This wasn’t an easy move for us! We left a lot of good friends behind and we also felt like we were abandoning some of the residents that had depended on our guidance and friendship for years. There was a lot to be said for living in a commune setting, but the tasks were sometimes overwhelming and the strain was starting to show on us.

Our former church community welcomed us back with open arms. The church had continued to grow in the five years we were gone and were in the process of adding a school building, cafeteria, gymnasium, racket ball courts and a cafeteria. On our second day in Columbia, the pastor of the Church offered me the job of supervising the construction project. I had no other job prospects and we had very little in the way of cash reserves, so I took the job even though I had little to no experience in commercial construction.

image 20

Our home on Faurot in Columbia

Cherie cleaned other people’s homes for some additional income, and Jennifer and Christopher enrolled in the Church Christian Academy. It was hard for both of them after the relaxed atmosphere of home schooling. Jennifer graduated from the school but Chris switched to a Public High School when he entered his Junior year. Cherie was offered a job as an office manager for a construction company, and our finances soon started to improve. We bought another home and abandoned the rental duplex we were living in. I’m not sure how we ever managed

image 29

My mother in her golf cart and with her beloved dog
Hansi on the way to the grocery store. This photo was
taken by a Columbia Tribune photographer

to secure a loan for this home, but we did. It was around this time, that I also moved my aging mother to Columbia. She was always very active and even in her 70's she still walked every day and rode her bicycle through Chicago traffic and out to the Forest Preserves.  She had suffered a mild heart attack in 1986 and it was getting harder and harder for her to cope with the harsh Chicago winters.  Having lived in big cities all her life, she called Columbia “the country” but she settled into a nice little house and got herself a dog, a German shepherd twice her size. She also exchanged her bicycle for a golf cart.

It was around that time that my work at the church was done and I reapplied with the National Weather Service. I must have put in a respectable performance in my previous tour, because I was immediately offered several positions, but we were tired of moving and I held out for a job with the Columbia office. It wasn’t long before they made room for me there, and I started making decent money again. We bought yet another home; this one was closer to campus and not quite as far from my office. I settled into my work and things were looking up for us all the way around. Arnie had left Houston Baptist and finished his education at Central Methodist College in nearby Fayette. Jennifer was going to the University of Missouri and living in a small apartment near campus. Chris was the only one still living at home. He resided in our basement with his cat Spidey. He started at Southwest Missouri State but only lasted a semester before coming back. First Arnie graduated from College followed later by his sister. I was promoted by the Weather Service to Official-In-Charge which also carried with it a nice promotion and we settled into a routine. Life was pleasant in Columbia. Arnie married in October 1993 and presented us with a grandchild in 1994. He still lived in Columbia and all three of the Perlow boys (Arno Sr, Arnie and Chris) were fixtures on the soccer fields at Cosmo Park.

image 21 image 22 image 23
Our home on Steward Road
Chris and his cat Spidey in his basement digs
Our first granddaughter, Summer

Chris decided to work for a while before going back to school and was still living with us on Steward Road. He didn’t have to pay for his lodging, he ate with us and his mother even fixed his lunches to take to work. Life was good! Not just for Chris, but for all of us. We even managed to get away for a three week vacation in Europe and Arnie and I went to the World Cup Games in the summer of ’94. You just know that it couldn’t go on like this forever, and it didn’t. The National Weather Service underwent a “modernization” effort, which meant that they were centralizing their offices into larger regional offices. To make a long story short, my office closed and I had to relocate. I took a job with the Central Illinois office. No longer the top dog there, I was part of a “management team.” The movers came in January of 1995 and we headed for Lincoln, Illinois, leaving Chris and my mother in Columbia. Argh!

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