The Joys (Not) of Apartment Life

There are some. The buildings in my complex are situated that no neighbors can see in my windows. It’s on a bluff. No new buildings can be built to obscure my view and make my living room a part of their view. I can see the sky, trees, and clouds. From my balcony, I have a fabulous view of Mt. Rainier. The fact that I have a balcony where I can grow plants and sit outside to enjoy the view, which sometimes includes bunny youngsters chasing each other across the back lawn.

Not so enjoyable. Walls so thin it sometimes sounds like people are walking around in my place even when I’m home alone. Annual inspections and other invasions of my privacy, such as installing energy-efficient light bulbs I never asked for because I already had them.

Starting Monday and all next week a company hired by management is going to be cleaning “bird guards” (whatever they are) and dryer vents. We’re advised to move our personal stuff off our balconies. The means I have to drag inside a chair, a wrought iron spiral plant stand, and fifteen flower containers. So I’ll be living in an indoor jungle for however long it takes them to finish up at my building.

The notice said that this is an annual event. Nope. They’ve never done it in the seven years (!) I’ve lived here. The staff turns over frequently. Even when they’ve been around awhile, half the time they don’t know what’s what.

I have four rectangular planter boxes that are about two feet wide. I may leave a couple of them on the balcony, next to the wall, where they’re less likely to be damaged. Maybe cover them with plastic trash bags.

This is one of the plants I have to move indoors. The hosta is almost three feet across from leaf tip to leaf tip. I’m crazy about it.

My favorite plant.
What my hosta looked like when I first brought it home from the nursery.

Another plant that’s going to be displaced. The geranium comes indoors during the winter, so it should be used to being indoors.

I’ve been babying this plant for several years now, so I’d be sorry to lose it and its friends.
Autumn fern. Those aren’t dead fronds; their color is the reason for the plant’s name. It’ll probably stay outside, pushed against the inner wall.

More displaced plants.

The petunias and bacopa (the little white flowers) live in railing planters.
A few more denizens of a railing planter. They’re a new variety, trailing pansies. They’re almost ready to climb out of their box.

I have no idea how long my plants will have to stay indoors. I haven’t bothered to ask the office staff; I’m sure they don’t know. My building is designated as “L,” which would make it seem logical that Wednesday would be the day to expect the cleaners, but logic has nothing to do with it. They may not start with building A. They could start with Z. This section of buildings is right next to the main driveway, so it could be the first one to get cleaned.

I guess I’ll know when the crew has arrived when I hear spray from their hoses or whatever machinery they may use. I live in suspense. Apartment living can be so exciting.