Milestones in My (Failing) Memory

brick house

Well, there certainly is one advantage in moving so often:  you can pretty easily narrow down which time frame an event occurred, based on the house in which you lived.  Such “house dating” (a little known variation of carbon dating) has happened several times around here lately, and it is pretty helpful.

I have a friend who is writing an article about a time that the military did not get paid due to congressional budget issues.  She said to me, “it was sometime 1979 – 1980, I can’t remember exactly, but I can remember which house!”   As a military spouse, I completely understand what she means.

Just yesterday, I was trying to remember what year my daughter had seen a particular medical specialist.  I knew that we had gone to Walter Reed, so we had to have been living the greater DC area.  The only problem was that we lived there twice, with only 10 months in between.  However, without that reference point, I wouldn’t have had much idea where to begin guessing.  (I somehow managed to be off by two years!)

I imagine that as my children get bigger, and it is harder to date things by the size of the children, I will use the house dating system more often.  I grew up listening to my grandmother preface stories with “One time that we lived in Oxnard” or “We lived in Fredericksburg, it must have been (insert some year here)” and now I understand why.  For me, it is the most easily identified way to pinpoint a time in the past, much easier than remembering by who was president or trying (unsuccesfully) to remember the ages of my children.

What memories do you have tied to particular houses?  Any funny stories about it?  I’d love to hear!

photo by StevenM_61

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • kirsten

    THIS is the whole problem with not moving too often! If we live in a place for 3 yrs, we have ‘the first year we lived at _____’, ‘the last year we lived at _____’, and ‘neither the first nor the last year we lived at _____’.

    But living at a place for up to 7 yrs we have to use the even lesser known variation of carbon dating known as “deployment dating”. Example: “oh, that was the fall when your dad was deployed to ______ and you were in ____ grade, so it was in 2006”.