Friday, June 11, 2010


Eden posted about the meaningful homes in her life and asked others to do the same.

I have only lived in 7 places in my 41 years. My parents moved into our house a couple months before I was born and I lived there (more or less) until I was 27. It was a lovely house with plenty(ish) of room for 6 people, although not by today's standards. I shared a room with one of my sisters. That didn't work out too well. But we survived. Here's a screen capture from Go.ogle earth of our 1 1/2 story convertible, which has been squashed flat (click to enlarge) by Go.ogle. What's missing is the beautiful maple tree that used to be in front of the house. I don't know why people cut down trees. Also, there were many trees in the back yard, which now appears to have been paved over in favor of a pool We were multi-taskers...we had a pool AND trees.

Next, I went to college, where I lived in the dorms for 2 years. No pictures, because everything has changed there. But, Denver was beautiful, and the mountains were breathtaking.

I returned from Denver to finish college at home, and then I got a job, and then I got another job. This job required me to move to The Middle Of Nowhere for training. Here's another screen capture

I had the end apartment, circled in red. These apartments, last remodeled sometime in the 1970s, had carpeted kitchens, electric heat and appliances, and loud neighbors. Two of my neighbors were coworkers, and they were kind enough to rename all the rest of the neighbors for us. Next to me was Journey neighbor, who was a college student that liked to play Journey loud enough for everyone to hear. Next to her was one of my coworkers. Next to my coworker were the domestic violence neighbors. I'm sure you can guess why they earned that name. Across the way, I had the TV people - all the young reporters who worked at the local TV stations crowded into a 2 bedroom apartment. For some reason, the next apartment was always vacant. Next was my other coworker's place. Finally, there was ADHD kid, who lived with his mother and 2 sisters. He was known for trying to feel up the coworker that lived next door to him, and for letting my dog off her leash. We were not fond of that kid.

After my training adventure was complete, I moved back home. I wanted to buy a place next. After about 6 months of looking, I found a lovely condo/loft in an old factory. It came with garage parking, and a separate bedroom, with loads of brick walls (my unit had the distinction of being the smallest in the building and the old boiler room). It was 10 minutes from work, even in traffic (which is a miracle in Chicago!). It was a short bus ride downtown. It had a beautiful roof deck, and if you looked between the high rises, you could see the fireworks over the lake. I loved it there. But then, I met my husband, and he wanted to return to his hometown. So we moved. Here's another screen capture of my building:

My husband and I bought a beautiful house in his hometown. I loved that house, even though the back yard sloped down to a sinkhole. It had 4 bedrooms, including a beautiful master suite. The kitchen was fantastic. It was close to everything. But, my husband likes to wander, and the housing market was hitting its top, so we moved on.

Our next place was only temporary - a place to stay while my husband built our house. It was close to work, close to shopping, but on a quiet street. Since we were only staying a few months (it ended up being 9!), I got a Post Office Box for our mail. That was the address I furnished to our workplace. At the time, I had a supervisor who was...well, a bit of an asshole. No, that's not really fair to assholes...he's a complete donkey dick (as my husband likes to call him). He hates me; I hate him. Coincidentally, he lives 2 blocks west of our transient row house (lots of turnover in these apartments, so I call it Transient Row). One Sunday morning, as I was walking over to the local school to run on their track, he and his family pulled out of their subdivision in his pickup truck. He saw me walking down the street. Coincidentally, on Monday, he started asking for my husband and my physical address. He claimed that it was required, that a PO Box was inadequate. We asked him to show us the directive where this was written. Next he sent off a big email saying that he needed to know our address because what if we had a gas leak and no one could reach us? And what if there was a state emergency and someone needed to come to our house? We replied that, Thank you very much, but we don't have gas service, we're all electric, and if there were an emergency, the Feds would be coming for my husband and would have first priority over the state (since he's in the Army). We won that battle.

Finally, we moved to our current house. My husband was the general contractor and frequent laborer. He put in hardwood floors and did all the landscaping. He finished the basement, and helped put on the roof. Now, he's working on the bathroom...

This photo doesn't show much of our house, but you do get a nice view of the garage and the snow from 2007-2008. We've been here for 5 years now, and I'm not sure how much longer we'll be staying. I love this house because we built it and because it's the first house my daughter lived in. But I'm sure we'll be able to create great memories wherever we go.