Fifteen years ago, I was living in a run down Victorian house that was being run as a boarding house. I have a good imagination. I could see what the house must have been like in its heyday, but that didn't change the fact that I was surrounded by people, down on their luck; all of us living under one roof in a once magnificent house that was falling down around our feet.
Slum Lord does not even begin to describe our landlord. Once it became clear that he was not in any way interested in fixing up the house, I did my best to keep my space as put together as possible as I put all my efforts into getting out of that house.
It was the kind of situation that was a blessing, in that I was able to remain independent while I got back on my feet, but there were many days when I would wake up, freezing, greeted by dilapidated walls, a run down bathroom, rustic kitchen, and mentally ill/drug addicted house mates and wonder if I was making the right choice to stay where I was, instead of living with my parents.
I was only there for two years. In that time, I discovered two good things about my situation.
First, was Ken. We met there and our first date was fifteen years ago this month. We have been growing together ever since.
Second, were the magnolia trees that were in the yard. They were huge and it was amazing when they would bloom every spring.
The above photo is not mine (it's from Sxc.hu), but it sure does remind me of the time in my life when I had to force myself to focus on the good around me so I could elevate to something better.