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Saturday, September 3, 2016

Another Anniversary

This week, 30 years ago, 1986, I moved into this house.  I don't have the exact date because the legal purchase date and the move-in date aren't the same.  And it took a week to move everything.  But basically, around Labor Day, I moved into my own house.  No roommates, just me and Mean Old Tinkerbelle the cat (who I loved dearly in spite of the name).

It doesn't feel like all that many years, but it is...

It was a "starter house".  I guess I'm still starting...  I look at this place on Google Earth about once a month.  The pictures changes sometimes.  But the house doesn't really.  I know every blade of grass and garden weed.  I can walk around in the total darkness of the middle of the night and know exactly where I am (shuffling my feet carefully to avoid stepping on a cat of course - because THEY move).

If the power went out, in the middle of the night, it wouldn't matter until it got hot or cold.   I know every creak of floorboard, every sticky cabinet door, and every pipe noise.  In fact, I didn't hear a familiar sound last Spring and went down to check.  Sure enough, the A/C condensation reservoir was blocked by some surprise algae growth blocking the disposal pump overflowing onto the basement floor.

I know when the aquarium needs more water from the sound of the pump.  In my sleep.

It is unlikely that anyone will ever know this house like I do.   I was the 3rd person to build on my street and the other 2 left a decade ago.

I know every cat sound and if one jumps onto a kitchen counter, I know which one it is.   They hate that.

And I want it to stay that way for a long long time more!

Wish me a happy 30th in my home...

Mark and the Mews in The Green House, Maryland, United States, Earth, Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, Virgo Supercluster, and we aren't sure beyond that.


Megan said...

What a fabulous story. Love it!

I have now lived in the same house for about 22 years. We didn't build it, but bought it from the people who had it built for them. It was well built, but we haven't maintained it well, so it needs quite a lot of work done to it. There are nine houses in our cul de sac and four or five of them are still occupied by the people who built on the land in the very early 1980s, which is kind of nice. I feel that I, too, recognise a lot of the sounds of the building. I can tell which kitchen cupboard is being opened by my husband, which step he's on as he walks up the stairs (they have different creaks). I can hear water running in the pipes and I know which tap is being used.

The weird thing, in my case, is that I still don't really feel as though I'm 'from here'. I still think of myself as someone from the Sydney suburb where I grew up (and where my mother still lives in the family home), rather than being from the suburb I've now lived in far longer than I've lived anywhere else. That is, I still feel like an outsider. I don't know the names of many of the streets in my suburb and we don't know anyone who lives in our suburb apart from some of our immediate neighbours. I don't use any medical services close by - I drive about 20km (15 miles) to my preferred doctor and almost the same distance to my dentist, simply because I established those relationships when I was working in another suburb and have maintained them ever since. I don't even get my hair cut locally. I do my grocery shopping at the closest supermarket, admittedly, but that's about it. I don't belong to any local clubs or groups, and the only council-provided facility that I make much use of is the municipal library. If I go to a local restaurant, it's to pick up some take-away food, not to eat in.

How about you? After 30 years, are you part of your neighbourhood, as well as being an important custodian of your house?

Sydney, Australia

Mark's Mews (Ayla, Iza, and Marley) said...

No, I am not part of my local community. I don't get the local newspaper, don't know the names of my neighbors, and don't know what is going on on my street.

And I don't think most of my neighbors have much idea what is going on near them either. The houses across the street seem to be mostly rentals. Why my side seems to be owners and the other side is rentals baffles me. They might have just been built for those purposes.

I suppose "once a rental, always a rental" and the other side are all small ranch houses while my side is split foyers. Maybe ranch houses are just cheaper to rent.

Let's just say that the couple across the street were moving out a few years and I helped them and discovered that they had rented there 10 years and I never knew their names.

A sociologist would call this a "bedroom community", meaning that people go to work from here, go out elsewhere where they like at night, and stay in on weekends to sleep before the workweek starts again.

Megan said...

It sounds a bit sad when you read it - but, I'm not prepared to do the kinds of things that are necessary to become a significant part of my local community. I'm an introvert! I do like the fact that I at least know my neighbours' names and have a nodding acquaintance with them such that I feel that I could call on them for help in a crisis. That helps make me feel safe.

Sydney, Australia