When my ex & I were married change was the order of the day, all day every day for 8+ years. We were in a constant state of flux, if we weren’t in the middle of an actual change he was plotting, scheming & planning the next change.
Consequently we lived a lot of different places, 17 & I counted one time & it worked out to 14 moves in 8 years. The only places we stayed for long were with my grandmother in Haverhill (still, 2 different times) & in the trailer we came to our new home from (3 months short of 6 years, the first 15 months were with the ex living with us- the rest on our own)
What I’m thinking of is a short spell of time (June 1995 to January 1996)when we lived on our own in Haverhill. The Ex had done a bunch of work for a guy who had a house he rented the apartments out in, when one of the apartments became available we moved in to it after massive renovations, I painted the whole place & it was a really neat apartment because it was the front two floors of the place.
Those front 3 window the one on the left, were our bedrooms as were the windows on the front- including the bay window- which was my favorite thing about the place- we actually had too much space, the room to the left of the bay window was a third bedroom which my ex stored his various junk in, hockey gear, drum-set, all his other music stuff- he had a guitar then & my keyboard was in there (though I almost never used it at that time in my life.) I also did earring making still back then & had a card table workspace in that spare room where I spent many pleasant summer afternoons making earrings which still sit in a box in my room.
You may or may not be able to see how steep the hill is there, Haverhill is aptly named & this street was proof, add to that our only, shared car was a straight drive Mustang with no emergency brake – well every day was a challenge back then, let me tell you.
The bathroom was pale yellow with sunflower stencils, the kitchen, white with green trim & ivy stencils, the bedroom a slightly too dark shade of purple with wisteria stencils (I was a little into stenciling at that time) 17’s bedroom (she was 5) was painted a blue that looked rather like the interior of a pool, we then painted trees, clouds & a rainbow on the walls. 17 on her own, put her animal hammock in the corner between two of the trees which we’d painted- we were very impressed that she’d think of it.
The apartment had a lovely long hallway which wrapped around the stairs leading from the front door to the living room with the kitchen behind it & I hung my picture collage along the whole wall of the hallway where it looked “less cluttered than normal” in my Grandmother’s words.
One of the most remarkable things about this house was that in it’s day, it was the carriage house of the house next door (you can see the paved lot that is now where that house was in the picture) I’ve seen pictures & the full house was enormous! when you consider that there were 4 apartments (one in the basement, one-ours which was the full front of the house & one all of the downstairs back of the house & one all of the upstairs back of the house) & this was just in the Carriage house well it boggles the mind.
I don’t have many pictures at all from that time, in all we had 1 roll of film which I took pictures with for about 6 months, however some didn’t come out & few were actually in the house. I had one of myself standing in the kitchen & you could see some really nice tile work the ex had put in behind me, but since I’m in the middle of re-doing my picture albums & merging the pictures of my kids which I had given my Grandmother over the years I can’t locate it. 10/8/08- found the picture – it doesn’t do the tile justice. I guess he was more focused on me than the tile- the work over the stove was beautiful-
Miss 11 was conceived here at this house though we were in limbo for 3 or 4 months in which I wasn’t having any periods but was still testing negative on pregnancy tests, she wasn’t born until June 96 so I obviously, didn’t get pregnant until late September or early October 95, but I had been waiting since June of 95. (not that I’m complaining mind you)
We celebrated our birthdays (the ex & I are both born in November, he early in the month, me later) in that house with a trip to Boston for a Bruins game (against the Ottawa Senators I believe- only Bruins game I’ve ever been to so I should remember!) We rode the train in & had dinner early, then went to the game & rode back out again. The same at at Christmas that year, when we went to see my favorite concert ever- Rush- at what was then the Fleet Center in Boston. We walked around Quincy Market & ate there & then walked back to see the concert & took the train home.
17 went to Kindergarten from that house for her first day of school ever. This is 17 on her first day of kindergarten, the paper she’s holding says ‘I hop u fel betr mom’ because I was experiencing some pretty severe morning sickness with miss 11 at the time. (I never did feel better, they say most morning sickness goes away after the first 3 months, with 11 I was vomiting & nauseous most of the pregnancy, right up to the day before I gave birth)
We spent about 9 months there while I was in cosmetology school & the ex put rugs in new construction houses & then, after feuding with his boss & quitting that job, building new construction houses for a guy who never paid him. (he’d give him $100. here or $50 there but never the full amount & the ex at one point, felt he couldn’t quit because he was owed too much, then it got insane & we ended up getting evicted & moving back in with my Grandmother, where we stayed until we moved back here to VA in 1997.
One of the things I liked about it was our close proximity to everything, down the hill 2 blocks was a grocery store & pharmacy, (though they’re both gone now- my personal mantra- the only constant is change has never been more true than in MA) I could walk another 3 blocks to school at the cosmetology school, & 2 blocks over, (no down hill travel for that trip) was the library, 2 blocks uphill was another pharmacy & an auto parts store.
We had everything we needed close by. Which is something I sometimes miss, living in the country I’m 20 miles from everything! However, I don’t have to worry about people trying to break in or steal my car stereo & the Cd’s in the car, I don’t have partying teenage neighbors or people on the roof of the house at the top of the street, waving guns, which I didn’t actually see, I was at school but which my ex & our neighbor encountered one day while he was fixing our car & she was sitting on her stoop visiting & keeping him company.
Sometimes I miss living in the city, if I went back I’d want to live in Haverhill, (assuming of course that I hadn’t hit the lottery- in that case I’d want a penthouse apartment in Boston probably- or of course, my dream house in Hull) I’m so accustomed to the way things are here in my idyllic life in the country though, I’d probably run screaming back here in 2 weeks!