Did I forget to mention that my husband decided on our marriage day to announce he was quitting his job working for my father? Yup, that’s what he did. Decided he was going into business by himself. He only had about 6 months of experience in home renovations and had never run a business, but yes, he was going to become a general contractor. Of course, no prior discussion, just a big old announcement at our wedding. I was on maternity leave, and being poor was just going to get a whole lot more difficult.
We ended up getting an apartment closer to my guardian, and my brother-in-law, and cousin moved in to help with the rent. The apartment was above a linen store, in Little Italy. It had this huge living room, so we put a divider in it, and my brother-in-law and cousin used that for their room, and my husband and I and son took the bedrooms. In hindsight, my husband and I should have taken the living room, and given them the bedrooms. We made it work. My husband didn’t want me to go back to work. We struggled just to buy food and clothing. I still nursed and used cloth diapers to save money.
My husband and brother-in-law decided to start a firewood business. They each got a $5000 grant from the government, but the brother-in-law spent his on partying. So, they only had $5000. They had a friend who had a property that said they could take as much wood as they needed. Of course, they thought they were getting a bargain. So off they went to clear-cut and make firewood to sell. They cut down the biggest tree they could find, which was as far from the truck as could be. Mistake number one. How to get the wood to the truck, without heavy equipment? That tree ended up just getting wasted. So, as they learned, they started cutting trees closer to the truck. However, they soon realized that they needed more manpower. They hired a couple of city kids, with promises of payment from the sales. They would live off the land, hunt, fish, and be MEN. However, the only hunting they could get were porcupines. These poor kids freaked out and begged to be allowed to go home. I would make loaves of bread, which probably cost me more in ingredients than buying cheap bread. The kids were starving, and I felt so bad for them. The guys tried to convince me to give up the apartment and move up there, but I wouldn’t budge.
They eventually were able to send firewood back to the city to sell. Figuring out how to package the firewood into bags took some thinking, and they found a supplier of large onion bags. They did manage to sell the firewood, but never recovered the $5000, let alone make a profit.