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Having lived the prior 30 or so years in a 4-story brownstone in Brooklyn, I confronted the adjustment to living in an apartment in Manhattan.  One of the first things I did after I moved in was to reactivate my subscription to The New York Times, which I’d suspended during the 6 months I spent in a sublet during the renovation.

I’ll never forget the sheer delight I felt at opening the apartment door one of the first mornings when I had the apartment to myself, after the contractor and his crew were gone, to find the newspaper facing me on the doormat.  Gone were the days I’d need to retrieve it from the outside ground floor entry.  When it snowed, I’d freeze.  When it rained, I’d get a wet head.  Now, I was in my apartment, fuzzy slippers and all, and opening the door into a climate-controlled hall.  Bliss.



Six long months after it started, I paid the contractor his last check when he finished the renovation and I gave him a bottle of wine.  During those 6 interminable months, I sublet a furnished studio apartment in the East 30’s in Manhattan.  I had 2 suitcases of clothes to get me through the change of seasons in NY from January to June, and a pillow.  All my earthly possessions were being stored in a warehouse in the South Bronx.

And then, finally, after the clean-up of plaster dust and the move in, which reunited me with my previous life stored away in the South Bronx, I was able to make my first meal in the new kitchen.  Almost immediately, I planted some ivy in a window box to remind me of the backyard I left behind in my old house.

I’m in an apartment on the Upper West Side in Manhattan now, 2 blocks away from the apartment where my husband proposed when we were both seniors in college.  It’s very much a bittersweet end to this particular part of my widowingon journey.  He’s not here with me.