A long walk to a dry well

Bart and I have lived in four places since we got married two years ago.


For the first five months, we lived in married student housing; despite the bad rap it gets, we absolutely loved living there. We lived on the first floor and had the closest parking spot. For the first time, I had my own kitchen (tiiiiiiiiny though it was; we also won’t discuss my first cooking disaster where we discovered that our gas oven was perhaps the worst oven ever and nothing would cook evenly in it). We had one bedroom, one bathroom, and a little office with both of our desktop computers. We hung Christmas lights on our balcony. We had a fondue party for my birthday with about ten more people than the apartment could hold. We could walk to Bart’s parents house for dinner. We rode our bikes to school. Friends stayed over late into the night. We loved practically every minute of it. (We also apparently took no pictures, because these are the only ones I can find and they are ones my sister took).

After Christmas, we moved into Bart’s parents house. They were going to London to direct a study abroad program for six months and had graciously offered to let us live in their house rent-free (one does not refuse an offer like this, particularly when it comes with two 10 gallon barrels of chocolate chips). My sister, Merrick, and her freshman friends would come on big group dates there. One time Bart and I had invited over three other couples and then Merrick came over with nine other friends. It was a fun evening. We had many friends over for dinner. We enjoyed living in the same house with a washer and dryer. A few months later, Bart moved to Austin, and I stayed alone in the house for another five weeks until I left to join Bart’s parents in London (the basement in that house freaks me out because, hello, basement and also creaking in the night; to this day I am not sure how I managed to live there alone for that long without having a heart attack).

Last July, I moved to Austin and joined Bart in the apartment he’d been living in. I brought the furniture and ended Bart’s time with only an air mattress, a desk, two bar stools, and a folding chair. We loved that apartment. We’d go swimming late at night and to the gym early in the morning. We didn’t love the laundry being on the opposite side of the complex or that we had to climb three flights of stairs. But we loved the big kitchen; we’d stay up late at night, making new cake recipes. We fell in love with “House” and “Smallville” in this apartment. I didn’t work for a few weeks and I would stay home during the day, working on my online classes, watching “Gilmore Girls” and being free, free, free. Merrick got engaged and we spent a lot of time talking on the phone. My parents came to visit for the first time while we lived there. Eventually, though, it just got too small. And also, rent is money down a drain, folks.

Last fall, we bought our first house, which we love. It’s fun to have a backyard (even if we never actually go out there). We put up our first Christmas tree, with unpainted walls and too little furniture. We bought our first lawnmower. Bart’s parents came for Thanksgiving. We started making quite a lot of friends. We bought our first actual pieces of furniture (IKEA counts, right?) and painted most of the rooms. Our bedroom no longer had the desk and the love sac and the accompanying piles of junk in it. We did actual grown-up house projects like putting in a new sink.

Two nights ago, just before we went to sleep, we were talking about how much we loved our first apartment and our apartment in Texas. Both represented new beginnings, new adventures, and a new life for the two of us. Although we love our house here, I think both of us would admit that we miss our apartments, just a little bit.


“At least,” Bart said, “we haven’t had any homeowner-type of expenses since buying this house.”


This morning, I woke up at about 5:00 a.m. to Bart getting out of bed. After a few minutes of listening to him tinkering with something in the hallway, I called out to see what he was doing.


“The air conditioner is broken.”


Bart called a repairman first thing this morning; he worked from home so that he could be there when he came over. At noon, he called me to tell me that the repairman had fixed it and we were good to go.


“How much did it cost?” I asked.


“Six thousand dollars.”


And then I died. And then Bart died.


Because I killed him for lying to me. It was only $160.

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  1. I love the pictures. And I’m with you on the apartments. We like houses, but there is a simplicity in an apartment lifestyle that they don’t have. And a togetherness too.

    There is a parenthesis without a mate after the picture with Bart playing Ticket to Ride. Now it feels like my whole life is still in one never ending parenthetical statement.

  2. We lived in a condo in a really great part of downtown Toronto (St. Lawrence Market area) when we were first married. Your post brought me back to those times – although it took us about 5 months before we got our first couch, we loved the apartment, the proximity to everything, just the two of us enjoying our time as newlyweds with no worries about home ownership. A very special time indeed.
    But there is excitement in owning your first house as well. Yours is really nice – I love the colours of the rooms; and your apron is very cute!

  3. I wish we had loved our first apartment as much as you guys did; though I have to admit it was nice to be able to sit on the couch, make dinner and scrub the shower all at the same time. Our first apartment was only about as big as Blaine’s armspan :).

  4. haha, I love this. Your house is adorable! A $6,000 AC bill joke would send Ty to the doghouse.

    And my counters are sort of a hunter-like green… 😉

  5. Love the pictures…especially Y-Mount. Ha ha ha. And I am jealous of homeowners who get to live in their homes.

    I loved the joke Bart played on you. So funny!

  6. You are so cute! Have you heard the saying that goes something like, “Have I considered divorce? Never. Murder? Yes.” I think it totally applies to this AC situation. Like that incident when JG joked about putting a pole in our back yard.

  7. lol, that made me smile, I love to see happy couples. Congrats on the new house.
    Your pics are lovely too, especially the one with you in the kitchen

  8. This was a great post! I know you have more pictures from Wymount than that…I have a few more at least…want them?

    By the way, this post made me miss you a lot. I don’t think that we’re going anywhere for Christmas, so when you’re down we definitely need to spend ample amounts of time together. You’re wonderful 🙂 Love you!

  9. I’m sorry, but I hate apartments. I don’t think I have any sentimentality for any of the 4 we have lived in our first 5 years of marriage. I’m reluctant to dish this diss, but I think you’re delusional.

    But I love you anyway!

  10. I love the sentiment here… but honestly, mostly I love the dying bits at the end. Laugh-out-loud funny. :o)


  11. Hilarious! I liked your last few sentences! I would have had a heart attack about $6,000. And I love your red kitchen!

  12. Thirteen years and two children later I look back on our first apartment together with fond memories. We’ve only lived 3 places together in that time though (and may never move again!)

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