After 30 years, my wife and I moved from our long-term residence. It was a tearful goodbye to our wonderful and comforting home with all its memories. We purchased it a few months before our twins were born in 1993, and it served us well for many years.
It’s interesting how we get set in our ways when we live in a place for a long time. I had all the comforts of home as a stay-at-home dad when our children were young, and during later years when I worked from my man cave. I only emerged from my hideaway lair to eat, workout and sleep.
Most people were envious of my man cave because it was so different from the rest of the apartment, and all mine. Most of the rooms were minimally bright, given the fact that Upper Eastside apartments are shaded by their close proximity to near-by buildings. However, my office has paneling that is dark brown. When we decorated the apartment, several years after moving in, I decided I wanted to have dark wood and an old and distinguished feel. My wife hated it. The room was an ideal environment to do my writing without disturbances, and I was very productive during most of the years in the apartment. Guests needed a special invitation to enter my room.
After the twins were born, which was about two or three months after we purchased the apartment, we were happy that we had so much space because the apartment was always crowded with family and friends.
During the years, we had numerous get togethers for business and parties for family. Probably the most memorable were the Seder meals that we hosted. We had a long foyer in which we set up a table that could hold 30 or 35 people. The area was perfect for big meals. It was always great getting together with my wife’s family and guests of all faiths.
One year, my two brothers-in-law who led our Seders were unavailable. On the day of the Seder, my wife said I needed to lead the group. I said, what? I’m Catholic. I accepted this honor because I had been to enough Passovers over the years. There was no formal training at Notre Dame for such a contingency. I studied my Haggadah all afternoon and received good marks from the attendees. Elijah even showed up.
Our home was a safe place for our friends our children’s friends. One of the sad memories was welcoming those who were dislocated during 9/11. We collected kids from both of our children’s schools, and they spent the afternoon watching Nickelodeon, while the adults followed the horrific events of that day on news TV. We were joined by some of my wife’s colleagues from work who were unable to get home until much later in the evening. It was really a sad time, but we felt safe in our home.
While living at our old apartment, I worked out twice each day. I spent many satisfying hours in the gym on aerobic equipment and using weights. The gym became a social place for me where I got to know some of the other residents quite well during chat sessions while we were working out. In fact, I was selected to buy new equipment for the gym. I actually conducted a poll to ensure that everybody was heard in terms of their preferences for the equipment we installed.
One inconvenient thing that happened during our time at the old place was our gas was shut down for 18 months because a leak was found. We had to buy a hot plate like college because our stove was gas-operated. At that time, we were empty nesters so we could always order in or make sandwiches for dinner. What our neighbors that had children did was a challenge. Not having access to a stove in your apartment for a year and a half was a real struggle. This was one important reason we opted for a newer structure.
The question is why did we move after so many years? Answer: After COVID my wife wanted to have outdoor space.
She promised me that we would do a limited amount of construction and try to use some of our furniture from our old apartment. Let’s put it this way, none of this came to fruition. Working with architects and construction people, we completely gutted the entire apartment, and we bought all new furniture. Happy wife, happy life.
I’m ecstatic to be in a new apartment and my new man cave, which is secluded from the rest of the house. People that visit our new home, especially the men, are really envious of my private space. My wife and I are extremely happy with our new digs. My happy life has only become happier since we moved in. I realize that family makes our house a home, not its address. Hoping for many more years of love, family and good times.