Saturday, September 8, 2012

Ten Years Ago Today....

Today is a special day; very special.  On this day, I did something really big, massive!  Ten years ago today - on this date - I moved out of my parents' house and into my town house I live in today.
The first time we inspected the place, it was was shown empty.  The carpets were white and clean and it felt very welcoming; much more welcoming than other places we'd been to.
I remember staying here - hanging out here - for about an hour to listen to the surroundings, on how noisy the place really was.  After all it's right next door to the Woodridge Fire Station - how noisy could that place get?  Well, we put in our application and waited... and I got the place.
Within weeks, I moved in.  Mum and Dad helped me and it only took 3 trips with their car and the trailer attached.  Not much when I think about it; but then, I didn't have much.  After all, I did live out of a spare room for two years; and I did have some things in storage facility to get too.  And by the end of the weekend, all my stuff was unpacked, the phone was connected and - by the end of the week - my address was redirected.  Yes, I was settled.

But over the next decade, I learned a lot of things about living alone.  I found people thought I was a bit of a doormat if I didn't stand up for myself.  Even if I stood on some toes, it got the message across that I wasn't to be stood on.  Strangely enough, I had people want to be friends with me.  And in a unit complex, it's good to have friends who will help you with things, but yet they're not so close they'll bug you.
I've seen my place go from a wreck to my own little castle.  The backyard was once full of weeds, yellow paper daisies, prickles and Scotch Thistles and now, it's not.  However, the yard underwent a lot of transformations before it came to the one it is now.  First, I just wanted a new lawn; and the caretaker we had then - Greg - helped me with that.  He took me out to Bunnings and even helped me out with transporting a bird bath home from a second-hand place in his truck.  Once the lawn was grown and looking good, I wanted to grow herbs and veggies; and I did!  Potatoes, carrots, zucchinis, tomatoes, capsicums, lettuce... all the good stuff!  I also grew herbs.  All kinds of herbs from Basil, oregano, sage, thyme and chilis too.  However, one by one, they all died because we had water restrictions and we weren't allowed to use our hoses.  So, there went my herb garden, and my dear green lawn until the rains came back; but it was too late.  My plants were all dead.  So, I decided to stick with plants that wouldn't die on me:  succulents.  And they were a big hit!  Since then, I've grown all kinds of them and in all kinds of pots around the yard.  However, due to some neighbours' kids being not so grown-up (as they were adults and acting their shoe size), I cleaned out my front garden completely and moved it to the safety of my back yard on a permanent basis.  My front garden is now due for a clean up, update and prune and I can't wait.

However, the interior of my house has improved markedly too.  I have seen huge changes here too.  It's a great thing to see so many things come and go in the decade I've been here.  I'm on my second fridge, third television, second stereo system, first turntable and third computer tower.  Wow!  That's a lot for ten years.  Over that time, my book collection has gone from around 100 books to over 1,000.  I moved it from the living room to my spare room - where I wasn't getting as many visitors as I thought I was going to get - and I transformed this room into a home office.  I went from owning just one bookcase to owning four.  My computer set-up is a permanent one and I no longer own a printer; as they shut down after a while.
My lounge room went from having a lawn chair and a plastic box in the middle of it to having a very comfortable lounge, coffee table and a large television to watch.  There's quite a few big pieces of furniture in the living room and each one is preloved.  I know the back-story to each piece, who owned it and where it came from; and one of them is a musical instrument.  I have Grandma's kitchen table too and my kitchen is well-established with all the things I'd ever need to cook - from a slow-cooker, rice cooker, a wok, pots and pans, 8 casserole dishes (of all shapes and sizes) to knives, equipment, spoons, wooden spoons, measuring cups and other things as well.  I have everything I need to be able to cook a good, decent meal from my very own kitchen.  So, who really needs to buy takeaway food?
But really, it's not the stuff inside the house that make my house my home. It's the history I have made with this place.  It's the art on the walls, it's the people I'm friends with around the complex, the yard I've cared for, my plants, my little budgie - who joined me in living here 7 years ago - and it's the times I've had in the walls of this place with family and friends.  My home is now my castle; and I'm proud to say it is because I've put so much effort into making my mark on it.  And as each year passes, I'll put another mark on this house's historical wall to show I once lived here.  But until that time comes, this place is my home.  So, celebrate with me this day of my 10th year of living at my townhouse; with all its ups and downs, problems and resolutions, joys and sadness... it's my home I come to when the day comes to an end.  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember I'm always here.

Ten Years On  

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