One week from today we move from New York to Knoxville. It’s hard to leave. DC was much easier. Atlanta was harder. We do love it here. We’d have to in order to tolerate all the inherent hassle of living here without mountains of cash.

Security has been on my mind with some frequency as we shift into serious house hunting. Watch TV for five minutes and you’d think that I would be so relieved to shift from the crazy city to a safer, smaller place. But the truth is that I’m wondering how I will cope with the vulnerability of living in a house. It’s been so many years since I have. In DC we lived in a 4th floor walk up in a security building. (What we apartment dwellers mean by “security building” is that there is a common, locked front door. In DC you had to enter a code. In NY we have an intercom and we buzz people in.) High above the ground and the last stop in the building, there were a lot of doors and people between us and anyone coming in the front door. Windows? Not an option at 30+ feet off the ground. Our apartment in NY is even more airtight. That security door out front means business. It’s heavy metal and it closes decisively (watch your fingers). Even the police and fire department buzz to be let in. Our apartment door is made of steel. We have big deadbolt locks. The only way through is with one of the police-issue heavy battering rams or fire department axes made for just such a thing. (I will say that it’s amazing how fast the fire department can get through your door. I’ve seen it in action across the hall when a neighbor fell asleep with something on the stove.) Our windows are, once again, high off the ground. The one window accessing the fire escape has a retractable steel gate. So. I have always felt bunkered down and secure here.

When we buy a house it will feel enormous to us, even though we’re looking for something of modest dimensions (don’t want to get the bends). We’re going to probably double the number of rooms we have. We have five now, counting the bathroom. And there will be windows right near the ground! And wooden doors! With simple locks! I know in time I will adjust. But right now that all feels scary to me.

Advertisements

65 responses to this post.

  1. That’s something that wouldn’t have occurred to me since I haven’t lived in a safe apartment like that. Huh. That will be an adjustment.
    I recommend a security system and a dog. πŸ™‚

    Reply

  2. That’s something that wouldn’t have occurred to me since I haven’t lived in a safe apartment like that. Huh. That will be an adjustment.
    I recommend a security system and a dog. πŸ™‚

    Reply

    • Not our dog.

      Reply

      • Oh, our dogs are hardly menacing, and they slept through the car break-ins where our windows were smashed. They aren’t the most useful, but I think a dog makes a house a home.

      • Our would be cuddled up to the burglars feet.

      • Mine bark at everyone, even people they like. My French bulldog would be inclined to cuddle up to anyone who pets him, but my Min Pin actually bites strangers who try to grab her or get too close to my kids. It’s so embarrassing to have a dog with a little red star on her file at the vet’s. I once joked with the receptionist that it must be because she’s so good, and the woman said, “Well, we use those to indicate that, um, extra care must be taken in handling.” I have that dog.

      • Mine bark at everyone, even people they like. My French bulldog would be inclined to cuddle up to anyone who pets him, but my Min Pin actually bites strangers who try to grab her or get too close to my kids. It’s so embarrassing to have a dog with a little red star on her file at the vet’s. I once joked with the receptionist that it must be because she’s so good, and the woman said, “Well, we use those to indicate that, um, extra care must be taken in handling.” I have that dog.

      • Mine bark at everyone, even people they like. My French bulldog would be inclined to cuddle up to anyone who pets him, but my Min Pin actually bites strangers who try to grab her or get too close to my kids. It’s so embarrassing to have a dog with a little red star on her file at the vet’s. I once joked with the receptionist that it must be because she’s so good, and the woman said, “Well, we use those to indicate that, um, extra care must be taken in handling.” I have that dog.

      • Mine bark at everyone, even people they like. My French bulldog would be inclined to cuddle up to anyone who pets him, but my Min Pin actually bites strangers who try to grab her or get too close to my kids. It’s so embarrassing to have a dog with a little red star on her file at the vet’s. I once joked with the receptionist that it must be because she’s so good, and the woman said, “Well, we use those to indicate that, um, extra care must be taken in handling.” I have that dog.

      • Our would be cuddled up to the burglars feet.

      • Our would be cuddled up to the burglars feet.

      • Our would be cuddled up to the burglars feet.

      • Oh, our dogs are hardly menacing, and they slept through the car break-ins where our windows were smashed. They aren’t the most useful, but I think a dog makes a house a home.

      • Oh, our dogs are hardly menacing, and they slept through the car break-ins where our windows were smashed. They aren’t the most useful, but I think a dog makes a house a home.

      • Oh, our dogs are hardly menacing, and they slept through the car break-ins where our windows were smashed. They aren’t the most useful, but I think a dog makes a house a home.

    • Not our dog.

      Reply

    • Not our dog.

      Reply

    • Not our dog.

      Reply

    • I think we will definitely do the former and at least consider the latter..

      Reply

    • I think we will definitely do the former and at least consider the latter..

      Reply

    • I think we will definitely do the former and at least consider the latter..

      Reply

    • I think we will definitely do the former and at least consider the latter..

      Reply

  3. That’s something that wouldn’t have occurred to me since I haven’t lived in a safe apartment like that. Huh. That will be an adjustment.
    I recommend a security system and a dog. πŸ™‚

    Reply

  4. That’s something that wouldn’t have occurred to me since I haven’t lived in a safe apartment like that. Huh. That will be an adjustment.
    I recommend a security system and a dog. πŸ™‚

    Reply

  5. That’s something that wouldn’t have occurred to me since I haven’t lived in a safe apartment like that. Huh. That will be an adjustment.
    I recommend a security system and a dog. πŸ™‚

    Reply

  6. Not our dog.

    Reply

  7. Oh, our dogs are hardly menacing, and they slept through the car break-ins where our windows were smashed. They aren’t the most useful, but I think a dog makes a house a home.

    Reply

  8. Our would be cuddled up to the burglars feet.

    Reply

  9. Mine bark at everyone, even people they like. My French bulldog would be inclined to cuddle up to anyone who pets him, but my Min Pin actually bites strangers who try to grab her or get too close to my kids. It’s so embarrassing to have a dog with a little red star on her file at the vet’s. I once joked with the receptionist that it must be because she’s so good, and the woman said, “Well, we use those to indicate that, um, extra care must be taken in handling.” I have that dog.

    Reply

  10. As an owner of a home with wood doors, floor-to-ceiling glass windows in two of three rooms (including the bedroom), and a dog who — as you know — comes in like a pit bull mix but goes out like a lamb, I can tell you with all confidence that whatever jumpiness at strange noises or anxieties about random insecurity (more likely property crime than anything else) I have ever had — and remember, I lived alone here for almost 2 years — as soon as I see my dishrack and remember that you don’t have space for one right now, they are allayed or at least sufficiently balanced to make the unrest feel worth it.
    And if that run-on sentence didn’t just lull you to calm, I don’t know what will πŸ™‚
    PS, I have always had the opposite concerns. My own house, I decide who enters and exits. An apartment? I don’t always trust my neighbors or their guests to not pull “inside jobs.” Think of it as unburdening yourself from a huge question mark of a variable.

    Reply

  11. As an owner of a home with wood doors, floor-to-ceiling glass windows in two of three rooms (including the bedroom), and a dog who — as you know — comes in like a pit bull mix but goes out like a lamb, I can tell you with all confidence that whatever jumpiness at strange noises or anxieties about random insecurity (more likely property crime than anything else) I have ever had — and remember, I lived alone here for almost 2 years — as soon as I see my dishrack and remember that you don’t have space for one right now, they are allayed or at least sufficiently balanced to make the unrest feel worth it.
    And if that run-on sentence didn’t just lull you to calm, I don’t know what will πŸ™‚
    PS, I have always had the opposite concerns. My own house, I decide who enters and exits. An apartment? I don’t always trust my neighbors or their guests to not pull “inside jobs.” Think of it as unburdening yourself from a huge question mark of a variable.

    Reply

  12. As an owner of a home with wood doors, floor-to-ceiling glass windows in two of three rooms (including the bedroom), and a dog who — as you know — comes in like a pit bull mix but goes out like a lamb, I can tell you with all confidence that whatever jumpiness at strange noises or anxieties about random insecurity (more likely property crime than anything else) I have ever had — and remember, I lived alone here for almost 2 years — as soon as I see my dishrack and remember that you don’t have space for one right now, they are allayed or at least sufficiently balanced to make the unrest feel worth it.
    And if that run-on sentence didn’t just lull you to calm, I don’t know what will πŸ™‚
    PS, I have always had the opposite concerns. My own house, I decide who enters and exits. An apartment? I don’t always trust my neighbors or their guests to not pull “inside jobs.” Think of it as unburdening yourself from a huge question mark of a variable.

    Reply

  13. As an owner of a home with wood doors, floor-to-ceiling glass windows in two of three rooms (including the bedroom), and a dog who — as you know — comes in like a pit bull mix but goes out like a lamb, I can tell you with all confidence that whatever jumpiness at strange noises or anxieties about random insecurity (more likely property crime than anything else) I have ever had — and remember, I lived alone here for almost 2 years — as soon as I see my dishrack and remember that you don’t have space for one right now, they are allayed or at least sufficiently balanced to make the unrest feel worth it.
    And if that run-on sentence didn’t just lull you to calm, I don’t know what will πŸ™‚
    PS, I have always had the opposite concerns. My own house, I decide who enters and exits. An apartment? I don’t always trust my neighbors or their guests to not pull “inside jobs.” Think of it as unburdening yourself from a huge question mark of a variable.

    Reply

  14. As an owner of a home with wood doors, floor-to-ceiling glass windows in two of three rooms (including the bedroom), and a dog who — as you know — comes in like a pit bull mix but goes out like a lamb, I can tell you with all confidence that whatever jumpiness at strange noises or anxieties about random insecurity (more likely property crime than anything else) I have ever had — and remember, I lived alone here for almost 2 years — as soon as I see my dishrack and remember that you don’t have space for one right now, they are allayed or at least sufficiently balanced to make the unrest feel worth it.
    And if that run-on sentence didn’t just lull you to calm, I don’t know what will πŸ™‚
    PS, I have always had the opposite concerns. My own house, I decide who enters and exits. An apartment? I don’t always trust my neighbors or their guests to not pull “inside jobs.” Think of it as unburdening yourself from a huge question mark of a variable.

    Reply

  15. Security
    I’m probably the world’s most naive person (though I certainly wouldn’t just leave my front door unlocked all night, like in the old days) but I think most neighborhoods in Knoxville are pretty safe and uneventful. I’ve only had something stolen from my house once (and that was almost as much my fault – I left the garage door open all night, and someone stole my wife’s camera out of her car. It was totally random). The only time before then my bike was stolen when I was about 10 πŸ™‚ So I wouldn’t put a ton of worry time into home security. Of course, install all the proper locks and security systems you like, but don’t count on ever actually needing them.
    Kinda like optimistic life insurance buys – don’t expect to need it for a long, long time but good to have just in case…

    Reply

  16. Security
    I’m probably the world’s most naive person (though I certainly wouldn’t just leave my front door unlocked all night, like in the old days) but I think most neighborhoods in Knoxville are pretty safe and uneventful. I’ve only had something stolen from my house once (and that was almost as much my fault – I left the garage door open all night, and someone stole my wife’s camera out of her car. It was totally random). The only time before then my bike was stolen when I was about 10 πŸ™‚ So I wouldn’t put a ton of worry time into home security. Of course, install all the proper locks and security systems you like, but don’t count on ever actually needing them.
    Kinda like optimistic life insurance buys – don’t expect to need it for a long, long time but good to have just in case…

    Reply

  17. Security
    I’m probably the world’s most naive person (though I certainly wouldn’t just leave my front door unlocked all night, like in the old days) but I think most neighborhoods in Knoxville are pretty safe and uneventful. I’ve only had something stolen from my house once (and that was almost as much my fault – I left the garage door open all night, and someone stole my wife’s camera out of her car. It was totally random). The only time before then my bike was stolen when I was about 10 πŸ™‚ So I wouldn’t put a ton of worry time into home security. Of course, install all the proper locks and security systems you like, but don’t count on ever actually needing them.
    Kinda like optimistic life insurance buys – don’t expect to need it for a long, long time but good to have just in case…

    Reply

  18. Security
    I’m probably the world’s most naive person (though I certainly wouldn’t just leave my front door unlocked all night, like in the old days) but I think most neighborhoods in Knoxville are pretty safe and uneventful. I’ve only had something stolen from my house once (and that was almost as much my fault – I left the garage door open all night, and someone stole my wife’s camera out of her car. It was totally random). The only time before then my bike was stolen when I was about 10 πŸ™‚ So I wouldn’t put a ton of worry time into home security. Of course, install all the proper locks and security systems you like, but don’t count on ever actually needing them.
    Kinda like optimistic life insurance buys – don’t expect to need it for a long, long time but good to have just in case…

    Reply

  19. Security
    I’m probably the world’s most naive person (though I certainly wouldn’t just leave my front door unlocked all night, like in the old days) but I think most neighborhoods in Knoxville are pretty safe and uneventful. I’ve only had something stolen from my house once (and that was almost as much my fault – I left the garage door open all night, and someone stole my wife’s camera out of her car. It was totally random). The only time before then my bike was stolen when I was about 10 πŸ™‚ So I wouldn’t put a ton of worry time into home security. Of course, install all the proper locks and security systems you like, but don’t count on ever actually needing them.
    Kinda like optimistic life insurance buys – don’t expect to need it for a long, long time but good to have just in case…

    Reply

  20. You’ll be okay. But don’t buy the littlest house in Knoxville. Because as soon as your stuff gets there, it’ll be too small. Get the one with the junkroom.

    Reply

  21. You’ll be okay. But don’t buy the littlest house in Knoxville. Because as soon as your stuff gets there, it’ll be too small. Get the one with the junkroom.

    Reply

  22. You’ll be okay. But don’t buy the littlest house in Knoxville. Because as soon as your stuff gets there, it’ll be too small. Get the one with the junkroom.

    Reply

  23. You’ll be okay. But don’t buy the littlest house in Knoxville. Because as soon as your stuff gets there, it’ll be too small. Get the one with the junkroom.

    Reply

  24. You’ll be okay. But don’t buy the littlest house in Knoxville. Because as soon as your stuff gets there, it’ll be too small. Get the one with the junkroom.

    Reply

  25. I think we will definitely do the former and at least consider the latter..

    Reply

  26. Maybe I can barricade myself in my new walk-in closet.

    Reply

  27. Re: Security
    My bike was stolen when I was a kid too. And we lived in total suburbia. Jerks. I’m still mad.

    Reply

  28. Damon’s motto is “More is better.” Mine is “More freaks me out.” So we’ll probably meet well in the middle.

    Reply

  29. Re: Security
    Me too πŸ™‚

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: