Growing Up in a Doublewide
A San Antonio Family Decided to Move into a Manufactured Home
I was 13 and just about to enter middle school when my parents moved me and the family from downtown San Antonio to a double-wide mobile home out in the Hill Country.
At the time, I felt uprooted, leaving everything I knew to go be around a bunch of corn and cows. Really, what city kid wants to leave the convenience of the city to look at dirt every day? Now that I’m older, I realize it was the best thing for me. I still live in the area in my own mobile home with my wife.
As a child, I grew up about 5 minutes from central downtown and grew accustomed to either sirens, parties, or other noises that just seemed normal on my side of town. So much so that, when we spent our first night in our new double-wide mobile home, my brother and I couldn’t go to sleep until the train passed, giving us actual noise instead of the cool, still quiet.
Mobile Home Land Preparation
At the time, manufactured homes were a new concept to us. What I remember most is all the hard work that it took for us to get the land cleared out, burn the unneeded brush and dig the holes for the fence.
Looking back, it was these moments that taught me hard work and what an honest day’s labor can get you. I remember thinking about how good it felt to use your hands to create a finished product.
Mobile Home Freedom
In the Hill Country, just outside of San Antonio, we could have bonfires and huge family gatherings. We had a large family, at least 30+ first cousins, so it was nice to not have to worry about parking or the noise level. Even if our neighbors were being loud, all I had to do was go inside and close the door. The distance and walls of the mobile home drowned their festivities.
At our new house, my parents let me walk, ride my bike, and skateboard the entire block. My friends and I got to explore the new subdivision where we lived. I even remember playing football in the neighbor’s huge open field and making my own paths through the wooded areas of the lots.
As a kid, I had sleepovers where we played hide and seek at night, using the whole acre and wooded area as cover. Living in a factory-built home gave me so many more new experiences that I didn’t know existed while in the city. Things may have been more accessible, but I was now encouraged to use my imagination and become resourceful with what was available.
Growing up in a mobile home was the best decision that my parents made for us. The sense of community is different and most folks wave, just to say hi. Even while driving, you wave to acknowledge the other person driving the opposite way.
I currently still live in a single-wide mobile home, about 10 mins away from where I grew up. The community is just as friendly as I remember, the kids still play in the streets at all times of the day and it’s so peaceful at night. It’s my first home with my wife and I may not live here forever, but I do prefer a mobile home over a stick-built home any day.