The Florida Months

Our months in Florida were lean ones. I had brought toys with me, but not all the ones that I could make. Plus those were early days in the business. Some months I made only $300. Living in a van kept my expenses quite low, but it was stressful.

One time we were at McDonald’s (internet, you know), and I was offering to buy Caleb something, but he wanted something else that was a little bit more expensive, and I just had no more money. So he started crying. We went over to a table, and some guy walked up to us, and gave me a hundred dollar bill.

We got stuck in Homestead, FL. Which had no beach, not much more than a park, for about a week waiting for money to move on. Finally though, I sold some toys, and we were able to move on to a beach town. Eventually though, I really needed another source of income.

Through a friend’s friend, I got in contact with a farmer in central Florida. I drove to town, and he gave me a job on his organic farm. So I picked kale and collards and pulled weeds, and was able to park at the old farm site. Best of all I had electricity, so I was able to plug in that scroll saw I’d be hauling around and do some work.

I worked at  the farm for more than a month, but then it was time to move on. I needed the rest of my tools, and I wanted to see my family. It was summer now, so I drove back up the coast to NJ. I split my time for a couple months between Ocean City in the van, and staying at my parents’ house.

But I was tired of living in the van, and Christmas was coming. I needed a place to work. I looked into everything to find a place to live or stay for a while. But I kept coming up empty. In my searches, it seemed that the northern West Virginia/Eastern Ohio area was one of the cheapest places in the country for real estate, so I drove the van out there for the month of August to look for a house to buy or rent.

And I found it…


5 thoughts on “The Florida Months

  1. I just finished the book ‘Little House on a Small Planet.’ Seems like you could have been featured in that book. What an adventure!

  2. hello, We live in one room at the moment, I’ve enjoyed the little bits i’ve just read about your humble beginnings, I am crafty and have been hankering after a fret saw, but sewing stuff will have to do me right now. I blog at its a new blog too 🙂

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