117 Elizabeth Griffin


After moving into an apartment in the bustling city of Philadelphia for the first time, I wasn’t sure how things would go. In an attempt to turn on my gas, I found out my landlord had placed the unit in the basement of the dog groomer’s next door, which was only open twice a week at odd hours. Though having sweet dogs as my neighbors wasn’t so bad, hardly anyone seemed cozier than the mice living in my building. When I found out that my apartment management believed Christmas trees to be hazardous, I felt pretty resigned…until I found real, miniature Christmas trees at the grocery store, already garnished with lights and sweet straw ornaments. That tree and this ornament kept my soul warm throughout winter while I wrestled with a faulty fire alarm and the learning curve of city living. Though I couldn’t manage to make the tree survive (another skill yet to be developed), the ornaments did, and so did I.