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Couches on the Roof Reminiscing About My First Apartment
A s my daughter Kennedi begins her second semester at Boise State University (BSU), she’s already thinking about her second year and preparing to rent her first apartment. I can tell she’s excited — and stressed — and I have to credit her for being so proactive. Her adventure into the life of a renter got me thinking about my first apartment, so I took a drive around my old neighborhood. Sadly, I couldn’t contain my dismay when I saw that the area had become so rundown. It was so disheveled! I called some old friends and told them the disappointing news: Our old stomping grounds had lost their luster. As we reminisced, they reminded me the area wasn’t all that pristine when we were living there, either. I was still upset, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized they were right. For example, I didn’t see a couch on the roof, like my roommates and I had back in the day. It was a perch for us to hang out, though none of us can remember why it was even up there in the first place. And that wasn’t even the weirdest thing to happen on a roof. One time, I remember seeing a guy up on the top of his house wearing ski goggles and mowing the roof. I guess the goggles were a safety precaution, because lawn mowers can send shingles flying at a high speed. If you ever see this sight, from personal experience, I suggest you run. Then there was also the time I had to bail Windmill out of jail. It was a typical fall evening of fun when what I’d call a “neighborhood brawl” broke out. A friend we had aptly nicknamed Windmill was wrapped up in the commotion, and to this day, we don’t let him forget about the few hours he spent in jail over it.
I guess the area wasn’t the Taj Mahal I thought it to be at the time, but it was worth every penny.
I moved into that place two days after graduation. It was a modest neighborhood, and we had a continual rotation of people living in our three-bedroom house. Throughout the seven-year period that I lived there, I had about five roommates, and the friends my wife, Keri, and I made there are still our friends to this day. Sure, we ate baby food because it was cheap and would scrounge up a few dollars for beer money each weekend. But the memories we created in that neighborhood — as crazy and slightly blurry as they may be — are some of our favorites. Today, it’s all a bit different. Kennedi hoped to live closer to campus, and she’s worrying about how she’s going to be able to afford her living and school expenses. I understand her fear. What cost us $500 or $600 has now doubled, and learning how to balance these costs on your own is complicated. But these are the kind of life situations that shape you for the future. Lawn mowers on the roof, bailing friends out of jail, and mystery couch placements are all part of growing up. Kennedi is experiencing the part of life when you stress about money, do stupid things, and learn wonderful lessons. I’m excited to watch her grow, because the memories I made are ones I wouldn’t trade for the world.
For some reason, though, she refuses to eat baby food.
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