Popular Posts

Friday, February 1, 2013

Oh the Places I've Lived. Part Two

Well I'm finally getting back to this so here goes. Last you heard I was living in Baltimore, aged 24 and getting married to my husband Jim.

House No. 11, Bristol, Rhode Island, Age 24
You can see the apartments behind and to the right of the sign.
When we got married Jim was in the Navy and stationed in Newport, Rhode Island. Jim's tour in Newport was over at the end of August.so we only needed a place to stay for the Summer. Since Newport is, amongst, other things a Summer resort town, it was impossible to find an affordable place to rent for a short lease. For a bit we thought we might not get to live together after we got married but then Jim found out that he could rent student housing at Roger Williams College (now University) for just the Summer. So our first "house" together was a rented student apartment, with rented furniture just off of Metacom Ave about a mile from downtown Bristol. We pushed the two single beds together and put Jim's double bed sized futon on it as our master bed. We only lived there for about 10 weeks but it was a great time and almost like being on vacation. This apartment also came with access to the pool in the complex which was an indoor pool with two sides that opened. I spent many and afternoon down there by the pool reading while I waiting for Jim to get home.

House No 12, Gautier, Mississippi, Age 24-25
Magnolia Oaks Apartments
Jim's next Navy assignment was to the U.S.S. Wisconsin which was being re-fitted for re-commissioning at the shipyard in Pascagoula, MS. Yes, I had to look this up on a map as I had no idea where it was -- I remember telling Jim that he was taking me to the end of the earth! To be honest Mississippi was more foreign to me than Europe which is in many ways more similar to life in New England and the Middle Atlantic States. We rented a furnished apartment in the town next to Pascagoula. It was a nice quiet place with a restful outdoor pool that was open year round and we had a lovely balcony that was enclosed on three sides and open on the other. One of my most memorable moments was my first encounter with a truly gigantic southern sized roach. I went to unpack my Gym bag and their was this gigantic bug sitting on top of my stuff. I immediately screamed and threw the whole bag, bug and all, out onto the porch. Yuck, I will never like those things. I was home alone a lot because Jim was on duty every third night -- meaning he had to sleep on the ship. I found a fun job as a library assistant at the Public library in Moss Point though so at least my days were filled.

House No. 13, Newport News, Virginia, Age 25-27

This was a townhouse that we rented while Jim was stationed in Nortolk, Virginia. I was going back to grad school at William and Mary so we chose a place that was in between our two jobs. It was actually closer to Williamsburg which was a good thing because again Jim was gone about half the time. I felt sort of like two people when we lived here. One was a grad student with grad student friends and activities in Williamsburg and the other person was a Navy wife with Navy wife activities mostly in Nortolk and Virginia Beach. Jim and I didn't spend much time in this house together (in fact Jim was away on deployment for almost 9 months during the first Gulf War 1990-91), but I do remember having grad student friends over for Chili and to take advantage of my air conditioning. There was no air conditioning in the grad student dorms way back in 1989-90 believe it or not. We had our own furniture in this place for the first time and I also inherited my old Piano when Dad upgraded to a Grand Piano. I had my office in the back bedroom and the walls were so thin that I could hear my neighbor singing "I'm a little Tea Pot" to her daughter in her bedroom on the other side of the wall!

House No. 14, Newport, Rhode Island, Age 27-29

Jim's first shore duty took him back to the Naval Base in Newport, RI. This time we rented right in Newport ,since we could sign a year long lease it was affordable. We rented the top two floors of this wonderful Victorian house right on Broadway about a  mile's walk from downtown Newport. There was a doctors office on the main floor -- and they were great neighbors--very quiet in the evening and on the weekends. We had this incredible front porch which was hexagonal with three open sides and three closed sides. I remember dressing up -- Jim in his Navy dress whites and me in my little black dress and toasting our relationship on our Fourth wedding anniversary -- the first one we'd been able to spend together!! We followed this by dinner at the Inn at Castle Hill. I was going to grad school at URI for library science and Jim was home a lot so we spent lots of time riding bikes and walking downtown to explore. I also cooked my first Thanksgiving turkey ever in that kitchen when my sister and my Grandparents came to visit.

House No. 15, Middletown, Rhode Island, Age 29-33
Not our actual unit. We were on the ground floor at the back.

Our landlord in Newport decided to raise our rent and only rent month to month so we ended up having to move during Jim's time at the Newport base. It was kind of a pain and we didn't have much time to find a place so we ended up back in more boring garden apartments in Middletown. So while we were no longer in walking distance of downtown Newport we could still bike everywhere and it was still near the base. It was a comfy apartment in a quiet building with a nice porch so it was fine. We actually had a dishwasher and laundry facilities in the building so that was a plus I'd started working too at Roger Williams School of Law Library so we bought our first real furniture which we still have and I remember spending lots of evenings drinking wine, and sitting on our great new couch with Jim.

House No. 16, Belmont, Massachusetts, Age 33-37
You can really only see the house next door which was pretty much the same.

Jim decided to get out of the Navy and go back to Graduate School at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Sommerville right near Boston. We found a great two family house to rent in Belmont. It was right on the bus line to my job at Harvard Law Library in Cambridge and and easy commute for Jim to Tufts as well. The landlord welcomed out first dog -- Maggie -- as well. This house had lots of character and built ins and great woodwork and our one bathroom had an old claws foot bathrub. I remember having fun planting daffodils and watching them come up for the first time, and taking Maggie for walks. We also loved the sounds of little kids playing in the park behind our house. This is also where we lived when Emma was born so it will always hold a special place in my heart.

House No. 17, Athens, Georgia, Age 37-43
Front view of our house in Athens

View of the screened in porch
This is the first house that we bought and owned together. One of the reasons we moved to Athens is so that we could afford to both buy a house and have one person stay home with Emma when she was young. I landed a great job at the University of Georgia School of Law and Jim was already a stay at home dissertation writing Dad so he stayed in that role. Our mortgage payment for this 2000 sq ft home was almost $500 less per month than our apartment in Belmont! That more than made up for the small salary cut I took in my job. This is the first house that Emma remembers and we made so many memories there as a family it's hard to pick just one. I particularly loved reading bed time stories to Emma while sitting on her bed and looking out the windows at the woods behind our  house. It was very cozy room that we'd painting bright apple green. It was great fun to finally be able to paint walls actually COLORS. We also have a corner space on the landing at the top of the stairs which fit a corner desk perfectly and Jim made this his "command center" where he could work on his dissertation -- and later his freelance writing -- while still watching Emma play in her room or the playroom. And of course I LOVED my screened in porch which was my little getaway off of the kitchen. The two windows above were Emma's bedroom.

Milton road in snow

House No. 18, Barrington, Rhode Island, Age 43-present (age almost 49!)

This is where we live now obviously. Jim got his dream job as a Professor at the Naval War College in Newport. We had a school age daughter to think about in this move and everyone told us that the schools were great in Barrington so that's where we decided to look for a house. We also already knew a family there who were great and helped us out a lot in this move. We ended up in our third choice house -- but I believe it is actually a better fit than the two that fell through. We have a terrific dead end street where all the kids play outside together and we live right next to a park and close to the bike path. Emma had friends to play with from the day we moved in which made this move a lot easier for all of us. My favorite memories here are probably again sitting in our Living room which is the coziest and my favorite of any of our houses, and watching and listening to all the kids play outside the window at the end of our street. I also love sitting in my adirondack chair on the back patio and reading and enjoying the garden. For the first time in ages I am only working part-time so have some extra time to do these things.


Thanks for reading if you made it this far. I'm above average in the number of houses/apartments I've lived in. Hopefully we are pretty settled in this one at least until Emma graduates from High School in June 2018 -- so soon!




No comments: