When I need to remember how long ago something happened, I start by remembering where I lived at the time. (I'm currently thinking about this because I have an oldish computer and I'm trying to figure out exactly how old. Ah yes, red apartment old.) I moved out of my parents house when I was 17 to go to college. Yes, at 17. Yes, I'm a genius*.
98/99 - Dorms. 99/00 - An apartment in Henderson Kentucky. I followed a boy. Because at 19, that's the kind of girl I was. I'm not that kind of girl anymore. Unless the boy is Crockett. Mines Park (apartment style college housing). Actually, they're technically just apartments but you have to be a student to live in them. It's the kind of thing you usually see for family housing, cept it's for rowdy undergrads. 00/01 - A house in Golden, CO. I lived in the garage part and I saw my first ghost there. 01/04 - A big townhouse in Golden with three years worth of rotating roommates. In this case, instead of remembering the house I just remember if the tiniest sprinter lived there at the time, or perhaps that insanely irritating kid who lived in the basement and insisted that since he had Irish in him he wasn't able to get drunk oh and also he felt no pain, or perhaps TAYLOR!
04/05 - A townhouse across the street from the above mentioned townhouse, because Jumpsuit and I had broken up and I had about 3o seconds to decide where to go. Moving across the street was damn stupid, btw, but we were sharing custody of Cloey. (Who was and is MINE. Just sayin'.) A townhouse in Boulder with a couple, a girl who turned out to be one of my besties, her boyfriend, and someone's little brother (not mine). A three bedroom, two and a half bathroom townhouse. With six people and three dogs. 05/06 - A huge (500 sq ft maybe?) studio apartment in downtown Boulder with a kitchen that actually rolled around on wheels and an actual linoleum floor. It was built in the sixties-ish and hadn't been updated since. I loved that place, and weirdly, the first time my mom ever got drunk was in the same building. Back to my parents house, briefly, after one of my dogs got me evicted. A friend's house in Boulder. I loved the house, wasn't nuts about the friend but was essentially couch surfing, so I was the beggar in the beggar/chooser relationship at that point. 06/07 - My red apartment. It wasn't actually red, but it was a 325 sq foot studio with no natural light and with lots of installed mirrors to make it appear larger. My primary piece of furniture was a red daybed/couch, and all I remember is the red being reflected off all the walls. I ended up breaking my lease because it was driving me insane, and I'm sort of surprised I didn't start wandering around Boulder in my nightgown muttering 'redroom, redroom' before I got out of there. 07-now - My townhouse.
I feel rooted in my townhouse, and you can probably see why. It's the only place other than my parents house (which has now been sold and has some other family living in it, which is weirdweirdweird) in which I've had any kind of consistency. I haven't had to pack up every 8 - 12 months. I don't have to ask permission to put holes in the walls.
As I've grown up, so has my place. Crockett and I still call it the dollhouse, of course, but that has more to do with the diminutive size of the girl, dogs, and house than the decor (at least I think it does!)
I know things will change again. I'm not going to live here until I die. Honestly, I probably won't still be here on my 30th birthday. But I love it here, and my 'dollhouse years' are some of the best I've had so far.
P.S. If you'd told me when I moved in that the three carloads of stuff I had would multiply into a houseful, I would have scoffed. Literally, scoffed. (That's when you make a noise in your throat that sounds like you're coughing and laughing, right? Or is that just what it sounds like it should be?) And yet, I now have a houseful of... well, stuff. Clothes, shoes, kitchen accoutrements - I'm pretty sure they are humping like rabbits when I'm not looking. If not, there is no physical explanation for where it all came from.
*I'm not actually a genius. I skipped third grade. I was a second grade genius.
Doesn't that sound like a book?
I Was a Second Grade Genius (Damnit)