To All the Homes I’ve Had Before

I was sitting here in my home office today, reflecting. (Plenty of time to reflect when you’ve got no coworkers around and nothing but the buzz of your window A/C unit to distract you.) My home office is in the room that was my bedroom here in this house for the first 7 years or so of living in Maine. Thinking about that led me to thinking about how long we’ve lived in this state now (13 years!), and that in turn led me to think about all the other places I’ve lived. Since I didn’t have another topic lined up for today, I thought you might want to join me on the look back. (If not, fine. Be that way.)

We’re going to do this with a numbered list, because organization!

  1. Utah–The first house I had was in Utah, where I was born. I don’t remember it at all. We moved out of it when I was . . . 2? 3? Something like that. I’ve seen pictures. It was fairly squat. One level? You got me.
  2. New York A–We moved from there to a house in New York, not too far from Yorktown. It was yellow, with a steep driveway. 950 square feet. I don’t remember much about the house itself, but I know it had forsythia bushes in the front, and a really cool tree house in the back yard. (A ladder to get into it, with a trap door, and a rope swing in the front.) I’m also pretty sure we had a sandbox. I’m not entirely sure how long we lived there. My guess would be about 2 years.
  3. New York B–From there we moved to a white house not too terribly far away from the yellow house. No listing for it, so hard to say how many square feet. It had two stories, and an above ground pool in the back. No pillars in the front when we lived there. Those are new. Beyond the back yard was woods, and I enjoyed exploring them, and I’m surprised I didn’t get more ticks. My room was in the basement, I believe. I remember wood paneling? It’s been a while . . . I was there for around 2 years once more.
  4. New York C–My parents divorced when I was about 7, and I moved with my Mom to a brown house near Nyack. 2,400 square feet. (They’ve redone the siding.) Another two story affair. There might have been a pool in the back, but as I recall, it wasn’t filtering properly, and we didn’t use it. The house had really spiky bushes in the front, and dandelions that I would get paid a nickel a dandelion to weed. This is the first house I have even a vague memory of the layout, but that’s about it even then. It had tall trees. Our cat climbed one and couldn’t figure out how to get down for a traumatic week. We were there around 3 years.
  5. New Jersey–We left New York and headed to my third state when I was in . . . Fourth Grade? So about ten years old. This was a house my parents had designed and had built. It was made from reused timber from barns in New England, and the backyard had a stream and a pond with an actual (small) island. It was a big house with a nice big deck in the back, and landscaping out front. My room was on the second floor, with its own bathroom. The house had an unfinished basement, but we rarely went down there. The carpet was really thick throughout the house, and we had an intercom system. The plan was that was to be the last time we moved. We stayed there for about 3 years. It’s for sale right now, if you’d like to check out pictures. 5,100 square feet. My room has been turned into a home gym. They’ve ripped out the carpets, put in a pool in the backyard(!), and really spruced the place up a lot. The outside looks the same, though.
  6. Pennsylvania–We moved to PA when I was going into eighth grade. I’ve written about it elsewhere, and it’s still my parents’ house, so I won’t post a link to the address, because confidentiality. (No links from here on out, actually, since I think sometimes credit reports use old addresses to confirm identity . . .) I’ve written elsewhere about how it was a surprise move. A big, spacious, newly built home. Plenty of property and woods all around. It was great, and nice to stay there (at last!) for longer than a couple of years. I was there around 5 years, though went back to it many times as I ping-ponged from college and my mission.
  7. Utah A–Out at BYU, I stayed in Deseret Towers for the first year. Had a roommate on the 6th floor. Many elevator trips were involved. They’ve since torn down the towers and replaced them with much nicer buildings. Kids these days have it soft.
  8. Germany A–Schwarzenberg. The first city on my mission. I was in a little apartment on the top floor of the building. No elevator, and we were the . . . sixth floor? I can’t quite remember. I stayed there for six months.
  9. Germany B–Leipzig. The second city on my mission. I stayed in an apartment on the third(?) floor, with another set of Elders. 1 room. 2 bunk beds. It felt like I was back in college in the evenings. (BYU, not one of your more typical colleges . . .) I stayed for another 6 months.
  10. Germany C–Gotha. The apartment had an elevator, but we almost never used it, since we were on the second or third floor, and I was immune to stairs by then. Just me and my companion. I was there for another 6 months.
  11. Germany D–Weimar. Third floor of an old apartment building, close to downtown. A fantastic city. I loved that place. It was the “Culture City of Europe” the year I was there, and they had people coming in from all over. Those were the days . . . I was there for 6 months.
  12. Germany E–Leipzig: the Revenge. I was in the mission office for the last two months of my mission, serving as an assistant to the president. 6 Elders in the apartment. A very different experience from the rest of my mission. I enjoyed it, but it was a lot of work.
  13. Utah B–Back from my mission, back in Deseret Towers. This time in a single room. I felt very out of place, since I was now older than almost all the residents there. (DT catered to freshmen.) I was just there for 4 months.
  14. Jerusalem Center–I stayed in the Jerusalem Center for two months on study abroad. Definitely wins the prize for the most exotic of my homes, even if it’s tied for the briefest stay. Fantastic experience.
  15. Utah C–Foxwood Apartments in Provo. An apartment complex. I had a private room in an apartment with four other guys. It was fine, but nothing to write home about. I wasn’t in my room that often. Out living the dream as a single guy in Provo. (Watch out!) I was there one year.
  16. Utah D–My first apartment with Denisa. It was the most awful place I’ve lived. They’d had cats there before us, and the carpets stank of cat pee. We hated it. I have no idea how they’d masked the smell when we looked at it the first time. We only stayed for about three months. (Get me out!!!)
  17. Utah E–We got out of the cat hell and fled to Wyview Apartments: on campus married apartments at BYU. It was pricey, but sooooo much better. We lived on the first floor, had our own parking spot, and could walk to the central store for groceries. I liked that apartment a lot. We stayed for around 2 years, until they jacked the price up out of our thrifty range. (We’d had to pull strings to get a spot there in the first place. I was so grateful we could move out of that cat apartment. Ugh.)
  18. Utah F–Lindon. We moved into my aunt and uncle’s basement. One bedroom to start, and then we got a second bedroom once Tomas was born. It was a drive to campus, and much more cut off from other people our age, but it was a ton cheaper, and great to be there. We stayed for about 4 years.
  19. Maine–We moved here to Maine in 2007. We’ve been in the same house the entire time, though if you’ve followed along with the blog, you know we’ve renovated extensively. We’ve been here almost 13 years now, and we love it.

So if you add it all up, I’ve only lived longer than three years in Maine, the Lindon apartment, and my Pennsylvania house. Let’s set the threshold of “I’ve lived in a place” at 2 months. How many different places have you lived? Anyone got me beat?


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1 thought on “To All the Homes I’ve Had Before”

  1. I tie with you at 19 dwellings. But I only got 6 states (and 0 foreign countries), so you when on that count. My mom is now on her 18th state. I’ve lost track of how many dwellings (Air Force brat). Her minimum time in a dwelling to count it as “living there” is 6 weeks…just shy of your 2 months. You have a fun history! Thanks for sharing.

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