MY STORY - chapter 5

My Story - Chapter 5

We lived in our very first house for only 17 months. Working for an oil company and living out in the oil field, presented many challenges for a family. But we were young and up to those challenges. Our house had a full unfinished basement, 2 bedrooms on the main floor and only one bathroom. So, true to form for us, we set out to finish the basement with 2 more bedrooms, a family room, a storage room and a laundry room. It was difficult with 2 little kids and Christer was gone a lot out to individuals wells. I think we were crazy !!!! When I look back at the amount of work we did on that little house, it boggles my mind. We learned a lot about remodeling and home construction. Wow did I have a lot of energy back them. But I guess that is the natural progression of life. We learned so much with each house we lived in to the point of becoming quite experienced and proficient at construction. Christer being an engineer and I’m an artist, it was a pretty good combination.

We were 12 miles outside of a little town in northern Alberta, Canada. We had a little over 1/2 an acre. Lots of grass for the kids to play on and we made a nice big garden plot at the back. I set up my sewing area on a table in our bedroom. The plan was to use one of the new bedrooms in the basement for my sewing room when we got it finished. I was having a blast with my new sewing machine. I did alterations and custom sewing for women in the area. I was monogramming everything I could think of for the kids and my family. I was making all our clothes, of course, and everything that we needed for our new house. I tried different techniques and stitches. I felt so capable, thanks to my new sewing machine. It was a great machine, but looking back on it, I wish I had not traded in my old faithful Singer 401A for the new machine. She saw me thru a lot of fabric and thread.

Our time there was short and we were transferred to Calgary. We sold our little first house and bought a bigger house with a full basement that was partially finished. It had a smaller yard and was in the suburbs. Not my favorite place to live but we had to be within a reasonable distance from the office. Again, we set out to "improve" our house. Completely redoing the kitchen, the stairway, the basement, the front entrance and added on 6 feet to the entire end of the house, expanding the kitchen and living room. We planted raspberries and a big garden and built a patio.

I set up my sewing room in the basement and really got busy with sewing. I wanted to contribute to the family income, but I had 2 little kids at home I had to take care of. So I contracted with a Bed and Bedding store to make custom order quilts. Back in those days, the big four poster water beds were all the rage and everybody wanted a "country" quilt to go on it. I sewed like crazy !! I continued to make all of the family clothes and any home decor we needed as we remodeled and finished each room. As if that wasn't enough, I started making custom wedding dresses and went to work at a fabric store in town, a couple of evenings a week. I really enjoyed that. It was a nice change for me. Getting out of the house and working with all that fabric !!!!!  I kept very, very busy, but it was how I survived. Sewing has always been my passion and therapy.

Our stay in Calgary was only a few short years. The future of the company Christer was working for was not good and he was restless working in an office every day. Our oldest was now in school and I wasn't really happy with the school in our area. I wanted to go back home to the US to live. I was quite done with living out of the country. So we made plans, found a new company to work for and prepared to sell our house in Calgary and move. We were headed to Denver, Colorado and a whole new adventure and way of life.