Previously in this story: The run-down charm of an old house and the community of college life.
Accustomed to the activity of college life, staring at a computer screen for eight hours in a cubicle every day exhausted me. I came home to my one-bedroom, single-girl apartment and slept. I slept all the time, for several weeks.
In my awkward business-casual attire, I longed for days when I could wear my overalls to class and my favorite pink Patsy Cline cowgirl shirt.
Making friends was slow-going, and new friends often moved away. What was the point of living somewhere where I didn’t have relationships? I wanted to run back to my college town where I still had friends.
I got used to cooking for one, freezing leftovers, and listening to the hum of the dishwasher. I bought a washing machine and a dryer. Most of my furniture was still garage-sale castoffs. I gradually started cleaning out some of the clutter I had brought with me in my hurry to furnish a home by myself.
One thing I bought new was my Fiesta plates (six place settings, each in a different color), and I still use those today.
It was after I’d lived in this apartment for a couple of years that I started dating my future-husband Doug, though we only saw each other once in a while since we didn’t live in the same city. He was carefully vague about what he thought would be the future of our relationship, so I decided not to wait around.
I was ready to shed the temporary feeling of an apartment, and my rent was going up. Doug and I seemed to have different life goals, so I decided that we shouldn’t date. We broke up.
It was the early days of the housing bubble, interest rates were low, and buying a home was the thing to do. I wanted to feel established. I bought a condo by the lake (the second place I looked at), and even though it was dated, I had seen enough home makeovers on HGTV to imagine its potential.
A couple of hours after getting the keys, I remembered that I didn’t know how to do any of those repairs. I was short on funds, the condo needed a ton of work, and I didn’t know how to change a light fixture, much less repair the shower.
All those hours spent watching HGTV had failed me.
–To be continued. –
The Making a Home Story: