Around 15 years ago, we moved to a condo as our home. It involved downsizing but it met all of our requirements. It is close to parks and within walking distance to shopping, restaurants and entertainment. We are on a fairly high floor which gives us beautiful views. The halls are wide enough for any gurney on our last trip out of the building. There’s always a tradeoff and ours was space. We are really comfortable here and feel we made a really good decision. To maximize the space, Ed and I made a few structural changes to compensate for the smaller floor space. Our kitchen, living and dining space is in the center with a large balcony. The north wing has one bedroom (we’ve converted to a den) and bath. This bathroom has two doors, one door to the den with the other door is in the entry area for guest who arrives without a moment to spare. The south wing has the master bedroom, bath and a small balcony. If we want to entertain a large number of people, there are several spaces we can use within the community both inside and outside. Since there are not many people that like us and vice versa, we’ve rarely needed this feature. Also, overnight guests we generally book into a hotel that’s just up the street. In the living room there was a coat closet that I had changed into a working office because, when we moved in, I worked out of the house.
As with all people, we have several ways to communicate with each other when we’re in different spaces. We employ yelling, texting, phoning and emailing to converse. However, because the space is smaller, the favored way we have to communicate is simply getting up and joining the other guy to talk face to face. One of the ways I enjoy our space is by stepping out on the main balcony to enjoy the view. We replaced all the balcony doors when we moved in to maximize insulation, sound proofing and protection from sunrays. When I’m on the balcony with the door closed, I can’t hear anything going on inside. More often than you might guess, my husband Ed comes looking for me to share some tid bit of information and can’t find me. He never thinks to look out the balcony doors. While I’m usually enjoying the view, I have seen him looking for me. He comes out of the den and crosses the living areas to the master bedroom and I lose sight for a couple of minutes while she checks the bathroom and closet. He then reappears and I can see that he’s calling me – I just can’t hear him. He goes back into the den and disappears for a few moments while he walks through the bathroom to the second door leading to the entry area. I have even seen him open our front door and look out into the hall. Only then does he look out to the balcony where I wave back. I know I should probably let him know the minute I realize he’s looking for me but he’s so intent it’s really kind of fun. Today, I was on the balcony when the sliding door was slung open startling me. It was Ed. All he said was: “New rule, you have to announce you’re going on the balcony”. The door slammed shut. I’m sure I’ll forget.