• AP Magazine

    An alternative way to explore and explain the mysteries of our world. "Published since 1985, online since 2001."

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Alternate Perceptions Magazine, March 2024


by: Barbara Becker

Back in the 1980’s for some odd reason, I began seeing the number 111 everywhere. Looking at the clock, 111, a watch, a phone, a book…you get the idea; one eleven! I couldn’t get it out of my mind. As years went by it no longer appeared everywhere and eventually faded away. Now come forward 10 years.

My husband had just begun working for the University of Missouri in Columbia and we were looking for a house. Work and family issues kept me in St. Louis through the week and every weekend I would drive to Columbia and look at houses. I loved getting out of the city, so this was not a hardship. The housing market was going crazy in the 1990’s and prices for modest homes were skyrocketing making the search difficult. For several months the poor real estate agent chauffeured me from house to house hoping something she would show me would be “the one” and she could spend a weekend with her family. As guilty as I felt about her home life suffering nothing she showed me was “right”. We knew what we wanted. Having lived in a large, congested city we knew we wanted a house with lots of trees and a little land. Not too much, but enough to enjoy. I was getting discouraged. The only upside to it all were the drives my husband and I would take exploring Columbia and Boone County after all the house hunting was over.

One evening we went out for a ride and got totally lost. We didn’t have GPS and a map would not do us any good since we were not familiar with any of the street names. As we wandered this night we seemed to be drawn to a small older neighborhood just outside of the city limits. We drove toward the end of the street, a cul-de-sac, where a house caught my attention.

A bright flood light was on in the backyard, illuminating a “forest” of tall mature trees. The front porch light was on showing a nicely landscaped yard and a driveway accented with what looked like small boulders. How lucky the people were who lived there, a quiet street, a nice yard with trees, rocks, flowers. Who could ask for more? As my husband turned the car around to drive out, I said, “That’s the house to have.” It had been months of searching; the real estate agent gave up; I almost did. I was sitting at the kitchen table in our apartment in Columbia; I had made a cup of coffee and began looking at the real estate section in a local newspaper. One ad caught my attention, For Sale by Owner: three bedrooms, 2 baths, nice yard etc. I pointed it out to my husband. He said it had been in the paper for a long time and because of that he disregarded it, saying it probably was not a good property or it would have sold by now. I was desperate. The ad said. “Call anytime.” Even though it was 8 pm on a Sunday night I called. The owners said they would be happy to meet with us.

We had no idea where we were going but somehow, we found our way. Oddly the street looked familiar. We drove to the end of the street, a cul-de-sac, and in front of us was the house we had seen on one of our drives. The one I had said, “That’s the house to have.”

We were invited in and looked around. The owner flipped on the back flood light, and we could see a large backyard with a mini forest of mature trees all around the house. It was exactly what we had been looking for. I don’t remember much after that because we were both so excited we could hardly contain ourselves. Within a month or so we were moved in. But that’s not the end of the story. The land our house is on was first deeded in 1873. The previous owners had left us a book with all the history of all the owners. In doing a little more investigation about the house and land I happened to see that our house number was not always the number that is currently assigned. When it was first platted, they used a simple means to identify each house. Beginning with 100 and counting forward as the street wound around. Our house was the eleventh house, 111.

Then it all made sense.

Saturday, April 13, 2024