Every House Has Memories-The Early Years in California

One of my former coworkers (and friend) has an uncle who writes this wonderful blog about his life and the most recent post describes the home he grew up in that his mom recently moved out of this month and it reminded me so much of the fact that homes have histories and memories.  Sometimes, these houses are loved by one family but so often is the case, nowadays, homes will go through more than one family.  The blog’s author, David Stalling, is unsure of who will love the home he grew up in but he shares some of his fondest memories of his childhood home that I just wanted to share his story.  Here is the link if you want to read further into his home story:

David’s Blog

Reading his story reminded me of my own childhood.  I did not grow up in just one place.  I have lived in several places growing up and as an adult have continued on this journey.  It is my goal that in the next few years that we are established enough to purchase a home for my family and that my daughter can spend almost her entire childhood living in this one home.

Anyway, I wanted to give you some of my personal background so here are the places I have lived.  I will try to update the dates once I have verified them.  It’s been so long that I kind of have to remember this as best as I can.


I was born in 1984 in Rhode Island but I don’t know the places we lived at prior to my family’s  move to California.

I promise to post photos later as I get them; I still have a bunch of stuff in storage right now.  Sorry!

1540 B. Terrace Pine Lane, San Diego, California (1986 or 1987-1996)

1540 B. Terrace Pine Lane Kitchen

1540 B. Terrace Pine Lane, San Diego, CA

Zillow.com has listed this residence as a 3 bedroom, 1 and a half bathroom, 1,087 sq. foot condo built in 1979 that sold for $310,000 on 3/29/2006.  It has previously been sold for $95,000 in June of 2000.


I don’t know exactly when my parents moved our family into this place but my dad, mom, and three sisters lived here.  My dad, my stepfather, moved in with us in 1988; my biological father was barely a presence in my life when I was younger and hasn’t been part of my life for years now.  When you walked into the condo you had the living room on your left with the half bath along the back wall, the dining room was on the right and the kitchen was located back behind the dining room space.  Up the stairs you had the bathroom on your immediate right (access was also available from the Master bedroom), next door was for the Master bedroom, and you had the two remaining bedroom (one on your right) and the other directly on the opposite end of the upstairs hallway.

Looks like we were having a good time.

Living directly across from my parents’ home was our neighbors, Rosy (the mom), Tammy and Angie (her daughters) Livington.  And let me tell you if you want a neighbor who will feed you all the time, live next to an Italian family.  They were wonderful friends to my parents and an extended family for us as my parents’ families lived in South Dakota and Rhode Island.  They were quite an argumentative bunch but still wonderful people.  We had the chance one time to meet some of their relatives who came out from Italy for a visit.  My dad took us all out on a tour of one of the aircraft carriers and ended up leading us around a bit because the tour guide didn’t know the ship as well as my dad, who being in the Navy at the time, had his fair experience of being on aircraft carriers.

We ended up moving out of this place sometime after an individual(s) tried setting our shared garage on fire.  I remember my parents thinking the target was actually the old lady who served as landlord for the premises as her condo was located directly above the garage.

1176 Thalia St. ,Imperial Beach, CA (1996-1997)

Moving on up in the world.  Leaving the condo behind, my parents found this home in a safer neighborhood.  During the time that we lived here, my grandmother (my mom’s mother) moved in with us after my grandfather passed away.  I remember my grandmother having severe social anxiety during the early part of her staying with us; she used to have such bad panic attacks we couldn’t even get her to go into the grocery store with us.  It did make for a funny experience though when us girls bought her a Mother’s Day gift (if I remember correctly, also using her own money) and then getting back into the car “screaming” at her that she couldn’t turn around.

My sisters, Megan (the little one), Leslie (the other one), Jennifer (my twin), and I in our dining room.

This 1,305 sq. ft home built in 1976 was a single story home with a two car garage and a sizable backyard (5,223 sq ft lot) compared to the tiny patio at the condo.  It sold for $224,500 back in 2001 (data is from Homes.com).  Walking into the home you had the living room on your right and walking down a narrow hallway, you had the dining space on your immediate left and the kitchen on the far left of the home (entrance into the garage from this space).  On your right, you have the Master bedroom (I believe with its own bathroom).  Going down the hallway, you have the first space bedroom on the left (it became my grandmother’s room after she moved in), a bathroom on your right, and two bedrooms at the end of the hallway (one on each side).

My mom would do her dictation work for her job out in the garage; she had a remnant of carpet out there to make it more comfortable and would also do her workout routine out there, sometimes with us working out as well.  The woman who quickly became my mom’s best friend, Melissa, would come over frequently for their chats.  Her and her husband, Nick, had struggled with infertility when we meet them but over the course of a number of years, they ended up welcoming three daughters into their family.  Melissa’s family came out from the Philippines one summer and I remember thinking how crazy it was that her nieces were “freezing” in our hot California climate.  Now that I’m older and have realized that there ARE places hotter than California in the summer, my childhood perception seems very naive.

Mom in her favorite seat in the house; her day always started at the kitchen table.

Our neighbors became an even more crucial link in our extended family after my dad began to suffer from Pancreatitis.  The problem became so severe that my dad was forced to be medically separated from the Navy.

Another tangent, if you don’t mind because it’s a great story, is that I was in the middle of my eighth grade year when we left here.  My older sister, my twin, and I had been going to school in the Coronado School District.  Since we were outside the school boundaries, my parents were paying to “rent” an apartment (really a room in an apartment) in Coronado to use as our address to go to school there.  I loved the experience, for the most part.  Coronado Middle School was in a beautiful location and I ran into a girl that I used to know at Nicoloff Elementary School.  It was the strangest thing but cool nonetheless.  My twin became friends with a bunch of girls, who quickly became my friends as well and we have a great experience, for once, having a shared group of people that got along with both of us.

With us living outside of the school boundaries, we rarely did anything after school in Coronado unless it had to deal with school projects, dances, and the occasional sleepover.  I never had someone come to our home because we didn’t actually live in Coronado.  My mom would drive my sisters and I to school out there and it was such a neat experience; we’d typically stop at Vons and get those glazed individually wrapped cinnamon buns that are incredibly horrible for you to eat.  Haha.  I am still tempted by their deliciousness.

Spreckels Park (photo courtesy of City of Coronado’s website)

Coronado will always be a place of memories for me.  It was such a good experience . I loved getting to visit Spreckels Park.  I loved how my sixth grade science teacher had baby chicks in her classroom.  I did so many unique homework and classroom assignments.  It was during this time period that Dolly the Sheep was cloned (I got the second highest grade in my class on my project for this subject). One of my teachers taught us about slavery but taping a section on her classroom floor and making us squeeze ourselves in that section as best as possible to represent the tight quarters slaves had to endured.  We wore Physical Education uniforms; they consisted of a heather grey shirt with the school’s name and a blocked off section to write our names (no way for someone to steal your uniform and wear it as their own!) and blue shorts, also with a name label spot.  We read A Thousand Paper Cranes to learn about the aftermath of the bombing Japan.  One of my classmates wrote a story for an assignment about a man who was illiterate that I still remember quite vividly.  I had two classmates with names I absolutely love-Thalia (Ta-Lee-A although I’ve seen it with the “H” being pronounced) and Xochitl (S-oh-cheel).  I have so many memories of the people I knew then but I am not sure if those people remember me from that short period of time they were a part of my life.

Anyways, onward to Rhode Island. See you in the next blog entry.


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