By Trent Tibbitts

Dunning science class in the 9th grade a little girl started hanging around me and stole my heart. We went to our freshmen Homecoming dance together and dated most of the year. We would be on and off until mid 11th grade, and have been together since then. One of our first dates after I could drive was the North Georgia Fair. We went to the Prom together our Jr. and senor year. Wendy was in the color guard and I was at every football game to watch her perform. She would get to seat with me during the third quarter. I also went to several Band competitions where they always won Grand Champion. She got to perform at the Citrus Bowl too. I played Soccer and ran Cross-Country. She would come to my games. We were out every Friday night somewhere. A lot of times we would double date with friends. We had a lot of fun in high school. Our class voted us Cuties Couple for sensor superlative. After graduation we took at trip to visit Wendy’s grandmother in Miami. We drove back up to Orlando and went to Disney World. The first of many trips. Her cousin Amanda was young and we took her to the beach with us one of the days. As we drove by a power plant and white smoke was coming out of the stacks. Amanda said “so that’s where clouds come from”. We spent a few days on the beach and a few days at Disney. Wendy showed me all the places around where she grew up. Her Grand dads hotel that he managed, her old schools, places they would go and things like that. We took a dinner Cruise to no where. It was really a casino ship. There was not much for us to do after dinner so we just walked the deck through the night. I had been planing this trip for sometime. I had bought a ring with money I saved from working summers at Post Properties in the landscape department. Brandon was the only person who knew I had bough the ring. I knew there would be a full moon while we where there, and I knew when it would rise. I decided to ask Wendy to marry me in her home town on her home beach of Fort Lauderdale. I had the ring in my pocket, after dinner we stopped and parked at the beach for a moon light stroll on the sea-shore. It was around 10 PM and no one was around. I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me. When she said yes, there was a continues streak of lighting that circled us around the horizon. We came back home and continued our plans of going to college. I was going to what was the called Southern Tech and Wendy went to West Georgia. The plan was to finish school the get married. Well we couldn’t wait that long. It was getting harder and harder to say good-by each night. I thought I wanted to be an architect, but I didn’t. I went to school full-time the first year. Then started working more and more at Post. I would sit in class and think about all the money I could be making if I was not in school so I started going nights. I got raises and promotions at work and felt I was doing pretty good for a nineteen year old. We decided to move up the date of the wedding and we started to build our house. Dad gave my brother Todd, my sister Tammy and myself all about three acres next to each other when I was ten. So I had the land. Wendy and I were able to get a loan. I acted as the general contractor. First I got a drive way permit. Then I got a septic tank permit. We had to get a soil scientist in to sign off on it because of the perk test failed. I started clearing trees and debris for the driveway and house site. I cut a lot of wood and had a lot of brush fires. Wendy was still going to school and planning the wedding. The first real activity was cutting in the driveway and digging the basement. Dad helped out a lot. He worked with the bulldozer operator and helped cut trees as they were pushed over. Where the driveway started was an old dumping ground. Back in the day people would just through their trash out in the woods and this area became popular. There were old washer, dryers, refrigerators, sinks, along with household garbage. We dug a big hole and buried it along with the tree stumps. We loaded the Pine trees on my uncle Fed’s dump truck and sold them at the lumber yard. The Oak trees I split by hand and sold as firewood for the next few years. The next project was getting power. We were the first to build on our road so power lines had to be installed all down the road. That made a big difference in the way our little dirt road looked. Before then the trees would touch one another overhead like a tunnel. The foundation was next. The ground was to rocky to dig in the foundation like we did by hand at Todd and Toni’s A frame house they built. We poured the foundations on top of the rocks and a few days later the basement walls were poured. Two concrete trucks got stuck and I had to pay to get them out. We had to fill the basement floor with gravel to raise it up before pouring the concrete floor on top. The water proofing was done Easter morning. Dad and I used the farm tractor to back fill around the basement. We had a well dug. It only took a few day for the framing. Once the roof was on, the electrical and plumbing was in I started installing the insulation. The drywall was installed in one day. Wendy and I did a lot of painting with moms help. Wendy did most of it. Dad did a lot of the door trim. We had the house bricked and a very nice fireplace made. We had a lot of help when we built the porch and deck. Keith was a big help cutting out the steeps. We help, I did all the things I could. Wendy and I built our house with our own hands at the age of 19. I turned 20 on May 6th, we closed the loan on May 13th, Wendy turned 20 on May 22nd and we were married on May 28th. We spend the first night in the house on our wedding night. We Honey Mooned in Destin.