Special Message

This blog is dedicated to every woman, and especially horsewomen, who started their motherhood journey a little later than most. If you feel like your story is a theatrical event and you've just begun the 2nd act, then this blog is for you. This blog will communicate what I have learned from growing up a suburban latch key kid, to marrying a cowboy-at-heart, to relocating and raising our daughter in the heart of Rocky Mountain country.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

From House to House, part 1

We have changed residences twelve different times since getting married in January of 1997. Let me repeat that...twelve times in seventeen years. During one 2-year stretch alone we moved six times.  I don't recommend this to anyone.  It sucks - pardon my lack of delicacy but that is the only accurate term.  We have lost friendships because of our moves.  No one has deliberately written us off (or at least I don't think they have).  I theorize some people just couldn't keep up. Most of those years were, after all, pre-Facebook, pre-Twitter, pre-social media of any kind that let us to know instantly that GOOP and Chris Martin had "consciously uncoupled." We did have email, and online chat if we plugged our computers into a phone line and waited for the dialtone.  We had never even heard of a "U-S-B cord."  The late '90s were a different time, kids.  A simpler time, when nobody (gasp!) had heard of sexting, let alone did it while driving.  I'm old, remember?

Twelve times we moved, eleven times within one state.  Colorado.  It is my hands-down favorite state of all those I have visited (my current count is 31).  I advertise it as "the only place I know where I can roller blade in January and snow ski in June (other than the southern hemisphere, obviously)."  If you haven't gotten a chance to go there yet I highly suggest you put it on your bucket list.  Here's even a link to get you started:

Our first home was an adorable second story condo in Denver. We paid eight hundred dollars a month for seven hundred square feet and a one car detached garage.  I loved the place.


It had two bedrooms - the master was on the main floor in the back with a deck off to the right, and upstairs was a cute loft bedroom with its own little bath and a perfect landing for a large philodendron.  The living room had a twelve foot high vaulted ceiling and wonderful, east facing windows that drenched you with morning sun. 

We moved after only one year. 

A large part of the problem was trouble with some of the neighbors.  The guy who lived directly below us was an un-recovering alcoholic.  He would come home after the local bar closed and start playing music at obscene levels.  How can I describe what I mean by obscene?  Think "Achy Breaky Heart" on a split-your-eardrums sub-woofer with the volume knob buried (the song alone could be considered the obscene part, right?).  I am not exaggerating here, this guy was a serious piece of work.  Local law enforcement hated dealing with Achy so much that after the incident below the prosecuting attorney agreed to a plea deal, where the town would not pursue the charges if the guy would just leave.  Colorado.  Yeah, the whole state.

The really weird part about it was, in the daytime hours, he was the meekest, mildest, most helpful and generous man you could meet.  He was a particularly exasperating case of Jekyll and Hyde.  And he would remember at least part of his escapades each morning.  He would be so apologetic to us and his apologies seemed so sincere.  I imagine for any of you with a family member struggling with alcoholism or addiction, this behavior is all too familiar.  On one particular evening, the situation reached its boiling point.

2:20 am:  Here comes Achy Breaky Heart.  Oh, I forgot to mention...he would play just the one song over and over and over and over and - well, you get the idea.  Hubby gets up, puts on some jeans and goes downstairs to pound on Achy's door (not to be a jerk, but so Achy could actually hear the knocking over the noise music).  Noise Music stops.  Hubby comes back up stairs, takes off pants, climbs into bed.

2:38 am:  Achy Breaky Heart. Hubby repeats previous process.   Noise Music stops.  Hubby comes back to bed.

2:49 am:  Achy Breaky Heart...along with some choice descriptive words for hubby yelled above noise music.  Hubby repeats previous process.  No answer at door, but noise music stops.

2:56 am:  Achy Breaky Heart.  Choice words.  And the kicker - he starts threatening to kill us.  No joke.  I start going ballistic and quickly phone the police.  Hubby is just frustrated that he can't pull this weasel out of his hole and "beat him within an inch of his life" (his words, not mine - please understand, hubby's all cowboy, although I don't yet know what all that would entail.  Think John Wayne).  Dispatcher sends out a squad car.  Achy won't answer door for police.  Police call in backup.  Police knock on our door.  After we give our statements to the officer he gets set to leave, but before he does he tells us, "you both should probably go upstairs, just in case any bullets start to fly. We know he owns at least one gun."  Wait, what did he say?!?!

We looked out one of our east facing, sun loving windows and down in the yard are a dozen plus police officers surrounding the place, all with guns drawn and trained on Achy's windows and front door.


Thankfully, no gunfire was exchanged that night.  And no injuries reported on either side of the law, other than (I assume) one bruise in the shape of a kneecap, placed squarely in the middle of Achy's back. Achy was whisked away by his personal chauffeur service, the SWAT team members cleared out as silently as they arrived, and after our adrenaline finally subsided we enjoyed a peaceful, no, blissful night's sleep.