Today marks the fifth anniversary of us purchasing our midtown condo. I took this photo of my wife at the coffee shop where I met her just a few minutes before we went to closing. I have written here before about several different aspects of this condo but thought it would be fun to look back to where it all began and how we have transformed it from just a condo to “Our Condo.”
It was in July over five years ago that upon my returning from the gym one morning, my wife asked me if I would be willing to buy her a condo for about $40,000. While I responded in the affirmative, I was soon to learn that for my wife, this was not a spur-of-the-moment, impulsive request but actually a lifelong dream of hers to own a midtown condo. The unit that caught her eye that morning and the one that she and I both had walked through was not to be as it was taken off the market the day before we were going to make an offer on it. But another condo in the same building with a sales price that would actually turn out to be significantly below that $40,000 figure did work out.
To say that this condo needed some renovation was a huge understatement. We would eventually gut the entire unit.
But in my wife’s eyes, she obviously saw the potential from the first moment we walked in.
From the time of closing, it took just over nine months to complete the renovations and appropriately furnish the condo with the mid-century modern look my wife was aiming for and the look which made me feel like I was on vacation at a “chic” hotel whenever I stayed there. Obtaining the artwork for the walls, which actually started before the renovations were complete, took even longer but was also a part of my wife’s plans for having only original art in the condo.
Once our condo was transformed into this desirable auberge, this charming boutique inn, it became for us many more things.
It first became our weekend getaway where we would spend a Friday or Saturday night to enjoy the vibrant, walk-able neighborhood where it was located. This afforded us the opportunity to walk to a microbrewery for a great beer or to dinner at a fine restaurant and then to a play at one of the four live theatres all situated within a block of each other.
It also became our “night before a flight” hotel with its short 10-minute drive to the airport ensuring we would never get caught in snarling rush-hour traffic potentially missing our flight.
It became a private resort for our kids and their friends whenever they were in town and needed to get away from it all as well.
When our youngest son started graduate school, it became a study lair for daddy and mommy to get caught up on school work while my wife or I watched our granddaughter.
It was even the venue for one of my SibSabs, the annual sibling sabbatical when I get together with just my two sisters and brother.
And it was a getaway location for just my wife and her sister whenever she came to town.
While construction traffic in Memphis made my morning commute to work miserable, I would even go there and spend the night just so I could have a 10-minute commute to work the next morning rather than the hour-long nightmare I sometimes had to endure.
And sometimes when my wife would be out of town, I would stay there by myself for the relaxation and cozy feel I get from being in what has been described as a “curated condo.”
When I think back to that warm July morning when my wife popped the question—that condo purchase question—I had no inkling of any of the many things it would eventually become. Were it not for my special wife and her dream, I don’t know that I ever would have thought to buy a condo, a second home, when I already had a large comfortable home to live in.
So on this fifth anniversary I must say thanks to my wife. Thank you for having the dream. Thank you for asking the question. Thank you for having the vision. And thank you for guiding the decorating and furnishing that made our condo such a special place—a place where we, our kids, and our friends all would want to come home to. A place were can sit out on our balcony, have a beer, relax and enjoy catching up on our day with a view overlooking the quiet, wooded neighborhood behind us.