Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Old Home Week

Hard to believe, but this week marks 30 years since we moved into the first (and, to date, only) home we ever purchased. Located mere blocks west of the University of Oregon, we had been looking for a larger home than our rental just a few doors down. With our toddler Jacy in tow and another baby on the way, we needed more space.

Moving into the rental side of the duplex at first, we eventually purchased the home from its owner, Gertrude Hansen, a retired pharmacist who had worked at the nearby Eugene Hospital and Clinic. An independent sort, the steely-eyed Dane was one of the first female graduates of the OSU School of Pharmacy back in the 1920s.

Built in 1943, the duplex was unusual; each unit had its own unique floor plan. Gertrude had purchased the place in 1950 and had moved her mother into the smaller side of the duplex. By the mid-80s, she was ready to sell and we would be the lucky ones she chose as buyers. She died five days after signing the closing papers on the deal.

The property would become our longtime abode. Gina was born in the back bedroom of the rental side and Jory would be born in the front bedroom of the unit facing Charnelton Street. I mean that quite literally. Both kids were born at home with the assistance of nurse-midwives provided through Sacred Heart Hospital.

Because of its age, the duplex would require extensive renovations, which we initiated in the early 1990s and have continued to this day. The kids grew up going to nearby neighborhood schools and eventually, each and every one of them ended up renting the smaller unit while they pursued their college educations.

It’s kind of weird to think about, but I grew up in the Mitchell family house on Mt. Tabor in Portland for 10 years in the 1960s, and to me, my time there felt like an eternity. However, it would become a mere drop in the bucket compared to the 30 years I have spent with my family on Charnelton Street. The best part? It's payed (and paid) off.