Sunday, March 29, 2009

This little light of mine... I’m gonna make it shine (whether it’s here or someplace else)



I sure do love the calm feeling I get from a Sunday morning rain.  It's been a steady downpour since I woke up an hour or so ago, prompting me to switch off the TV and turn to more quiet things instead. 

It's been a long time since I've written anything here, not for lack of trying.  For the past several weeks it seems that I've been dealing with either too much going on around me, or too much going on inside my head.   (March madness?  Midlife crisis?  Ants in my pants?  Your guess is as good as mine.)

Here's the thing:  shortly after my sister Donda, Bobby & my niece Drew made their move to the Deep South & settled in their new digs, I began looking at my own life and feeling like one of those hamsters you see running inside a giant wheel.  Year in, year out...nothing changes. 

       I'm all for maintaining a comfort level, and keeping drama in my life to a minimum; half a lifetime of learning how to avoid seizures will do that.  But as I was dressing for work one morning 5 or 6 weeks ago, it suddenly occurred to me that I had been doing this exact same thing for the 7000th time in this same small apartment.   I remember my dad once asking me where I got my bedroom tv stand; he's been gone since 2001, but that stand is still there, in the same spot.  I can remember my grandma coming up for a visit & commenting "nice bachelor digs, mcDoogall!"  That was in 1996, & she passed away 12 years ago in April.  A copper picture frame that my mom gave me in 1999 still sits in a box in my nightstand, waiting for somewhere 'nice' to be displayed.  

It just seems that I've been hanging my clothes in the same closet & staring at these same white walls for 14 years, while everyone else has moved on in one way or another. 

I decided that I hated this apartment.



For gracious, carefree living... come to The Summit


I actually kept quiet about how I felt for awhile, hoping I'd snap out of it & things would get back to normal.  But it got to the point where I began to dread coming home from work, leaving the confines of my beige cubicle in exchange for this white one.  I began thinking of what options were available, and I really have to give my sister Shawn credit, she's been supportive all the way.  For every suggestion I made, she was encouraging and positive.  Not once did I feel like I was being humored.                                                                                     


  • DOUG:  Shawn, what if I painted this place?  Maybe alternate between a couple different colors?
  • SHAWN: That's an excellent idea.  I just happen to have a friend who is a great painter.  I'll bring him up, tape off everything and let him go at it.
  • DOUG:  Thanks Shawn, but I talked to management & they prefer that if I do paint, I stick to sanitarium white.   What do you think of me getting a new apartment?
  • SHAWN: Doug that is a great idea.  You've lived there long enough.  Jim will bring his truck & we'll all pitch in & help you out of there.
  • DOUG:  All these apartments are just more of the same; what if I bought a condo?
  • SHAWN:  I like that idea best; why rent when you can own?

It turns out that most of the condos around here ARE 'more of the same'; for the most part, they resemble my apartment (except that they come with new expenses, like property taxes & monthly condo fees).  But the difference is, of course--you can paint & remodel them as you see fit.   (There are newer, nicer ones available if you want to live in a complex out on the highway; but in my neighborhood, the ones available haven't been updated in 20 years.) 

There was one building I liked in particular though, for it's privacy and location--"The Summit".  It had 3 units available, so I made a couple appointments to see 'em.

 741630_1002 741654_1003

I liked the layout of the first one, but it was a one bedroom unit & shockingly small & reeked of smoke--with the ugliest kitchen I've ever seen.  The second picture is the kitchen of a 2 bedroom unit.  Plenty of room, but needs a lot of work; I wasn't a fan of it's grandma-styled floor plan either. 

Something else about the building; inside, it had an aura of 'seniors only' living.  I'm anxious for my sister to see these units though, and get her opinion.  (Truth be told, I sure wish one would become available on the front of the place; the condos I saw all faced out towards the building's parking lot.  Still not a bad view, I suppose.)

Well, there were several other things I wanted to talk about but for now I'm going to leave it at this.  I do want to add one important thing:  last weekend Shawn & my niece Sophia were here for a visit--we looked at books & ate pizza, explored my neighborhood & just had a nice, uneventful time.   My sister commented on some changes I'd made in here (the new chair & coffee table, replacing those old vertical blinds with drapes) and for the first time in a LONG time, it suddenly felt like home in here.   And it's been that way ever since.   I know that sounds corny as hell, but it's the truth.

                   sophie visits Uncle Doug March 2009