Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Parade of Homes Part 2: 1994-1995

This is the second installment in my series chronicalling the places we've lived. For the first entry, go here.

In the summer of 1994, Handsome and I packed up all our worldly belongings and moved from Phoenix to Missouri. Everything we had fit in the back of my dad's small pickup and the small U-haul trailer he pulled for us. My dad is not the adventurous sort and initially was not particularly excited to make the trip. He and my younger brother, stepmom, and stepsister all came along and the move became an extended three week, two country trip making stops to visit all my siblings and grandmas.

It has ever since been known as "The Great Trip of '94" because it was so monumental and we had such a blast. Even Dad admits it was a good time. This was before cell phones were common, and we had a set of CBs to communicate between the pickup and our little Ford Escort wagon. We brought along the Trivial Pursuit cards and played between the vehicles (no board, though, so I don't remember if or how we kept score).

The Sunday before we left, our church gave us a money tree, about $400. Two hours out of Phoenix our car broke down. We spent hours at a garage in some little podunk town. They couldn't figure it out, but did enough that we were able to make it to Albuquerque that night. The better part of the next morning was spent at another garage, where they finally figured out that it was the spark plugs, even though we had just had a tune-up right before we left. That fiasco took almost all of the $400, which was basically all the money we had. When we finally arrived in Missouri to stay, we had about $25 left, and no jobs.

I'm going to condense the trip. Here's how it went: Phoenix to Colorado, where we stayed a couple days with my sister. Colorado to Missouri, where we dropped off our stuff at our new apartment and stayed one or two nights. Missouri to Detroit, where we stayed for several days and visited my two grandmothers and other relatives. Detroit to the Niagara Falls, Canada area to visit my other sister. From there we all (including my sister and her family) drove farther north to Sundridge, Ontario to my brother's. Then back to my sister's, then back to Detroit, then finally to Missouri. Whew!

Our apartment in Missouri was in a four-family building, on a street that was identical four-family buildings all up and down, in a suburb consisting of about five streets, three of which were all the same four-family buildings.

The apartment was huge compared to the one in Phoenix. The living room alone was nearly as big as our first place. It had two bedrooms, one bath, a large eat-in kitchen, a one car garage, and washer and dryer hook-ups in the basement. It seemed luxuriously big! We paid $410 a month. In the photo below, the two top right windows were ours, and our garage door is open.

I don't have any interior photos, but I was not into decorating at the time anyway.

Having no jobs in the new city, no commercial apartment complex would rent to us when we came on our initial two-day apartment hunting trip. This was the only thing we were able to get because it was just a guy that owned the building, and I guess he took our word for it that we'd be able to pay the rent. Handsome immediately started waiting tables, and I soon got a job as an assistant teacher at a Montessori school.

Handsome's school, my job, and the church we attended were all within five minutes of each other. There was just one problem...the apartment was 40 minutes away from them all. And with only one car, that couldn't last. The summer of 1995, we moved again.

To be continued...


Lucy Marie said...

I'm loving the stories. Check out my blog .. there's something you might want to see! Oh and by the way ... I got the surprise of a lifetime today. We were invited to Wayne and Laurie's for supper and when we arrive Lacey told us Ellie was playing hide and seek and wanted us to find her. Guess who was hiding with her? AMY AND KATIE!!! They are home for two weeks but kept it a surprise from everyone except their parents so that I wouldn't find out!

marilynl said...

I am just blog hopping, but this looks very much like Lakeshire where we lived when we were in St. Louis for Dental school. In fact I'm sure it is.