I have moved around quite often throughout my life. During my childhood, due to my father having accepted job transfers, we had lived in one apartment, one cottage and eight single-family homes in New York and Texas. By the time I entered eighth grade, I had attended eight different schools, and that did not include living in a dormitory when I went to college.
With that type of history, you would think I would have settled in one place. However, for one reason or another, including divorce, I went on to live in several more apartments and townhouses, two duplexes, a condominium, and two more single-family homes in Ohio, Maryland and Pennsylvania. The apartments were on the top floor and non-descript. The first townhouse was brand-new, with a spacious floor plan, full basement, one-foot firewalls between each unit, and a fenced-in yard. The first duplex was a two-story house built over seventy-five years ago, heated by an old oil heater that cost $300.00 per month to fill during the winter.
The nicest and most unique home my children and I lived in was an architect’s home we rented for almost two years. We called it “the blue house” because it had pale Victorian blue siding. The house was in two sections, with the second story rented out to a young couple in law enforcement. As you pulled into the small driveway, the front door was round at the top, making it appear to be an old English cottage door. There was a flagstone porch on the side of the house containing two doorways – one to the kitchen and one to the bedrooms towards the back of the house. Behind the house, the architect rented out a six-bay attached garage to a small car repair company.
The kitchen was L-shaped, with beautiful pine cabinets lining the walls the whole length of the upside-L shape. Across from the cabinets, a brick wall held two built-in ovens and a bun-warmer. The brick wall continued around a corner and contained a built-in stovetop on one end and a built-in wood-burning stove on the other end. The rest of the large kitchen held a dining area lined with early American wallpaper. A doorway at the rear of the kitchen led to a great-room converted into two bedrooms for my daughters. A small room behind the great-room, which may have once been a home office, became a bedroom for my son.
The living room was paneled in pine on three walls, with a stone fireplace sandwiched between two built-in pine bookcases on the fourth wall. There was a walk-in closet with a window, also paneled in pine, near the front door. The living room had hardwood floors and a beamed ceiling. At the far end of the house, a short hallway led to a full bathroom and the master bedroom. Besides the fantastic kitchen and beautiful living room, the master bedroom was one of the best features of the house. It ran the total width of the house and we could have easily fit in two king-size beds with room to spare. It was carpeted in deep blue plush carpeting with pale blue walls. To the right of the doorway, there was a built-in six-foot vanity with a mirror lined with lights. To the left was a small personal linen closet. In the corner of that wall, a door opened to a closet that had a lazy-susan type rack for hanging clothes. A closet with louvered doors ran the width of the room. On the other end of the room, a large picture window looked over a meadow behind the house.
The house also had a finished basement with a paneled and mirrored room for ballet, a laundry room, a powder room, and glass-sliding doors leading to an indoor, in-ground swimming pool. The architect had installed a central vacuum system, which did not work while we lived there. Although the house had a cute exterior fashioned after an English cottage, the interior had a cozy, warm feeling, filled with many unique features. It was truly one of a kind, and we were saddened to have to move when the architect decided to sell.