Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A Place to Lay Our Heads

My childhood home in Pomona, CA
July 21, 1950 important events:
  • The Korean War/Conflict/Police Action/"The Unknown War"/"6–2–5 Upheaval"/ "Fatherland Liberation War"/"War to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea" was officially announced by the U.S.
  • My father finished building our house.
  • I was born.

I lived in the house my father built my entire childhood through graduation from high school.  Sometime in 1962-63, Dad added a master bedroom to the front of the house and my sister and I now had rooms of our own.  In 1968 I moved into a place on my own.  It was a large old house in Pomona, California that was broken into four apartment units.  My apartment was the sun porch with 24 steps up to the outside door.  I had an inside door but never used it.  That was where the mailbox was located...I never got mail...why bother?  It was a tiny one-bedroom, if you consider it a bedroom.  My double bed fit, but the dresser had to be in the closet.  When the rains came, the roof leaked and I had to move the bed out into the "living room area."  Made for interesting dates...  The kitchen had room for a small three-burner gas stove, a tiny table with one chair,  a sink, and my 6' plastic plant, Edgar.  I loved that place.  Kinda funky.  It was my first and last apartment.

In 1969 moved into a duplex with my spanking-new husband.  In 1970 we moved into a small house in Grants Pass, Oregon, then moved to Portland in 1974.  My children grew up in that small house until 1989 when we moved from the corner to the other corner.  Much larger house that allowed my sons to have rooms of their own.

The house where my mother spent her teen years in Ontario, CA
I bought my first house sometime around 1992 when I was hired at my college.  Then a bit after Doug and I were married in 1999, we sold it and bought our old Victorian farmhouse.  The point is I have only lived in an apartment for a very short (but funky-active-eighteen-year-old) time.

But my oh my how times have changed!  I became exhausted driving from Portland to Southern California once a month for a week to visit my mom.  The cost to drive back and forth was about the same as to fly and rent a car.  Doug and I discussed renting an apartment down south and staying longer at a time.  The monthly cost was about the same as traveling.  So, yep!  I am now the proud renter of a small "junior one-bedroom" apartment in Upland, California.

The house where my father spent his teen years in La Verne, CA
I have no idea how to live in an apartment!  My pup barks at everyone walking by...she makes friends with them face-to-face but she barks at them as they walk past.  Other people's dogs bark as we pass their apartments.  My radio is great as I am streaming my music, radio stations, podcasts.  But is it too loud for the neighbors?  I actually had to ask the woman sharing one of my problem she said.  *whew*   But the cost...yes, the rent is about the same as traveling monthly, but initial setting up house has been a bit costly.  Then there is electricity and water and trash.  Oh yeah...and laundry.  Carrying my laundry to the laundry mat up front of the complex, having enough quarters.  I don't remember ever washing my clothes back in 1968...but I must have because I had clothes. I wasn't that funky.

I am making friends all around me.  Ida lives across from me.  Anthony lives upstairs with Rico, his pup.  Rita, who is 88, lives upstairs across from Anthony.  Sarah and Adam live next door to Ida.  And I don't know the names of the people next door to me.  I call them "the people with the mean dogs."  Those two pups are fightingly nasty!  Zoe and I have been taking longer walks most days which helps with her boredom the rest of the day.   

And every day I drive to see Mom.  She has been more often in a good mood since I have been here, although I did buy her a Snickers candy bar that said she was "Cranky" when hungry.  That woman can slip from sweetness outdone into a crankypants at the snap of fingers.

Doug and I talk every day and miss one another but, except in the moment, not enough to come home early.  

So our adventures continue.  In an apartment.  Who knew?