Upon graduation from high school, I worked for a year in the offce at Breuner's Furniture in Reno, Nevada. At the end of one year, I planned to go to Heald Business College in Sacramento. It was a tough year for my folks. Dad was sick, and the doctors were running endless tests to figure out what was wrong with him. This was complicated by the fact that Dad was a Christian Scientist at heart (even though he'd joined the Mormon church years earlier), and when the doctors asked him how he was doing, he always said, "Fine." Since Dad worked only on commissions, things were a little tight, and they borrowed money from me that year to make the house payment.
I assumed that I would be working a second year in order to be able to move to Sacramento, but that assumption was wrong. Mom insisted that I pack my stuff and go register at Heald's. Every time I asked her where the money was coming from, she just said, "Everything always comes out in the wash."
My hope chest (my kids called theirs "independence chests") was pretty complete by that time. Mom told me I could have my bed. The problem was that I could only fit so much in the car for the move. I had a choice of my stereo and LARGE bean bag chair, or my mattress (bed to come later). I wasn't leaving my stereo home, and I figured I could sleep in the bean bag chair until Dad's next business meeting in Sacramento when they could bring the mattress.
We had the trunk of Dad's car open a long time loading it, and we didn't realize the light bulb in the trunk was burning a hole in my brand new bed spread (that I could have left since I didn't have a bed). Mom mended it before we left. The trip to Sacramento was quite an experience, as I shared the back seat with the bean bag chair. With every curve of the Sierra's, the beans shifted. By the time we reached Sacramento, I was being smothered in a bean bag chair that refused to stay within the designated space.
My new roommate was from Susanville, California, and we had not met each other prior to the move. We shared a one-bedroom apartment on I Street, just across the street from the back parking lot of Heald's Business College (which has since moved).
After I was all moved in, Mom went home and put the house up for sale. If I had known that was how she was going to come up with the money for Heald's, I would not have gone. I felt really horrible. However, Mom always knew best. They bought a double-wide mobile home out near Stead Airforce Base, and they loved living out there. The mobile home had more cupboard and closet space than the house had! After Heald's was paid for, Mom and Dad still owed me a little bit of money. They paid me back after Danny and I were married. It was just enough to buy our first couch (so we could get rid of the awful hide-a-bed someone had given us).
Mom did me a favor selling the house because I couldn't go "home." I could go "visit," but my "home" had been sold. I'm not sure if I would have had the gumption to stand on my own two feet if it hadn't been for that. I worked very hard at Heald's. I would not have been able to stomach disappointing Mom and Dad after they sold the house.
I know that Mom and Dad sold the house because it was the right thing for them too. I know that now. Dad was too ill for the upkeep on the house and yard. At the mobile home, they landscaped with rocks, shrubs, and easy maintenance trees. It was a good place for them to be until Dad passed away. I'm glad I didn't figure that out until later, however. I might not have worked so hard at Heald's, and I might not have stuck out the loneliness and homesickness that first year in Sacramento. I'm also glad my mother knew it was time to kick me out of the nest. My life would be very different now if she hadn't.