In 2005 I was living in an apartment at PSU. I had experienced a number of different places downtown, I loved being downtown for the most part, yet I was tired of living alone. Those years were the peak of the Personal Telco Project(PTP) and my part in it. At one meeting a fellow showed up to ask for someone to come look at his roof as a possible place to put wifi to provide for the neighbors, as is the mission of PTP. I volunteered to check it out. Turns out that person, Faddah, would soon become my landlord and the house I would stay at for the next 12 years.
I had a big room on the second floor and Faddah was creating an 'intentional community' which has an emphasis on group decision making. There were 5 other people already living in the house so the house felt full of life from day 1. After a year or so of living there I got used to certain things. One being even though the house was full, we all had mostly seperate lives. It seemed odd, even contradictory that people in such close proximity were usually out persuing different directions in their social circles and entertainment choices. One thing that was special was the occasional big party. Its a big house with beautiful wood floors containing inlaid designs. Growing up, my parents did not hold parties so the idea of a big party in my home was pretty wild. Parties are usually an anxious affair for me but these times, everything was on my turf and it was the height of convenience to be able to go between the busy party rooms and my own room at will. Later on, a hottub was installed in the back and those were some fun summer nights too. Running between the tub and the kitchen felt like being a kid again.
It turns out that having a group of adults all get along in the same house is challenging and there were some significant differences between the different housemates. Roommate turnovers got more frequent. I remained. That was probably due to keeping a certain distance, one might say a certain perspective, on house drama. A few years later the intentional community was shut down and the house put up for sale. I remained - in a 3 story nearly empty house in SE Portland. After a year or two of being up for sale, the house sold and the new landlord opened the house again to new renters. I moved out for a year, then moved back into the cottage, which was the (ADU) converted garage. The house started to have some life again and I spent a year back in the main house, then back in the cottage. With the latest renters the house was a more traditional rental and I was enjoying the cottage with no shared-wall neighbors. That little place was very beautiful in the summers and the conversion was very well done with a tile bathroom and bamboo floors upstairs and down.
The years continued to tick by and each winter I told myself that was the last year there, then the summer would come and it was a great place to live. After about 5 years of that, I'm moving out for real this time. I just spent the last Saturday night there and leave in a few days. Some things that I learned are I much prefer a smaller house to a larger one, I enjoy small but regular amounts of yard work, a good housemate situation can be awesome, and well thats about it for now... I want to thank those who helped me over the last month to move things out, that meant a lot.