365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
279. Describe all the houses you’ve lived in
Today marks day one of my 365 day blog challenge. As I mentioned in a previous post, in addition to trying to up my game on my normal blog posts regarding travel, debt journey, weight loss journey and minimalism, I will be doing 365 days of blog posts that I am entitling “My Story”. I found a great list of journaling prompts, which I thought would be great to use to get myself writing again. I love writing. It brings me peace and calms my brain, and in this crazy world, that is much needed.
Since the list of journal prompts I found has 457 different prompts, I decided to use a random number generator each day to come up a daily topic to write about. Today the generator landed on 279. The prompt is “Describe all the houses you’ve lived in”.
Let’s start with the house were I spent my childhood. That home was unique because it was my Grandma and Grandpa’s house before my parents bought it from my Grandma when I was 6. This meant that when we moved in, it was already a familiar and comfortable place to me. It is not a large home. Less than 1500 sq ft. for sure. We all had our own bedroom, but I spent my childhood and teenage years having to share 1 bathroom with the entire family (which was not a big deal, because I didn’t know any better… we always made it work). My parents were extremely generous and giving people and as we grew older, there always seemed to additional people living there. I remember at one point my dad blocked off the small dining room and made a make-shift bedroom because we had my parents, myself, my brother and his girlfriend and my brothers best friend and his girlfriend all living in the home. Yes, all of these people with just one bathroom. Amazing we all survived. My parents still live in this home and I hope they always will. So many memories of backyard parties and family holidays spent at that house. It would be the strangest feeling to not have that one consistent place you know you can always return for a visit.. or to stay if you need to (my parents would never turn anyone away).
The 2nd place I lived was not a house but an apartment with my first husband. I was only 18 years old, so I was feeling pretty grown up being married and living out on my own (side note: I would return to my parents house just a few years later when the marriage failed). The apartment was nice. Nothing overly special. Just a standard 1 bedroom 1 bathroom. I have several specific and rather unpleasant memories of this apartment. The first being that was the place I caught my then-husband cheating on me (ahhh… good times) and second was this was where I was when the 1989 Loma Prieta 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit the San Francisco Bay Area. I was home alone. I will never forget the whole apartment swaying from side to side. I was doing dishes at the time and the earth moved so much that all the water in the sink splashed out all over the floor.
The 3rd place I lived was the one and only time I lived on my own. I was 21 years old and my first marriage hadn’t worked out, so I moved about an hour away from my childhood home to try and escape life for a while. This would be the farthest I ever moved away from the city in which I grew up– even to this day.
I thought my little rental apartment was just the best thing since sliced bread. Just like my first apartment, this apartment was nothing special. Again, just a standard 1 bedroom 1 bathroom, but it was mine and mine alone. It was my first real taste of complete freedom and independence.
The 4th,5th,6th and 7th places I lived were all with my 2nd husband and were all between the ages of 24-30. We moved often and lived in rental houses and a few duplexes. This whole phase of my life was a little of a blur. It was not a happy time and I think I basically lived just to get through. No fond memories at any of the locations we lived.
The 8th house would have to be my favorite of all the places I have lived. My now-husband and I moved in to this wonderful house about 15 years ago (rental). It was located behind an office building on a main street back in the city that I grew up in. We were in walking distance of everything and the house itself was wonderful. Still just 1 bathroom, but it did have 2 bedrooms as well as an office. The living space was huge and open. We had a lot of friend and family parties at that house. We had an ice cream parlor right across the street!! I miss that place.
After living there for many years, my boyfriend (now husband) lost his job unexpectedly and we could no longer afford the rent, so we moved to an apartment. It was sad giving up such a wonderful house and moving to an apartment, but it actually ended up not being all the terrible. The apartment was on the 3rd/top floor (unfortunately, no elevators so walking up all those stairs with groceries would often be an issue). It had a cute little electric fire place and TWO bathrooms. This was my first time having a place with TWO bathrooms. It was incredibly exciting.
Due to unexpected circumstances we ended up leaving the apartments after 3 years and moving to what I call the “hell house”. The house was built on a hill and was very old, so the house had started to lean. Not only was the house leaving, but the middle of the house appeared to be sinking, so the floors in the middle of the house were sinking lower then the rest. I always felt off balance and experienced vertigo issues. To top things off, there was a basement under the house that had a great deal of musty mold that I could smell coming up through the floors into the house. I believe this made me ill, because after just a few months there, I started experiencing significant health issues. We eventually got out of our lease and found the cute little cottage home we live in now.
Thankfully we now rent an adorable little cottage home (less then 750 square feet). It has it’s issue due to its age (the windows are original and provide zero shielding from the cold during the winter- not to mention 1/2 the windows do not even work so they are either stuck closed or stuck open), BUT, it is affordable and conveniently located. Living in the California bay area, it can be difficult to find an affordable place to live that is not a 2 hour commute to work. We are so lucky and thankful because Don only has to travel 2 miles to get to his job and I am only 6 miles away from my job. Although it is small and old, we plan on staying here as long as we can. Small does not really bother me only because I have found that when I have more space, I tend to buy more stuff. The smaller the home, the less the room to store things so I don’t buy as much which is definitely a bonus. Also, it is forcing me to lean more toward the minimalist lifestyle because we have such limited space to keep “stuff”. The downfall? Back to 1 bathroom.
So that was descriptions of all the houses/apartments I have lived in to-date. This was not exactly the most exciting of my first “My Story” posts, but since I promised myself I would do whatever prompt the random generated provided, I just went with it.
I will admit it was sort of fun thinking back to all the places I have lived. So many memories… thankfully mostly good.