Wednesday, October 7, 2009

corners.i:

As far as apartments go, did I mention how lucky I am? I am one of the fortunate few to be placed in a long-term hotel apartment. (And a nice one at that!) There are probably 150 other teachers, including two of my co-teachers, who are still staying in hotels and living out of suitcases. At first, it must have been fun: 5 star luxury, refreshing swimming pools, extravagant continental breakfasts, free gym service. By now, though, I'm sure the novelty has worn off and they'd like to be settled.

From what I'm discovering, however, being "settled" and having a set of keys in your hand are not synonymous. Despite the fact that I've been in my own apartment from day one, I still sorta feel like a guest. Makes me wonder if eBay ever auctions off one-size-fits-all, cozy, welcoming, just-relax-and-BE housewarming packages. Maybe even just a can of aerosol "home-sweet-home" spray would do the trick. One squirt and it would instantly make a place feel like your whole family was right there sitting around a fire on Christmas Eve.

If I did find such an all inclusive package or this insta-aura stuff, I highly doubt it would be "just right." I think I'm looking for something that isn't really reproducible here-- like fresh tomatoes from the garden, mail in the basket, window boxes with blooming flowers, half-eaten little kid cheese sandwiches on the counter, kitty paw prints on the wood floor, lamps turned on for late night returnees, shoes on the mat, one of a kind artwork, leftover dinner party dishes, and other little tell-tale signs of life lived in community. I miss them. I miss them because really, they are just my kind of lovely in that space I fondly refer to as "home".


So, if making a cheese sandwich and leaving it on the counter isn't quite doing it for me, what is my game plan for tackling this non-homey home? I'm not sure. I've tried candles on the coffee table, plants in the window, and cookies in the oven. They're helping add some familiar, cozy charm, but they're no replica for family or for roommates who become like family. They just don't say, "you belong in this place" as well as I would like.

I guess my only tactic is to just keep making baby steps towards (cheaply and temporarily) personalizing the place. Maybe, eventually, "home" will arrive. Until then, I'll have to be satisfied with the little tiny pockets of my apartment that are starting to feel like me. I find them every so often. Usually by surprise. They're not always in the same place. They're not always there at the same time. They're not always affecting me in the same way. But, nonetheless, they are there.

Courtesy of pre-scheduled posts, I'm going to be delivering a short but [hopefully] sweet series on my apartment. I'm looking forward to sharing a few of my favorite little corners with you.
-m.

baking center

flour -- salt (lots of it for playdoh) -- brown sugar -- white sugar
p.s. i'm pretty sure i have marble counters!!

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