I have this house I dream about. It’s the house I lived in from 1969 to ’77 in Austin, Texas. Fresh out of college, two single, white females with hair down to our waists, my roommate and I found this house during an evening stroll. It was empty; but, we could hear it calling to us. We found the owners and asked if we could rent. Amazingly, they said yes, rent is $90 a month. Even back then, it was a great deal.
The house was built in 1926, a split level with a small downstairs apartment. It was (and is still) located right on the cusp of Clarksville near Mopac. The house had no air-conditioning and a old refrigerator with the motor on top. But, it was full of good vibes. We moved in and proceeded to live the life we had been dreaming of those past four years in school.
Without a doubt, those were the best days of my life. Oh, not that I don’t think all my days are the best, including tomorrow, next week, next year… In 1969, the neighborhood was in flux. With only a few actual homeowners left, the hippies had moved in. The neighborhood felt like a commune. We had our own gardens and vegetarian guru who supplied all our greens, if you know what I mean. I worked as a waitress in a popular restaurant and made plenty of tips. I think we saw every band that played the Armadillo. We came home in the early morning with our dancing shoes in one hand and a sweet boy in the other. Later, our naked little babies played together in the back yard.
After we both had moved out and moved on, I began frequently dreaming of the house. I’d walk through the rooms with feelings of deep emotion, like a longing to be back home. Over time, the dreams became less frequent and the house began to look kinda distorted with odd shaped rooms or a weird view from the windows. But, it still felt like it was a place I wanted to get back to.
Several years ago, my husband and I bought our first home. Some days I sit in my comfy chair, by a cabinet full of all my souvenirs, and look out the large front window. With the smell of jasmine and honeysuckle wafting in, I watch the sparrows flinging bird seed all over. I say “thanks” for this wonderful home. And, I can’t remember the last time I dreamed of the Austin house.