Triumphant Returns

It certainly won’t come as a shock to any regular readers of this blog that I’ve been on a rather lengthy hiatus over the past few weeks and months.  While it wasn’t necessarily intentional, it was self-imposed and born out of a busy schedule, major life developments and (perhaps most importantly) general laziness.  I’d been putting off returning to blogging for a while, waiting for the moment to signal to everyone that a major change had taken place in my life and to mark that moment as my return to this site.  After a mountain of effort, that day has finally come.

At the first of the year I bid farewell to the place I called home for nearly seven years, settling into a new place and beginning a new chapter in my life.  Gone are the smoky rooms and polka-dot walls, gone are the often treacherous stairs and the strolls to McKinney’s, but most importantly, gone is the rectangular room that held more memories than any of us could ever really imagine.  For the better part of a decade, I called 55 8th Avenue my Clay City home.  I shared some of the absolute highest and lowest points of my life with many of you within those four walls, shared moments of triumph and moments of disaster, but most importantly I shared a kind of youthful camaraderie that will live on forever, if only in my head.

Not to get all sappy on you, as it’s certainly not a time for missing the old days, but rather a time to look forward to the future.  My life is back on track after a few setbacks and adulthood is actually starting to feel like more than a distant concept… certainly in part due to the various marriages and children that were occasionally born out of those days.  So, it’s with that feeling that I bid a fond farewell to the 558 and embrace the 4801 with a warm, optimistic high-five.

I’ve had a request, from some of you that haven’t had the chance to make it to the new digs, to post a few pictures of the new place.  While ordinarily I’d just complain at your lack of motivation to actually come visit, some of you have complicated schedules and some of you actually live several thousand miles away.  So, for your benefit, I’ll give you a very basic tour of the new place, shot this afternoon after I returned home from work.

dining-room

I’ll begin at the beginning, with the dining room.  After all, it IS the very first thing you see when you walk through the door.  Yes, that’s right, the door you see in the top of the image is the very front door that you stroll through as you make your way into my new home.  From that door, you pass through a hallway, guiding yourself beyond the coat closet and into the living room.

living-room

The living room is hands down my favorite part of the house, and was (as if there was ever any doubt) the absolute moment that I decided to move in as quickly as possible.  I’m a sucker for interior brick, love a fireplace and was bowled over by the book shelves built directly into the wall.  It’s warm, remarkably cozy and features a commanding view of the Red River if you glance through the sliding glass door at just the right angle.  If you’re standing in this spot, you need only turn your head to the right for a view of the kitchen.

kitchen-counter

The setup is just ideal, offering a large space to maneuver and no bulky appliances in the way.  I’m not the world’s biggest fan of the flowery wallpaper, but that’s just yet another project for another day (or weekend, if the rest of the wallpaper is any indication).  Of course, the kitchen does feature such conveniences as an oven and a fridge, seen here:

kitchen-full1

Making your way through the kitchen, you encounter a small side room (formerly the dining room) that I’ve eagerly converted into the kind of space that every home needs… a poker room.

poker-room

Not exactly tremendous in size, but big enough to hold any games that I have, the small section of the house is dedicated to the occasional card game among friends and for very small stakes.  There was considerable conversation as to where the actual poker table should be located, but John quickly pointed out that in this position, and with the location of the light just above, it felt like the table from the intro credits on “Roseanne.”  After that, I was sold.

Should you decide to turn in the opposite direction and head back through the kitchen and living room, you’d find yourself at a crossroads.  To the right, my bedroom.

bedroom-1

Unfortunately, you can’t tell from the photo but just over the bed is a fantastic view of the Red River, wrapping around the house and heading toward stately Meadows Manor just down the street.  Now, turning around we’ll walk from my bedroom

bedroom-2

Down the hall and into the master bathroom!

bathroom-1

The master bath serves not only as a place to clean one’s body, but also as a handy pathway into the rest of the house.  Sure, you could use the hallway, but who doesn’t want to access part of their home via the lavatory?  One last glance at the general sink area…

bathroom-2

… and we’ll continue with the  tour.

From the bathroom we get to enter what is easily my 2nd favorite room of the house, although one that rarely sees much action as I’m often here by myself.  Save any gutter references you might have, because I’m talking about the theater room.  You see, when I first moved into this place, the room placed directly in the front was considered the master bedroom… obviously, as it’s as large as the apartment underneath my old one.  It took only seconds for me to size up the square footage of the room and realize that there was just no logical reason for this room to actually be my bedroom.  You’ve now seen my bedroom… imagine that furniture placed inside of a room at least twice the size.  I’m not sure that any amount of feng shui could have made it look anything other than ridiculous.

So, with that in mind, I obtained a projector, set up a few tables and created something I’ve always wanted, my own in-house theater.

theater-1

From these seats you can relax with a cool beverage, recline a bit and take in anything from your favorite movie to your favorite video game.  I’m especially partial to the Wii, as playing nearly life-sized Wii Tennis with no furniture around to cause serious injury has become one of my favorite evening pastimes.

theater-2

There are still a few bugs to work out (as nothing ever really gets “finished”), the surround sound hasn’t yet been wired and a few technical issues make for an often interesting start to any theatrical experience.  But, in time those minor inconveniences will be a thing of the past.  How does it look?  Well, it’s almost impossible to grab a decent picture of the room “in action” with the technology that I have on hand, but this is my best attempt to share.

theater-night

So, there you have it.  Hopefully the table in the middle of the floor gives you some kind of frame of reference.  If not, you’ll just have to hop on your nearest plane, train or automobile and actually come to visit.

So, I’ve now bored you to death with images of my new home… partially to share with those of you that haven’t had the chance to see it, and partially to mark a new day in my life (and subsequently my blog).  I had originally intended to thank each and every person that ever made my old apartment the place that it was, but as I thought more about that concept I realized that it would be impossible to actually list EVERYONE that played a part in that era.  Some I’m certain to overlook, some wouldn’t want to be listed, and others I just don’t know.  So, in the interest of making sure that everyone is happy, I’ll just leave off any names and close with this:

To those of you that made my life a joy, a chore or a combination of both over the past years of my life, I thank you.  Through the ups and downs I wouldn’t be the person that I am today without the things that I learned on one level or another from each and every one of you.  To all of you that read this and once set foot through my front door, I thank you.  If we parted on the best of terms, the worst of terms or just simply drifted apart, I want you to know that you always have a home here in my home.  I’m all about the future, but not without the past.

Now, let’s get back to shouting at Republicans, talking about bad ass music and boring everyone to death with football!

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One Response to “Triumphant Returns”

  1. Vickie :) Says:

    While I have visited your new home and agree that it is beautiful and a definite improvement, I will sincerely miss the old apartment. Some of the best times of MY life were had in your living room. I guess we will have to start working on breaking in the new one……

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