The tree isn’t tall, probably less than two feet, but to my right it’s colorful lights glow amongst red and green bulbs. In the kitchen, a pot of water is nearing boil, as I sip my first cup of coffee in anticipation. Pressed up against the living room wall, the dining nook is where I write, with a view of the living room to my left. Next to the door, an old pine bench houses a few boots, and on a rack next to it rests a couple of coats.

My roommate's board and skis lay sideways against a vacant chair always threatening to fall, and his helmet’s on the table in front of me. Two couches provide ample seating, as we rarely exceed a viewing capacity of two on our small old television. There’s a lamp in the corner, but I prefer the windows behind it. Occasionally I pick the strings of that acoustic guitar.

The wood laminate floor isn’t gross, but I wouldn’t dare walk it barefoot, for all of its clutter. Through a narrow corridor, the kitchen hugs one side, with two rooms on the other, and a toilet and shower at the end. My room, the second, has a bunk, two sturdy dressers constructed of pine, and a matching nightstand. Some built in shelves on the right side provide ample storage, but on hectic days, the floor usually wins out. My brown leather boots, a t shirt, and an odd number of socks populate random portions of floor. One window, on the back wall, is largely filled by the needles of an old pine, but offers views of the mountains at its edges.

Under the wooden roof of the top bunk, I’m shielded from the popcorn ceiling overhead. Two recessed bulbs and a lamp provide a pleasant blanket of light, and the “falling snow” candle on my nightstand exudes a comforting aroma.

A stark contrast from my luxury apartment in Denver, this humble abode is surprisingly comfortable. At nearly $1,000 less a month, I was admittedly hesitant to call it home, but as I’ve settled into my life here in the mountains, my apartment has become exactly that.