PICKING UP THE PIECES: TAYLOR COUPLE BATTLES RIVER, TIME AND COST IN REBUILDING LIFE IN MOBILE HOME PARK.
April and Brennah, 12, team up to install insulation in the walls of the mobile home. “It’s weird having your child help you rebuild your home,” April said. “It’s the one thing we can can do together for quality time though. It has to be done. This is how I have to spend quality time with her – everything else- other summer plans were put on hold.”
April prompts her daughter Brannah, 12, to get out of bed and get ready for school. After driving her boyfriend Eric to work each morning, she wakes Brennah before staring her day of getting things done around the house. “I can’t lift whole sheets of drywall by myself, but I do whatever I can before Eric comes home,” she said. Suffering from fibromyalgia, April says she has to watch that she doesn’t overwork herself, or symptoms of severe pain and migraines will result.
April Hahne and Eric Piner take a break, while repairing their mobile home after flooding at Fabious Village inTaylor, Mo., caused extensive damage, resulting in having to gut nearly everything. They and April’s daughter Brennah, 12, returned after the water receded to rebuild. Without flood insurance, it’s been an uphill battle getting everything repaired and replaced before cold weather sets in.
After an argument with her mom, Brennah finds the back seat of the car to be alone for awhile. The constant work and difficulties arising from lack of a normal life takes it toll. “At times things are stressful, we’ll bite each other’s heads off, but we talk it out later and remind ourselves it’s gonna get better,” April said.
Eric crawls under the steel frame of the mobile home to determine what his next move is, as he will replace the old bathroom plumbing, before putting in a section of new flooring. Eric works at his job from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m., returns home by 2 p.m. and works another 8-9 hours rebuilding the mobile home. He and April have been working on the home for more than 3 months, while living in a small room and sleeping on the floor.
As April prepares the gas grill for cooking dinner, Brennah places bags of ice in the cooler. April says it’s a challenge finding a variety of foods she can cook on the grill. She says they don’t have any disposable income to waste, but ice melts fast, so they have to be diligent in what they purchase to eat, because they can’t keep leftovers. April recently experimented with cooking frozen lasagna on a gas grill. She says she tries different things so they aren’t stuck with a diet of hotdogs and burgers.
Getting up at 4 a.m., Eric goes to the car where he keeps toiletry items and clean cloths, to prepare for work. Eric travels to Quincy, each day to work. His job begins at 5 a.m. After work, he begins working on rebuilding the mobile home from about 2 p.m. until 10 -11 p.m. Eric says some days he feels like a walking zombie, but he’s concerned about getting the mobile home ready before cold weather arrives.
In the morning before school, April helps her daughter Brennah, 12, finish homework in the front yard at their home. With power tools blaring around the house, April says it’s been stressful trying to find a quiet place for Brennah to do her school homework and study.
Eric Piner and April Hahne take a break from working on rebuilding their mobile home after a flood destroyed much of the structure. Without appliances, a working shower, and other amenities, the couple and April’s daughter,Brennah,12, lived in a small finished room, while making repairs. For showers, the family relied on friends, a local truck stop with showers costing $10 per person, and the garden hose for night time outdoor showers on occasion.