On Moving – Part 1

So it’s been a week of a lot of exercise, as well as reflection on all the moves in my life. the earliest I remember is the house on Staten Island, kind of a mansion to this five-year-old. The reality when I saw the address again when I was in college was that the house seemed so small. 214 Demarest. Great back yard, balcony stairs, a cool basement with a coal bin, an attic, and a butler’s pantry. There was a great tree in the back yard – actually two trees, because my dad put up a  hammock. I remember a small store about a block away, and I was able to walk to first grade. I have one picture of this house, but the rooms live on in interesting dreams.

The place I consider my home, where we lived for ten years, was Stratford, New Jersey. We moved in first grade (good ole Mrs. Ross), and we moved again the beginning of my junior year in high school. Tough time to have to change schools. My most favorite – and influential teacher – was during those years: my Latin teacher, Joan Daniels. I loved everything about Sterling High School: band, drama, orchestra, Latin. Lots of school buddies now on Facebook. I was a nerd, and I was bullied, but I consider that place home. I also dream about the house. My folks bought the lot next store – I remember my mother mowing the yard. They wanted to keep the town from paving through the woods behind the house. My grandmother had quite the green thumb – loads of trees and bushes.

If we get east the end of this summer, I really want to stop and see the house. The trees have so grown, and the lot is still protected. Lots of dreams…..redone downstairs, my dad’s workshop, my bedroom upstairs, a small kitchen, the swings in the back yard, and the wonderful woods with the stream, but I was never allowed to go in the woods – “girls didn’t do that.” Wow. I can check property values. My folks paid $8,000 when they bought the house in the 50s. It’s over $150,000.

Sterling will always be my high school, even though I wasn’t able to graduate with that class.

From there the move was to Glens Falls, NY, which for two years I disliked tremendously. It’s really hard changing schools. It was a nice house. It was a long walk home from school, under what is the Northway. I used to enjoy walking downtown from the high school, but I never really fit in. I bumped the doctor’s daughter from the top five in our graduating class, which was not the best thing to do to be popular. And I never really had a chance to walk around the reservoir and explore. We didn’t live in the city itself, so that also set me apart.

I loved college

I loved college, and in my senior year the family moved to Vermont, and I had to set up residence in Oneonta, NY, in order to maintain my state scholarships. Two years in the dorms, and two years in two different sorority houses. I student taught at the high school. I’ve often thought I should have moved back to either Stratford or Oneonta. Hartwick College is on a hillside, and the picture below was taken in autumn, one of the most beautiful times at the college. I loved the place – it was so perfect for who I was at the time.

There’s been a lot of growth since 1970. I’ve been back once, and again, if we head east, we’ll definitely make that a stop.

My folks lived in Northfield, Vermont, and it was a nice house. Northfield was typical Vermont, and since I was only spending summers there, I was definitely an outsider. I do have some memories of the house, particularly the porches and my going-away party when my sorority sisters came to Vermont. It was interesting trying to find a place to go drinking the Saturday night they were visiting!

From that point, I think the moves on my own really began to increase. My first teaching job in on the island of Maui, and I moved a lot. When I arrived on the island, I was taken to one of the teacher cottages, up in Paia. These were small cottages on the grounds of elementary schools. This exploring through Google Earth is really pretty amazing……you kind of “fly” from one place to another. It’s pretty cool to see an aerial view of Maui.

The teacher cottages were unique, held together by termites, and if you took a sick day, the kids were looking into your bedroom windows. I had my first experience with cane spiders.  I just checked on Google and found that the elementary school is now on the list of Historic Places….and the teacher cottages were torn down. I would love to have had a picture of those.

“The first enrollment at this new site was between 150-200 students. Due to the increase in enrollment from 1914-1924, 14 more wooden classrooms were built, of which, only two remain. Several teachers’ cottages were built during this time, but none remain today. Two were burned in1 918 and the remaining cottages were torn down in 1989 due to poor conditions. In the late 1920’s to 30’s, the school population increased to a high of 1,300 students with 43 teachers. This was about the time most of the existing buildings were erected, including the first model cottage built on Maui for housekeeping training built in 1928.”

And we had rent of $17 a month! This is a sample, but this place looks to be in far better shape than what I remember! Three bedrooms, a “kitchen,” and definitely a new roof….. but I don’t remember ever really cooking anything……

From there I moved into Kahului, with two other teachers, back to the teacher cottage when my folks came to visit, and then into an apartment in Wailuku, all in my first year of teaching. I was able to move all my belongings in one trip in my white Volkswagon Beetle. The second and third years I lived in a house outside of Wailuku (Waikapu) with another teacher – again, held together with termites. Small kitchen, small shower and bath, with a garage that had been made into a living room. I do wish I had pictures of some of these places! I dream about this place a lot. It was on the road to Lahaina, up from Kihei, and I have very fond memories of the two years there. Waikapu used to be just a few houses. When we went back to Maui in 1996, there was a lot of growth of new homes from all those cane fields.

So after the first year, I pretty much stayed put until I moved back to Vermont, at the end of three years of teaching on Maui. Back in Vermont, I eventually got a job in the Chittenden East School District and moved into Richmond, in an apartment across the railroad tracks…..noisy, more so than the apartment on Maui that would have the 6:30 AM flight from Honolulu come overhead. This apartment was a dump. It has since been totally redone, and it looks quite nice. I paid $20 a week in rent in 1973.

I met my new roommate, who became my best friend and maid of honor. We lived in Essex Junction, in a two-bedroom apartment, and we had a LOT of great parties to show for our three years together.

And then I got married, and the moves really started!!

Recent Posts