Tag Archives: retirement community

St Francis Hangs Out In Elevators


Late last Thursday night Naoto came bounding into our apartment as usual. But this time he was laughing because there was “a statue in the elevator!” I didn’t really understand what he meant, but we both went down the hall and he hit the elevator button, the doors opened and there was St Francis! I giggled and said we had to take him home because he was the patron saint of animals and because he could startle the next elevator riders and give them a heart attack! (We live in a building where it could happen!)

So Naoto carried him home, and then turned around and carried him back to the elevator so I could snap this picture. (Thanks, Naoto!) Now St. Francis is living in our entryway, but I have hopes of moving him into the living room until spring when he will go out to the balcony (to live among the birds and the flowers).

I’ve been wanting a statue for the balcony since we moved in and Naoto never takes the elevator, so I think it’s a sign that St. Francis was meant to move into our home. Thanks to our quirky, kind, mystery neighbor for leaving him in the elevator!

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Construction rolls on slowly…

The bathroom renovations seem to be coming along slowly because of the holiday, but things are happening…behind the walls. Last week the plumbers installed the shower base and this week they replaced and relocated our pipes. In our building–because it is filled with a bunch of retired people who are around all day, who never remodel their tired apartments and who like to find things to complain about–you become really popular when you have work done. (And by popular, I mean hated.) So I wasn’t surprised at all when the guy across the hall knocked on the door to tell me how I had basically ruined his day with my construction work…

Wednesday the electrician came to work on the wiring and yesterday we passed our inspections of the electric and plumbing work. Today, the drywalling begins…

I really need to pick a paint color…pronto.

Do you know how hard it is to choose a winning grey?

(The picture above shows our shiny new pipes and our nifty new pocket door frame.)

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home is a 1970s apartment

We’ve been living in our 1970s apartment for just over two years. In many ways, those two years have flown and we still have so much work to do. In other ways, especially when I look back at the improvements we’ve made, I feel like we’ve come so far in making this a home–our home.

Our building (pictured above in the spring of 2010), has sixty units, filled with friendly faces, grumpy curmudgeons, interesting characters and many, many older people. When we first bought the place, I was sitting on a couch in the lobby waiting for the contractors to come. The mailman had just left and within minutes there was a parade of walkers, canes and slippers shuffling to the mailboxes. My first reaction: What had we done?!!! Had we accidentally moved into a retirement community? We are at least fifty years younger than these people. What kind of neighbors would they be? What kind of neighbors would we be? We’ll never host another party again! Thankfully, the shock wore off quickly. We love our quiet neighbors and our parties **so far** have gone unnoticed (and, let’s be honest, we don’t really host that many parties). Most of the older people are quite lovely–there is nothing like an older gentleman who insists on holding the door for you, or an older woman who gives you a good stain removal tip in the laundry room. Some of the older people are quite crazy, which keeps things interesting. And, within a couple of months, another “younger” couple moved in and we became fast friends. You just never know how things are going to work out when you buy a place, whether it’s a house where your neighbors are an entire yard away, or an apartment where they are just on the other side of a wall.

Neighbors or no neighbors, the moment I walked into this apartment, I knew it was home. I took a deep breath and turned to our realtor, and said, “This is it. My soul feels at home here.” I think she was a little…surprised. This is what we were looking at:

Thankfully, we’ve come a long way from metallic gold wallpaper. (Although, a tiny part of me kind of misses it. There was such personality in that entryway.) We have a lot of work left to do (mostly in the bathrooms & annoying details), but I would love to show you our “work in progress” as it stands right now. Over the next few Thursdays, I’ll be sharing before & afters of each room in our home–no matter how complete or incomplete things are right now. Until then, I’ll let you bask in the golden glow of our old hallway while I tidy up around here.