Most people who have known me for a while know that the house I grew up in burned down when I was a senior in high school. I don’t think about it as much anymore but it’s hard not to think about it at this time of year because tomorrow, the 13th, marks the 9th year since it happened.
After the fire, my living situation was constantly changing. For a few months I lived with my two best friends. Then I moved into a dorm at my college. Two months after that, I moved into a different dorm. Since you don’t stay at the dorms over the summer and I didn’t want to move back in with my parents who had only recently purchased a new home, I moved into my boyfriend’s parent’s house. I stayed there for the summer months until school was back in session and I moved to DFW. I lived in an off-campus apartment for a year. I thought that would be great. It ended up being the biggest suck fest because you should NOT try to make four very different girls live together and share common areas. After that I moved into a small apartment further away from the school and lived by myself. It was the greatest. Money was tight, but I loved being on my own.
Eventually, money was too tight, and both my parents and I were tired of me having to ask them to help with my rent every month. So my now husband moved in to help with the bills. We ended up staying in that tiny 600 sq ft apartment for two years while having two people, two dogs, and one cat. I will let you know that 600 sq ft was not designed to house that many beings. At that point, I had accepted my current job and knew that we needed a yard for the dogs to be out in while A was at work and I was out of town. We moved into a rental house that we both liked and was perfect at the time.
However, deep in my little soul, I wanted a house so bad. I missed the comfort of having a home. In the five years since the fire I had moved more times than I would have liked. I was also accumulating more stuff each time and it was making moving harder and harder. I wanted to stay in the same spot. I wanted to paint the walls and hang things up. I wanted the satisfaction of coming home and knowing that this is MY house, my home.
So we bought this house. We say that we spent $175,000 on a doggy door. We looked at a lot of houses that were otherwise fine, but they had small yards. I wanted a big yard. Then we toured this house and it had a doggy door already installed. And we opened the back door to one of the largest yards we had seen since we started looking. The kitchen needed/needs updating and it’s two stories and the master is upstairs. But that yard! There was no talking me out of it and here we are now in our beautiful home that admittedly needs work, but it is MY house and MY work.