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Posts Tagged ‘condo’

Weekend epiphany: You know you’re organized when your storage room floods and you’re not worried about losing a thing.

I got the call at around 1 p.m. Sunday: There was water in our downstairs storage room (it comes with the condo) and they needed us to come check it out STAT.

Ah, the struggle of donning pants on a Sunday afternoon.

The storage room contains a kayak, a couple of wetsuits, a few dishes, a plastic box of Christmas decorations, miscellaneous garage stuff and most of the husband’s books.

The books can be a contentious topic. We’ve designed rooms around those books, although “designed” is a misleading word, since we end up with ugly industrial-strength shelving wherever it’ll fit because there are SO MANY BOOKS. There’s simply not room in the condo for the whole collection, and I can’t stomach any more walls lined with wire shelving and plywood.

I had just brought the last box of my books upstairs a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been culling books for a couple of years, treating them like living treasures that yearn for love, adventure and respect. There are only so many that I’m going to re-read, and the ones that have sat on the shelf, year after year, awaiting their first read? They need some love, and I’m obviously not the person to give it to them.

Thus, I have one eight-section IKEA Expedit shelf filled with my literary treasures. I’ll invite the husband’s books upstairs (and we recently bought a smaller under-window shelf for his nicest publications), but the whole unedited collection is just too much.

A flood can be your best friend. He only lost a few books, the ones on the bottom of a couple of boxes that rested on the floor. Those got tossed, usually with a comment along the lines of “I don’t even know why I still have this.” My hope is that more introspection occurs.

But the best part of the whole adventure? Knowing that everything (and I mean that in the true sense of every THING, not including people and animals) that I love is within the walls of the condo with me. Photos are scanned and/or in one plastic tub next to my desk. Books are culled and shelved. Important paperwork is in a small safe, not scattered throughout random boxes. Artwork is hanging, not leaning against the wall downstairs, awaiting spot selection and, perhaps, flooding. Furniture is in place, not in storage for if/when we get a bigger place (fingers crossed that we don’t).

Can I instantly place my hands on any random thing you ask me for? No. Can I figure out where it is within 10 minutes without shuffling madly through random boxes of stuff? Most definitely.

Do your worst, washing machine across the hall from our storage unit.

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After ditching the terrible kitchen that I gladly left behind in Mobile (huge room, no counter space, two outlets on walls spaced some 20 feet apart), I enjoyed the large expanse of a kitchen built in the late 90s, complete with tons of cabinet space. Pure suburbia.

I didn’t exactly get along with pure suburbia, however, and ended up in a medium-sized condo in Midtown Atlanta with a decidedly NOT medium-sized kitchen.

I like it. I donated the china that I’ve been packing around for nearly 20 years (china that was meticulously packed away in my paternal grandmother’s home, so don’t worry that I’ve thrown away some sort of beloved family legacy). I need one more smallish cabinet to keep my own wedding china, which is actually pottery, but other than that a smaller kitchen is definitely working for me. Less to dirty, less to clean up. Less cabinet space to attract stuff that has nothing to do with food prep.

On a recent trip to London and Paris (I’m not going to call it a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, because I fully intend to go back, but yeah, it was a big deal), I realized how much less kitchen I could live without. We stayed in apartments in both cities, beginning with a laughably tiny kitchenette in Chelsea:

kitchen

It really took the concept of “no counter space” to a whole new level, but it worked. We boiled pasta and heated sauce for Christmas dinner, and we scrambled eggs one morning. We also had a water kettle, microwave and toaster, meaning we could easily make coffee (via French press) and tea, plus warm up the occasional sandwich or other bakery treat.

In Paris, we added a dishwasher and slightly more counter space to our cooking area:
kitchen2

I think the most complicated thing I made here was oatmeal (dozens of authentic French bakeries within walking distance does not prompt a girl to break out the pots and pans). I also enjoyed the kitchen’s Nespresso Senseo coffeemaker, which I was disappointed to learn is no longer sold in the United States. While I hold anything involving K-cups in utter disdain, I could live with coffee made from those little filter packets every last day.

So much more to talk about from this trip later. Right now, I have to go enjoy the wide-open spaces of my tiny condo kitchen.

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So … it’s been awhile. I’m back in Atlanta, this time with the husband and the cat, and I’ve returned to the job that I loved but had to leave last year to return to Alabama.

Everything is pretty awesome, overall.

We’re renting a two-bedroom condo in a very walkable part of the city. I can’t walk to work, mind you, but I can walk to a huge park in addition to several grocery stores, museums and restaurants. We have so many entertainment options that I barely know where to begin.

It’s the life-changing adventure that I wanted last year, but I guess I was too early.

Best news: Yang, pictured above, settled right into his city digs. I was afraid he would be too high up to really see anything, but it turns out that he likes to watch the cars driving around below. At night, he perches on his cat condo and watches the city lights, near and far.

Snowmageddon arrived on the third day I was here; like any survivor of multiple hurricanes, however, I was prepared. I stocked up on groceries well before the snow started falling and kicked back to watch the traffic build (I didn’t start work until this week). The husband faced a two-hour commute instead of his usual half hour, but once he was home we unpacked, caught up on “Justified” episodes and drank a lot of coffee (me)/hot chocolate (him). We attempted a romantic walk in the snow, but our trek was foiled when the snow quickly turned to slippery ice. That’s just how snow rolls in the South.

I feel like I’ve finally found  my home planet — not Atlanta itself, per se, but an escape from Suburbia.

This is huge. This is FUN.

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