While in Seattle, I had a chance to take a stroll down memory lane and take some pictures of Jeni and my beginnings together.
The picture below is of the Cedar Park Apartments, our "home" for the first 6 months of our marriage. Located in Renton across the street from the cemetary where Jimi Hendrix is buried, these apartments were set up like hotels where the entry to "our" apartment was actually down a long, inside hallway. Our 1 bedroom apartment cost about $400 a month, deeply discounted at the time because of the double homicide that had occurred there just prior to our moving in. Yes, I knew about the homicide. No, I didn't tell Jeni about it until after we left. Such was our communication in the early part of our marriage. Other fond memories while living there included Jeni being followed home from the grocery store by a strange man, witnessing several drug deals in the halls, watching séances and rock bands play on top of Jimi's grave, and continually smelling a strange odor from the door across the hall. 6 months came none too soon!
Pregnant with Maddy, we moved to Auburn to a wonderful apartment by the Green River. Yes, I knew about the Green River killer. No, I did not tell Jeni about him. This 2 bedroom apartment cost us in the $500's. To afford that enormous expense, Jeni and I did a morning paper-route at 2am, I then taught an early morning Seminary class, took the bus to UW in Seattle, taught two more Seminary classes after coming home, and then drove pizza at night for Dominos. Those were difficult times but we created so many memories. Some of those included Maddy's birth, a huge flood thanks to the river, buying a couch from Goodwill that smelled like cat urine and me trying to wash the cushions (with no success - a complete waste of $20), Jeni being approached by a man in Kent at 3am asking if she was "waiting for Diamond," and helping the downstairs neighbor find her car at the park and ride after her drunk husband was taken away by the police late one night for not being very nice. Below is the picture of our place there, where we lived for a year before moving to Utah.
Then, we lived like any other newlyweds would, somewhat naive, madly in love, and trying to find the best in each day. Now, 14 years later, we're still somewhat naive trying to raise a teenager and a pre-teen, still madly in love, and still trying to find the best in each day. Its amazing how times are so different and yet so much the same.