"In the house they built together"

Discuss

21 Responses to “"In the house they built together"”

  1. Xof says:

    Damn onions.

  2. silkox says:

    A sad story, all right. A birth in a car. A death in a car. Different choices might have meant less time spent in cars. Living an hour from town, off-grid or on-grid, isn’t living simply.

    • Dean Putney says:

      On a flight from Hong Kong to San Francisco, I sat next to an oil rig electrician on his way to Alabama from Vietnam. Although he hadn’t slept for three days straight, we chatted briefly about our lives while he waited for his Ambien to kick in and spat chaw into an empty cup. 

      He was recently divorced, had a couple kids and a couple cars, and a fairly large house, all of which his ex-wife was trying to take away from him since she left him for one son’s baseball coach. He expressed some disdain towards my life in the city. I said I didn’t have a car, didn’t go out much, and I tried to live simply.

      “You ain’t simple” he told me. Well, maybe none of us are.

      • Funk Daddy says:

        Disdain? Are you certain it wasn’t jealousy? Considering your lack of troubles compared to his own, “You ain’t simple” may have been a gruff sort of “You are smart”

    • Chandler Lewis says:

      silkox, was there a moment when you were typing that and you thought, “um, maybe I shouldn’t reduce this family’s story to a facile and trite connection to which my brain jumped so suddenly”?  

      Chastising people who live in the country as poor decision-makers seems like something worse than a poor decision on your part.  It sounds condescending and elitist.

      • silkox says:

         I certainly did think those things before posting, and chose to go ahead.

        Your assumption that I don’t have any experience with making these decisions for myself isn’t all that nice, either.

        I actually decided to settle my family in town after reading one too many stories of fatal accidents on nearby country roads. Not entirely rational, but taken together with the unsustainability of living far from work or shopping, it was the right decision for us.

        In the case of this family, the irony of their choice as the direct cause of the tragedy is especially poignant.

  3. musesum says:

    Finding someone who is your other side of life, so young and sure. And making it happen. With a strong ethic of how to live. It’s a pretty amazing legacy. 

  4.  I didn’t get that “living simply” was their goal.  Living intentionally, yes, and they achieved that.  I’m sorry it didn’t last.

  5. geekd says:

    Made me cry.  As I get older that’s easier to do, but this story tugs at the heartstrings.

  6. Little Mouse says:

    It’s sad that he died so young and it’s never easy losing someone you love, but I’m glad to have read this because despite tough times their story seems to have been such an overwhelmingly happy one full of love and making the most of what they had together. I think that’s something we should all be grateful for being reminded about every now and then.

  7. cjporkchop says:

    Summary:

    Teenage couple gets pregnant, marries at 16, do well in school while relying on grandparents for child care. Fine.

    Dude goes to med school but drops out because he wants to spend more time with family, gets job as waiter. Whatever.

    They apparently don’t own a cat carrier, despite owning a cat and two dogs, and when the young lady gives birth in grandma’s minivan, with the whole human/animal circus inside, the cat is free to run out in terror. Bad pet owners.

    They once played music and begged for money on the street so that they could go to a fancy dinner at McCormick & Schmick’s. Classy.

    They live off the grid and save up $10k for an educational trip for their children, but apparently never considered life insurance or what might happen to them financially if something were to happen to one of them. Really not smart.

    Lady now relies on her mother-in-law to care for her 3 children (and has one more on the way) while she takes massage classes. *sigh*

    -fin-

    While I admire the young couple’s determination to do things differently, I really don’t approve of their irresponsibility and failure to plan for bumps in the road. You’re not living independently if you’re relying on Grandma for a car and a never-ending supply of child care. And they were supporting 3 children on a waiter’s income and then, oops, here comes another. Apparently they had no need to worry about health care costs or anything else. Did they have Grandma to thank for that, too?

    I’m a very liberal person and I try not to be judgmental, but this story is ridiculous. This couple was a pair of over-idealistic children, who made more children than they could care for by themselves.

    Did they even ask Grandma if she wanted to give up her ‘empty nest’ years raising another litter of kids?

    • I’m sure they aren’t concerned with your approval.

    • Mike Norman says:

      “Lady now relies on her mother-in-law to care for her 3 children (and has one more on the way) while she takes massage classes.”

      “You’re not living independently if you’re relying on Grandma for a car and a never-ending supply of child care”

      “This couple was a pair of over-idealistic children, who made more children than they could care for by themselves.

      Did they even ask Grandma if she wanted to give up her ‘empty nest’ years raising another litter of kids?”

      You seem to have a fetish for loneliness. “Independence,” doing things “by themselves,” and not “relying on” family are not necessarily nor essentially good things. Entire cultures, modern ones, on this planet, are based around extended families.

      You sound just awful.

      • cjporkchop says:

         I hope your children expect you to raise and pay for your grandchildren.

        • millie fink says:

          Was there some point I missed in the story where they said they expected her to do that? And how do you know she’s not delighted to do that? And how do you know she’s not also further insuring by doing that that someone will be happy to take care of her when she can’t take care of herself anymore?

    • Little Mouse says:

      I really don’t see them being irresponsible or failing to plan. 

      They got married at 16 after discovering she was pregnant. At any other age that would be seen as taking responsibility for their actions, so why is it different for them? Especially after they continued to stick at school and did well.

      They were saving up for a holiday, but when their living conditions were less than ideal and their family kept growing they decided to put that money towards having somewhere comfortable to live. I don’t see providing a home for your family as being irresponsible. 

      A guy decides to give up a potentially time intensive and stressful future in medicine to spend more time with his wife and kids. Instead he gets a local job to support them all, this is seen as a terrible outrage because…?

      There’s also absolutely no mention of them using their parents as (free) child care in any way, other than for a vacation within a year or two of being married that sounds suspiciously like a delayed honeymoon. The only other thing I see is them having to spend a few months living with family when they discovered their new home was infested with black mold and making their kids sick. Again, taking responsibility for the well being of their children and removing them from a hazardous environment doesn’t sound awful to me.

      You say that you’re very liberal and try not to be judgmental, so perhaps you should take a few moments to reflect on why you’re being so bitter towards a family you know very little about. They clearly weren’t the selfish, irresponsible, freeloaders mindlessly popping out babies and living on the hand-outs and the generosity of others that you seem to be implying they were, because selfish, irresponsible freeloaders generally aren’t well loved by their communities, have large gatherings at their funerals, or have favourably toned articles published about them online.

    • Xof says:

      I try not to be judgmental

      Try harder. Right now, you suck at it.

  8. aysia scheerer says:

    cjporkchop, It’s obvious that you must fill some void in your life by posting and waiting for responses. What better way to get a response than to call a widow and her family a “human circus”…. ask yourself why you’re doing this. What good does it bring? I really wonder what so many people like you did before the internet…
    Now back to real life.

  9. I consider fairly responsible: I work at paying down my mortgage, got life insurance when my son was born, would rather drive cars that are 10+ years old and sock away money into my 401k that I manage on my own than buy new, ad naseum. 

    That said, I think this couple had their heads screwed on straight – raising smart, self-reliant children – being able to capture the joy of living and being with your family – this couple could teach the majority of our entertainment, consumerist society more than a thing or too. 

    Thank you for posting this story of a life well lived and celebrated.

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