We landed in a fairly anonymous, random apartment after moving across the country in December 2019. I was very pregnant, David was soon starting a new job, and several times we made the long drive from my mom’s house, where we were crashing, to our new city, to search apartments. There is nothing quite like visiting the city you’re moving to in heavy sleet while seven months pregnant. It felt very dismal, and after several apartments, we chose a rather bland one in a suburb. It didn’t have a washer & dryer (my “number one” requirement), but it had lovely windows with views of trees, it had two bathrooms (a luxury!), it was a ten-minute drive to David’s new office, and it had a bright, open living and dining area. Beige carpets and white walls, yes, but we were tired and it felt safe.
A year and a half later, we have purchased our first home — a wee bungalow — the same square footage as the apartment, but only one (very small) bathroom. However, it has many things our apartment does not have : storage in abundance (basement + attic!), a very nice washing machine and dryer, a wee backyard (complete with a slide, a gift from David’s parents for our daughter), a third bedroom/office, a larger kitchen, 1920s-era charm, hardwood floors, and a walkable, friendly, urban neighborhood. In one week, the moving van comes, and our beds and bookshelves and that old butcher-block table from my childhood apartment will be schlepped to the new house.
Here, in this old apartment, we have been safe. In the early days of pandemic — inconveniently (and traumatically) for us also the early days of our daughter’s life — we felt secured from the dangerous world. We let packages sit on the steps of our second-floor apartment for days before we opened them, lest they be carrying virus germs. We checked the deadbolt before bed, ensuring nothing could come inside. We were warm on that bland beige carpet, and we gazed out at the trees through the big windows. It is a sleepy complex, but every day we watched an older gentleman walk his chocolate lab on the lawn. We watched neighbors hurrying from their cars to their doors or vice-versa. We saw a fox several days in a row, and most days we saw rabbits and deer and squirrels.
One of David’s most wonderful qualities is his ability to find magic and joy wherever he lands, and he certainly did that here — but I think we also stumbled upon a pretty special place. It will stay, sparkling, in our memories forever — our daughter’s first home, a soft gentle place to survive a difficult year.