I didn't post this yesterday because I was deep in a project, but July 4th is my independence day also. In 1994, my bandmates Stan and Marisa bought a house in the University District which had a partially finished studio apartment in the basement. They were looking for someone to rent it, and I was more than ready to get out of Poulsbo, so at the tender age of 27 I left my parent's home.
That first night was pretty intense. Stan and Marisa and I went looking for fireworks on the spur of the moment. Probably doesn't seem like a big deal to a normal person, but to me the freedom to do that was like something out of a dream. No guilt trips. No ferry hassles. Just climb in the car with good friends and go. Later, as I was laying in bed in the dark in a basement the fear started to settle in. Would I be able to afford this life? Will my parents be OK? Is Mom laying in bed crying because I'm not there?
I lived in Stan and Marisa's basement for several very important years. I had some catching up to do in terms of learning to be a good housemate, but it worked out in the end. I started learning Gaelic while I lived there, got my Yule harp, and lived through the joy and heartbreak of the heyday of Wicked Celts.
When Stan and Marisa sold that house in April of 1998, things moved rapidly and I wound up settling for a dingy studio apartment in Northgate. At the time, I thought life had taken a terrible turn for the worse, but the gods had a plan. Slightly over a year later, in June of 1999 I moved from Northgate into my little rental house in Baile Ard. If I had been living somewhere less depressing, I might have hesitated to move and missed out on some of the happiest years of my life.
Thanks for helping me get out on my own, Stan and Marisa, and for taking me out in the Ford Explorer to celebrate my independence day all those years ago.