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Entry date: 3-30-22 - Places I've lived part 3 - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

Whence we last left off, I promised some change in my life. For the second time in my short 21 years (up until that point in February 1991), I was leaving Arizona behind. On February 14th of that year, Valentine’s Day, I left for Berkeley. I moved in with my friend, Kristi Jo, to share a two-bedroom apartment that was part of a duplex just off the corner of 9th Street and Dwight. This, too, is a story or five in and of itself. (16)

When our lease was up at the end of June, Kristi Jo decided she didn’t want to live with someone, i.e., me, who was not going to school. I can understand this. Not that I was a bad roommate or wild or anything. I just think it was not the best arrangement for either of us to be living together. My friend Mark E. wanted to move up from Phoenix after a visit and another friend, Jim T., that I had met through Kristi Jo was also game to get a place. Housing was hard to find in Berkeley in those days (probably still) and we found two three-bedroom places we could afford.

Mark, though, had other plans, and left us high and dry when he high tailed it back to Phoenix. For about six weeks in the summer of 1991, I was homeless in Berkeley. It was bad enough that I slept in the car my boss provided for me to do deliveries. This was a very interesting time in my life. A time when I should have been telling you about number 17, but alas, alack, I cannot.

In August of 1991, I moved back to Phoenix to live with Alexa. She and I had been dating before I moved to Berkeley and rekindled things while I was there. I moved into her mom’s condominium on 19th avenue and Morten, which is just south of Northern. I lived there from 1991-1995. I have written a little bit about these times. (17)

In 1995, as you know if you’ve been following along, I found out about Ryan and things between Alexa and I were coming to an end. I moved from Alexa’s place to a one-bedroom apartment on 36th Street between Thomas and Osborn. Pretty close to Earll, now that I think of it. The apartment was nothing fancy and it was an okay place, I suppose. I lived there from 1995-1997. (18)

After the first year on 36th street, I was month-to-month, so I was able to move to Ahwatukee in the spring of 1997 to live with Shannon and Ryan in an apartment on 48th Street and Knox. This is between Warner and Ray, if you are unfamiliar. It was called Fairway Crossings as it was right next to a golf course. This was a huge mistake. (19)

Because I was not smart and didn’t learn my lesson, Shannon and I decided to buy a house when we got married (two more huge mistakes). We purchased 5138 E. Shomi St in Ahwatukee. It had three bedrooms, some crazy angles, and a small, but functional backyard. I did enjoy living in that house, but it was still not my best decision ever. (20)

On the topic of bad decisions, I moved out of the Shomi street house after Shannon and I got divorced in 2004. I moved to a house I shared with the rebound chick on Dayton and Coronado that isn’t even there anymore from what I can see on google maps. Wow. Another stellar decision from the mind of me, I suppose. I lived there from August 2004 to February 2005. (21). Then I moved back in with Ryan and Shannon for a bit while I gathered my bearings. (Bad decision)

In May of 2005, I moved into the house my mom, stepdad, and I were fixing up for me to move into later that summer on 15th Street between Ocotillo and Glendale. It was the house my grandparents had bought when they moved back to Arizona in 1995. I loved that place and would have liked to have kept living there, but it was not in the cards. (22)

In February of 2006, Rhondi, the kids, and I all moved into a house on 10th Street and Bethany that was right on Bethany, facing north. It was too small for us all, but we made it work. We lived there for about 15 months before we bought the house we live in now. (23)

This brings me to number twenty-four. I love our house. It’s old and always need something done to it, but we’ve grown into a family at our place near 19th avenue and Bethany Home. It’s where we lived when Liam was born, so it makes me happy to know that he’s lived in one place in his almost 15 years. I was on number five by that age, and that doesn’t include all the places my mom lived that I visited on the weekends.

I’m even convinced, now, that I am forgetting some place that I should have counted. I’m not sure where I missed a spot. Maybe I used to count being homeless as a place I lived? I’m perplexed. I thought for sure I have lived in 25 places. Oh well. 24 or 25, it really doesn’t matter.

I only anticipate living in a couple of more places before it is all said and done. I want to eventually live in Maine, as I know my wife does, and if finances allow, maybe some time near a beach in California would be nice, but not in a big city. I’m done with big cities, I think…unless, of course, I have the money to live in Manhattan at some point for a three to six months.

If I never move out of the house I’m in now, I won’t be sad. That’s a really nice place to be after calling so many different places home. You never know, though, what’s going to happen. I learned in my late teens and early twenties that you can never take home for granted.

See you tomorrow.

If you look out from the deck in Rangeley at sunset, this is what you might see.

Songs about home, in some form or another....

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