After our wedding, we loaded a rental truck with my things, and drove to Los Angeles to start our life together. We spent a year and a half living alone in two different apartments in Hollywood before moving to Newport Beach, California.
It was then that we welcomed our first roommate.
For over six years, we lived communally with four (temporarily five) roommates. Tom was our longest roommate, but we also shared residence with our friend, Adam, a homeless man named Jim, and a young married couple, JT & Petra. Each roommate experience was unique and quirky and wonderful. Tom was a working actor/musician (who was featured in a Verizon commercial and often toured with Maria McKee), Adam was our pastor and a culinary genius (who moved out after marrying his lovely wife, Wendy), Jim was an elderly gentleman with nine toes who frequented the courtyard outside of our church. We invited Jim (we called him "Captain Jim" because he looked like an old sea captain) to move in with us for a few months, as we tried to help him find a permanent place to live (one that didn't involve dark alleys and cold doorways). JT & Petra were a newly married couple from our church - both teachers working towards their doctorates, and so cute.
Before we left Orange County for Seattle in 2006, we spent our last night sleeping on JT & Petra's futon in our soon-to-be former living room. Adam was married, Tom was living in New York, Jim was on his own again, and JT & Petra eventually moved to Boston and had a baby girl named Mila.
Our Seattle home was the first time Chris and I had lived alone since the year 2000. We almost didn't know what to do with the space and quiet. In California, we only locked our doors at night. In Seattle, we locked them every time we left the house. It was a different context, but one we grew to love. In 2010, we relocated to Ohio, bought a house, and here we've lived for over two years. If you do the math, that's 6.5 years with roommates, 6.5 years without. Clearly, it's time for another roommate.
Last Saturday, Amanda moved in.
Amanda's made regular appearances on my blog, as Chris and I have played a major role in her life since moving to Medina. This month, she finished recovering from her knee surgery, went back to work, and moved in to our guest bedroom. She is still settling in to our world, but we all believe this is an important step towards her independence. Over the past two years, we have seen God move mountains in her life, including a church community she calls "family," a steady job, a driver's license, a car, a repaired meniscus, and people who really believe in her.
We don't know what the future holds for our newest resident, but it sure looks promising.
P.S. Check out Amanda's blog.