the apartment people

Written by Duane Scott

GENERAL EDITOR I'm a writer, nature lover, a friend, a singer (in the shower), a Cheetos lover and a Snuggie hater. And God and I are buddies.

April 28, 2011

construction worker, tool belt,

Breaking news: The one and only apartment complex in town is getting a new roof.

With interest, I noticed this as I stared out my living room window. Two Ford F350 trucks pulled into the parking lot; that is if you could even call it a parking lot. It’s more of a street, one that my house shares with the apartment people.

The apartment people are incredibly entertaining to live next to. There’s the lady who, through rain or shine, follows her walker to the library and just between you and me, I covet that walker. I watch with interest each day as she brings back in its special basket the latest bestseller books.

The walker lady’s neighbor is a plump, sassy gal. She swings her long Buick boat onto our street as if she’s driving an 18 wheeler. I wave to her each day, and she never waves back. Instead, she stares straight ahead through her bug-like Hollywood style sunglasses and acts like she owns the world. In other words, she’s too cool for me.

Then there’s the apartment men. Or boys trying to be men. Mostly, they are boys who no longer are allowed to live with their mothers. They drive small little Ford Rangers from the 80’s and only emerge when they run out of soup or need to do laundry. They’re friendly in their own way, but I’ve never made friends with any of them. It’s not like I’m into World of Warcraft and having Ritz crackers in my hair.

Yes, the apartment people are getting a new roof.

As I pulled out of my drive, I stared through rain spattered windows at the chaos of the brick building across the street.

The old lady had ditched her walker and was serving drinks to the men. Surrounded by muscled men wearing carpenter belts, she was obviously in her glory. I’ve never seen her smile with such enthusiasm.

The plump sassy gal walked by the group of men, her nose in the air and her sunglasses on even though the day was rainy. I’ve never seen a woman walk with so much swagger. She tossed her hair seductively at the men as she revved the motor to her boat before pulling out of port.

One of the boys had momentarily put down his game controller and was watching the scene outside. I wondered with amusement if he was thinking about getting a carpenter belt.

Because I know I was.

As I drove away to my office job, the dull gray clouds hovered a little bit lower. The drizzle began dampening the cheeriness I’d momentarily found. And I realized something.

I wished I lived with those apartment people.

I wished I lived in a junky brick room.

I wished I lived.

Sometimes I get so caught up in being normal, that I forget God made me different. I want to forget who I think I need to be, and instead, be unique… be who God intended me to be.

I might start serving lemonade to muscular men.
I might start wearing big sunglasses.
Doubtful, yes. But… I am going to start living like the apartment people.

And I’m definitely getting a tool belt.

-Duane Scott


  1. okiewife

    Tool belts make a man attractive to women…even old grannies. Go ahead and brighten the day for the watchers *big smile*

  2. Anonymous

    heh, considering that i’ve lived all 25 years of my life in the same apartment, it’s fun reading your assessment 😀 over here, it’s vice versa – we usually watch house people like that 😀

    I want to forget who I think I need to be, and instead, be unique… be who God intended me to be. – it’s hard to give up our own “assumptions” of who we are, isn’t it… yet, once we finally get the courage to do that, the reward is great. thanks for reminder.

  3. Jay Cookingham

    I’m not a “handyman” but I used to have a tool belt…not sure what happened to it though. For years the only power tool I had was a coffee grinder…man that was sexy!

  4. Anonymous

    We all love tool belts! LOL

    • Keviana Elliot


      Amen! And we love them more when the wearer smells like Old Spice and sweat! (Old Spice smell first!!!)

  5. Jake

    Duane! I think this is my favorite thing you’ve ever written! I’m impressed with you right now! I’m abusing exclamation points because I really want you to understand that I really enjoyed this!! You should watch the most recent episode of “How I met Your Mother”. I love that show and Barney has an epiphany that’s basically the opposite of what you’re saying in this, but i literally just finished it and saw the tweet and headed over, so the timing was ironic. Either way, I don’t think you’re normal- You have a strange fascination with squirrels.

    • Keri

      I looooooove HIMYM!!!! Must watch the lastest NOW. 🙂

  6. Keri

    This is a sweeeeeeet post! Love your descriptions of the characters. 🙂

    Does anyone else struggle with “being who God made me to be” and at the same time striving to be better, more like Him? I have a hard time sifting those out. 🙁


      Here’s the really, really cool thing about that question: as we become more and more of who God created us to be….that is, a real true human being, in all our uniqueness….we also become more and more like Jesus….who was the only truly human being who ever lived on planet earth. Isn’t that just amazing? So, our ‘job’ is to discover who we are and then live into that. It takes about the first 40 or so years to do the discovery part and the last 40 or so years to live into it – for most of us! I’ve known a few early learners and a lot of late ones. So…take hope, Keri, as you earnestly seek to be like Jesus, remember that a huge part of that process is getting down to the marrow of your truest self. And it’s hard, tough, humbling work. But what joy to discover Jesus is already down there ahead of us. :>)


    Ah, Duane. So very glad you got over the jitters yesterday because this is simply delightful. Thanks so much. Ya gotta gift, kiddo.

  8. Robin Arnold

    I had the same thought, only it was about my neighbor’s pressure washer. The thing is, we need to get out there with what we’ve got. If we haven’t been in fellowship, no one knows they should be flirting with our awesomeness.

    • Keviana Elliot

      …Oh my.

  9. Kristinherdy

    I’m a sucker for a tool belt – I think it’s the confidence with which one wears it, like, I know what I’m doing…

    good one

  10. Anonymous

    Being an apartment dweller of various establishments for over 7 years now, I can tell you that we apartment people are a special lot. Unless you’re living in a weird apartment complex (our last complex actually), you really get to know your neighbors.

    Our current complex has a wonderful cast of characters as well. I love that you see the community and the personalities of those around you.

    We apartment people are friendly and will always welcome you house people in. 🙂

    Great post, Duane. 🙂

  11. Keviana Elliot

    Growing up, I always wanted a Batbelt. (How cool would it be to have Batarangs, smokebombs, lazers, utility cord, and an assortment of first aid items on one’s belt? Better than a purse!)

    There is great merit to doing life God’s way, huh? ^_^

    Loving the living you’re sharing with us! Keep it up!

  12. Jeanwise

    Love this post and its many lessons. You know good observation skills – like you demonstrate here – make you a gifted writer!

  13. Dawn

    Given that home improvements are in your near future, I predict that you’re going to become very close friends w/ that tool belt, so best get to purchasing one soon! Per our text conversation, yes, I would be that Snoopy wearing, lemonade serving neighbor, and I would always wave back at you, even if I might be wearing absurd sun glasses at the time (yeah, we know I wouldn’t be wearing absurd sun glasses, but you get the point). 🙂

    ~ Dawn

  14. S Etole

    checking back to see if you’ve made that purchase yet …

  15. @bibledude

    this makes me want to get a toolbelt too…


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the apartment people

by Duane Scott time to read: 3 min