Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Places we have lived.

This is just a trip down memory lane for me. I am trying to remember - not forget - and my brain is just no fun. So if I write a quick blurb and add in a pic, it will help to trigger the whole story for me. And I can remember and share it with anyone that is interested.

Mostly though, I want to walk the path that we had together.

First there was his Mom's house. This is in the city. She took me in, allowed us to live there till we got our feet on the ground and money together for deposit and rent. There was no A/C so Jim would rub ice cubes on my stomach and neck to cool me down. It was here that we first started establishing our household boundaries with each other. I cooked, he ironed. I did dishes, he did trash. He cleaned toilet bowl, I would vacuum. This was a place of discovery with each other.

Then there was Essex/middlesex. We had a second floor one bedroom. and a balcony. Pretty typical. For some reason I had Kevin Costner on the door. We got Shadow, our first cat while we were there. Jim and I enjoyed this apartment because is was ours. Together. Our first steps.
Jim got his first tattoo while we lived here. It was a valentines day present for me. We steamed crabs here. Once. Then we decided to always get them somewhere else. This was a small place, but it was a start.

Then there was Perry Hall. We had a two bedroom apartment there. We got Figaro as a kitten and he is still with us today. We were on the first floor and had a wonderful walk out patio. This is where we were first able to have friends over and entertain. Jim's birthday party, Melissa and Michael for New Years Eve, Cindy, and Fred and his wife. This is the apartment where Shadow bit me on the butt. Where my Mom came over for Thanksgiving that year. It was 12 years later before she came for Thanksgiving dinner again. Where we lived at the bottom of the hill of the parking lot and when the big snow storm hit that year we were the only ones with a snow shovel. We loaned it to everyone.

Then we moved on to bigger pastures. The townhouse in White Marsh. Jim gave our first Dalmatian - Gryphon, to me when we moved. Gryphon was just a pup. A baby, and he was mine to raise, train and love. The townhouse was perfect and needed no fixing up. We had our Roger Rabbit fridge poster in the basement family room. It was three bedrooms so we each had our own special room. Jim had an exercise room, I had my library. It was wonderful. An example of the giving man that Jim was - when an older lady in our church was seperated from her husband and had nowhere to go, he invited her to come to our finished basement. She stayed a couple months and got herself together. We had my Dad's 70th? 75th? surprise birthday party there. We had many a saturday night game night and it had a dishwasher.

We moved on up to the Boston area because of a work transfer. Moved to Randolph and found a fairly cheap two bedroom apartment that didn't mind cats and a dog. This apartment was two stories and had a basement for us to store stuff. The landlord was a fairly drunk irishman that had a thick brogue and a warm heart. There was a wonderful reservoir just across the street that was great for dog walking. We were there for two years. Gryphon got sick and died while we lived there. He was just five years old.

Then, I went exploring. There was a house, a big old farmhouse just next door. The family that did live there had moved out. So after a couple months of seeing it empty, I went to check it out. There was a basement door on the outside that I opened and went in. It was a basement like you would see in Blair Witch. Creepy. I crept upstairs and found an empty house. It was big. So, I called Town hall and asked who owned it. I wanted to rent or buy it. I read the address and they came back after a bit and said there is no house there. I said Yes, yes there is. They went away and then a different lady came back and said oh its owned by the town parks dept. So I went to the head of the parks dept. I pleaded my case to live there. He said okay.
It was a bargain for the area. A huge backyard, a garage, a big old house and a wonderful view. The house was not in great shape by any means, but it was big. I miss that house. We had a wedding for friends there, Jim spent a summer and built the backyard fence, I painted the garage, Josh drove his motorcycle thru the back of the garage, I was able to grow vegatables, we had work picnics, we had Dalmatian picnics, Tigger and Mercury came to us therem, we fostered several rescue Dalmatians there. Phew. We were busy. The bedroom was perfect - dark, cozy and fun. The bathroom was huge and there was a 6 foot claw foot tub. I could go completely under the water.

My Mom came to visit us for Thanksgiving and we ended up recovering the couch. My Mom is like that.It was just 6 months later that we lost her.
It was in this house that we were finally able to unpack everything we owned and put it out. We went on a diet together and like little kids, instead of our height on the wall, Jim would write our weight. That was a good time for us. We were the happiest we had ever been. I think it was in this time that we feel back in love with each other. Really truly realizing that we were soulmates. What we had felt, had really come to be.

Moving back to Baltimore was tough. We needed to do it because, again, of work. So we moved into Jim's Moms house. She had passed away and rented it out while we were up North. Jim worked hard all summer to fix it up. He sanded/buffed/stained floors, he worked on the bathroom, got new plumbing put in and we painted. After a year here Jim redid the kitchen with all new cabinets, sink and stove. He did this in one vacation week and all by himself. This is a small house and I still can't believe his Mom raised five kids here. Phew. I am feeling a little out of place because my history here is a lot shorter than Jim's.

I know this post was incredibly long, but I have wanted to write it for awhile.

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