Thursday Doors – Welcome to the Neighborhood

Main Entrance – No Weapons

My mom turned 92 this week, so I thought it would be a good time to share some doors from her “neighborhood.” I put that in quotes because she lives in an apartment building that is designed for elderly folk. She’s OK with being “elderly.” In fact, she’s OK with being “old” and, she’s OK with me using these doors.

I tried explaining Thursday Doors to her. She doesn’t have Internet access, so I couldn’t show her Thursday Doors, but I told her about it. I told her how a bunch of people get together each week, link up with Norm and share pictures of doors.

She gave me that look.

I didn’t explain the deal with the Blue Frog, ‘cuz I was pretty sure that would seal the deal, as it were. If you’re not familiar with Thursday Doors, visit Norm at his place, click the Blue Frog if you want to add your doors or see all the other doors.

Make sure to look at Norm’s doors when you get to his page. My mother might not understand the Internet or Thursday Doors, but she would understand being polite and checking out Norm’s doors. “If he’s going to all that trouble for you, it’s the least you can do” – I can hear it, clear as when I was six.

The building she lives in is a non-descript apartment building. The doors are blah, but each apartment’s door sits in a little recessed area. Most residents decorate this space as if it’s their front porch. I took a couple of pictures of these. When my mom asked what I was doing, I explained and she said: “oh, then go down that way, because there are some people down there who went all out.

When I asked her if she thought people would mind, she said that she thought they would be happy. I’m going to go with that.

The pretty doors are in the gallery. The featured door is the door to the building. I was comforted by that sign when I first went inside. My brother dropped me off so I could visit for a few hours, but I didn’t get very far. When heading to the elevator, a woman stopped me:

Who are you?

I’m Dan, I’m here to see my mom.”

Who’s you mom?

Betty. Up on the third floor.”

I know Betty, but I haven’t seen you before.”

I’m visiting from Connecticut.”

Well, you should come more often.”

Yeah, um…nice meeting you.”

When we were packing my mother’s stuff before moving her to Iowa, one of the things she was very concerned about was her holiday decorations. They were in a storage area, and she didn’t want us to forget them. To appease her, we emptied out the storage area before sending her to the airport for her flight. I think it’s nice of the apartment management to allow the residents to personalize their entrances. I hope you enjoy their doors.

About Dan Antion

Husband, father, woodworker, cyclist, photographer, geek - oh wait, I’m writing this like I only have 140 characters. I am all those things, and more, and all of these passions present me with opportunities to observe, and think about things that I can’t write about in other places. I have started this blog to catch the stuff that falls out, overflows and just plain doesn’t fit the other containers in my life.
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85 Responses to Thursday Doors – Welcome to the Neighborhood

  1. Mike Powell says:

    As we age, our world seems to get smaller and smaller and I am happy to see how the residents of the apartment enjoy adding color and individuality to their little corner of the world. One of the benefits of getting older is that you lose some of your filters and have no qualms or inhibitions about offering unsolicited advice, like the lady who suggested that you should visit your Mom more frequently.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks for dropping by, Mike. You get a nice feeling as you walk down the halls of that building. I don’t know how often that lady stands guard, but I was glad I got through. She was pretty funny, but she was serious.

      Like

  2. bikerchick57 says:

    Happy Birthday to Mom! I chuckled while you were trying to explain Thursday doors to your mom. I tried explaining a computer and the internet a few times to my mom when she could still understand and I always got that puzzled look in return. Nice doors Dan. Thanks for sharing a little slice of your mom’s place and the decorated doors. Where mom lives, they do the same and, of course, the doors change with the seasons and holidays. It makes it a brighter and cheerier place.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Mary. It was interesting to see the different doors. Some still supporting St. Patrick’s Day, while others had already moved on to Easter. Some, my mom included, even put out candy for Halloween. It does make for a cheerful walk down the hall.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. niasunset says:

    This was so nice, how beautiful doors and colours. Best wishes for your mother, Thank you, Love, nia

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this visit to your Mom’s neighborhood. It looks like a warm, inviting community, and I’m sure she enjoys living there with other people in her own age bracket where she has a lot in common. Probably most of them don’t give a hoot about computers and social media.:-) A friend who is a widow decided to sell her home and move into a similar community. She loves it. She said she likes the feeling of never being alone, feels safe, and can engage in conversation or activities whenever she wants. Hope Betty has many more happy years there, and the guard is right – you can never visit Mom too often. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Judy. It’s funny that you mention “her own age” as the residents refer to the people who are only in their 70’s as being the “kids” in the neighborhood. I guess is all relative. It has been a very good place for her to be.

      Like

  5. GP Cox says:

    I see that with my in-laws and just a simple personalization means so much!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love that the residents are permitted to personalize their spaces inside and out. I like your mom’s entryway the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Joanne Sisco says:

    I too laughed at your conversation about Thursday Doors with your mom. I get pretty much the same reaction from most people I talk to ;) I loved the implied comment “If he’s going to all that trouble for you, it’s the least you can do” :D

    I think it’s wonderful that residents are allowed to decorate their exterior space.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Joanne. It’s funny how those fundamental life lessons keep coming back under different circumstances. I think it’s very nice of the place to allow the decorations.

      Like

      • Joanne Sisco says:

        It seems they really understand the need for seniors to personalize their space. It’s bad enough that their world shrinks so much, there’s dignity in being allowed to control the look of your space – both inside and out.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. loisajay says:

    I think this is great. Each door shows the owners personality–and some have a whole lot of personality!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Norm 2.0 says:

    I loved this Dan. Happy belated birthday to your Mom.
    The personal touches on those doors are what make them special. Speaking of special, that advice lady takes the cake.
    I laughed my way through your description of trying to explain our little club to outsiders:
    “So you just put up pictures of doors…and other people…they come and comment on them?”
    “Doors…”
    “Hmm…and then the other people do the same…”
    “They share their own…doors”
    “Pictures of…doors, just doors; really?”
    “Hmm”
    And I just smile and nod :-D

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Norm. Yeah, Thursday Doors is hard enough to explain to Internet-savvy folks. But, my mom thought it sounded like a fun thing and quickly got into the spirit of helping me find enough doors.

      Liked by 3 people

  10. This is a charming post, Dan. I like that they’ve decorated their doors. Wonderful birthday wishes to your mom, and many happy returns. Have a thriving Thursday. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love how there were so many doors celebrating festivals from different seasons, all on the same day. Brilliant and so unique, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Almost Iowa says:

    She gave me that look.

    No matter how old we are, mom will always be mom.

    Dan, this is my favorite door series. Sure, it’s not great architecture but architects create great architecture. These are doors that the people who live there “create”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Greg. Yeah,she will always be capable of giving that look. My wife has a few of those. I think my daughter might even have one or two.

      These really are special and they are the only doors I didn’t feel compelled to explain.

      Like

  13. Wendy Brydge says:

    Happy birthday to your mom, Dan! That’s wonderful how everyone has a door space to decorate. It’s the little things like that which make a big difference in people’s lives. I’m sure it’s difficult for elderly folks to move someplace, especially to an apartment if they’re used to a house, but this lets them maintain a certain level of public individuality and identity, and I think that’s fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Wendy. She enjoys her independence, and she’s always been one for individual expression. Sometimes, especially while growing up, that could be hard to deal with, but this is an important outlet for her.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. My mom and MIL both live in nursing homes. Decorations of any kind are so important. Your pics are lovely!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Paul says:

    That’s wonderful, Dan. I hope your dear mother has a memorable and special birthday. She deserves it. Of course, she already has the best son, so what more can she ask for, right? Glad her door decorations are safe and sound!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. marianallen says:

    Always nice to be allowed a personal touch. I like it when I sort of “meet” people before they even open their door.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. joey says:

    Wonderful! I’ve been to several of these types of places, and I must say, personalizing the space seems to be a big event. Many of the old or elderly are as determined to make a statement as any student in a dorm would be. People are people :) Fun is fun :)
    I’m glad your mother is still celebrating birthdays and that you got to visit!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Happy birthday to your mom, Dan. It was nice of you to share the doors. Reminds me a bit of dorm doors from my high school and college days. One end of life and another, eh? Nice of you to visit, too, (even if it’s not often enough.) :-)

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

  19. ianbcross says:

    Dan, do Zimmer frames count as weapons? Certainly I have had senior citizens use them aggressively in my direction on occasion. Nice photo essay.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. JT Twissel says:

    My mother decorated her doorway with a birdhouse that was decorated like a beach shack and had a sign that read “Happy Hour All Day Long.” She turns 91 next month – and we’re very happy she’s in a safe and warm place. With a bar, of course.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Enjoyed a view of your Mom’s door. Thanks, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. When we go to New Jersey, we visit family in a similar building. Everyone decorated their doors in the same way. They also have benches and chairs in the corridors, especially next to the elevator. The only thing I don’t see in your pictures are the hand rails on the wall. I might have thought your mother was in NJ, but I remember your layover in Iowa.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. jesh stg says:

    Your mother seems to live at a nice place, where they try to make the ones who live there, feel at home. Great to go with you through these halls and see all the different decorations on the doors.
    Am chuckling throughout this post, because of the generational differences. People who don’t blog, think the ones who do are nuts! I’m up in the years that people wonder if I am (nuts) when I mention I have a blog, and start asking me what a blog is. One was actually a very educated man, a philosophe,r who had written several books. But then, I have seen of some of our friends older than we are, on Facebook!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      My mother talks about the “kids” in her building (people only in their 70’s). I’m sure there will be technology I will avoid, even though I’ve made my living in this field for 40 years.

      Like

  24. dweezer19 says:

    It looks like a great place Dan. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I think it’s pretty great that that woman was cautious having never seen you before. Nice to know there’s someone on the lookout. :)

    It’s also really nice that they can decorate their door spaces too. Some really did go “all out”. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Deborah. I was a taken back a little, as it’s a secure building and you have to know a person’s code, or call the person and have them “buzz you in”. I have been in the building before, but usually, we take my mom out. The woman was harmless, and the conversation was a bit of a hoot, when I thought about it.

      I do like the way they let the residents remain as independent as they can be. They are also there to help them, when they need help. All in all, it’s been a good place for mom to be.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Oh, my, that was so sweet… and funny… and so darned sweet. Happy B-Day to your mom!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. reocochran says:

    This reminds me of my Mom’s senior living apartment building complex, Dan. They had a shelf and we’re encouraged to decorate and personalize their doors. I only took one photograph for my blog awhile back. . .
    My Mom tells people, “This is my daughter who writes and she blogs!” When she first moved to her past regular senior living apartment, she would sit by me in the Pub and look at a few of my posts and all of my blogging friends. She liked ones like yours, which has Maddie and the cats. <3
    I liked the idea of sharing several doors. The decorations are so cheerful!
    Happy belated 90th birthday to Dan's mother! 🎂 🎁
    I like the fireplace in the beautiful sitting room. My Mom's new place was set up for her not to use an elevator, so one floor with apartments in a circle around the gathering places. I am looking forward to seeing her again at Easter and wondering if her memory is still the same. Both brothers visit her often, and my sister in law, too. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Glynis Jolly says:

    Are the individual apartments quiet or does your mom hear stuff through the walls? It’s a nice building, inviting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      They are pretty quiet, especially considering the volume at which most of the residents have their TVs set. You don’t even hear much noise when walking through the hall.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Glynis Jolly says:

        My mom is just one year younger than your mom. She still lives on her own but she thinks about assisted living once in a while. If she could find a place like where your mom is, she would probably move.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Dan Antion says:

          I guess there are lots of terms to describe these places. Technically, this is “independent living” but the rents can be subsidized and there is a nurse on staff and a social worker. They can have visits from each, once a week. She can prepare her own meals in her apartment, or they have an optional meal plan in their cafeteria.

          Liked by 1 person

  29. Sharukh Bamboat says:

    I liked the “you should visit more often” quote. Out of the blue comment, huh. The pictures are good and very rarely I get to see apartment pictures from inside the building.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. It looks cozy and friendly in there, which is nice. Seniors should live in a cozy and friendly place.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Jennie says:

    Nice, Dan. Really nice.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Aunt Beulah says:

    This might be my favorite door post ever. It heartened me and helped me understand what I must look for if and when my time comes to move into assisted living: a door nook with room to decorate. Once an elementary teacher, always an elementary teacher and I have tons of seasonal stuff to delight others as they pass my door. And to think, my husband wants me to get rid of all that junk in the attic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Janet. I think we need the ability to add our personal touches to our home. This place seems to understand that their residents consider their apartments to be “home” – it’s a good thing. I think my mother might still have a section of the chain-like things we made at Christmas with red and green construction paper and paste.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. misifusa says:

    Lovely doors! I enjoy how each one makes it their own with pizazz and show their personality! Your mom sounds sweet. I guess I’ll be a good one and find Norman’s door page too. Where can I find it? Did I miss the link?

    Like

  34. Ohh, this edition is a bit special. First, all best wishes to your mom! Imagine what all she has encountered in her lifetime. Imagine us at her age if we’re lucky and what our descendants will be showing and telling us. Well, yours. Most of all I love the yellow of the lobby wall and the chianti colour of the hallway. And I’m glad too they are allowed to personalise their doors. Many happy returns!

    Liked by 1 person

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