It’s late October, the year is 2017 and I’m sitting at the dining table in my kitchen. I’m in the middle of figuring out if I should continuing listening to music on the Echo or wander off to the living room to read something or even just lay on the couch to watch TV. The music in autumn is the same as it is in any other month if you live in San Francisco, just like the weather. The heater comes on and it’s loud, the music gets droned out while I consider what is next to do. Should I continue sitting at this table, scouring Spotify to find a song I will like or will the heater just go on too long to enjoy the music now?
I decide to get up and do something else instead. As many other nights at my apartment on Coleridge, this night, I go to the stove and grab the blue kettle. A gift from a friend who’s long gone but the kettle keeps on doing what it was intended to do. Filling it with a few cups’ worth of water, I put it on the stove and walk away.
Like many times before this night and nights after this, I have built a ritual around making arbitrary decisions that almost always converged on making and enjoying tea.
Tea had become a staple within my nightly rituals because it helped me destress, relax, and enjoy the moments all at the same time. I would grab a book or turn on the TV, grab some cookies or dark chocolate and just hang out on the couch, slowly sipping the tea.
This post is partly about tea and partly about my time at my apartment on Coleridge street. I loved living there and after moving to Oakland, I wanted to sit down and recollect some of my favorite things about the past five or so years that I spent there.
It was early 2014 when Kristen and I were visiting Noah to his newborn daughter, Violet. We got to the building and saw an open door with a fresh paint job recently finished and being aired out. We headed upstairs and went inside Noah’s place. We met the baby, the mom, and Noah’s mom there. After visiting for awhile, we got to chatting about the apartment downstairs and Noah told us it was recently vacated and it’s going to be ready to move in within a month or so.
On the drive back, Kristen thoroughly convinced me by the simple reason that our lease was about to be month to month as well as the rent going up by $250 a month. So, the decision was easy and simple (in hindsight at least, at the time, I was a bit hesitant). We contacted Noah and within a month we moved in.
Thus, started our stay at our home on Coleridge for 5 years.
Before moving to Coleridge, we lived in Pacifica, a nice sight on a weekend but a miserable place to live every other day of the year. We visited on a beautiful day and thought it was a nice place to live especially as our first apartment together. After a year, a motorcycle accident, and few other mishaps, the place had a bad omen which drove us away.
After we moved to Coleridge, I was pleasantly surprised by how much sunshine we saw most days of the week. This is a place in San Francisco and it was sunny, sunnier still than what I was used to in Pacifica by a long shot. About a month after I moved in, I started looking for a new job and so started working at Outbound. After about a year and half, I left Outbound and joined Weebly.
Work was work but the home was becoming a nest of mine and Kristen’s efforts. Kristen is great at putting things together to make an empty apartment into a home. We are in the midst of that at the new house as I type this. But this was the first place where I felt we were building a home together.
My cat, Heisenberg, was adopted when I lived with roommates before moving to Pacifica. She spent a year with us in Pacifica and then when we got to Coleridge, she was able to thrive, grow up, and just be a cat, she also caught a dozen mice outside. I always wanted to make sure she had a good place to roam around. Heisenberg is the perfect cat, not so needy and loving in times of need and want. After getting comfortable at the apartment, I would go outside with her. On weekends, maybe with a tea or coffee in my hand while she just smelled the various plants and openings. As I type this, her tail is on my keyboard while she looks outside (there’s nothing I can see since it’s night time but she has cat eyes so who knows what she’s seeing).
When Heisenberg was 4, I brought her a surprise which was our very special baby, Bilo. He was always a little cat. When she met him, she took care of him as much as a cat can do. My most memorable interaction of them two is when Bilo was just sitting by me, me drinking some tea and watching TV, Heisenberg came into the living room and in her mouth was a string toy. She wanted to play with him and that just melted my heart.
The home welcomed another member in 2017, Samson. A tiny little puppy I met at a puppy event at my work. He is the spoiled brat of the house, to this day. The three pets kind of got along and things were great.
At the end of 2017, Bilo was so sick we had to put him down. It definitely struck me pretty hard and slowly I moved on.
And when 2018 came around, Kristen and I got married. Things were 100% serious now (as if they weren’t with 3 pets and many years of living together). We got a new car. We got a new landlord. I started working at Square (via the Weebly acquisition).
All that time, tea was a comforting reminder of how life keeps going and you can choose to make a cup of tea or not. It’s that simple.
Around the end of 2019, we decided to look for a house seriously and we’ve found a little place in Oakland. More to come when we’re settled in…