Many years ago I learned what I consider to be a very valuable lesson. It was the early 80's and Doug and I were in our very first house in Baldwinsville, a few miles north of Syracuse, NY. When we built it, we told ourselves that we'd only be there 5 years at the most. It was a cloudy, snowy part of the country, and we could not imagine settling there for long. I had a short-timer's attitude - why do (fill in the blank) because we're only going to move in a few years? Why take the time and waste the money on (fill in the blank) when we're only going to be moving in a few years? So for those first years in Baldwinsville I kept a nice, neat home, but I didn't do too much to it by way of personalizing it.
A few years later a new family moved in across the street. Like the previous owners, the husband was in the Air Force working as a recruiter, and I knew his assignment would be 2 years. So you can imagine my amazement when I saw the wife bustling around that house, planting new flowers, painting the trim, and painting and wallpapering the interior. When I got to know her a bit, I asked why she went to all that effort knowing full well she'd be leaving in two years. She told me that when she first married her career Air Force husband she made the commitment that no matter where they went and for no matter how long, she would make that place a home, for herself, for her husband, and for her children. She would treat that house or apartment as if they were going to be there forever.
This had a huge impact on me, and from that moment onward I made her philosophy my own. It was a good thing too because we didn't stay in that first house for five years - we were there for thirteen!
So here I am, two weeks after arriving in Abu Dhabi, finally in our apartment in Sama Tower. Yesterday I spent the entire day unpacking our suitcases and figuring out the best place to put things. I ironed tons of clothes and hung everything neatly away. I rearranged the living room furniture. The apartment is now set up and perfectly functional, but it is a bit sterile. My next task is to find some nice things to warm the place up - to personalize it. For me, that's the fun part!
Here is a little tour of our new home at Sama Tower as it looks now. I'll post more photos once I decorate and accessorize.
This is Sama Tower which is located in the heart of downtown Abu Dhabi. It is the temporary home of NYU Abu Dhabi's adminstrative offices, the wellness center, some study and lecture space and housing for students, faculty and staff. There is also a large gym on the top level and a swimming pool open to the sky. Our apartment is on the 23rd floor. Once the new campus on Saadiyat Island is completed this Fall, everything and everybody will move there.
This is a close-up of the living room. I was very happy to find that an area rug was provided, and it is one that I can live with too, not something ugly. The furniture is pretty comfy, thank goodness.
This view is taken from the kitchen looking over the counter. You can get a sense of the view that we have from our window. You can also see that we have a little desk and chair to the right, and we have a small dining room table.
The night time view out our window. There aren't as many sky scrapers as in NYC, but the lights are still pretty.
So that's my tour! Now I just need a few plants, some family photos and some accessories, and this will be Home for the next year. It made me smile to read this recent email from my son, Jeff. He clearly gets me :-)
You've always been good at making an apartment into a home rather than just the place you sleep at, so with your gloves off I'm sure you'll have it feeling that way in no time.