Any couple that's been together for very long will tell you that there are easy seasons and difficult seasons in a relationship. I'm hesitant to say bad because it's the difficult times that make the easier times so valuable. It's also the difficult times that grow you as a person and as a couple. In the 10 years that Aleah and I have been together we've definitely had some difficult seasons. Some of them are the kind of difficult where we were glad to have made it though and we really don't care to discuss it again. Others though are like our first apartment.
I guess I should start this story by telling you that this apartment was never supposed to be our apartment. It was supposed to be my apartment that I shared with a couple guy friends, and then, when the time came, we would find a better place together. Unfortunately though life got in the way and when the time came the guys moved out and Aleah moved in. It really was just sorta dumb luck that we found the apartment in the first place. It was the March before our last semester in college and the weather had just stopped being terrible. Aleah and I had been hanging out at the park (where I proposed) and needed to run to Walgreens before heading back to campus. I had a hunch that the fastest route from the park to Walgreens was via one of the streets I had unintentionally ended up on on the night I proposed. We headed for Walgreens and as we were driving I pointed out all the wrong directions I had driven the previous September. I turn onto a side street and point out the house (it was a duplex but I didn't know that at the time) I had paused at on the day. This time though there was a for rent sign in the front yard. Since I had been having absolutely zero luck in my apartment search I dialed the number. The landlord answered, said the side door was unlocked (this should have been a clue), and to let ourselves in. My biggest complaint about the other apartments we'd looked at was that they had no space, no character, and no light. This was the exact opposite. This was a 1920's two story house that had been converted into a duplex with one apartment upstairs and one down. We walked into that upstairs apartment and I was immediately sold. It had loads of character, an open floor plan, a big yard, a great deck, and two entire walls of windows in the living room. Even better the rent was super cheap. I was sold and this was going to be the best apartment on the face of the Earth! HA!
The rest of that semester in that apartment is still one of the times in our relationship I look back on with the most fondness. As if having a new apartment wasn't enough I added a new puppy to the mix. One of my favorite memories is of us being up at 6am to let Zoe (the puppy) out and then sitting on our couch (morning sun streaming through the windows) eating breakfast, talking, and doing our homework before our 8am class. The apartment wasn't without it's quirks though. Our breaker box for example was in the downstairs apartment. Which isn't really an issue until you trip the breaker trying to make pizza at 3am and have to wake up the neighbors. We only had two kitchen cabinets. Not a problem for a group of guys who only had one spoon between them. For a young married couple with all of the newlywed kitchen gadgets people love to give your as wedding gifts it was a problem. Another fun fact about the apartment is that there was a washer hookup in the downstairs laundry room for each apartment but only one drain. before you could wash clothes you had to make sure it was your washer plugged into the drain. It was bad to forget that step.
As the months rolled by though the quirks had given way to monthly calls to the plumber, adventures in falling through the deck, and almost weekly visits from the building inspector who was on a mission to condemn the building. Apparently there is some sort of code you have to follow when building houses and our landlord didn't. Who knew? (JK, I'm definitely aware of building codes and the possibilities were a little frightening) They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. By the time we moved to Memphis we were Titans man. Although I wouldn't move back into our first apartment if you paid me I am glad that nothing fazes us anymore when it comes to small household disasters. That's a really good thing too because one of my biggest talents is flooding our house from the top down.
Sometimes though it'd be really nice to go back to that sunny living room, sit on the couch, and do homework for a couple of hours.
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