My DH used to say he married me for three reasons. One, I could cook. Two, I could spell. Three, I already had children. He didn’t include Four, I had adult attention deficit disorder. I was never diagnosed with it but it would explain a lot. When it came time to pack, I was going through stuff in one of the big walk-in closets upstairs at my mother’s house. There were some interesting magazines that caught my eye. I sat down on a box and started leafing through them and reading an article here and there. Poor DH was trying to get me involved in packing but I wanted none of it. My mother looked on and grinned a knowing grin. I was his problem now.
With some urging, we finally got things in boxes and loaded into a U-Haul trailer. We were almost ready to set out over the mountains. Mother was trying her best to stay composed but she finally gave in to her feelings and had a good cry. I felt sorry for her but I was looking into the future. We were going to our own apartment in our own car and we were a family.
It took some doing to get settled but DH’s friends from what was fondly known as the “Frisco Frat House” (it was anything but) came over and helped unload. We had furniture in the style known as “Early Married”. My mother had given us a couch, we had an out of tune piano, there was the old kitchen table my father had bought, and various and assorted other things that made a house a home. Our bed was a hand-me-down and the boys slept on mattresses on the floor. The apartment had two bedrooms. DH and I were in one and the boys shared the other.
We went shopping and stocked the larder with all the foods that vegetarian SAD (Standard American Diet) eaters indulge in. Label readers from the start, as long as it didn’t have animal fat or other parts, we’d eat it. It didn’t matter if there were unpronounceables a mile long, as long as Blossom didn’t have to die to make it, it was edible in our book. Eggs and dairy were acceptable and we loved all of it. Especially if it was fried.
To reward the helpers, I put together a meal that was tasty and would have probably qualified as a heart attack on a plate. They chowed down until they lay like slugs on the living room floor. After they finally revived from their cholesterol stupor, they left and we were faced with getting things put in place.
I did better without the old magazines lying around and it wasn’t long until the apartment had some of the feminine touches that a woman inevitably puts here and there. A few plants and pictures on the wall and it didn’t look half bad.
We got acquainted with the Smiths next door—the old man and his mentally challenged daughter. I soon learned that if the screen door wasn’t latched, Mr. Smith would walk in unannounced. I latched the screen. If the boys were out playing with the neighbor kids, they had to knock and I’d let them in.
There was some exploration of the neighborhood and we found a neat park several blocks away. It must’ve been a plantation at one time. A huge ancient colonial-type house stood in the middle with tremendous old oak trees shading the lawn.
A lot of times when people think of “the projects” it’s in connection with drive-by shootings and multiple locks on the doors. Not so where we were living. Kids roamed the streets but they were playing ball, jacks, jump-rope and marbles. It really wasn’t so bad. The thing that made it less than ideal was we were so close to other people. I wasn’t used to that. I was a Country Girl. I’ve always been able to adjust, though, and I did.
We didn’t record any of the move in pictures. There was too much going on to stop and pose. I don’t know that others take pictures, either. Moves are traumatic experiences. If anyone should know that, it’s me. I’ve moved over 40 times in my life. Some of them were just up the street but they were still moves. I hate moving but I’m getting sidetracked. That durned Adult ADD again? Maybe so.
Next time we’ll see what happened when reality REALLY set in.