note: Nolie’s month days are now all under the Nolie heading at the top of the page. I wanted to keep posting month days so I need a bigger space to do it!
Six years out of high school. Two years out of college. Zero years of working a living wage, career type of job.
Of all the friends on facebook from my graduating class about 10% of them have ‘real’ jobs and live in either houses/rentals. The other 90% work retail or are back in school and living with their parents. We didn’t graduate in a time where jobs were there for the taking, there was no guarantee for a career just because we had our diplomas in hand. However, when deciding to go to college all of us got the “career” and “guidance” adviser chats that urged us strongly to go to college, lest we become lazy high school grads who only wait tables and sell sweaters at the Gap. Except it didn’t really work out considering even jobs at The Gap are hard to come by in Bellingham. Each and (nearly)every barista has a degree and most of the time, the guy making your pita (at Pita Pit) is working on his second major. Basically, jobs are hard to come by.
Charlie has a degree in Math and a minor in Physics and minor in Philosophy. He currently is a handyman/ change an ungodly amount of light bulbs at our church and then stocks shelves at Walmart on the weekends. . . and takes shifts here and there at his Fire Station because he is volunteer (paid a little, actually) firefighter. We (he) does whatever it takes to make ends meet. We are on the long path to Charlie eventually, hopefully, becoming a full time paid Firefighter. The average amount of time it takes from academy completion to full time paid position is five years. We are in year two. He applies to every opening in WA that we can find. But still we are realistic and know that we could be doing this for years and years. Over the past two years we have saved money here and there to spend on big things but we haven’t ever even dreamed of saving for a house. Because. . . what is the point in putting the three extra dollars a month you have into an account that needs to get to $50,000 before it matters- drop in the bucket doesn’t even begin to cover that.
But we have decided to get serious. We opened up a “house” account and are putting whatever we can into it. It helped to have a fat tax return to start it off! All that aside, we know that a house is a far away, if ever, dream and so we work hard to make anywhere we live into a home. I have moved every year for the past six years. . . and each year I make a new home.
Within hours of moving in I have the kitchen organized and unpacked (thanks in no small part to my incredible Mom who goes with me on the crazy train of my unpacking tendencies). I have pictures on the wall and flowers on the table. I don’t hesitate to get comfortable and try to make our space cozy from day one. I decorate for each holiday (currently there are heart garlands and doilies everywhere) and screw things into the wall (Spackle isn’t that pricey). By the end of day two living in any new apartment/duplex we have our place looking like we have been there for years.
But, more than that we focus on making it our home. Not just with our pictures and decoration but with our experiences. Rolling around on the floor with Nolie. Baking cookies and stirring soup on the stove. Playing peekaboo behind the curtains. Each new rental with it’s old smells and stained carpet becomes home, quickly, because we try and work and effort it into a space that is only ours. At least till that lease is up.
SO even if we never have enough money for a down payment. Even if Charlie never gets a living wage paying job and we live from rental to rental we have this little account that is building a dream. And in the meantime we will put up chalkboards and pictures, bunting and knickknacks and make any little space into our own family home.