Friday, August 21, 2015

Turning the Page

So another few years had passed, and I found myself loading cardboard boxes again.  And again.  There went our two car caravan, hauling things we wondered why we owned in the first place.  But this time we did manage to purge the never read books and seldom worn clothes with greater success.  The load was still far from light, but there is a satisfaction in knowing that Goodwill and a few local churches (and a few neighbors) have richer storehouses as a result of our latest move.

I see that my promise to keep you updated on condo life was mostly unfulfilled.  Sorry 'bout that. There really wasn't enough to sustain regular entries on the topic, but here and there a bit of excitement occurred.  Like the elderly couple upstairs, whose stove caught on fire.  Or the two incidents in one week of armed robbery a few years ago.  The wife of one of the victims yelled at me one morning because the guy we hired for some work parked his truck backward into a space. Everyone was spooked post incident and were on high alert for suspicious license tags, I reckon.  Unfortunately, she caught me on the wrong day and I fired back at her, harshly.  Sorry 'bout that, too.  But thankfully, no further crimes (to my knowledge) occurred.   Our community was gated and well patrolled.  I always felt safe there.

We lived on the fourth floor for the first year and for the remaining three on the first floor.  It wasn't really our choice, but the landlord situation was, without getting into specifics, a bit nebulous.  When we made our way to the ground apartment I was concerned about its being right next to the drive up/drop off area, but noise was never an issue, other than our one neighbor's yappy little dog.  In fact, we had several dogs in our building, one of which was carted around in a baby carriage by its friendly, silver haired owner.  My first impressions of the new place were not favorable: white tile, vertical blinds.  Old cabinetry in the kitchen that looked '70s or '80s in a not so cool fashion.  But it all grew on me, as most of my previous living quarters had.

As we cleaned out #103 I thought of the laughter and tears my wife and I shared there.  You know me by now, invisible audience.  I'm a reflective sort of guy.  I thought of all our dinner guests and overnighters.  We had two sofas with hide-a-beds in addition to two singles in the guest room so one weekend we hosted a group of several adults and little ones.  Before we moved to this community, none of that would've been possible as I lived in a very small but very cool bachelor type pad, a place I still miss and think about.

Now we're moving again but not too far away.  This time into a house with my mother-in-law, who lost her husband (my wife's stepfather) earlier this year.   He requested this of us very soon after he learned of his diagnosis: pancreatic cancer.  It will be good for all of us, I believe, in a variety of ways.  It's in another well manicured community bordered by a golf course.  The same neighborhood where Harry once lived.  Scroll back to say, May 2012 entries if you're not sure who he is.

Will I miss the condo? Sure.   It was a bright, spacious place to call home.  I'll miss the view.   I'll miss our sweet neighbors.  A young guy upstairs repeatedly called me "Alan" so often I just stopped correcting him. The couple on the right side of us were extremely gracious and hospitable.  I'll miss Embassy Drive, the residential street that cut past our complex and continued southwest for a good stretch.  Beautiful, unique homes.  I often jogged past them at night - these days the daytime heat is too much for this forty something.  That neighborhood has a similar feel to the area on and around Flagler Drive, documented in earlier posts.

So, watch for some (likely very) occasional posts on the new 'hood.  We now return you to your cranky film reviews.

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