Bill and Melody’s youngest child graduated high school in the spring of 1993 and went off to college. By the summer of 1994, she was getting married and moving out of state, so the 3 bedroom house they were renting was suddenly empty and too big for their needs. Bill had also taken early retirement from the glass factory and it seemed time to downsize their lives. They found a new place to rent that was on the paper route that they were still doing for extra money. The new place was a one bedroom house with a finished attic that could serve as a small spare bedroom when family came into town.
The new rental house still had a decent sized yard but was heated with a wood burning stove, which meant Bill had to split a lot of wood and they had to store it up for the winter.
They lived here comfortably for a couple of years before their youngest and her husband decided to move back up to Ohio in March of 1997 from North Carolina to be closer to family. They moved in with Bill and Melody temporarily and put most of their belongings in storage until they could find a place to rent. It was cramped quarters but it was great being able to reconnect and spend a lot of time together.
Melody was unhappy with their landlords at this point and was looking to move. They decided that they would all try to find one house to rent that they could share and split the rent. This would save Bill and Melody some money and allow their daughter and son-in-law to start saving for a down payment on a house.
By August they were moving back into town in a older house directly across from the fairgrounds. This became an advantage at times when going to events, but parking was often a problem.
The house had a small yard but Melody still found ways to plant flowers and enjoy her hobbies. In fact she started a small crafting group at her church during this time and they would spend time once or twice a month getting together and making things to give away to their families or learning new crafts from one another. The smaller yard meant less time doing yard work though and a house on traditional heating meant Bill no longer had to split wood all the time.
This was a fun time in her life spending time in the evenings often playing games together as a family and getting to know her new son-in-law on a deeper level. There was a lot of laughter in the house.
During this time Melody and Bill also celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. Unbeknownst to Melody, Bill and their daughter and son-in-law had cooked up a plan to surprise Melody to mark the occasion. That Sunday morning Bill had arranged for a surprise vow renewal ceremony at their church and there was an anniversary party planned for later that day. Melody and Bill and all of their family and friends celebrated, played games and danced to the music Melody and Bill grew up on.