Our home of 25 years

As of today, we will have lived in our current residence for 25 years.  That is a considerable amount of time, especially since I believe the longest I lived in any place before then was three, maybe four, years.  My life prior to living here was one of instability and constant change. 

I like to think being here as long as we have suggests a bit of maturity, though I look back and see how much growth and change there has been in the past quarter century.  Still, it was more than a bit symbolic I cut my hair around the same time we bought this place.  For at least a decade prior, my hair was down my back, more than halfway to my ass.  Then I suddenly decided to trim it to business-appropriate length around the time we signed the mortgage. Only now am I baffled by how I managed to have hair that long while working in Information Technology for a large corporation.

In the time we’ve been here, we tied the knot, went vegetarian, stopped drinking and have been to Iceland.  I also nearly died after being in a hit and run while I was riding a bicycle.  Then I radically changed careers for a few years, working a dream job until it became just another job.  At that point, I realized I was ready to return to Information Technology.  I also won a video contest where I got to have dinner with Brian Wilson, but that’s a story for another day.

Last known photo of the last three bitches who tried to fuck with me. Or maybe the start of the new deck construction. I don’t remember which.

Although I love our home, living here hasn’t always been easy.  The lowest level was originally the living room, until repeated flooding destroyed it.  The root cause was eventually addressed, but only after we sued our HOA.  As if hedging our bets, it is now a combination storage and home gym area—items we aren’t as concerned about if water should intrude again.  And yet. I don’t harbor any long-standing grudges against our board–at this time, I am currently serving on it.

The rest of the house has been a continual work in progress.  We simply don’t make changes until we’re sure they’re the right ones.  My dad helped us put down bamboo flooring on one floor.  There’s the living room closet, which he helped us build shelves in.  A weird running joke are baseboards I have yet to replace in one part of the house.  Per my obstinate nature, I am determined to not actually do that work until he stops asking me if it’s been done yet.

It has only been recently that we have shown any interest in growing anything in our flower beds.  Last year’s attempt to grow pumpkins in three separate places resulted in a bumper crop of one fruit in total between them.  We’re getting slightly better results from the moss we’ve been growing on the low retaining walls I have put around our flower beds.  I’m hoping that, once these are fully covered in the green stuff, our place will be so cute and cottagey that bunnies will throw up at the sight of it.

Speaking of bunnies, we get a fair amount of wildlife around our place.  One time, we watched in amazement as a rabbit that had been eating suddenly laid down in the grass and kicked its feet out to the side.  It’s like the area around our home is so peaceful that the wildlife can relax its guard for a few.  Another time, we had a squirrel so abruptly lay down on our deck railing that we thought it had died.  We were quite relieved when it eventually sprung back up again. We also have had foxes around, and I wish we would see more of those. Curiously, we have a walking stick on our front door twice a year, as if our stoop is part of some designated migration route. Another part of our front yard seems to be a highway for area cats throughout the time we’ve been here.

About that deck, we replaced it last month, taking the opportunity to expand it and the patio underneath to be a third larger than before.  The deck this replaced was there when we moved in, which might have even been original to the construction.  Still, I felt a curious loss when it was torn down to make way for the new.

But perhaps the best aspect of living where we do are the views.  To the front, we look out onto a golf course.  Not that I find courses especially beautiful, but I reasoned that, while developers might move a cemetery for a new housing development, nobody ever builds on a golf course.  Alas, this brings with it golfers, but they are a nuisance I can ignore.  Almost forgot: there is also a tiny and very old cemetery as part of the neighborhood.

What is more astonishing is the wooded view in the back.  I can never get a definitive answer for how we happened to have these woods behind us.  The version I have chosen to believe is there was originally intended to be more units like ours built back there, only something prevented that construction.  Why I believe this is because there is a service drive through this grove, and this derelict stretch of pavement has parking spaces along it. 

Purple, our house mascot, who went to Iceland with us to fulfill his dream of sitting atop the Law Rock

What is odd is how, when we first bought the property, we thought it would be a temporary measure before buying a larger, standalone house after a few years.  Instead, we found ourselves making it into our home, and now I can’t imagine living anywhere else.  I hope we’ll spend at least another 25 years here.