Wednesday, June 16, 2010

{our new home sweet home}

Finally, after two weeks of shuffling furniture, tripping over cardboard boxes, & holding passive-agressive phone conversations with Comcast's so-called customer service, we are all moved in to our new apartment.We are now officially residents of Rogers Park neighborhood and officially not residents of Edgewater's pride & glory: Winthrop Towers. Good-bye & good riddance.

I have to say that moving was a bittersweet experience, with emphasis on "sweet" and only a dash of bitter. Our Winthrop apartment was J & me's first home together. Two summers ago, we had only two days to apartment-hunt while on our honeymoon, without a clue as to what school J would be teaching at or any idea what neighborhoods were decent to live in. We also thought "garden apartment" sounded charming....little did we know that "garden" means "basement." After driving all over town to see apartments, Winthrop was the one we fell in love with.

This was where we spent our first two years as husband and wife, in a tiny-but-charming one bedroom apartment on the north side. Whenever I remember this place, it will be hard to forget the oven that wouldn't light, the infestation of bugs, the maniacs throwing cinder blocks off the roof to smash cars, the van catching on fire out front, our upstairs neighbor lifting weights (or, should I say, slamming down weights) at 2am, the complete absence of water pressure save the boot-flushing toilet...the list of less-than-charming attributes goes on and on (Did I mention our bedroom closet door ripped clean off its hinges? Or the time the water pipes exploded & put a giant hole in our kitchen wall?).

But despite all of the malfunctions our first apartment had, Winthrop will always be the place where we learned and decided how to be "us." This was where our two worlds, our two libraries, our sets of trinkets, shoeboxes of pictures, and collections of Starbucks mugs all joined forces to become "ours." This was where we first entertained our new friends, who have since become good friends after nights spent crammed into our living room perusing the Beer library. This is where we had our first laughs, meals, celebrations, trials, disagreements, and lazy days as a married couple.

Our living room window had three large bay windows looking directly into the heart of a huge, leafy tree, so in the spring and summer it seemed like our living room was actually a giant tree house. In many ways, this apartment was a fortress for us, a secret place that belonged to just the two of us, where we decided how to run our small family, where we sheltered ourselves from the cold, cruel city and the trying times we faced our the last two years.

So, it seems only fitting that now, during this brand new season of our lives, we have relocated. It's no longer just the two of us. Winthrop Towers held our days of being newly-wed, young, and carefree, now begin our days as sleep-deprived-but-love-sick young parents. Where our first apartment was loud & busy, our new apartment is calm and peaceful. Our old apartment faced the exciting big city, our new apartment faces the eastern sunrise and a serene park. Our old apartment was snug & a big chaotic, our apartment is spacious, airy, secure. Our old apartment catered to our fat cat, our new apartment cuddles our beautiful baby boy. Our old apartment was where we became "us"...our new apartment is where we, day by day, are becoming a family.

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