Adventures of a Modern Day, Middle-Aged Hero, on the Glory Road(to family security)


Ah...apartment life

Like I'm guessing is the case for most newly married couples, my wife and I began our married lives in an apartment.  In our case, it was a two bedroom apartment in Poulsbo, Washington that could best be described as 'exquisitely functional'  This was not 'luxury apartment living'.  Our stove was avocado green.  There was no pool.  But, for just my beautiful young wife and I, it worked.  Heck, the Navy was even paying me well enough that we were able to upgrade from 1 bedroom to 2nd bedroom for use as a computer room/guest room.

Two year later, we moved down to Silverdale, with a beautiful baby girl, and actively working for a 2nd child, and upgraded to 1200SF three bedroom apartment.  2 years later we expanded again, buying our 1800SF house in Belfair.  Sparsely occupied at first, we swelled to fill that every nook and cranny of that house.

Now, fast forward to 2010.  Having accepted a job in the Tri-Cities, 250 miles from Belfair, we are faced with the reality of having to sell a house in a historically poor housing market, during the start of the Holiday series.  Faced with that financial...uncertainty, the wife and I decided that the right thing to do at first, was get a two bedroom apartment for us.  That would give the house 6 months or so to sell, and it would give us a  couple of solid months of financial data to decide what to do.  Hopefully the house sells, and we can look for a place out here.  If it doesn't it is still possible we will be looking for a house in the spring.  There are several older places on the market in the 130-155K range in Richland.  With a decent down payment, you are talking mortgage payments cheaper than what we are paying for our current apartment.

For the meantime though...we find our family of 4 smooshed back into a 950SF 2 bed room apartment.  Now instead of the 2nd bedroom being a computer/guest room, it is being shared by the girls(5 and 8).  No bunk beds...it is a decent sized 2nd bedroom, and so my wife has arranged things where there is enough floor space between the beds for the girls to play.  Possession wise, we did a pretty okay job of purging out some of our bigger things prior to the move(2nd couch, entertainment center, WAY too big computer desk, a couple of extra chairs and a scratched up book case).  It's the little things that are squeezing us out. 

When we got here, we still had two couches worth of throw pillows, for example.  We have several boxes worth of my wife's crafting and scrap-booking stuff, but we no longer have a craft nook for it all to go in.  I also found out that whoever originally decided to to rate my stack-on gun cabinet as a 16-gun cabinet must have painted used a couple of 3 foot long 1 X 4's to simulate guns.  Something straight up and down...with actual guns that have a significant drop between the top of the stock and the heel, the 9 long guns I have in there have have serious failure to get along issues. 

Back in the old house, our normal weekend morning routine involved me chasing the girls downstairs to the family room, while SWMBO slept in in, and I got breakfast ready.  This morning, I had to stop myself 3 times from telling the girls to go down stairs.  They are also having a difficult time adjusting to noise minimization.  Our younger daughter is a normal 5-year old girl.  She WAY more energy than both of her parents put together, and she likes jumping, dancing and pretending to bounce around like a butterfly.  Now that we are in a 2nd floor apartment, I have been trying to curtail this behavior.  She tries...but it is tough.  Heck, my life would be easier if I just let them bounce off the walls until someone complains...but we all know that isn't right.

I also never realized how horrible our cats litter box smelt.  In our old house, the bathroom off the master bedroom was The Cats Bathroom.  We left the window in there open all the time, and about once a week, or when we could smell it, we would clean her litter box.  In the much smaller not as nicely ventilated apartment, you can tell within 30 seconds when she has gone to the bathroom.  I scoop her box  in the morning, my wife does it during the day, and I do it again prior to bedtime.  It doesn't seem to matter.  Part of the problem is that she is getting older, and being a few teeth down we are giving her much more canned food than we used to.  The other part of the problem is she just STINKS.  Hadn't counted on it being THAT bad. 

SWMBO has been busy researching hand washing techniques as well as portable apartment sized washers and dryers.  From a quick glance though is looks like using a washer that only allows for 1 pair of jeans or 4 or 5 shirts at a time might be the right answer either.  Is doing mini load after min load 16 hours a day really less convenient than having to go up an down a few stairs?

Time will tell.  I just know I a NOT going to wear my underwear inside out also as a means to reduce the laundry loads. 


  1. Have you tried a covered litter box?

    Listen to your realtor. Give it a couple of weeks into January, and if you don't get any nibbles, lower the price. Get it sold so YOU can take advantage of the buyers' market. It sounds like you may have some wiggle room. Good luck.

    The girls will be fine. It's an early lesson in courtesy and cooperation, and when they have their own space again, they'll really appreciate it.

    Tell the guns to mind their manners.

  2. Thanks for the advise, but the sad thing is we are already using a covered box. There are many factors in place...as I stated, it was only in the last two months that we shifted her from 90% dry to 90% canned...that made a noticeable difference even in our larger house.

    Also, she is old and lazy, and a lot of times she makes very minimal efforts to cover her deposited material in the litter box.

    Your advice matches what our agent said...We'll see what happens in our market early in the new year, and reevaluate our price in February. I DO have the wiggle room, especially because the relocation package for my new job covers closing costs. It's just my own silly personal belief that having been in that house for over 6 years, I SHOULD be able to come out of it with at least a small profit.