What I’ll Miss About My Last Apartment: A List
–The vaulted ceilings: I looked up often while I lived there and smiled every time I did. Because we had vaulted ceilings, my CD mural turned out really well. See?
–I’ll miss the heaters. When I first moved in, I cringed at the heating system: wall units which consisted of a heating coil and a fan behind a vent near floor level, but definitely recessed into the wall. (You can see one in the picture above.) However, after awhile, I appreciated that every wall unit could be controlled individually by the thermostat knob directly above it at eye level.
I found that, as I woke up, I could turn on only the wall unit in my bedroom to get dressed, then turn it off as I went into the office. I’d turn on just the wall unit in the office as I sat at my computer until Toby woke up, then turn it off and turn on the one in the living room/dining room as we ate breakfast. This may sound tedious, but each wall unit provided immediate, strong heat. It was like having a radiator in every room: encompassing, direct, and quietly humming. The heat in this house is significantly different.
–Very close neighbors: I had neighbors downstairs, who, if they were home, often had their front door open. If I wanted to chat, it meant no awkward walking across their property or standing in front of a closed doorway speculating whether they were home. I met the neighbors who moved in and had some of them over for dinner. I knew many of my neighbors by name.
I also had neighbors across the complex that I felt comfortable walking to during Toby’s nap and also while he was in a stroller or on foot. I knew the resident manager’s hours because she kept them fairly regular; she was a friendly face who was always delighted to flirt with my toddler and chat with me. The maintenance guy was friendly but not overly chatty, and the mail-lady waved whenever we did and didn’t mind if we watched her sort her mail.
–The community feeling of this particular complex. It had all the joys a toddler likes about being outside: kids on scooters and bikes, adults walking dogs, water dripping, puddles to splash in, cats in windows, yardwork men mowing all the lawns one day a week, people taking their trash out to the dumpster, cars pulling in and out of parking spaces and people walking from car to home.
And all of these things were compacted into a twenty-minute walk. Around a normal residential block, it’d be impossible to see all these things on one walk. Thus, we walked outside nearly every day, minus the past two months.
–The speed bumps: every time we drive through the complex, Toby gets excited about them; he calls them “bump-bumps”. He even gets specific: “tall bump-bumps” and “tiny bump-bumps” which are intentionally directed runs over the storm drains.
–Toby and I also enjoyed the garbage truck. You see, we lived in a place in the apartment complex where we could see our dumpster out one window and another dumpster out another window. Because Toby enjoyed the garbage truck so much, we discovered that trash delivery was every Monday and every Friday.
He could hear the garbage truck before it reached our end of the complex. Often he would rush into whatever room I was in and very excitedly urge me to follow him toward his bedroom window, then animatedly insisted we haste to the other end of the apartment to watch the second dumpster. After waving to him from the window, we even met the garbage man on our walks.
–Just’In will miss the free, well-heated, clean apartment pool, our balcony, and the view of the complex from above. I get where he’s coming from: that complex is lit by friendly lamps and building lights that are solar activated. Seeing all those lights from our apartment windows at night were both reassuring and lovely, in an urban sort of way.
–I loved having windows that felt like they were inside the branches of a tree. The tree grew right in front of two windows and was such a immediate presence in our apartment, partly because I kept the windows open constantly. It was a male ash tree and it felt like part of the family; it even had a name.
I won’t miss the cabinets. They were white with a raised wood border on only the tops and the bottoms of each door. They had a distinctly 90s feel to them, and the cabinets were the same in both bathrooms, the kitchen, and the master bedroom (there was wonderful storage space in a niche in a corner). Blech. I often dreamed of improving them by buying colored posterboard to at least cover the white and maybe putting collage over the posterboard. I never did, and eventually I just learned to ignore them.
I also won’t miss the stairs. As cool as it was to have vaulted ceilings and feel elevated and have a balcony, I have a fear of falling down stairs, and that includes falling down stairs while holding my kid and other stuff as well. There were fifteen steps here; we left right when Toby was just confident enough to climb down them by himself. That brings up another level of paranoia; yep, time to move.