You Can Take It With You (or, At Least a Lot of It)
By Leslie Wendel, Pennswood resident
I have 86 pictures hanging on the walls of my two-bedroom apartment at Pennswood. Yes, I had to downsize when I moved here three years ago. But, that didn’t mean I had to give up all my favorite possessions. It’s surprising how much you can fit into 1,064 square feet apartment. And, with one extra twin bed, a sofa bed and a folding bed I keep in a closet, there is room for my whole family (two sons, daughter-in-law and 12-year-old grandson) to stay here during holiday visits.
I measured everything including tables, sofas, chairs and rugs before the move so I knew just what would fit where. The result: my apartment looks, and feels, like my old house, only smaller and with things slightly rearranged. The same pictures (16 of them) are on the walls of my living room. The room contains the same large Oriental rug and same sofa, armchairs and tables that were in my old living room. I also have room for my favorite sculptures, paperweight collection and the antique valentines.
When I put up the drop-leaves on my dining table and take the extra chairs out of one of my two walk-in closets, I can seat six for dinner. My antique, French crystal chandelier hangs over the table, just as it hung over the table in the dining room of my old house. Sure, the table’s smaller than the old one, but it’s the same style. The chairs are smaller too. Actually, they were my kitchen chairs but they look fine around the dining table.
One of Pennswood’s carpenters built a wall of bookcases in my living room as well as in my combination library/guestroom. I gave most of my books to the local library before I moved so I now have plenty of room for the 300 or so books I brought with me. The shelves also house duck decoys, some marble penguins, an antique clock, a collection of rocks and several framed family photos.
I had the door of a closet removed to create additional space in my kitchen. My dog Maud always slept in her crate in our old kitchen. Her crate just fits in this extra space. It’s a perfect spot for her. She can lie there and keep an eye on both apartment entrances: the front door and the patio door. The extra wall space also provides room for hanging 15 more pictures plus the antique clock case where I store extra wine glasses.
I considered selling my collection of antique French Quimper pottery before moving. Instead, I not only brought it all with me, but I’ve added to it. I love looking at those old plates in my glass-front corner cupboard. My dining area is cozy and has a perfect cupboard-size corner.
I almost never cook anymore, but I’m glad I brought along 20 of my old cookbooks plus some special kitchen equipment. I have used my French snail plates (with the little wells for 12 snails on each one) and the snail-holding implements twice since moving to Pennswood when I served escargots at dinners for six in my apartment. I have plenty of room in my kitchen cabinets for storing such things.
Maud and I are very happy here. And, it only took a couple of weeks to unpack all those boxes.