Chapter 1 The Manchester House
It was a cold winter day in December; I was at home setting up my equipment for work when the phone rang. I had no idea how much my life would change when I answered that call.
"Hello?" I answered.
"Hi my name is Janice Shepperd. Is this Maureen Precoso?" The voice on the other side asked.
"This is Maureen." I replied.
" Hi Maureen, I am calling to set up a viewing of the Manchester house. When would you like to see it? " She asked.
"Do you have an opening this Friday around 5pm?" My request sounded more like wishful thinking than a question as I was trying to hide my excitement. Janice was quiet for a few seconds but I could hear her typing away as fast as lightning on her keyboard.
"Friday at 5pm it is. If you need anything else please do not hesitate to call and have a good evening." she said. "Great, Thank you for calling." I replied before ending the call.
That Friday, Joseph and I, along with our sons Luke and Jacob were beaming with excitement as we pulled up to the Manchester house. 5154 N Manchester Rd was a house we had our eye on for a while now. The front of the house was a mellow yellow with blue accents and a dark brown door. There was a big bushy tree on the left side of the walkway leading to the front entrance and gravel on the other side for additional parking. Although we had not seen the house on the inside; the house called to us as we looked at it in awe on the housing market website.
There was a red suv in the driveway and a woman waiting by the door.
"Hi, you must be Janice!" I said as we walked up to the door.
"And you must be the Precosos!" she replied.
We shook hands and went inside. The living room was big and among it a gorgeous, red brick chimney with a gold trim around it. The kitchen was spacious with so many cabinets that I didn’t know what I could possibly do with them. The master bedroom could accommodate king size furniture and had his and her sinks in the bathroom! Luke and Jacob ran into the other two bedrooms yelling "Mine! Mine!" The house was beautiful!
"Just wait until you see the basement." said Janice as she opened a white door just off the kitchen.
We all eagerly followed downstairs.
The basement had a moderately sized living room leading to two bedrooms, a bathroom and a huge laundry room with a few cabinets and a chest freezer. Just as beautiful as we expected after seeing upstairs.
Shortly after, the boys ran through the house to the back door to discover the backyard. It was surrounded in green with a tree sitting on either side with a white fence surrounding the property.
I knew then that we had to have the Manchester house.
"This concludes our tour" announced Janice as we headed back inside. "So, what did you think?" Asked Janice.
"It does have character." Joseph said.
We thanked her and said we would get back to her with our decision.
The four of us rode in silence all the way to our two bedroom one bathroom apartment. After putting the boys to bed I asked Joseph, "What did you think of the house?"
"I loved it. " said Joseph.
"It does have character." I replied with a wink and we started laughing.
"Let’s go for it!" We both agreed.
A few days later I was getting ready to serve dinner.
“Mom why are you so excited, what’s going on? " Luke and Jacob asked as they were setting the table.
"I have an announcement to make after dinner." I replied.
"What is it? What is it?" They eagerly asked.
"You will find out after dinner." I said. Dinner was served, we said our prayer and ate our meal while talking about our day.
"So what’s the big announcement?" asked Joseph suspiciously.
"The Manchester house, we got the Manchester house!"
"Does that mean we’re moving?" The boys asked.
"Yes!! Yes! It does!" I replied with so much excitement as the boys started jumping up and down.
It was finally moving day. We had a house of our own at last and we could barely contain our excitement. While Luke and Jacob were stuffing our Subaru Outback to the brim, our daughter Lenny and son in law Ryian showed up with a 20 foot uhaul. Before we knew it, we were at the Manchester house unloading our belongings.
I could not believe how much we actually managed to keep in a tiny two bedroom apartment. It took FOUR truckloads. We started unpacking the kitchen and I noticed my daughter seemed worried. We were half way through when we all decided it was time for a break.
As I was ordering pizza, my daughter and son in law approached me and asked if they could talk to Joseph and I. I could tell it was something serious, so we left the kids in the basement and went upstairs to the living room.
"What’s wrong?" Joseph asked. There was a sad, pleading look on Lenny’s face.
"It’s Ryians parents, Doreen and Liam," my daughter said. "They are in trouble and they can’t stay at their apartment any longer starting tonight. They need a place to stay."
Joseph and I looked at each other with shocked expressions.
"My parents need to get out as fast as possible and we were wondering if you would help?" Ryian said.
"Please Mom, Dad, they need your help, can they please move in with you?" asked Lenny.
"But where are they going to stay? This is a one family home."Joseph said.
"Easy," Lenny said "the basement. "
After a few minutes of talking about it, Joseph and I decided we would help. It was done, they were moving in.
A few hours later Doreen, Liam and their two kids Alex and Judy showed up with suitcases in hand followed by Ryian and Lenny in the u haul. When Luke and Jacob realized what was happening they screamed with so much joy and excitement that it was contagious.
Doreen and Liam were very grateful, we shook hands, hugged, cried, and laughed all at the same time.
"Thanks so much for letting us have the basement," Doreen said.
"But mom, my room is in the basement!"Luke said.
"Mine too," said Jacob.
"Mom, our stuff is already downstairs. Can we please just stay down stairs?" asked Luke.
"Yeah," said Jacob. "I want to stay down stairs too."
"Fine," I said, "only if it’s okay with your dad."
Luke and Jacob gave Joseph the “puppy eyes” look and of course, he gave in. We moved into the basement and Doreen, Liam and their kids became the people upstairs.
We were not prepared for the adventures that would follow.