I thought it would be fun to look back on our many residences and maybe you could pitch in a memory too.
1. Newhall Avenue: Our first apartment! Darren picked this place without me, as he had to do it in advance while he was at school and I was 3 hours away at home. He did a great job. The first time I saw the place was when we arrived there after our honeymoon. We got in around midnight and spent the next 2 hours ripping open wedding presents, trying to find a set of sheets! The apartment had teal green appliances from the sixties and an electric wall heater in the bathroom that was our only source of heat (because we were too cheap to turn on the gas-- we figured So. Cal wouldn't get THAT cold in winter, right?).
2. Palomar Avenue: Ugh. This was a converted garage apartment in Atascadero. We lasted through our 6 month lease then got the heck outta there due to the crazy amount of black widows in that place. You would move too if a black widow dropped down from the ceiling and landed in your bed!
3. Santa Lucia: This was a nice spot to live. Darren could walk from here to his teaching job at NCCS. I think the funniest memory I have is the move to this place: we used Food 4 Less grocery bags instead of boxes, I guess that's all we had on hand to get us out of the black widow house fast! We stayed here about 3 years.
4. The School House aka "the fishbowl": This place was a toss up between pros and cons. On
the pro side, it was cheap and the walk to school was quick (we literally lived in a house that was surrounded by the school). On the con side, the place was cheap because Darren had to do security for ABC at night to offset the rent, and we were constantly asked by people to open gates for them on the weekends. This was Jason's first home, and as a result, that boy can sleep through anything because he was trained to sleep through all the noise of recess right outside his bedroom window!
5. Multnomah married student apartments: Again, pros and cons. The pro side included great friendships and an incredible time of growth in our marriage. This definitely outweighs the cons of thin walls and scraping up quarters to do laundry.
6. Creston Road: What a nice house! This was Cameron's first home. I remember meeting our neighbor for the first time and she asked us if we had a cat. This was a duplex, so I realized that the poor woman had heard all of Cameron's late night wailing and thought we had an unruly cat! Darren and I spent many nights walking up and down the hall trying to pacify Cam, "the baby who wouldn't be satisfied". We also lived next to a field with sheep and as a result we became the winter home of a few field mice. Eeeek!
7. Vista del Rio (or, "the apartment behind Albertson's"): Now this place was a strange contradiction. On the outside it was a beautiful, new complex with lovely amenities, but on the inside it was filled with lots of lonely people. We discovered that many people landed here after a divorce or they were here looking for a mate. There were two playgrounds and a pool in the complex, but our kids never made friends because the other kids only showed up on the weekends to spend time with their parents. We had a good relationship with the manager and quickly discovered that we were a small minority that lived peaceably within the many rules that she had to enforce. It's a good thing that we had a good witness with her because when someone reported smelling marijuana coming from our building she came to us to ask for help figuring out the problem. When Hayden was on her way we had to find a bigger place to live so it was time to move on.
8. San Buena Ventura Way: When I was a kid we would play MASH and the shack was usually in a place like San Miguel. I never thought I'd live out here! But to be honest, this has been a GREAT spot for us. The kids have made so many friends in this neighborhood and we all love coming home to this place. Plus, we have the best landlords ever :)
9. Scotland! So far, I've only seen one episode of House Hunters International in Glasgow (admit it, you watch this too). Pretty soon we'll be living it and I can't wait!