Today’s post is from Clyde

I have been sketching from old photos, which has been interesting. Learned a few things, had some catharsis, wasted some time. Made me think about all the places I have lived.

1. Sebeka, in home my parents built, still standing, much changed. (44-45)

2. Superior National Forest, dozen miles north of Isabella, a shack torn down long long ago. (45-48)

3. Two Harbors, the farm. All buildings now gone. (48-63)

4. Chicago, dormitory. (63-64)

5. Chicago, apartment in old house. (64)

6. Minneapolis, apartment building very near U hospital, replaced by medical building. (65)

7. Minneapolis, apartment building, now I-35W. (65)

8. Minneapolis, apartment in old house, now I-35W. (65-66)

9. St. Paul, apartment building, Marshall Ave. east of Snelling. (66)

10. Minneapolis, Prospect Part, apartment in old house. (66-68)

11. Lindstrom, apartment in old house. (68-69)

12. Two Harbors, house on North Shore, header photo. (69-97)

13. North Mankato, century-old house, which we updated. (97-07)

14. Mankato. association home, worst place for us to live. (07-10)

15. Mankato, current apartment, from which I think I need to move.

Is 15 above the average for 77 years?

This is our house, or shack, over my shoulder, north of Isabella. I was an industrious thumb-sucker until age 4.5 when I announced I was done. And I was. My father and uncle, back from the war and a angry at the world, my uncle having spent more than two years in a stalag, took jobs in a logging camp. This was a trial for my mother, the bugs, the dirt, the cold in the winter. And her mother with twin teenage boys lived next door; my grandmother was my mother’s trial in life. It was a trial for me, but I have no memory of it. My uncle’s two daughters were nasty to me, have been nasty and miserable all their lives. I never crawled because they would not let me. Are they still alive? No idea.

This was the farmhouse, again behind me. It was not a promising place, but my father rebuilt, wired, plumbed, added on. Re-sided, with asbestos siding in fact. But it was at the upper reaches of poverty, which never seemed that way at all. There is a hint of the poverty and my mother’s frugality, if you look carefully.

How many places have you lived? Any stand out for you?

43 thoughts on “Peripatetia”

  1. Fifteen residences in 66+ years. Not many standouts other than the house we live in now. I love it and have lived here the longest by far of any other residence. Suffered through a couple of dumps in Dinkytown during college.

    However, if you count city, state, and national park campgrounds, travel trailer trips, and BWCA primitive campsites, that number shoots to well over 100. All very temporary, indeed. And the standouts are too numerous to mention.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Nine residences in 69 years. This includes 3 college dorms and 2 shabby apartments while in college. I have been in my current place since 1982 with no plans to leave unless I can no longer climb stairs (it’s a 2nd floor walkup, which helps keep me in shape). None of the residences themselves stand out but the house I grew up in was on a triple (small town) lot so our yard was huge. It was the neighborhood softball diamond, badminton court, etc. The one downside was that it took a l-o-n-g time to mow – couldn’t do it on one tank of gas.

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      1. The skating rink was only a couple small town blocks from our house. The roads rarely got plowed down to the pavements we could skate to and from the rink.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. Thirteen places, if you count the apartment near Loring Park where we lived when I was a baby (I don’t remember it) and the dormitory I lived in when I first began college at the U of Minn.

    The house I grew up in, from about 1950 to 1964, was put on rollers and moved somewhere so it may still stand but I don’t know where. That gives it a somewhat ghostly quality. My first apartment on the West Bank near the campus, dumpy though it unavoidably was, nevertheless was glorious in that I made lifelong friends there, met and ultimately cohabited with Robin up until our wedding. That time and place was, for me, an inflection point.

    Until we bought our first house, in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis in 1975, we lived in a series of rented spaces: a basement apartment in the suburbs, a house in the town of Isanti, where we commuted daily through the winter into Minneapolis and where our sceptic system froze, an acquaintance’s cabin in the north exurbs, where we almost froze, half of a house near Chicago and 28th, which still looks exactly the way it did when we lived there.

    We lived for about 20 years in a house in Crystal, on the edge of Robbinsdale. In that time we made many modifications to the house but never really warmed to the neighborhood. The house that followed was in many ways our dream home, with plenty of space, an open floor plan, a large modern kitchen, and gardens that led down to a pond. Unfortunately, the economic downturn of the 2000s led us to decide to downsize a bit, which brings us to where we are now.

    We contemplate our possible next moves but at this point Robin has filled the second floor space with her studio and her projects and I have my thousands of books which I am not ready to disperse, so as long as our health holds we’ll stay where we are.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Bill, when did you live in Isanti? I grew up there. And where exactly was the house? Mine was 2 blocks directly south of the Lutheran church. We moved there in 1955 and I left permanently in 1975.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This would have been in the early ‘70s We were in a little house. On one side was a neighbor named Hillgart, I think. He was an airplane mechanic, I think, and drunk a lot. On the other side and oriented perpendicularly to our little house was the Mayor of Isanti at that time (I think), named (if I recall) Miller. We weren’t there a full year and it was half a century ago.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Bill, Margaret Hilgart was a classmate of mine. And yes, her father did have drinking issues. O.J. (Sunny) Miller was mayor for quite a few years. The creamery used to be run by a good friend of my parents but by the early 70s his family moved to Belle Plaine. The Creamery now has a restaurant – not sure what else occupies the property. My folks moved in 1988 and I am rarely back there. The town has grown so much, I barely recognize it.

          Liked by 4 people

        2. I love these little connections. My brother related a story tonight: he and his wife and another couple went out for pizza in a small town. A waitress asked if he played 4H softball, then told him his name. She knew other ball players. He said it’s been 50 years! She said she was good with names. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

  4. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I count 19 in 68 years. A lot of that was my parents circumstances and choices in response to that—after my grandmother became ill, parents and grandfather sold the farm to pay for her treatment, which in turn launched a lot of moving around as they adapted to a different life than they planned. After I moved back to the Twin Cities following grad school, my own moving slowed down a lot.

    We have been in our house in EP for 25 years. Before that we were in our townhouse for 7 years. We have tried to adapt the house to the needs of senior living, but at some point I am sure we will transition to a downsized life.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Places lived (not always the sameapartment/house/dorm):    Born in  St. James MN, moved to Willmar, back to St. James during the war while my father was in the army. Back to Willmar after the war then to Cloquet ;1948-1960; school in Boulder  CO (2 years in a dorm, 2 years in a boarding house); First year teaching in Port Angeles WA then off to Europe with 5-6 months in Switzerland; back to Port Angeles for a summer then Seattle then Bellingham. Second year teaching in Leadville CO where I lived in a cabin, old houses with friends, a summer-fall in Cape Cod MA, back to Leadville, summer working in Yellowstone, back to Leadville then in 1974 moved to a farm in Mahtowa MN where I still live. 

    Thank you for this new way to share my comments. Cynthia in Mahtowa “Life is a shifting carpet…learn to dance.”

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Thirteen, counting the dorm at Concordia. We are renovating a couple of bathrooms this fall to start the process of getting our home ready to sell in the next 5 years or so. I retire in 2.5 years. We started to cull our books, and there are lots of things that need to be rehomed. We still are thinking of moving back to Luverne. We shall see what happens.

    I lived in at least 4 places in the US and Canada that were within one block of Highway 75 “The Pine to Palm Highway”. Once you are in Canada it is called Pembina Highway. The oddest place I lived was in Moorhead in an old railroad workers boarding house that had been converted into apartments. The name “Twickinham” was emblazoned on the front door. We were a couple of blocks from downtown Moorhead, where the train tracks are, and whenever a train went through, the whole building shook. My roommate and I said it was the ghosts of old railroad workers wanting to get on the train.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. About a dozen. I have no memory of the Air Force bases. The early childhood home “down in the hollow” Moorhead was most memorable. Tons of poor kids playing in forts. Prone to flooding and finally completely destroyed in the early 60’s. Moved a few blocks up the hill closer to school. Still got to go down “in the hollow”.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. Far as I know, my birth mother was living on the family farm when I was born. My adoptive parents were in an apartment in West St Paul when they first got me; it was an adults-only complex (legal in the early 70s, apparently), so they were forced to move and bought the house in Cottage Grove. Assuming college counts, then one apartment and one dorm room. After that two apartments, one in Lowertown St Paul (noisy!), one on Franklin in Minneapolis (dangerous!), and now the duplex in South Minneapolis with my roommate, where we’ve been since 2008. That makes 8, and as I hate moving I hope we don’t have to do it again for a very long time.

    Liked by 7 people

  9. 17. We moved quite a bit when I was a kid which meant many changes of school; if you can say I had any trauma growing up, this would be it. I made the decision early on in YA’s life that we would stay put. So we have been here her whole life and darn near half of mine!

    Liked by 4 people

  10. I guess it’s about 15 or 16 places in 63 years, depending on whether you count staying with a friend’s sister’s family for a few months, or the dormitory at St. Olaf, Melby Hall. I do remember living in Commonwealth Terrace in St. Paul when my dad was finishing dental school. I was an infant to three years old. I remember specific things about that apartment such as the bare linoleum floor, the general layout of the apartment, the neighbors including a boy named Eric and a girl named Radika. There was also a baby sitter who threw me roughly into my crib once after Eric and I tore up some foam pillows. It made the mobile above my bed swing. I don’t think I was hurt, just surprised. But I remember it. I told my mom about it many years later. I know it’s weird that I can remember these things. Also, I remember my parents asking me to tell people what my dad’s name was. “Dr. William G. Wilkowske,” I would answer. And they would all laugh.

    My family lived in two homes in Owatonna by the time I was 12. During that entire time we had a summer cabin on Cannon Lake, near Faribault. Dad had the old cabin picked up and rolled away and he built a permanent home there. I lived there until I was 18, then I went to St. Olaf.

    I lived in a number of apartments and various friends’ homes after St. Olaf and when I was taking nurses’ training. I had some unsettled years between 1980 and 1986 and I moved around a bit. I moved to a rural home northwest of Montgomery in 1986 and lived with Morgan until 1991. Then I moved back to Northfield, where I lived first in an apartment on Plum Street, then another on Ensley Avenue. I bought my first house in Faribault in 1993, sold it in 1999, and bought a house in Waterville, where I lived until 2016. I finally sold it and moved back to Northfield, where I am now. The only move I can imagine making now would be to a home in Duluth or the North Shore but I’m comfortable here for now.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I guess it’s a condo. I’m not sure of the difference either. I’m part of a homeowner’s association or HOA. Lots of finicky rules and neighbors.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. I haven’t moved. There was the old house and we moved over to the shed for the summer while the new house was built. Then I moved from the room in the basement to the master bedroom when we got married.

    Does that count as 1 place or 2? Or three bedrooms?

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Kelly had two apartments before we met. So her childhood home, aunt Ruth and Uncles Bill’s while in college, then the apartments, then here. So five for her.

        Clyde, I enjoyed this story and the drawing and photos. Nicely done!

        Liked by 3 people

  12. Including the apartment we lived in in Newcastle upon Tyne when I was born (which I don’t remember), I have lived in 28 different places in 79 years. Two apartments in Newcastle, interrupted by a six month’s stay with my Granny in Drogheda, Ireland where my sister was born.

    After the war we moved to Stubbekøbing, Denmark where we lived in the house I still think of as my childhood home, until my parents sold it in 1955. We lived about six months in a rented apartment in Stubbekøbing before moving to a bungalow in Lyngby (suburb of Copenhagen) in 1956. I lived there – with a six month intermission where I lived with, and worked for, a family in Virum – until I left for Basel, Switzerland on May 1, 1961. I was there, one year.

    I returned to Copenhagen at the end of May 1962. Rented a room in an old mansion in Hellerup (an old, upscale suburb of Copenhagen), and lived there until I went to Moscow in early 1964. In Moscow I lived in three different apartments in three different neighborhoods, including  three months at the US embassy during my eleven month stay.

    Back in Copenhagen in January of 1965, I rented a room from an old lady in Valby before heading off to Søndrestrømfjord, Greenland. There, my job furnished me with a tiny room in the air port hotel (overlooking the runway!), where I lived until it immigrated to the US at the end of November.

    In the US, I lived in two different apartments in Cheyenne, Wyoming from December, 1965 to February, 1968 – one in the basement of an old house, the other a nice townhome. I lived in two different locations on Long Island between March of 1968 and August of 1968 when we moved to Carbondale to attend school. We lived in two different apartments in Carbondale, IL until July of 1972. One lasted only three months. It was a pretty modern, non-descript apartment in a complex overlooking a waste water/sewage plant on the outskirts of town. From there we moved into an old house near campus that had been divied up into student apartments. Most of our housemates were Thai, with a single male from Iran, and a couple a American students. Fun place to live, in a wonderful neighborhood. Have great memories from there.

    I have lived in the Twin Cities since then. Initially in an apartment in New Brighton, then a rented house across the street from Minnehaha Park. When my first marriage fell apart in 1973, I moved into an apartment on Grand Ave. in St. Paul. From there to an apartment in a grand, old mansion on St. Paul’s West Side.I loved that apartment and neighborhood, as well as the small group of people who lived there. Three memorable years of my life. When owner of that mansion decided to turn it back into a one-family dwelling, I had to move again.

    I spent a few months renting a room from a Danish friend in Minneapolis, before moving into a fourplex on Dayton Ave. in St. Paul. A year and a half later, when those apartments were turned into condos, I bought the house where I now live in 1979. In 1986 we bought another house in Inver Grove Heights. We lived there six years, but moved back to the house on Sidney St. when I quit my job at the law firm. I’m about ready for a one level condominium within the next year or two, I think.

    Liked by 3 people

        1. The language spoken in Basel is a Low Alemannic dialect known as Sweitzerdeutsch. I was reasonably fluent in both German and English when I went there, so language wasn’t a major obstacle. In a matter of months I understood the dialect and could even speak it. Most of my coworkers at the hospital, however, were Italian, and most of them spoke only Italian, so I took a three month course in Italian in order to be able to communicate with them. I never achieved any kind of fluency, but knew enough to understand them and make myself understood as well. I’ve always found it easier to read and understand a language than to actually speak it.

          As you might recall, I rode my bicycle home from Switzerland and stayed in youth hostels along the way. There I met young people from all over the world speaking many different languages, and that inspired me to sign up for a few private lessons in Russian when I returned to Copenhagen. I should probably add that at the time, I had never considered the possibility that I might some day visit the Soviet Union, let alone find a job there. Again, I never became fluent in Russian, but I learned the alphabet and could spell my way through street signs, directional signs on public transportation. That enabled me to get around, go shopping, visit museums and theaters, and generally explore on my own once I got there.

          I don’t speak a word of Greenlandic, but that wasn’t necessary in Søndrestrømfjord as it wasn’t a regular town, and there were only two Greenlanders there. Essentially, Søndrestrømfjord was an American air force base with 1200 airmen. It also happened to be the central hub of all inter Greenland flights, hence the need for the hotel where I worked. The roughly fifty people employed by Greenland Air, SAS, and Royal Greenland Trade (my employer) in Søndrestrømfjord were Danish, except for the two Greenlanders, who worked for the hotel.

          Liked by 1 person

  13. I’ve looked, and I’m unable to come up with what you’re referring to in this quote, Clyde? “There is a hint of the poverty and my mother’s frugality, if you look carefully.” You look like a pretty happy little guy in a warm (possibly homesown) coat. What’s the hint?


  14. Thank you for responses today. Sorry did not participate. Lived through a very hurtful and exhausting incident Wednesday which has made me down and driven me underground.
    Barb, the header drawing I would not call a sketch, but what do I know. It is an 11 X 14 drawing I did 20 years ago.
    The coat in the second photo is a hand-me-down from my sister. Twice I wore her hand-me-down coats, but they were what we called barn coats. I did not wear them to school.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. A fun incident from last night that lifted my spirits for awhile: at 9:15 I was cleaning up the kitchen when I heard voices outside. Three adolecent Muslin African girls walked by. They looked in at me and saisd very companionably, “Hi, Grandmother.” They were looking in through a screen with light on it and I was a 20 feet behind that screen. So they assumed I was an old woman. I assume in their culture they call all older women grandmother.

    Liked by 5 people

  16. I count 15 places in 64 years though the first one I don’t remember at all, and a couple of them were very temporary. One was a hotel room where I stayed for a few weeks when I got my first job. One was a YMCA camp where my parents got a cabin while they were looking for more permanent housing.

    One of my very early memories was an apartment on the east side of St. Paul, where we were living while having a house built. We lived in the upstairs of a rented duplex, and I have a memory that at one time there was some sort of plumbing issue in our apartment, so my mother took me downstairs to use the bathroom of the woman who lived there. The woman had a parrot, and I was fascinated with the parrot. I think I was about three at the time.

    Liked by 4 people

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