We moved into our first apartment in October of 2001. We were 23. We had previously lived with my mother-in-law after graduation, but I found a job as a marketing assistant for a small publishing company in Woodstock, VT, and the commute from Newport would have been too long, especially in winter.
The apartment was in Enfield, NH, a quiet little bedroom town in the Upper Valley. Inside a big old yellow building with five other apartments in it, it was not pretty. But it was a spacious 1-bedroom for $525 a month, and that was exactly what we needed.
It was not designed with short people in mind. All the cabinets and closet shelves were too high up for me to reach without a stool. I climbed the kitchen counters to get into the cupboards. It had the definite smell of old house.
The kitchen was large and yellow and had only one sink. No dishwasher. The living room was green and housed our television as well as our desktop, as there were not enough rooms to make a den for the computer. We had dial-up internet. Carpeting was an ugly color but clean. The nicest room was probably the bedroom, with two windows and neutral-colored walls. We had no furniture to put there, though, and lived out of purple plastic totes for a while.
If there was a ghetto in Enfield, NH, we were in it. Other, similarly run down and condemned buildings lined our street. A short walk down the road led to George’s General Store, an underpass, and beautiful Mascoma Lake, complete with small public beach.
Was it our dream home? No. Did we love it? Absolutely. We had our first Christmas as a married couple there, our first anniversary. We’d walk down to George’s for beer and snacks. We ate the best (and cheapest) pizza at EHOP. We’d visit Hanover and West Lebanon on weekends. We had friends over to play cards and Game Cube. There was an amazing breakfast place right around the corner. We made so many memories there. We adored our weird little apartment.
Unfortunately, we didn’t live there long. We were out by March 2002. They were supposed to tear down the bridge next to it, and as a result, everyone in our building had to be evicted. Interestingly, they then tore down the wrong bridge!
Our next apartment was not as great as the first one. We had flooding, mold, and Louis got fleas from the landlord’s cats. Needless to say, we weren’t there long, either. But now when we visit the Upper Valley, we always make Enfield part of the trip, and we’ve agreed that someday, when we’re rich, we’ll buy that old building and live in it again, ugly carpets and all.