I'm so grateful for my condo, which I love. It's homey and such a perfect space for me. But I've noticed that it's taken longer for me to feel settled here. I worry that expressing that could come across as being ungrateful for my new home, but I'm not. I just loved that old apartment so much and never really saw myself moving from there. I guess I knew I would, but I wanted to stay as long as possible. (And I guess I did.)
In the summer, I would race home from work to put on my bathing suit and enjoy the pool. Every day. I got more use out of that pool than any other resident. I never took it for granted.
Lately our weather has turned warm again and I've been reminded of how grateful I felt every time I dipped my toes or more in the water. It kept me outside for most of the summer, and I loved it so much. At my core, I'm a fish. I always have been. And I miss those lazy evenings when time would almost stop and the warm air hung on for hours and I would take a quick nap on a chaise lounge and then do a few laps in complete silence, not even splashing when I would turn. It was like a meditation. Day after day after day.
It's been a year now since little JJ died, and I think it's kind of hard to not be in that apartment because it's where I lived with him. We occupied that space perfectly together, and I miss him. I've thought about getting another kitty, but in the past it's made me almost sick with grief to consider it. Lately I've been thinking about it more, but I just planned a couple of long weekends away like I do in the summer. It's stressful to find someone to care for a pet while you're away. I might see about finding a good match when my travel is done.
I love my new space. My sewing room is so nice for me, and the central air conditioning, which I used tonight for the first time, is a dream. (I had central air installed in my last condo and two weeks later started interviewing for the job in Japan . . . ) It's just a couple blocks from work, and it's a small enough space that it's easy to care for, but not so small that a person would go crazy. But my old apartment was a different kind of home. I walked in the neighborhood at night, my grocery store was right behind the buildings, I loved driving up the tree-lined main street in the autumn and seeing the seasonal colors. And I had a place to soak in the sun and I had my kitty. And now I'm just trying to find some of the unique things that will make my new place a special home. I think it's going to take a while.