"Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place."
-- Unknown

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Seven houses in five years...is that a record?

Weekly writing assignment from Mama Kat: “How many homes have you had? Write a journal entry about ALL the places you’ve called home in your life.”

Look, let’s be honest here…if I were to write about ALL of the places I’ve called home in my life, you’d still be reading this time tomorrow. I’ve only lived in five different cities, but have had a multitude of houses in each one. Four or five in the Mobile area, two in Madison, MS, two in the Birmingham area, seven in Troy and three since I’ve been in Andalusia – so we’re up to nearly twenty, right? Yeah… we’re not going into all of that.

What I will do, however, is give you a brief overview those seven, short-lived college homes: the good, the bad and the absolutely crazy.
  • Hamil Hall: My freshman year, my friend Christen and I decided to do the dorm thing together. We packed up our belongings and crammed them all into a little 10x10 cinderblock room. A few short months later, I was trying everything I could to get out. We shared a community shower with the whole hall, including the entire girls soccer team, who repeatedly washed their muddy cleats in the sink and shower stalls. YUCK. The heat NEVER worked. And then, of course, there were the bugs. No thank you. Next home, please?

  • The Paden House: Unfortunately, since we were freshmen, we were required to live on campus for our first year. Luckily, a room came open in one of the school’s on-campus houses. Think of it as a sorority house for girls who decided not to go Greek. We had a formal dining room, work out room, living room, kitchen, big back deck and semi-private bathrooms. I spent the second half of my freshman year here. Then I met Kailie – a wild child who quickly became my very best friend. By the beginning of summer, we were looking for somewhere off campus. Somewhere we could have… large study groups. *Ahem*… So, bring on home number three.

  • Park Street: Imagine our delight when we discovered a brand new, two bedroom, three bath townhouse less than a mile from the fraternity houses school. The house was great – we had a big back deck and covered front porch that we shared with our very cool neighbor, Clint. For my grades, this house was the beginning of a long downward spiral. We never slept. There were people at our house nonstop. By happy accident, we discovered that the window in my room offered easy access to the roof. We had cookouts, bonfires, card games… all of the necessary social events for college students went down at our house. It was all going along swimmingly until Kailie found out she had a little bundle of joy on the way. So mommy-to-be packed up her stuff and high-tailed it back to her parents’ house – leaving me with no living room furniture. Queue Brooke – long time bestie from back home. Less than a month later, she moved in and the party resumed.

  • Troy Place: At the end of our lease, Brooke convinced me to move into an apartment complex with two other girls. Now, I’m not sure how many of you realize this, but FOUR girls sharing ONE apartment… not a genius idea. In fact, it could possibly be the worst idea in the history of the world. Brooke and I lived with Erica, a grad student from Oswego, NY, and Julie, a general screw up from Nebraska. I don’t say that lightly, as I typically get along with pretty much everyone. But y’all…this girl drove me insane. My parents came to visit one day, and she answered the door in a pair of boyshort underwear and a bra. In front of my step-dad and then nine year old brother. It’s not her fault, really. That’s pretty much all she ever wore. As she laid around the house eating candy and bossing people around. The girl would call you ON THE PHONE when you were a room away to ask you to get her a glass of water because she didn’t want to get off the couch. And she hocked lugies in the kitchen sink…Anyhow, three short (yet waaay too long) months later, I was desperate to get out of that apartment. So I packed up and headed to home number five.

  • Forest Acres: My friend Jennifer had a three bedroom trailer and graciously offered to let me stay with her for awhile, so I could escape the crazy. My goal was to find a one bedroom apartment somewhere close to the school, but there was a waiting list. So for about six months, I lived with Jen. It wasn’t horrible. She was a sweet girl, even though she and her boyfriend would get into screaming fights and slam doors, stomp around and cause general mayhem on a regular basis. But it was fine for the short time I was there.

  • Thomas Circle: Finally, a one bedroom apartment came available and I was once again on the move. This place was SMALL. And old. And generally not very well taken care of. But it was MINE. And I loved it. Downstairs was a tiny little living room and even tinier kitchen, all in one room. The stairs led straight up into my bedroom – no doors, just a railing that looked down to the stairs. I had an itty bitty little bathroom. And two closets. I stayed here for awhile – until the rampant street parties that took place in front of my building were taking a toll on my sleep and making me pretty irritable. By this time, I’d been through my party phase and was in the “graduate and get the hell out of Troy” phase.

  • South Brundidge Street: And for the finale: House number seven! It was an old home near “downtown” Troy with a huge front porch and even bigger back deck. I lived here with two of my best friends, who happened to be sisters. The house had…. Charm. You know: sloping floors, unfinished baseboards… but it didn’t matter much to any of us. The deck was perfect for sunbathing, and there was a doggie door that led to our fenced in back yard, so the puppies could come and go as they pleased. Oh, I almost failed to mention that I lived in the living room. It was only a two bedroom house, but the living room was really long, so I built a divider and made half of it a bedroom. It was pretty cool actually. I bought a few unfinished doors from Lowes, a handful of hinges to connect them all, and a gallon of paint and got to work. Then I found some of those nifty wall transfer things with the words “Live long, love much, laugh often” for the side that faced the living room. It turned out pretty cute. And waaaaaay less expensive than any room divider I could’ve bought. My roomies were great, I liked the house and everything was finally feeling normal.

Then I started my internship and moved to Andalusia.

There are SO many stories I could tell you about each of these homes and my five long years in Troy – but this post is already ridiculously long. Aren’t you glad I didn’t attempt all twenty? You’re welcome.


A. Jayme said...

Goodness gracious girl, I'm exhausted just reading that! How did you ever, in all that, get an education? Kudos to you, amongst all the mayhem, you managed to attend classes, get assignments done, and graduate!

Anonymous said...

Heather, I love the way you make it sound so funny now, keep that sense of humor dear!

Judge Fudge said...

A few months before my freshman year at UL, I went to a two day orientation. I stayed in one of those dorms with community bathrooms and showers. That's all I needed to see to know I didn't want to live on campus!lol

P said...

My god, I couldn't move around as much as this - and I realise this isn't your full list! I've lived in THREE places in my 30 years and that's it - I'm scared to move again cos it's too much hassle!

Missy said...

My dad was a contractor and we lived in 10 different houses by the time I was 16. My mom used to joke that we moved every time we got a house dirty! LOL

Trudy said...

Sounds like we were moving at about the same pace there, LOL! Glad you have lots of memories from each place, even though some hold more bad than good!

Fun post Heather! Hope your roots are planted for a while now.

Jenners said...

I rather enjoyed this ... a trip down memory lane that reminded me of much of my own college living expeiences. In fact, reading this post inspired me to try and write about my own college living situations -- they sure are nothing like what you find out in the "real" world. : )

Christopher said...

Damn you get around! Well, not in a bad way but you know.

Kim said...

Hey Lady!! Glad to see you are back. I knew you were for awhile now but haven't had the chance to catch up with you. I know what you mean about living in all of these places. In my twenties I never lived in one place longer than a year. It's nice to finally feel settled for a while at least!

WhoaaJazzy! said...

can you tell me how you got your smitten background to work cause all the one i use just doesnt want to work

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that was a lot of fun. Especially, all that moving part. Fun, fun, fun. Did I happen to mention how much FUN that was?!?

- Mr. Grumpy

Diane said...

Dang, girl! That was a LOT of moving!

Andy said...

I was like that during college and right after, moving every year. At one point, I was in a studio apartment with a shower so small you could barely turn around in it, and just one fuse in the circuit breaker box.

That makes me appreciate the place I'm in now, for sure.

And I'm also glad I never had a house like Troy Place- why would so many girls ever agree to live together outside of the Real World? Only bad things can come of it.

J Cosmo Newbery said...

Thank you!

Cheryl Martinson said...

I love following your blog:) I look forward to more of your posts:)

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