I never thought I would move into a trailer park. I never thought I would be able to refer to my home as a “double wide.” I never thought I would be this level of white trash, surrounded by confederate flag bikinis, black-and-blonde hair, and ragtag groups of children dressed all in camo and operating questionable modes of transportation.
Last year, when my landlords had a baby and decided they were tired of carrying two mortgages, I had to find a place asap. With oldest’s need for stability and finally getting a good support system at his school – I just couldn’t bear the idea of starting over from scratch. The area we live in is a strange combination of dueling personalities: rural and suburban, lake front and ranch land, million dollar homes and trailer parks, new and old. The community we lived in before was a neighborhood of easter egg colored-houses in cape cod styles, plopped unforgivingly in the middle of a large cattle ranch. It was a very Texas version of Desperate Housewives. The neighborhood is crawling with elderly couples who have built small two-bedroom bungalows for their retirement and large overly-swelled houses full of large families.
The first roadblock I found was how limited the elementary school’s boundaries were. It seemed to trail right along the lake front and then jut out into ranch land where only a handful of homes were. Nothing to rent was available, and buying was not an options for us. I expanded my search to a small peninsula on the lake that was surrounded by a forest-like park and looked out onto a nature preserve.
That is when I found the non-trailer park, trailer park. I would pay more for a 3 bedroom, 2 bath mobile home that was 6 feet from the lake, than I was for my 4 bedroom, 2 story Cape Cod bright yellow monstrosity. No backyard, no front yard. No trash service.
At first, it felt like a dream. A porch that juts out from the master bedroom through a large sliding glass door, overlooking the dock. Peacocks that roam freely around the neighborhood. Large clusters of deer running amock. And a group of kids for mine to join in rampaging through the community.
It felt like a permanent vacation. A retreat from the world. The most perfect place in the world.
I’m not sure what exactly dulled the sparkle of shiny newness from this – it could have been that most of our furniture broke moving from house to house, or that everything I wanted to do with the house (paint, redecorate, make it a home) just fell down and seems unable to ever happen, or maybe it’s all the fighting and anger and so much hostility that happened in this house, or it could be that my husband hanged himself on the last day of the move (he’s ok now) and it tainted any idea of settling in, especially together in this new home.
This was supposed to be our fresh start. It doesn’t feel like that. The yelling echoes. The walls shake when doors are slammed. The neighbors see too much. I feel trapped.