Right now I have a hate-hate relationship with my new home. I hope that morphs into a love-hate relationship, or maybe even at some point a love-love relationship. To that end, I present the following two top ten lists, hoping to transition my focus from the former to the latter.
Top Ten Things I Hate About 5B
- It sits behind a professional building that resembles the house in Psycho.
- The indescribably ugly baby poop brown paint is peeling off in iPhone-sized chips, and the parking lot asphalt is coming up in deck-of-card-sized chunks.
- The old washing machine makes more noise than I imagine Armageddon would.
- There is NO coat closet. None. If you know how many coats I have, you know why this is problematic. Yes, getting rid of some of them is an option, but that still leaves the remainders needing a storage space.
- The stains on the bathroom and closet ceilings can only be repainted once the roof leak is located and repaired.
- The wasp's nest directly next to my bedroom window is busier than Metro North trains on Friday afternoon. The wasps are busy eroding what’s left of the wooden eave.
- I have to walk half a block outside to deposit rubbish and recycling in bins for pick up. The stench in the brick shed that houses has kept even rats at bay.
- The entire CT department of transportation has been deployed to repave the roads around me. Overnight.
- There is no carpet. The wooden floors are worn, and the walls pock-marked with unrepaired nail holes left graciously for me by the previous tenants.
- Lots of little things don’t work, which means waiting for a cadre of repair folk to make things right. Or not. I’m convinced that during the better part of the three hour arrival time they give, they mostly they sit down the street in Dunkin’ Donuts sipping coffee, and just run over in the waning minutes before that window closes.
Ten Things I Love About 5B
- Its central location. I can actually walk to town or Saugatuck, on sidewalks, without risking my life. I can even see the river from the front windows.
- I don’t have to pay for any of the repairs I hope they eventually make to the building and parking lot.
- I have a dryer completely separate from the washing machine that makes my clothes dry rather than scalding-but-still-wet.
- I assembled a COSTCO garment rack all by myself. With no swearing or crying. It sits, covered with a shower curtain, in my spacious two-car garage, which will keep my car snow-free in the winter.
- The bathroom and closet ceilings will have a fresh coat of paint.
- In addition to wasps, I have deer, chipmunks, squirrels, wild turkey, and woodpeckers in the woods behind my place. Those same woods provide privacy and pretty views. When I wake up and tilt my head back just slightly, I see sky and (for now) green foliage.
- At least the trash doesn’t sit out as rodent food on the pavement the night before collection, like it did in my Stratford neighborhood of Old Town.
- I have a smooth, newly paved road in front of the complex, so it’s smooth sailing once I manage to drive out of the mangled parking lot.
- The wood floors are pretty, require less maintenance, and do not hold on to hair and dust mites as tenaciously as my College Mews carpeting did. No one lives above or below me, so I suppose I could take up clog dancing and no one would mind.
- Everything essential (the life-sized refrigerator, the showers that don’t smell badly, and the heating and air conditioning!) functions, and the landlord has been responsive about repairs.
A few nice neighbors have welcomed me, so I suppose we can commiserate about the decrepit exterior, and find warmth inside our new homes.
Photos by Diane Lowman