A while ago, I posted a list of all of the previous addresses of my lifetime. I’ve added to it since the original posting for today. I know. Not terribly exciting, but a fun exercise nonetheless.
In 1971, during my first year of my life, my parents and I lived in an apartment in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. I have no memory of this home, but I once saw a photograph of the building. It had an ugly green awning.
When my brother was born in 1972, my family moved to a beautiful A-frame in Burriville, Rhode Island, within walking distance of Spring Lake, a quaint little recreation area complete with water slides, arcades, and a snack shack. My memories of this home are fuzzy, but all include evening walks to Spring Lake and lots of swimming.
Those years ended far too soon.
A year later, in 1973, my sister was born, a blessed accident, and suddenly my parents’ dream home was too small for the family. As a result, in 1974, we moved to 107 Federal Street in Blackstone, Massachusetts, where I would remain until graduating high school. This home was next door to my grandfather’s enormous spread of land, complete with gardens, orchards, a pine forest, and acres of rolling fields.
In fact, the whole street was practically owned by my family. A couple houses down from my grandfather was my aunt and uncle, and across the street were the homes of a cousin and a second cousin. A little further down the street was the dairy farm, owned by a second cousin, and slightly further down lived another aunt and uncle.
A family enclave of sorts.
Our own home wasn’t short on acreage either. A horse farm until my parents’ divorced, it was comprised of large fields to the left and right of the house and acres and acres of forest in the back. It was a wonderland for kids. With apple trees, wild raspberries and grapes, a swimming pool, and a barn set on the back edge of the property, it was the perfect place to grow up.
This home was eventually lost when my evil stepfather cashed in my mother’s disability settlement, stopped paying the mortgage and was conned by a ridiculous multi-level marketing scheme. By the time my mother discovered that the bank was foreclosing on the house, it was too late to do anything and my step-father was gone.
That was in 1992, three years after I had left home and set out on my own.
The next twelve years of my mother’s life, her last, were not easy as a result of this evil man.
Upon graduating high school in 1989, I moved into a townhouse in Attleboro, Massachusetts, with my friends Bengi and Tom. 3 Commonwealth Avenue. Townhouse #1. Bengi was a year into college and looking to move off-campus, and Tom was living with his parents and hoping for a change. The next four years were some of the best years of my life, as my friends and I hosted parties and lived like large children in a home well above our means. It became known as the Heavy Metal Playhouse, and there were times when we squeezed more than 75 people inside its walls for parties. For me, it was a time when I could live the college lifestyle without ever having to go to class.
I highly recommend it.
Tom lost his job after a year and was forced to move back home, so for the last three years, Bengi and I lived alone, but the fun never slowed down. It was an amazing time in my life.
Then Bengi was hired by Travelers and moved to Connecticut. I had hoped to move with him, but facing felony charges for a crime I did not commit (another story for another time), I could not leave the state, nor could I afford the townhouse on my own. I had no job, no money, and for about three weeks, no home, living out of my car until a family of Jehovah Witnesses who had once worked for me invited me to move into their home. 96 Franklin Street in Whiteman, Massachusetts. I lived in a room off the kitchen, sleeping on a cot, occasionally sharing the space with a guy named Rick who spoke in tongues in his sleep and the family’s pet goat. I remained in this home for just over a year, working two full time jobs in order to pay for attorney’s fees while preparing for and eventually winning my trial.
A less than stellar time of my life.
During the summer of 1993, I moved to Washington for three months to help set up a new marketing office for my then-employer, Cobra Marketing. Since I spent those three months sleeping in a walk-in closet with a girl named Kim (there were about ten of us staying in just one townhouse, so Kim and I decided to share the closet on a strictly platonic basis), I won't count that Washington home on my list. All of my belongings, save my clothing, were still in Whitman and in a storage unit in Bridgewater, Massachusetts.
After winning my freedom, I headed west to Connecticut, moving into a two-bedroom apartment with my girlfriend and eventual ex-wife. 695 Talcottville Road. Apartment 7F. We lived in this apartment for two years before purchasing a house in Newington at 226 Audubon Avenue.
I lived in the house in Newington for six years before moving out in 2002 as the marriage went south. I rented an apartment on Willard Avenue in Newington (the same apartment that protagonist Martin Railsback would one day live in), and for the first time in my life, (other than the few weeks spent in my car), I was living on my own. It was an interesting time. I found living alone to be full of freedom and simultaneously rather lonely. I had my dog, Kaleigh, with me, and lots of friends, but the evenings spent alone often became a little too quiet for my taste.
I also electrocuted myself one morning while setting up my computer, knocking me unconscious for about three hours and giving me a wallop of a headache and a concussion. I quickly learned the dangers involved with of living alone.
In 2004, Elysha and I moved in together, renting an apartment in West Hartford after only dating for a couple months. Though we feared that people would think us crazy, no one did. They all seemed to know what we knew:
We were meant for one another.
Elysha and I lived in that first apartment for two years before an apartment directly across the street opened up and the landlord made us an offer we couldn’t refuse. Rent reduced by a third and a vastly superior space. With the help of friends and former students, our belongings were literally walked across the street in a day.
We lived in that apartment for two years until the sale of SOMETHING MISSING and the eminent arrival of our daughter sent us house hunting. After fearing that we’d never find the perfect home, he stumbled upon a house in Newington that we adored. Just five minutes from our school with everything we wanted except central air, we’ve been very happy in our new home.
If I’ve counted right, that will be 11 homes in 38 years. Twelve if you count the week in the Toyota.
It seems like a large number. No? An average of a new home every three and a half years.
I’m hoping that we will stay put for a while, but just last night, my wife informed me that when if we have another child, we might need a larger home.
I disagree, but I tend to lose these kinds of battles.