My First Apartment

I got to thinking about my first few years of college when feeling bad for my daughter on some days when her classes/schedules seem crazy and how it sucks that she has to walk every where.

Waaaaaayyyyy back in the late 70's I graduated from high school in a small town and moved to the big city of Spokane. My older brother and I went in search of an apartment for me, close to the community college I would be attending. I think my rent was a whopping $125.00 a month. Since I did not have a car for the first year, I had to walk there. No it's not a 5-mile-each-way story but it did suck even at 10 blocks. Walking in the dark on my way to a 7:00 am class and having a car splash me with cold frozen slush just added to my misery.

I lived alone, by choice. No car meant I had to walk to get any groceries (another 10 blocks each way) and had my choice of 2 different mini-marts; not the best choices of food. I could only buy as much as I could carry so that meant more trips throughout the week.

The basement apartment itself was not bad, one bedroom furnished. An older woman lived above me and was not very friendly. Once I overheard her call me 'Stupid Girl' because I was trying to cook a Cornish Game hen and never having done it before, I split it down the middle and broiled it. The smoke that ensued made me open my door and we shared the same entry, thus hearing her comment when she came home. I never got to know anyone else there, just kept busy with school and weekend parties. It was a small complex, about 6 units and I still remember the address. It used to be dark brown but still looks the same otherwise.

Those 2 little windows on the bottom were mine
I lived there during the time of Spokane's grip of fear caused by the South Hill Rapist. His name was Kevin Coe and his Dad was the managing editor of our local paper. He was actually in charge of a program to receive tips on the identity of the rapist. And then there was his Mom, who was charged with soliciting the murder of her son's prosecuting attorney and judge. If you're ever looking for a creepy read; Son: A Psychopath and his Victims, by the crime author, Jack Olsen. Although I didn't live anywhere close to the south hill, my Mom was still very worried about me, much like I worry about my daughter walking home from her last class. I was pretty naive though and didn't let a crazed rapist scare me. I'm older, slower, and smarter now.

I eventually got a car from my Dad during that year (he made me buy it from him), nice huh? It was a lemon but it helped out a lot and I got my first job at Zips. I got to buy real groceries and actually drove to school! I did like this apartment but moved to an upper duplex with Harold, my co-worker at Zips. I probably should have stayed here a few more years before I moved on to an even tougher world.

So I think all-in-all I had it a little harder than my daughter does now. When she comes home, I take her shopping and when she wants food, she has it delivered so she doesn't have to go out at night. Communication with the Parental Units is easier now too. I rarely talked to my parents during the week because I couldn't afford the long distance phone calls. And before I got the car I could only rely on friends who came from the same home town to get me there and back on weekends.

I probably won't feel as sorry for her now, knowing that the first couple years away from home is a rite of passage and tough for a reason. If I survived it, she will too.


Grumpy said…
Yep, rite of passage, although I wouldn't live in a basement apartment these days.
fernvalley01 said…
she will be fine , you raised her well, but worry it seems is a moms thing
Claire M. King said…
Great post. Don't listen to grumpy-I live in a basement apartment. I know I had these same stresses when my daughter moved across state for school then across the country for her career. It's emotional and exciting rolled together.

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