My husband and I are getting older. Many of our friends are putting their houses on the market and moving to urban condos and lofts. Great views of city lights, and maybe even a terrace.

This all sounds tempting, as I have always harbored an urban fantasy and envisioned myself living in a cozy apartment in Chelsea or someplace equally trendy like the Village in New York. I have insomnia, and so I spend many happy hours in bed in the deep, dark night, picturing the perfect place.

My new York apartment would not be big. It would be just right: two bedrooms, one with a fireplace that works. A living room, also with a fireplace. At least one brick wall. I would put a small, round dining table at the end of the room, next to the bricks. It would look out through French doors to the terrace.

The terrace would be very important. I have to admit that I am so not an outdoor person. I have a lovely deck attached to the back of my Dayton  house, and although every year I have a landscaper decorate it with gorgeous plants and window boxes, I never go out there to sit–mosquitos and flies. And the beating sun. However, I tell myself that my New York terrace would be different, and I would go out there all the time. The terrace would have a lovely brick floor, There would be a high enough wall so that my cats would not escape, but the top of the wall would have decorative, antique wrought-iron trim, so that the view would not be hampered. I would have trees in pots, lush ivy growing up the wall, and a little spot of grass, just in case I decided to get a dog. A striped awning. I would drink coffee out there and deadhead my petunias in the summer. The table and chairs would be aged teak.

Inside, I would have a lot of books, a tiny kitchen with an oval window over the sink,  so  I could look out at the twinkling city lights as I washed my dishes by hand. I would like doing that in my apartment. There would be two bathrooms, both with antique pedestal sinks and black and white tile floors. There would be deep linen cupboards.

Of course, my apartment would have decorative crown moldings and dark, battered oak floorboards. There would be Persian carpets and a Boston Fern that would never drop one leaf, ever. All the chairs and sofas would be comfortable. I would paint the walls a dark, jewel tone–maybe amethyst. I would have shimmering,  taupe silk curtains flowing at the windows and pooling onto the floor.

Yesterday, we took a drive through downtown Dayton to look at some of the beautiful old buildings that have been turned into lofts, along with the new residential condominium developments scattered around the downtown area. All looked so exciting. We discussed putting our house on the market and moving downtown.

After we got over our anxiety attacks, we drove home and swore that we wouldn’t leave this house until we are rolled out of here in wheelchairs.


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