First Apartment

Our first year of married life was exciting in many ways. The usual excitement that engulfs a couple learning to live together was joined by some unusual events.

Our first home was a rented apartment. The apartments were constructed in a one- story building out of all an old barracks. The attic area was open all the way across above the apartments. Friends lived in an identical row of apartments with the backyards connecting. Someone figured out how to get in the attics. This person would drop down into an apartment leaving some small sign they had been there. One apartment had a hole in the wall where a doorknob was pushed through. We heard someone in the one next to us early one morning thinking our neighbors had returned early from a trip. They had not. The intruder had fixed breakfast and washed the dishes leaving them in the drainer. The only thing we ever noticed missing was Lloyd’s wedding ring. He wasn’t allowed to wear it to work so he put it in a dish on the TV by the front door. One day it wasn’t there when he returned from work. I had gone to do laundry most of the day. That combined with the fact I almost shot Lloyd when he came in early one night prompted Lloyd to fix the problem. He cut a three-quarter inch plywood board to fit over the attic opening to our apartment and nailed it every six inched with #8 galvanized nails. Years later, he worked with a guy who had to take that board off and couldn’t figure out what nut put it up there that way in the first place. Lloyd told him he was the one that put it up and why.

A few weeks later the little town had an escaped convict. Our friends came to get me to stay with them until Lloyd was home from work. He found the note we left for him and walked around to find out what all was going on. He met a young woman waving a 357 she had taken from a cop on his way. He talked her into letting him hold the gun while she told him what had happened. He calmed her down and waited until she went inside and locked the door. Dave, our friend, explained that he wouldn’t want his wife alone so they made me come over there. Lloyd was grateful.

We had another friend that lived in another town. Mike somehow had a magic nose that told him when I fixed beans, cornbread, and fried potatoes with onions. We wouldn’t see him in between, but on those days, he always showed up in time for supper. There wasn’t any pattern to it. We never figured out how he knew.

Lloyd’s older brother came to stay with us for a while. We had many adventures with him in the short time he was with us. He left when he joined the Navy.

We had no Christmas decorations when our first Christmas rolled around. Trees decorated in all one color were the fad at the time. We bought a box of green, a box of blue, and a box of blue and green mingled ornaments along with some tinsel and icicles. We cut down out Christmas tree. A few of the original ornaments have survived the years and still have a place on our tree.

We moved back to the town where my parents lived before a year was up. We never forgot our first little furnished apartment with few decorations. A picture of horses, a set of three blown glass blue swans, and a couple of picture frames we received at our shower was the sum total of our extras. We didn’t care. We were happy in our first home.

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