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.


  1. You know i would have NEVER thought to include screen shots from Google in a post like this. You are genius girl! xoxoxo

  2. This is such a lovely tour of your fine homes. Thanks for the funny image of your crazy neighbors in the apartments. Your hubby is so talented. We have been in our current home x 12 years, longest out of the 22 places I've rested my hat.

  3. Very fun. I sometimes do check out old homes on Google. You can see my father-in-law mowing the lawn in the one of our current house!

  4. Before I lived in my current home, I moved ten times in ten years. The last five years, I haven't moved once, and it is bliss.

    WARNING: rant ahead!!

    People cut down trees for two reasons: one- they are ignorant assholes and see trees as 'inconvenient' for any number of reasons.

    Two- some people who PLANT trees are ignorant assholes, and don't think before they do it, creating untold problems for future homeowners. The guy who built our house just wanted quick quick shade, and planted many inappropriate trees in bad bad places, two of them less than 20cm, yes centimetres, from the house. Fat forward ten years, and these trees began lifting the deck, and were about to begin on the structure of the house proper. They were also a complete fire risk, living as we do in such a bushfire affected country. One of them also suckered throughout the garden.

    I HATED to cut them down, but we just had to, they were far too big to attempt to move. There are two more (beautiful liquid ambers) that are way too close to the septic tank, and WILL cause expensive and unsavoury repair issues for us sometime in the future. As tree lovers (who HATE cutting down trees) we have chosen to pay a fair whack of money on an attempt to relocate them this winter, because they are not yet too big to abandon that idea.

    I really wish people would do their homework on eventual size and root invasiveness before they place trees. You can create something amazing for future generations, or you can create a hazardous nightmare. There is simply no excuse, with access to information on the 'net, for being ignorant about such decisions- to not bother just shows pure laziness and selfishness. Tree planters, please choose wisely!

    Ok, rant over. Sorry.

  5. Mate I just learnt so much about you. I LOVED your post. Why in the hell did that donkey-dick supervisor want to know your address so much?? What an idiot.

    The house you live in now looks beautiful, I bet Dave would love it too. There's something cool about being the first person to live in a new house, hey.

    I've lived in 30, maybe even about 40 houses in my life. Ridiculous.

    Love the google earth idea!

  6. Well, in my opinion this house is HOME. After all, it's the first house for the three of you. Even if you move I would think it'll hold special memories.

    How talented your husband must be to have participated in the building of the house. That's pretty special, too. I guess a house is just the building, but the home is what you make it. Enjoy!

  7. Very nice! And he he he donkey dick he he :)

  8. Also fascinated by your erstwhile homes - and by Donkey Dick, I have to admit.
    The house I grew up in has been tarted up by the present owner - so much so, I don't think I'd want to see inside it anymore. But I remember it so well, maybe it doesn't matter anyway.

  9. That fourth place is BEAUTIFUL :) Must've been nice to live there.

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  11. I don't why people cut down trees either. My dad would cut the lower branches so we couldn't climb them, but we figured out how to anyway. : )
    How was the neighbor boy almost able to feel up the co-worker?
    I LOVE the factory loft!
    Why would the asshole need that information so badly? Was he going to stalk you? Is he still your supervisor?
    The garage is very nice, I imagine the house is beautiful!

  12. Great idea with the Google shots! Your house now looks very homey, and I can tell it means a lot. Awesome that your husband built some of it with his own hands!

    I really really like the looks of the one in his hometown.

    Glad you escaped the jerk, and I hope you come back to visit Denver sometime.

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