Condo Life 2

Last week I wrote about adjusting to a smaller living space when moving from a house to a condo apartment. If it is difficult to get used to this at first, but you may find you do enjoy life without maintaining gardens and lawns. Even a small balcony can hold a plant or two if you miss growing things. As for doing housework, I haven’t met anyone yet who wishes for more surfaces to clean.

Once you have got used to the size of your new home, there are other adjustments. Condo buildings with multiple residents must have rules and regulations to function well. These differ from place to place. For example, we cannot have barbecues on our terraces and balconies and the colour of the outdoor structures is governed. Many people miss their barbecues, We bought a small indoor one but it is not the same.

New construction and renovations on a street disturb neigbours and in a condo building can annoy people above, below and beside an apartment. Everyone seems to have a project in our place which is mainly because of the age of the building. Removing ceramic tiles from entry ways, bathrooms and kitchens is particularly bothersome and when I’m upset by the noise, I remind myself that we did the same thing to our floors before we moved in. Sooner or later, all those tiles will be replaced.

Loud and large parties are frowned upon. We once jammed 22 people into our apartment for Christmas Eve. It was a tight squeeze which we managed with cooperation and folding chairs. Luckily it was neither noisy nor long. Most buildings have a party room which can be rented for gatherings. Ours could be too in the great old days before the pandemic closed it.

You’d think that in a hallway with 9 other apartments, you’d get to know your fellow residents. This did not happen. The doors remained closed and I was often lonely. I was used to visiting my neighbours and having them visit me when I was a street dweller. It took work to make friends and I met people when I took up bocce (outdoors) and euchre (indoors). I was poor at both but people were forgiving. Strangely enough, covid-19 has brought residents closer. I described last week the various groups meeting in our backyard. I have got to know many others in the last months. We worry about how and where we will gather in the winter. Various suggestions were made about still meeting in the gazebo, clad in parkas, hats, boots, gloves and balaclavas instead of face masks. Maybe.

It took a while for me to adjust to condo life and I sometimes get a little emotional when I watch home renovation shows. I am at heart a house person and I miss my old home with all its inconveniences. However I can never go home, not because I have changed but because the building was reduced to a pile of rubble. And its replacement is plain ugly!