hill High School. Early in the school year, a hurricane threatened us. Unaccustomed as we were to hurricanes, we were celebrating our holiday from school, when our landlord came up to tell us that we should evacuate, that our apartment had lost its roof during a preceding hurricane. So we took a twin bed mattress with us across the street to the high school and spent the night there with other refugees from the storm. All went well, and neither our ironing board nor our apartment was damaged.
After our son was born, we found a three-room house to rent. We furnished it with a second-hand dining set, a kitchen range, and a refrigerator. Plus, we had our first new furniture, a cherry-wood bedroom set from Sears with a four-poster bed, dresser and mirror, and night stand. We did not have a living room. Thus, we began accumulating stuff. We had a borrowed baby crib in the tiny room next to our bedroom.
Living room furniture came next when we moved into a larger house and soon acquired another baby, a little girl. We were still renting.
Moving up gradually, we bought a lot on Third Street (not yet named). Our friends looked out for us and found a house that we moved to that lot. It needed a lot of work and fixing up. So we undertook to fix it ourselves with some volunteer help from neighbors and friends. It was wonderful that so many helped us out. This house demanded more stuff. We got bunk beds for our young children, and they shared a little bedroom. Along the way we got a TV and numerous necessities.
About 1960, we had a Downey Brothers house built on our lot. It had three bedrooms, a living room, and a den. We had to buy more furniture and upgrade our other stuff.
Through the years, our taste and budget changed, and we added to our stuff. We settled in 1970 into our nice new house with three bedrooms and enough stuff to fill it. After thirty-seven years there, you can imagine how much stuff we had amassed.
Then I had to move again. My friend Frances helped me move boxes and boxes of small stuff. Then the moving van loaded all the big stuff. My house is bigger, but I still have plenty of stuff to fill it up. I don’t plan to move again except to my heavenly home, where I won’t need any stuff.. Then my heirs will have a hectic time dealing with all the stuff I left behind.