Our apartment life has begun. It certainly seems to work beautifully for us, although we moved to Subiaco less than two weeks ago.
As John said,
If this is apartment life, we should have done it years ago. Two bedrooms, two bathrooms, space, light, air; everything we want inside at our fingertips, and within walking distance outside.
I started to write a litany of thanks to everyone involved, but perhaps I only need to say that moving into the apartment could never have been so easy or enjoyable without the support of our many helpers. Our children and grandchildren contributed generously of their time and talents to the start of this new adventure. We hope they know how grateful we are.
Special thanks to Peter and Janet, who decided when they first saw them that the colour of the walls (pale grey) would never work for me. I thought I might grow, if not to like the colour, at least to accept it, given the other beautiful features of the apartment. Before we moved in, they painted the walls a soft, gentle off-white. Peter calls it, ‘Mum’s colour,’ and it is. Now the walls reflect the light and create a peaceful background for our lives.
Moving day passed in a blur of confusion and hard work. Relocation to an apartment on the third floor is a special exercise in logistics. Security gates must be opened and closed and so must lift doors. The distance from truck to front door is long. The task was laborious and time consuming for the removalists and our helpers. My trusty step-counter, and that of my daughter, Annie, both recorded more than 13 000 steps for the day. Some effort.
Two days after the move, everything was in place, even our books which now live in the neatest little study nook. Our apartment life could begin in earnest.
Neither of us felt even a twinge of nesting dislocation syndrome, that combination of disorientation and confusion that sometimes results from moving house, even in younger people. There are still things we want to do, but already this feels like home.
Why I love apartment life (so far)
- Freedom from clutter. Our down-sizing was so successful we have everything we need as well as the luxury of several empty drawers and cupboard shelves.
- Everything is almost new and cleaning is a breeze.
- Lovely spaces. We have fewer rooms here than before, but there is a flow between spaces which more than makes up for that.
- Both bedrooms and the living room have window walls that open onto our balcony and the world beyond.
- I haven’t seen a fly, mosquito, spider or ant in two weeks. I can’t believe I don’t obsess about fly-wires being left open.
- We can walk easily to shops, cafes, church, parks and the train station. The station opens even more new vistas that I can’t wait to try.
- The complex is beautifully maintained and has a pool, gym, theatre and dining room for entertaining, as well as some alcoves to work in. There’s even a roof garden which is home to the community vegetable/herb garden.
- There seems to be more community within the complex than in any suburban street I have lived in since I was six years old and my best friends lived a couple of houses away.
Things I will not miss
- What seemed like acres of hard floors that needed to be swept and mopped. Of course I could have paid a cleaner. But I guess I was too stubborn.
- Stairs to climb to the second floor, not that I made that effort much in the last few years!
- Worry of garden watering – sprinkler days and hand-watering regularly.
- Letters from the Water Corporation telling us we use too much water.
- Pulling weeds on arthritic knees with equally arthritic hands.
- The need to drive the car to church, to shop or swim. We even used to drive three kilometres to the nearest train station, and then had to worry about parking.
What I’m looking forward to about apartment life
- The continuation of feeling as if I’m on a permanent holiday.
- The ability to lock up and not worry about the garden if we want another sort of holiday.
- Being part of a community.
- Exploring and using the communal spaces fully.
- Time and space to write every day.
- Entertaining in this oh-so-easy place.
- Enjoying the proximity of so many of our family who live close-by.
Eighty definitely is not too old to downsize. Whoever thought it would be?
For more about apartment living, read my article Upsize Downsize Right-size
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