Where You Should Have Been

Los Alamos

Before I actually owned a house here I had lived here for close to two decades.  I can’t remember all the addresses we had through the years.  This wasn’t something which bothered us.  We were having a pretty good time and didn’t really want to be encumbered with the burden of a mortgage.  After the third baby was born though we bit the bullet and got a mortgage.  

The availability of mostly decent affordable rentals made a nice, carefree life possible.  Some places were sort of weird.  One summer we ended up living with stoned teenagers by Urban Park.  It wasn’t all bad though — I learned to love  nutritional yeast.  My cooking improved daily since they had no qualms about pointing out some dishes looked like dog barf.  Our movie nights were epic.

You couldn’t be too picky.  We met some people who we grew to love.  Last summer my older daughter was supposed to be working some sort of internship at the lab before leaving for her senior year of college but it all fell through at the last minute because of HR snafus and the housing crisis.  Most of the students involved couldn’t find anywhere to live.  This was sad.

She lucked out though.  She ended up teaching tennis camp at the YMCA and though it didn’t have the high salary or resume flex appeal of a LANL internship, the stories she would tell about working with the kids were fun.  One little boy in particular started out teasing her about her “boy” name but grew to be someone I think she will always remember.  His family was going through a hard time.

Things worked out for her because she had a roof over her head but what about all the other undergrads, grad students, and postdocs who never had a chance?  I think back to the summer of 1988 and the nice little place on Gold Street where our life here began.  Almost everyone who has been here forever started out in a nice little place somewhere.  Please let’s move forward with this in mind.