The Little Things…

Stories! | October 21, 2011

I’ve been in my new condo now for two weeks, and I’ve come to realize that there are a lot of “little things” that I miss about the old place.

I think every home-owner goes through this process.  No two homes are ever the same…

It’s amazing how you’ll always miss something you left behind at your old home, even if you new home is twice as great.

I left my old home of almost five years for a much larger, much more upgraded space with a bigger terrace and a better view – and yet I still think 4-5 times per day about those small, insignificant things that I took for granted at my old home.

Do you know what I mean?

When I say “insignificant,” I truly mean it.  I mean when you compare the value of asset to the value of the subtle nuances that I’m talking about, there’s no contest.

For example, my old mailbox was at the top of the mailbox-wall!  It was at eye-level, and it was reached with ease!  My new mailbox is at the very bottom of the wall – like eight inches off the ground.  I literally have to get down on my knees, with my face almost touching the cold floor, and peer into the back of the box to make sure nothing was left behind.

That is what I mean by “the little things.”

You feel silly for thinking about them, and I likely look like a downright wuss for even writing about them, but you can’t help but notice them every day.

Those little things are what makes you comfortable in your home.

I had a Subway Sandwiches across the street from my old condo.  It was literally a twenty-foot walk from the side-door of the building, and the guys who worked there knew exactly what I wanted!  Even when my girlfriend went in to get us both subs, the guy would ask, “Is this for the sir?”  That was me – I was the sir!  He knew my order, and he knew when my girlfriend was ordering for me!

Across the street right now is a bunch of people that are too good to work at Subway – the protestors.  But we won’t get into that again.  Well, maybe on Monday…

In my old building, we had a convenience store on the main floor.  We could access the store from inside our condo, and many times, I’d go down in my slippers and pajama-pants.  It was ultra-convenient for when you needed something for the kitchen – some sugar, salt, oil – or whatever your recipe called for.  It was great if you needed a guilty pleasure like a bag of chips or some Runts

But it was amazing when you had a party and you ran out of ice!  I don’t know about you, but I can’t drink rye-and-ginger without ice.  I started bartending when I was 18-years-old, and I learned to fill each glass with ice before putting in any alcohol or mix.  I was raised on ice in a mixed-drink, and I can’t stand my beloved rye-and-gingerale without the weight of the ice in my glass, and the feel of the cubes on my lips.

The convenience store is one of those little things about my old place that I’ll miss.

I also miss the warmth of my hardwood flooring.  I put in some very thick, very durable, very high-grade hardwood which didn’t have the “tappy” sound of laminate or the hollow sound of low-quality engineered hardwood.  My new condo has a great floor, but it’s not as good, and I notice it with every step that I take.  But it’s an “in-between” grade and there’s no money to be made on the resale value by installing high-quality, so I’m stuck with it.

You know what else I miss?  The zero-mile-per-hour winds of having a second floor terrace, at the back of the condo, in-between three buildings…

My new terrace, for all its glory, is on the 9th floor without a single thing above it.  It’s totally open, and as a result, I’m getting some 40-mile-per-hour gusts!

I’ve grown tired of standing up my wicker dining chairs, since they all just blow back down again.

And the BBQ cover has blown off the Weber twice already.

But I swear I thought that somebody had stolen my ping-pong table when I awoke the other day and it was GONE!

The wind had somehow caused the table to wheel itself about twenty feet away, and the cover blew off and was on the other side of the condo.  I definitely thought the cover had blown off the building and likely landed on the windshield of somebody’s Sonata on Jarvis…

Yes, I know – I shouldn’t be complaining.  Right now, my colleague, Jim, is reading this and thinking (or saying aloud), “Oh poor you!  With your ping-pong table and your terrace!”  I’m just making a point, Jim!  This wouldn’t be my blog if I wasn’t fully open all the time, to the point where my girlfriend says, “Can you please stop giving out our home address and uploading photos and videos of where we live?”

Speaking of which, I miss the privacy that a small, intimate condo had to offer.  Nowadays, we wonder which people at the Holiday Inn Express are watching us through their windows, since we don’t have any window coverings.

I miss being on the second floor and knowing that only “G” might get in your way of the parking garage and home.  It seems like the elevator stops on every floor on the way up – but who the heck goes from the third floor to the eighth?  Are there really that many friends of friends in the building?  The gym is on the second floor, and the elevator has yet to pass by “2” without a stop.

I miss only having to clean 600 square feet!  That’s for sure!

I miss having Sobey’s and No Frills one block away.  I’ve started hiking three blocks to Metro and it’s way busier, and I can’t find the Skittles anywhere!

Tim Horton’s is now a full two blocks away, whereas it used to be just one.  Okay, okay……now I really am complaining!

I miss my neighbours at the old condo; that is – I miss that I never saw them or heard from them.  This morning I awoke and there was a bag of garbage tied to my front door handle!  I accidentally left it in the hall – outside my front door (I live in a corner so there’s really nobody to see the doorway), and one of my neighbours must have seen the bag of garbage, thought “What a jerk,” and tied it to my door to teach me some sort of a lesson.

Plus, the guy next door plays his piano twenty-four hours per day!  I didn’t think it was possible – I thought people had to get at least six hours of sleep.  But no, this guy just wails away non-stop.  Morning, noon, and night.  Ironic, considering we got a noise complaint last Saturday at 11:30PM during our housewarming party, but this guy can play Mozart at 5AM when he wakes up.

Do you see how insignificant all these items truly are?

But that’s the point I’m trying to make.  You can go from condo to house, small to big, east to west – no matter what, you’ll always miss the little things about your old place.

I had such trouble letting go of 128 Parkhurst Boulevard in 1992 when we moved to Bessborough Drive, but that was more nostalgia and being a kid than anything.

Even though I don’t really miss the old condo, and I wake up every morning and thank the metaphoric Heavans that I live here, I still have a few instances per day of thinking about something small yet special about my old place.

Does that ever go away?

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  1. Moonbeam!

    at 7:50 am

    Ok now let’s hear about the things you don’t miss… and the things you love about your new condo!!

  2. George

    at 10:54 am

    I’ve shopped at that Metro at every possible hour of every day of the week, and I’ve never been able to zoom through the check out process. If it’s not the busiest grocery store, then it is surely understaffed.

    I have never understood how musical instruments are tolerated in a condo building. Musicians should be forced to rehearse in private homes or someone’s garage. I used to live beneath a bass guitarist, and I briefly contemplated murder.

  3. David

    at 11:30 am

    Ah, the benefits of living in the VU Lofts section of the building. 2 elevators for 8 floors means there’s barely any wait time for an elevator and very few issues with the garbage chute. I can’t imagine how people in the North Tower deal with 2 elevators for their entire tower.

    The wind is crazy on that 9th floor common terrace! It’s impossible to BBQ up there (which btw, 2 barbeques for the entire complex is not enough) without bringing up real cutlery, plates, and mugs/glasses so that stuff doesn’t fly away. Spiders also seem to love that space. Shudder. A friend’s condo has these tall glass “walls” which really help, but their outdoor space is much smaller and easier to handle. VU’s is gigantic!

  4. cd

    at 7:10 pm


    I commend you for being so honest. Sometimes no matter how much we spend and how lovely it is when you first view it, you never know what it will be like to live there until you do.

    It took me three years to get use to our new home and I still miss some of the little things from the old house.

  5. IanC

    at 11:21 am

    Too bad about the protest…

    You know phrase “Don’t drink the kool aid”…

    That goes for lemonade as well…
    Especially if it smells like asparagus…

    video from a legal team – “I am a legal observer”…

    And whatever, I figure there are many bankers that should be in jail that are not… so let them eat cake

  6. Pingback: Subtle Differences — Toronto Real Estate Property Sales & Investments | Toronto Realty Blog by David Fleming
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