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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Extreme Makeover, Carport Edition

Extreme Makeover, Home Edition. One of my favorite shows. It is amazing to me how they can raise a house (translated = mansion) in seven days and nights. Just an example of the miracles that can be performed when people work together. Well, here’s my application to be on the show:

Hi ABC. We’re the Bennett/Veal family. I’m Cathy Bennett, the mom. This is my daughter Whitney Veal, her husband Dustin, and my beautiful grandchildren- Leyland, 21 months, and Corey, four weeks. Last August they asked if they could move in with me in order to save money to purchase a small home of their own. With rent, utilities, and medical bills it was impossible to save money in order to move. I agreed, and we rearranged everything in my home to accommodate two more adults and a baby. I moved my bed into my office so that they could have the master bedroom and bath, and have space for the crib. Their own self-contained little living area, as it were. Budgets were made and followed, and the future looked promising. Whitney was working at a job she loved, and Leyland was in an excellent day care facility. Unfortunately, Leyland had some health issues early in life, and during the first year, was hospitalized seven times. Shortly after her first birthday, we learned that a new baby was on the way. You know, one of those special surprise blessings from God! Whitney continued to work, and Leyland continued to be sick, and went to the doctor nearly every week. This of course, required her mom to miss work (without pay), yet the day care and office-visit expenses continued. Finally, after a trip to a children’s specialty hospital in Augusta, it was determined that she is just one of those kids who can’t tolerate day care. Thankfully, nothing serious was found, but the pediatrician recommended that she come out of day care immediately. With no other options available, Whitney had to quit her job. After careful consideration and working the math, it was also determined that even if she kept working after the new baby came, having two children in day care would leave her with a whopping $40.00 left over each week from her bring-home pay. Even then, that wasn’t enough to buy gas to drive to work. Now it won’t even fill the tank once. Staying at home has been a blessing, as Leyland hasn’t been sick at all since coming out of day care. Unfortunately, it also means that their dream of owning a home, or even moving out and paying rent, has been put on hold for several years. I love having them in my home (what gradma wouldn’t?), but we are about to burst at the seams. (I could win the prize for creative storage ideas!)

I believe that by enclosing my garage and relocating my bedroom/office to that area, we would be able to manage. This would free up a nicely-sized bedroom for the babies. I had my first estimate yesterday. Total cost to complete the project is just under $9,000.00. That’s not an insurmountable number for most folks. I would be able to save that amount in a few short years. But the challenges we are facing are here in the present. If we were in Amish country we could have a barn-raising and the menfolk could get it done. I don’t qualify for the widows and orphans benefits spoken of in the Bible. My daddy can do anything, and in his younger years could have built the entire thing for me, but he is 77 years old, just had open heart surgery, and is simply physically unable to do it.

Ty, would you consider doing an Extreme Makeover, Carport Edition? No demolition necessary; I don’t need a new home. (My home is fine, and in perfectly good condition. There are many more families out there who need a full home makeover.) I have my own furniture, I don’t need a vacation to Disney- can’t leave my two jobs long enough for that- and I don’t even need you to pay off my mortgage or send my kids to college. I would really just like for my grandbabies to have a place to sleep, a place to store their clothes and gear, and for my daughter and her husband to have a room of their own. Leyland will be ready to come out of the crib in the next six months or so, and there is simply not enough space for four people to live in my master bedroom.

Whaddya say, Ty? Can we “Let’s DooooooooIiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiT” to my carport? I think I see a new series in ABCs future!

[Edited to add-- no, I really didn't submit this application. But a girl can dream, can't she??]

1 comment:

  1. Cute idea! I'd submit it, you never know what might happen.

    Karen - Jen & Jon's mom