Roomie and I received our lease renewal notice last month and despite falling market prices and an economic recession, our management company seemed to not be aware and rose our rental rates higher still. So, after four years of comfy living at the beach, we started perusing some options.
One of the locations we really desired to move to was unavailable to us. There were requirements to be met that made us unqualified. Of course, I have always had a difficult time taking "no" for an answer, so I challenged the requirements and we submitted an application and a petition stating why we felt we were eligible.
We knew it was a long shot, but if we could get in, the monies saved from lowered rental costs would pay for an entire semester of school (really). We held our breath but kept looking elsewhere, knowing no other location would afford us the same unique placement as the one we were petitioning to enter. Then, we got the call...we were accepted, and could we move in January?
I called Roomie and we were both too elated for words. We drove by the property and our new apartment faced a small park and playground where Aoife could play. It was offset from the road so we would no longer be bothered by sirens and midnight drag-racers and other blissful noises that come with living in the city. We could not believe our great fortune.
Then, I woke up. Our southern-exposure apartment was flooded with morning light and I was laying in bed with my daughter, in the same room where she was born. I walked to the front of the house to fix a cup of tea and I was suddenly sad: this house held so many memories. We never intended to live in an apartment forever, but this place had a hold on my heart that none other had. This home was were my husband brought me after our honeymoon. It the first place either Roomie and I had ever had our names on the lease. In this living room was held Joshua's first birthday party of his twenty-something life.
We had held bridal showers, Bible studies, birthday parties, Christmas caroling soirees, Independence Day celebrations, and late night wine dinners. The efforts of my parents and Roomie were evident in every room--their painting talents colored the walls of my once boring white rooms. Most recent of which was the painting of Aoife's bathroom just ten months ago when my Mom came over from Turkey to help us get ready. I am still in awe of the color and the professional job she did.
There will be many things I will miss: the pool, the proximity to the park and downtown, our sweet little fireplace and our deck that once held an amazing full cord of wood that Roomie was faithful to chop and burn. I will miss the amazing amount of light that poured in all of our windows and gave our small space life. I will miss the beautiful Virginian trees that bloomed white in spring, turned red in autumn and shaded my deck in summer. I will miss the amazing staff that have always been so kind to us and quick to meet any and all requests. I will miss being able to look out my window and watch Roomie's car pull in from a long day at work.
And though it is only an apartment, this home has been the residence I have held the longest in my entire life. Which at just under four years, should show what incredible stability my life has been lacking. But for all of its joys and wonderful memories, I will not miss the rent!