We spent some time last night with college friends swapping stories about our days at Hillsdale College, and I felt a pang of regret that I didn’t mention something in my last post. Yes, it’s cold in our house sometimes now, but it’s nothing like the house Aaron lived in during our Senior year.
The Outpost, as everyone called this house, was a special place. I have heard it was a dignified dwelling in it’s heyday, which was supposedly just one college generation — a few years, really — before us. However, when Aaron came back from Iraq and moved in to one of the upstairs bedrooms, it was clear that the former grandeur had faded. We (six guys and the girls who visited frequently) soon began referring to this house as “The Slum,” and the landlord, unfortunately, “The Slumlord.” The occupants discovered that, among other problems like the porch collapsing, the walls were as thin as cardboard. When the weather chilled they could only afford enough heat to keep the pipes from freezing.
This was pretty problematic. One time it was SO COLD that Aaron and I both sat on his bed under the covers slurping our hot chili dinner before premarital counseling. I think his room-mate felt a little uncomfortable with that arrangement. Turnabout is fair play – one time we came in and saw him with his girlfriend huddled under a makeshift tent of a blanket over a space heater. On another occasion, a group of us watched a movie piled on a couch in our own sleeping bags.
Sorting through these photos brings back so many memories! There were nicknames for several of the house’s occupants and various special ladies, a mouse that drowned in the sink of dirty dishes, and plenty of the things you’d expect from a bunch of guys living in a house together: chore disputes, strange smells, and even some bathroom drama. Those guys did put on a special dinner that winter before a dance, which was the nicest the place looked all year.
It’s good to remember these humble beginnings, though I’m sure our memories are a little more fond than we would have suspected during the Outpost days…