Have you ever experienced certain events in your life where you can remember almost every detail of how it happened? The day I found my first apartment is one those events for me.
I was growing tired of living at home and was currently talking about the next step in our relationship with the gentleman I was dating at the time. I had been searching all over for something within my budget and would allow animals since all I had at the time was my cat. I was striking out.
One day I was traveling from our old family farm house to my job in the neighboring town when I saw the big red sign – FOR RENT.
The half-double was conveniently located exactly halfway between work and home in case anything was to ever happen. The next day on my way to work I stopped by to take the phone number off the sign, but they conveniently had a flyer listing all the details of the apartment. I finally hit the jackpot – they allowed pets. I set up an appointment a few days later to tour the apartment.
My grandmother accompanied me for the tour because I didn’t know what I was looking for and wanted someone with experience in this sort of thing with me. It was mid or late July, it was hotter than heck outside, and when the landlord got there his key for the place wouldn’t work – so here we are sweating our buns off in the summer heat waiting for the current tenant to come let us in.
I remember being impressed with the large back yard, it emitted tons of natural light, the apartment was much larger than I anticipated, reminded me so much of our farm house and just felt like home.
I also remembered having mixed feelings about the landlord because he seemed rather nice for the most part but would cut myself or my grandmother off when we were speaking or asking questions. Then the tenant that had come let us in stayed and walked through the apartment with us making comments here and there, she seemed friendly, and was almost talking in a way to sell me the place.
She really didn’t have to because I was already sold on the place – minus the forest and lime green kitchen walls. At the end of the tour the landlord apologized for the tenant being present for the tour, which I didn’t care because I didn’t know any better, and I ended up filling out the application on the spot.
Three weeks later and dumping what was left of my vacation savings into my first month’s rent as well as getting the utilities switched over into my name – the apartment was officially mine and would be moving in at the end of August, early September.
I had no idea what was in store for me in the upcoming years when I signed that lease. I experienced my first heart break outside of high school, I soon understood the responsibilities of being an adult when no one was paying half the rent, and why my mother worked so much when I was a kid. Most of the twenty-one-year old’s that I knew were enjoying being a carefree adolescent when I was juggling three jobs to pay my bills and put gas in my car.
I don’t regret a single minute of it. I would do everything over again in a heartbeat.
Seven years, two failed relationships, and the beginning of a marriage later – our world soon came crashing down around us. May 5th, we received a letter in the mail from our landlords stating “in the upcoming months” we would have to find new living arrangements because they were wishing to place the property up for sale. Two months after I had decided to leave my full-time job to build this business and purchasing a new vehicle with no substantial money saved up – we were being kicked to the curb (or so it felt).
We confided in our close friends and family members and soon came up with a game plan for what we were going to do – which is a story I will save for my next blog post. Although I knew my husband and I outgrew our apartment the moment he moved in, I wasn’t truly ready to leave my small corner of paradise. Packing up all our belongings sent me spiraling down memory lane. It also made me see what was important – that even though we currently going through a tough time, we still have each other.
44 E. Salem will always hold a special place in my heart – I will cherish my memories and the lessons I learned within its walls, but I am beyond ecstatic to see what the future has for Anthony and myself.