Friday, January 8, 2010

Immobile home...

When we moved to a rural area we never dared to dream that we would own a mobile home. We knew these homes only as the dwellings of the grandparents or that special uncle. You might want to think twice about that mobile home dream of yours. All that glitters is not gold. It's like winning the lottery or having a mole shaped like Africa. You are seen differently by others. It must seem smug that having acquired this dream I should call down this warning from my ivory tower. As a friend I feel that I should at least warn you. It is immobile once you put it on the foundation. Few others in your municipality will grasp the concept.

Here's the odd thing. My home will forever be considered by its previous state - mobile. I think this is flatly unfair. What if I were forever considered a baby? Mobile home's are perceived as unique therefore they are taxed differently, insured differently, mortgaged differently, and here's the kicker, you must have an annual sticker applied to your window. Those of you old enough to remember mandatory auto inspections have seen stickers like these. In fact, they are very much like the ones that you add to your car tag each year. Along those lines my home is known as a 1999 model, like a car. I have no intention of taking this little hot rod on the road. Why do I need a sticker? All this, even after it is firmly strapped (with steel hurricane straps) to its foundation.

My dreams of owning a mobile home were hatched as a child in St. Petersburg, Fl.. The only folks that I knew who lived in mobile homes were only there for three or four months of the year. Oh, they didn't own them much, they mostly they rented them, a sign that they were priceless and beyond the reach of most. These people were foreign, elusive, they were Canadian. They had mysterious accents and funny coins that even vending machines were unfamiliar with.

So I am attempting to correct the public misconception about the mobility of my home. I call it an immobile home. I got this idea from my friend Matt who has diabetes. He makes a point to refer to his disease as live-a-betes. It will eventually change how we all view this disease. Matt should work in public relations. Instead he is a radiology technician.

In my county there is a unique form of discrimination toward those privileged enough to live in a 1999 Palm Harbor Home. I cannot build another dwelling on my property because my home would be, and I quote, "Architecturally incompatible" with the new one. I admit, it is quite difficult to replicate this particular style of architecture. Still, it is no call for entire pages of legal code to preserve a notion that an immobile home is somehow very special. Their admiration and attention is almost embarrassing. Next they will want to put the Gooneybush house on the historic registry.

Immobility has its benefits to be sure. In our previous neighborhood we were forbidden to have permanent laundry lines, there were covenants, but it's all green now baby! We are way ahead of the energy curve these days. On our recently built deck we have the newest piece of green technology - the aerial clothes dryer.
I can walk from the laundry closet through the kitchen, dining room, and onto the deck in less than two minutes. Talk about conservation.

You've heard the joke, "What is the difference in an Alabama divorce and a tornado?" Answer, "Nothin' . Either way you lose the trailer." Trailer is a pseudonym for an immobile home. Anyhoo, it has been noted that most individuals being interviewed on television in the aftermath of a tornado seem to be the elect, those with immobile homes. This has prompted us to take measures to protect our family should the rapturing of our little castle occur. We built a tornado shelter. A stone's throw from the house, our shelter is visible to us from the kitchen window. It has so many purposes. In the winter months it can be a root cellar. In the off season it inspires the study of world culture for our girls, ages nine and eleven. On Easter it is their open tomb in Jerusalem, at Christmas their nativity in Bethlehem. During the year they are often seen playing as children in the West Bank or villages in Botswana or Sudan. When I am missing clay pots and wooden kitchen utensils I know just where to find them. How can you compare the depth of child play in a cement shelter to that of the Cypress swing sets of suburbia? We are truly blessed beyond measure.

On this night of arctic cold the immobile home is a safe haven of warmth and coziness. A fire is blazing in the fire place as I write. And yes, that is real stone you see on the hearth.

True there are few negatives associated with the immobile wonder that we live in. Still you should think carefully before you indulge. So at night when you dream of press board cabinets, vinyl coated paneling, and plastic faucet fixtures painted chrome, you should balance all I have told you against your aspirations. It is a weighty matter when you leave your hardi-plank palace in the subdivision to lead this immobile, but never impossible, dream. You might want to watch this commercial before you buy
Tonight we had Quiche' Lorraine for supper. I do not wish to brag when I tell you, we must be livin' right.


  1. I love your blog.

    Cindy H.

  2. Thanks for the encouragement on my blog. I love how you force people to think twice before casting judgement, you are such and inspiration!

  3. KJ you are hilarious! I covet your aerial clothes dryer, on a recently built deck no less!

  4. I lived in the same "trailer" from 2-18 years old, and the words that ring in my ears to this day are "You don't look like you live in a trailer." heard often. perplexing.

  5. Awwwww..... Sis you will always be a BABY to me your MUCH OLDER Brother!!! hahahahaha

  6. You just ruined my dream of living in a Mobile home in SUNNY???? Florida.




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