The week between Christmas and New Year was a busy one. I traveled to Cookeville to pack the last of the things in that house and then made sure they were loaded on the moving van. Next Amy and I met the movers in Nashville and they toted the stuff up a flight of stairs and into the small condo we purchased. It’s only two miles from our daughter’s home and, more important, only two miles from grandson Madden.
This condo is an older one. Built in the 1980’s, it has just enough room to house us and hold family when they drop by. Walls beg for a coat of paint, fixtures in the kitchen and bathrooms are dated, and the cabinet doors in the kitchen are warped or stained. The price was right, however, and we didn’t have to shell out exorbitant amounts of cash for the place.
Amy and I liked the place the first time we viewed it. Neither of us could say exactly why, but it was the one we kept coming back to as we looked at and compared at least twenty residences. It wasn’t the best or worst of what we viewed, but this condo had something none of the others had: comfort.
For some reason, we were comfortable from our first entrance. That didn’t changes as our stuff began to fill the space. At least fifty boxes held glassware, pots and pans, and miscellaneous items (things thrown in because they don’t fit anywhere or were found at the last minute). It took two and a half days to open those boxes and store the items, a process that might have been quicker if my wife hadn’t felt the need to wash every plate and cup.
Few things make a new place homey like a bed. We set ours up, and put on fresh sheets. Pillows that held or unique indentations lay atop the spread and waited for us to pour our tired bodies into the bed. Clothes were dispatched to familiar dresser drawers, and clocks, eye glasses and remote controls were placed in familiar locations.
The best part of this new part-time home is the living room. It is part of one large room that also includes a dining area. We sent a couch from Knoxville for sitting and got rid of the one in Cookeville that was as comfortable as a rock. We also sent our end tables and coffee table.
Other than the bed, the best pieces in the place are two platform rockers. One belonged to my dad. I can still seem him sitting in it with his feet upon the ottoman as my twin brother rubbed Deep Heat into his swollen ankles. The other rocker belonged to my father-in-law, Isaac Netherton. I remember him propped up in that rocker with a box on his lap. He’d watch television and whittle for hours. Both men were never more relaxed than when they sat in their favorite chairs.
An old familiar idiom says that “familiarity breeds contempt.” In our case with this new residence, “familiarity breeds contentment.” We’ll enjoy our new home away from home.