Homes sweet homes

Eden is hosting the Gimme Shelter carnival. Go on over to see the other people’s shelters and maybe add your own.

Here are highlights from the places I’ve lived.

Family of origin. Sheri, Tami and I shared a basement bedroom during my school years. We didn’t feel squished or deprived of daylight — it just was where we lived. It was a happy place. My sisters and I laughed and created and fought and teased and bonded tightly in a suburb outside of Denver.

College. My roommate and I held a surfing party one night and broke all sorts of rules. As well as a couple of ironing boards used for surfing. In Kansas.

Japan. I had to take off my shoes at the door. It was a teensy apaaato (apartment) with only one room (of three) that was heated in the winter or cooled in the summer, which were equally brutal in central Japan. It was the room where I slept and read, bundled up under the heated kotatsu table during the winter or splaying myself in front of the a/c during the summer.

Condo. I got a mortgage on my own for a 2 BR condo in a west Denver suburb. I lived here when I met Roger, and after we married it was the first place where we cohabited.

Syria. We sold the condo, our cars and most of our stuff, and stored or gave away the rest. We moved to Syria for two years and lived in a spacious flat with polished stone floors, a wraparound balcony, and an oil-burning boiler/hot water heater. We turned it on only just prior to using hot water, and left it off the rest of the time.  We had to have the tank refilled on occasion, and that was very expensive. I loved our coffee-in-the-morning rituals there. And watching Tim Russert on Meet the Press on Sunday evenings on NBC Europe. Oh, and toilet paper was not flushable.

Victorian. When we returned from Syria, Roger and I bought our first home together, an 1891 Victorian in Denver proper that had one bathroom and no closets. It housed well all the old-world souvenirs we brought home from our travels. This was the place we brought Tessa and Reed home to as newborns. It was where we erected all sorts of kid-proof gates and pushed plastic prongs into electrical outlets. It’s the setting for hours and hours of home movies of the first bath, first crawl, first food, first step, first birthday, first time on a bicycle. However, by the time both children were potty trained, it was clear we either needed to add a bathroom or move to suburbia.

Full circle. We now live 2 miles from the home I grew up in, where my parents still live. We’re on a cul-de-sac, a space where the kids can free-range safely, much the way I did as a kid. Tessa and Reed have their own rooms, which they switch occasionally. Here they laugh and create and fight and tease and bond tightly.

And we have 3 bathrooms. My slice of heaven.

To enter your own Gimme Shelter post, visit the awesome Eden.

Note from a sponsor: BlogHer is giving away $100 on my review blog, All Thumbs Reviews. To enter, comment on my Pop-Tarts posts here and here.

19 thoughts on “Homes sweet homes”

  1. Three bathrooms are essential for 4 people! We have 3 bathrooms and 3 people, but no one uses the one in the basement.

    Lovely house tour – the place in Syria sounds very nice. Why did you move there? And what were you doing in Japan? My aunt wanted me to join the foreign service (I should have) and become a diplomat (Ha! and Ha! again! I am the least diplomatic person I know!). I bet the Victorian was very cool, but no closets is painful!

    Thanks for the tour!

  2. I love this project, what a wonderful idea. TO talk about the homes and spaces that gave you pause and laughter and tears and maybe ended a relationship or started one. I can’t wait to do my own (Next week)

    thank you for INVITING us in…and showing us the places that made you who you are. <3

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  5. I love this post! It made me nostalgic for all of the places I’ve lived, but it was also interesting to read about the different places you have lived. Very cool!

  6. How Cool!! I’ve gotta try this. Thanks for sharing and giving a little look at how things were/are for you. The victorian must’ve been gorgeous! And Syria and JApan! Wow!

  7. We initially looked at an old farm house on 5 acres. There was only one bathroom. Mr S wanted that house so badly, but I told him, “When we have kids, you would regret it- never mind the 5 acres if mowing twice a week.”

    So, we have a house on a cul-de-sac in the burbs, with a community swimming pool and playground, 2.5 baths that we are very grateful for, and a postage stamp yard that he finds hard to find the time for. What do you know, I was right.

  8. I enjoyed reading your list and really liked the fact that I was a part of the list!

    In looking back over my own shelters, I have a lot of diverse homes with lots of great memories.

    Loved this post!

What say you?