I have lived in a lot of houses. Also, two apartments and two dorm rooms, plus some unremembered places before the age of two, but mostly houses. The first one I can recall was on Houlton Court in Schaumburg, Illinois, and even though we moved before I started first grade, I can still recall the ring in the backyard where the previous owners had an in-ground pool, the walk-out basement, and a wall of mirrors that greeted us upon entering. After that it was on to Elm Street in Downers Grove, IL, where we had a creepy unfinished basement that was our "messy spot" for elaborate card houses and a folding door on the bathroom. The doorbell was rung by turning a tiny handle and the garage door had to be opened by hand, a job that my parents delegated as soon as my sister and I were old enough to lift it.
Sixth grade brought a brand-new house 8 blocks away on Wilson Street, with another unfinished basement that was great for roller blading in circles and writing in chalk on the walls. Once the space was finished a few years later, it became my dad's man cave and the number one neighborhood sleepover destination. There was a mysterious interior balcony that witnessed multiple stagings of Rapunzel and a chandelier that was never dusted but still seemed very fancy.
My senior year of college, my friends and I rented a truly enormous house on another Elm Street for just $1600 dollars a month, which seems unbelievable to my current city-dwelling self. My room was the only one on the first floor and the door had formerly lead to the outside, so it was thick and heavy. My room came complete with a working spigot. My future husband lived in another group house across the street, but came over most days for dinner because the kitchen in a man house, well...whatever you are imagining, it was worse.
After college I moved to DC and another house full of girls, this time strangers who would, in some cases, become lifelong friends. The house on Perry Place was tiny, and when a friend was in need I gave up my vow never to share a room again until marriage, rocking (literally) some reassembled IKEA bunk beds. That was the house of many twin sleepovers, the first of which occurred when the girls were just a mere two weeks old. It was also the house of Dino, the neighbor who would hang from the tree in his front yard for exercise.
When Kurt and I got married, we were blessed to be able to rent the house on V Street that we currently inhabit. It is not too big but was plenty big for the two, then three, now four of us. We have added a kitchen island, pot rack, bunk beds, a shed and a sweet bench on the porch, and are currently trying to subtract one giant, broken TV. Word just arrived that we can stay another year, and we are delighted.
So many houses, so, so many memories, and certainly there are more to come in our nomadic future. Just as long as I have a bed to sleep in and some place to make a cup of tea, I'm set. (Although, I can't say I would complain too much if the next house had a dishwasher. I'm just sayin'.)