I will never forget the first house we moved into when we were married.
I had always lived in a middle class home with my parents growing up, followed by a lovely downtown apt. when I left home after high school for what I thought would be a long career in telecommunications.
But marriage intervened and I moved from Calgary to my husband's adopted town of Didsbury. In those days there was little available for rental property but Dell was able to finally find a little old run down house on a weedy, unmown lot.
The outside of the house was finished in old fashioned glass stucco so wouldn't have been particularly attractive even when it was new. The old black shingles were starting to peel upward. The whole place looked abandoned. The front door didn't seem to work and would have opened right into the tiny living room so we used the back door exclusively. It opened into a fair sized uninsulated porch that made a good freezer for the first month we were there and then an addition to the fridge as the weather warmed up. All the rooms were tiny and had ripply ancient linoleum of various colours. The living room was sort of carpeted with elderly brown short pile. The kitchen almost had some counter space and there was a free standing fridge that wasn't level that made for some fun balancing for the food on the shelves inside. The stove worked...mostly.
There were no closets but there was an antique clothes cupboard in the miniscule bedroom. I opened it up and it was dark inside so I reached inside to see if there was a clothes bar. When I pulled my hand out it was covered in thick spider web AND a number of black spiders!! I remember shrieking like a banshee and backing away quickly from the cupboard. Dell came running, calmed me down and we got the vaccum going to suction the spiders, webs and various balls of dust out of the cupboard. It was traumatic for me but provided no end of hilarity for Dell. City girl vs country boy.........aiiii yiiiii......
Later that night I kicked my foot out from under the bedcovers and my foot hit the outside bedroom wall and went right through it into the cold dark air outside! Welcome to married life in the only rental available in a small rural town!!!! The town has subsequently grown and has some lovely residential areas but in those days it was difficult to find anywhere to live there.
2 months after moving in we left on our month long honeymoon to the Maritimes. We had no idea if it was safe to leave our few belongings alone for that long in a house with iffy locks on the only working door, but decided that even with the weeds mowed down outside the place still looked abandoned and the worst we would come home to would be squatters. Sigh....what we actually came home to were mice!
Nothing kills the rosy after glow of a month long honeymoon like returning to your first home, walking in the door and seeing a huge dead mouse trapped where you had been keeping food prior to the trip. I had never actually seen a mouse before, alive or dead, and the shrieking began again; followed by sobbing when I realized the mice found the wedding card Dell made for me and had eaten the sugar smiley faces he purchased at a bakery and adhered to the card. All that was left were the dots of glue on the paper. I knew nothing about mice and their infestations, spiders and their huge populations in old houses......what a nasty revelation to City Me!
However our time in that house wasn't to last much longer...only about 3 weeks in fact before we had to move into Rental Housing Revelation #2.......