Friday, December 26, 2008

Oma's Apartment 6




I used to be a Christmas neurotic. For years and years, I had a goal to be finished with Christmas shopping by Thanksgiving. Some years I actually achieved this goal, which meant I picked up presents year-round and stepped up my game in earnest by about September.

I still buy gifts throughout the year when I see something perfect for someone on my list, but every year I get more relaxed about finishing early. I never got to the frenzied state of last-minute preparations - until this year.

This year, Oma suddenly had a vacant apartment right around Thanksgiving. Up until this year, she was always able to prepare her apartments for the next tenant by herself. Though she is 90 percent recovered, her illness did weaken her. We also can't forget that she is 82 years old, not to mention that the apartment is on the third floor. Oma has five huge pins holding her hip together from an injury thirty years ago, so it is excruciating for her to climb up and down those stairs. By the way, climbing the stairs does have its reward; this is the view from the living room and the bedroom:

And if you squint your eyes and know where to look, you can see the tippy top of the Golden Gate Bridge:

Oma did quite a bit of the work, supervising and working alongside a few favorite workers, but she still needed help. My sister, brother-in-law, and I spent the last few weeks shopping at hardware stores, Benjamin Moore paint stores, lighting stores, and Home Depot, plus we hired some extra workers and managed the tenant selection.

We never had an open house during the holidays before so it was fun to decorate the unit with a few holiday touches. Overall we were all pleased with the end result:







This past Sunday, we held an open house while it was pouring rain outside. It was lightly attended, but we think we found a lovely, responsible tenant.

We usually get our Christmas tree around mid-December. This year, we didn't get our tree until the morning of the open house, December 21st, because I always had to take our big car so I could schlep around light fixtures, curtains, shower heads, and staging props for the apartment.

As for our Christmas preparations, my lovely daughter managed to cook our entire Christmas dinner while I was a wrapping fool at the kitchen table, preparing the rental contract, and trying to perform credit and reference checks while everyone was at the mall instead of answering my phone messages. I abandoned the task of decorating the tree because the Christmas tree lights decided to have a mind of their own. Fortunately, my sister and brother-in-law came to the rescue and decorated the tree before we sat down for Christmas dinner.

While it was hard work, it was also strangely liberating. Our holiday expectations were suddenly brought down to a human level and I was much more relaxed about getting it all done. Next year, I hope to take a page out of the same book.

12 comments:

Jemm said...

Oh, my gosh that is a beautiful apartment!! When can I move in :)

Anne-Marie said...

Ooooh, I would love Love LOVE to live in that apartment. Polished hardwoood floors, adorable white-on-white kitchen, a view and all in SF! WOW. Really lovely

My Castle in Spain said...

Such a lovely apartment ! Congratulations to your mom and please tell her, her garden is beautiful!

Enjoy the week end...
:-)

robinbird said...

hah! i see two other commenters were n the same wave length as i. what i was going to say is that i could live in that apartment with degas and the green candles as is. nothing more is needed thank you very much. having oma seated it looks to be a famous portrait, a study of a very interesting person.
xo
you are a harry potter jedi master!!

CC said...

Oh dear, too late.
I was thinking of making an offer for the apartment myself.
Actually, I need to just simplify this one I already have (on the right coast).

Happy New Year to you and your Mom!

dutchbaby said...

Dear Jemm,
Thank you for your lovely compliment! I'm so glad the photos appear to convey what the apartment looks like.

Dear Anne-Marie
I've always loved this unit, especially because of the view and the built-in pantry. Thanks for the compliment and welcome to my blog!

Dear Castle,
My mother will LOVE hearing how you feel about her little garden. She dotes on every plant.

Dear Robin,
Your sharp eye spied that Degas very well! You also guessed that my mother is a very interesting person. You have no idea...
xo
I love the mixed metaphor of Harry Potter and Star Wars!

Dear CC,
Simplification is the most important and I think the most difficult. Welcome to my blog!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Beth said...

this apartment is fabulous.....the woodwork, the view....I'd move in in a heartbeat !!!

Edi Style said...

Kiss her hand and eyes and forehead for me, for having you
Happy New Year!!!

Love, lots of it

dutchbaby said...

Dear Beth,
And it doesn't snow in San Francisco!

Dear Edi,
You are so sweet. Happy New Year!

Relyn said...

There is nothing I can say that hasn't been said.

Lovely apartment! WAIT!! Don't rent it - I'm coming.

How like you to turn hijacked Christmas plans into joy. How like your family to rally together, do what needs doing, and still enjoy each other. You know, of course, how blessed you are.

dutchbaby said...

Dear Relyn,
It was definitely different listening to Christmas carols on my iPod player echoing in an empty apartment.

Yes, I am truly blessed in more ways than I can count, especially because 2008 brought you to me!

rochambeau said...

She is so cute, OMA!!

xox
C

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