Monday, July 20, 2009

First Time For Everything

Sure, I've moved before. Heck, when I was a kid, we moved every three years or so.

I feel a story coming on. Might want to go get a refill of whatever you were drinking.

There you go. Comfy?

After my parents' divorce, we moved every couple years (sometimes more). Once I moved out with Samantha, we spent 6 months in a Mountain View apartment - then she went to San Francisco State and I studied animation at Mission College, so I got a room in a friend's house in San Jose for 6 months, a sort of bachelor pad situation. Moved back to my dad's for a year while I went to school and worked, saving up for the family trip to the Caribbean in 1989, and shortly thereafter moved back in with Sam and another couple in Fremont. That lasted a little less than a year, and Sam & I moved into our little 500sf apartment on the Mountain View/Sunnyvale border (which we christened with the extremely geeky epithet The Keep on the Borderlands), with the Slumlord from the Lower Circles of Hell.

We survived the 100+ degree summers in an upstairs sauna with no air conditioning for two years before we finally snapped. All we wanted was "reasonable". And the Bay Area had ceased to deliver "reasonable".

Once we hit Washington, it was two weeks of couch surfing at our friends' place in Bellevue before we got a nice apartment in Renton, where we were for a year and a half while we got established (we had the "Cascade" two-bedroom floor plan). Sunnyvale Slumlord kept our deposit, by the way, knowing it would be too inconvenient for us to come back to California and take him to court. $500 was not insignificant to a young married couple who'd just moved out of state.

While in the Renton apartment, we befriended Buffy, who was NOT a vampire slayer, but rather a sweet young Bohemian girl who was the perfect friend and roommate for a sweet young Bohemian couple, all of whom had embraced the granola and flannel Seattle "scene" in the early '90s. Ever see the film Singles? More accurate than not.

Anyhoo, we were looking at sharing a place in the city, and West Seattle was a sleepy little community of artists and musicians off the beaten track. We ended up renting a huge Craftsman house on the main strip of California Ave., just above a custom auto parts shop - a storefront that would become the Nail Time salon. The rent? $625. A hundred bucks less than our first apartment in Mountain View.

When we arrived in West Seattle in the January of 1993, I had no clue what twists and turns were in store, both for myself and the neighborhood. On the downside, there was a Denny's. There were two gun stores and a porn shop on the Ave. On the upside, we were a block from Jefferson Square and could walk to the store for groceries. We had a view of the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains from our living room window (a view that was replaced in recent years by high rise apartments). There was a mom & pop cafe and a brew supply store across the street, and when Ron and I launched The Gamut (the hobby store now occupied by a Garlic Jim's pizzaria) that summer, I could walk to work.

Buffy roomed with us for a year, keeping up a close friendship afterward. In fact, she was present at Tyler's birth, acting as my sanity check (gophering and making sure we both kept hydrated). Buffy was followed by Erica, Samantha's manager at Pegasus Book Exchange and a regular at The Gamut. Erica shared the house until Tyler was about 3 months old, then Tyler moved into the second bedroom and we occupied the enire house by ourselves - a complete family unit - until we found this little updated Craftsman just off Westwood Village. We bought the place for under $100K and moved in on March 1st, 1995.

With the exception of living across the street during the post-fire rebuild, this is the only home I've lived in ever since. It's the only home Tyler can remember. It's the only home Kayleigh's ever known. It's been through flood and fire, and rebuilt to a magnificent state. And it goes on the market this week.

[blink, blink]

It actually came about pretty suddenly. Raechelle and I (and the kids) have been house hunting for over a year. But we found a good opportunity to move in a good direction within West Seattle, and we made an offer. And since the offer is contingent on selling this place, we now have to make that happen.

So suddenly I'm boxing up extra stuff and getting a storage space, and cleaning out the garden window in the kitchen, and recycling a bunch of leftover Deep7 books I had in the carport.

And getting ready to sell my first home.

There's a lot of memory and, yes, some baggage in the last 15 years. And while I'm absolutely thrilled to be embarking on a new adventure with my family and the woman I love... yeah... it's a bit heavy, sure.

TFMD and I were the first ones to ask ourselves if we were just a wee bit loco to be trying to move four months before a wedding and honeymoon. And given other circumstances, that's probably very correct. But this was an incredible opportunity - a situation that would not be present had we waited until next year to continue hunting. We'd have been crazy not to give this a shot.

So, while nothing is final yet, we need to get this place all prettied up for Baby's First Listing. This move will be the physical representation of Life 2.0. I'm excited and terrified and sometimes a little sad, but I ultimately feel very peaceful and serene about this new chapter.

Yeeeeeehaw, my homies. Yeehaw.


Mack said...

good luck!

baby's first listing? makes me think there's going to be the pitter patter of little feet in your about-9-months-down-the-road future.

Lynnae said...

Oh my gosh, CONGRATS!!! How exciting (and nerve-racking before the wedding!?) for you guys!

Keep us all posted. Curious minds want to know.

TD said...


Uh, no.

"Baby's First Listing" was an obscure reference to "Baby's First Fabulous" on Will & Grace. :)

Anonymous said...

I seem to recall, amid all that "shacking up", there was a wedding that took place...

And good job on getting the house all prettied up.

xo Mom

TigereyeSal said...

Aye, bittersweet, sho' nuff.

Stephen said...

I am in the film SINGLES & your mention of it caught my eye when I sailed on to your blog. Thanks for sharing your difficult story.
Wishing you the best from Portland.