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They Took Cockroaches Out in 5-Gallon Buckets

“They took cockroaches out in 5-gallon buckets.”

Do you remember your first apartment or house after you left the comfortable confines of your parent’s home? Was it memorable? Did it differ from where you live today?

The quote above is from a recent Remembered Well Storyteller. He was describing the “charming” apartment he and his new bride resided in following their wedding. They were married a few states away and had asked friends if they would check the place out that he had rented. The friends did and this was the report they gave. Can you imagine? What a way to start out life as a married couple! They lasted in that apartment for only a few days before finding better digs elsewhere.

You might not have a tale quite as unnerving as that one but likely you did start out in an environment that differs from where you live today. It’s fun to think back and recall how times have changed. I remember my first apartment following college. It was a cute enough little place in a not-so-great part of town. It had plush chocolate shag carpet and gold appliances. I furnished it with a paint display case from my parent’s hardware store. I had sort of refurbished it and thought it made for an interesting hutch. I also had two fold up director’s chairs, a steamer trunk for a coffee table, a reinforced cardboard box for an end table, and a sofa bed from college. I’m pretty sure I also employed the ever-stylish boards and cement blocks for a makeshift bookshelf. Eventually I upgraded furniture, moved to a two-bedroom apartment, and then eventually a cute starter home. We graduated to more and more space as our lives changed and we are now looking to downsize.

The only constant in life is change. Our homes change, our family expands, and we grow in knowledge and experience. Sometimes those who are behind us on our journey compare where they are to where we are. It is an utterly unfair comparison. We all start somewhere and then we grow to somewhere else. It is not always a linear journey. However, it is always your journey. Sharing your journey can encourage those who come behind you. They might be struggling to get their start and feeling like they will never be able to afford a house of their own or a condo in a safe part of town. There are those around you who might be dumping out their own version of “buckets of cockroaches.” Let them know that you’ve been there and you believe in them. Share your own story.

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