Halloween, a Year Ago (2021)

Today, going through my photos as I restore this website, I stumbled onto this photo.

Halloween 2021 - my painting for our front door


I’m reminded of how much we loved our Orlando apartment… just not the latest management and the sometimes-shady new neighbors they eagerly let move in.

Oh, I was sympathetic. By 2021, the economy had shifted, radically. Rents had nearly doubled, regardless of location or quality of living.

Anyone looking for an apartment in our area chose more luxurious (and quieter) accommodations a short distance up the street. Yes, those rents were higher but, relatively speaking, worth the extra cost if you could afford them. (At that time, we couldn’t.)

The problems began in mid-2020, when people most likely to move into our complex were groups of people – sometimes three generations, or a team of workers – needing to pack six or more people into one- and two-bedroom units.

And, to meet corporate demands, the managers of our complex looked the other way.  (Today, if reviews are correct, they’re not even in the office during the day. Trash is piling up on the sidewalks, and so on.)

Though it was clear that we had to move, and could no longer afford soaring Orlando rents, I look back on the six years we lived in that apartment.

And how, until 2020 – when Disney World closed for months during the peak of the pandemic, and most of our lovely neighbors moved out – we absolutely loved living there.

I’m a little nostalgic, looking at this painting I created a year ago.  We’re missing Disney a lot, too.

But I’m also looking forward to our next home, and – in a way – this reflection on the recent past helps me understand what makes a “perfect home” for us.

It includes a fun location with things we love to see and do, as well as friendly, smiling neighbors who share our outlook on life.