When I married this man I never thought we would live such an unsettled life. We moved so much at one point that I didn’t even get rid of some of the boxes. I would just store them. It was exhausting. There are few things I hate more than moving but when you start having a family and you need to move kids too, it becomes nothing short of chaos.
We jumped into life married life quickly. Marriage and a new baby and maybe the baby had a little head start to the marriage. That was a surprise! We learned that news shortly before our big day. We needed to find a new place to live because our apartment was only 1 bedroom and where were we putting this baby? No way could we afford a house on Long Island. We didn’t have two nickels to rub together. We were both working but since his job has some long hours it made more sense to move closer to my work so I could handle the day care issues. We found a huge 2 bedroom place in Middle Island so we packed up and left Islip to move further east. I was working in Calverton and he was based out of Amityville. The commute for him was pretty ugly but I needed to work so we didn’t have a choice. It was so hard to go back to work after having our son. I just wanted to stay home with him and be mom. I remember going back to work and crying every time a new mom would come in to the credit union with a baby. It was awful. He worked such long hours so when he did get home, the baby was asleep. I know many young couples go through this stage of “How do we do this?” but through out the course of our entire marriage it started to feel more like “How do I do this?” His job quickly became a priority in our lives as he became a valuable asset to the company. That was a great thing but it also meant so much change for our family as the years went on. Honestly, a huge part of the failure of this marriage was due to the demands of his job because it really pulled us apart.
If you cannot learn to make time with your family, your family will fracture. (The fact that we did not have a honeymoon because he took a business trip instead, should have been another red flag. I would never come first. Sound familiar? Go back to the beginning.)
I remember coming home from work one day and when he finally arrived home he told me I could quit my job because he had just gotten promoted and it almost replaced my income. Considering what we paid for a baby sitter, it evened itself out. I was so happy! I get to stay home with my baby! And…..we are going to move again. So we went looking for a place in Lindenhurst so he could be closer to the branch. We found a home near the canal. It was the first floor of a house. A tiny first floor but it was basically on the water and boy did that come around to haunt us. The move made sense and hopefully we could have more time together. The location was great because we were close to all our friends who had also jumped on the baby train so it made going to the beach with all the babies quite a circus. That was a great time in our relationship but so much would start to change with his job so quickly that work started to come first more and more. Another promotion meant more responsibility and a little more money but nothing life changing and the cost of living on the island was expensive. Then we found out we were expecting baby #2. Where are we putting this baby? I think the total square footage of that apartment was maybe 800 sq feet. That would be generous. It was not meant for a family of 4. It was really ideal for 1 person but hey, it’s us, we are challenging the space issue.
They say timing is everything and while we were waiting for baby #2 to arrive we were preparing for our son’s second birthday at our place. I remember the day before his birthday, Dec 10th, there was a coastal flood warning issued. A huge nor’easter was headed our way. One of epic proportions. I had pulled into the driveway late in the day from shopping for the party and saw some neighbors out talking. I walked over to join the conversation and they were talking about the storm. Remember, we literally lived across the street from the canal. Boats are docked there. I am talking maybe 500 feet away. The discussion was that they had not flooded in more than 40 years and this was probably just a false alarm. They were all wrong. My point of reference for you is the movie “The Perfect Storm”. That was the nor’easter that would flood our neighborhood and bring the Atlantic Ocean into our home in the middle of the night. Do you know what salt water does to clothing, furniture and appliances? It destroys them. Salt water is not forgiving when it enters your home. I was also 9 months pregnant and when I look back on the stress of this entire event, I feel like we would never recover. I have journals that I kept during our marriage and this was a defining moment of many obstacles that chipped away at us. We lost so much in that flood and we didn’t have that much to begin with. It was always a battle with us. Shortly after our second child arrived we both threw up the white flag and agreed it was time to leave Long Island. We were struggling to stay above water financially and then water ultimately took away from us. He asked work for an opportunity anywhere off Long Island and the answer came quickly. We were moving to Pennsylvania!
Next stop…Easton, PA. Home of Joe Frazier, the Easton Bat Company and Crayola Crayons.