I love our city home so much. The traffic noises. The skyline. The vistas for miles–no trees up here to block the view. Life on the fifth floor is a complete change. My entire life up until now has been suburban.

So yes, some things I do miss. We don’t hear crickets at night. There are no cardinals or bluejays downtown. I had a bird feeder up here for a while, but I took it down, because city sparrows poop all over balconies–who knew?

The  wildlife we observe is something we never saw in the suburbs: every night, hundreds of starlings roost on the stadium lights at the baseball field in front of our apartment, and according to Google, they exchange information. The meetings last about 30-40 minutes, and there is a lot of chatter. I love to watch them–when the meetings are over, the birds depart in groups, each one a little smaller than the one before. The last group to leave consists of just a few birds. I wonder how they decide who should leave when, and I wonder which bird gets to adjourn the meeting.

One time, a falcon landed on the railing of the balcony next to ours, and I was thrilled. By the time I turned on my phone camera, it had flown away. There are also geese that fly by the building on their way to the river, which is just a block away.

I rescued two tiny feral kittens who I saw frisking around on the baseball field. I had seen their mom previously, but I didn’t realize she had a family. The Dayton Dragons management was so helpful, and they set out a trap, but we only managed to get the kittens. We found them homes. I never saw the mom again.

The sunsets are brilliant. We can see the huge fountains on the river from the apartment. They go off every hour on the hour during the summer months. All we saw from our house in the ‘burbs were trees.

We can walk to restaurants. Watch baseball games from the apartment. The Dayton Celtic Festival is going on this weekend, and we can walk over to it in two minutes. We can also hear the bagpipes from the living room!

On the whole, this has been a tremendous experience. We are so glad we made the move while we were still “young” enough to do all the packing and slogging. Still young enough to have this one more adventure.

I would encourage any of you out there who have grown children to get going. Clear out your attics and basements; get rid of all that junk. Your kids don’t want your antiques. Mowing the lawn is a pain in the ass. So are cleaning the gutters and shoveling snow. Downsize now, before downsizing means moving from your house into a nursing home, for God’s sake.

A falcon is waiting to land on your balcony.

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