Sunday, September 29, 2013

I have seen the future and it is now!

The porch that was once a second floor kitchen has finally come round to what it is meant to be. Josh tore up two layers of vinyl tile and the plywood sub floor to find a rotted fir floor beneath. At some point it had been left to deteriorate, the wood sprung loose, turned black and the edges split and splintering. That has been the old lady smell we've been noticing. Fermenting house.

Josh has been steadfastly carried things out to the garage; counters and stoves and dishwashers and with Jonathan"s know-how this past Sat, they capped the plumbing and took the sink and the last of the shelves out. This afternoon we spread out the carpet to cover the wood, lit incense to cover the old lady smell, and ensconced the tchatchkas and our new space feels truly feels right.

On a related note, my sis and I were discussing the most used place in the house, the front porch. It has our mid-century modern porch furniture on it. Yellow Naugahyde. Not quite what you'd expect from a turn of the century mansion. But it is as comfortable as hell. And we sit on it incessantly like the Lowry Hillbillies that we are. And equally as unexpected is the table on the other side. My mother brought it from their deck in Oakland and it arrived in the pods last week. Green iron. It is tough and large. Mom had been concerned about it, wondering where it could go, if we could use it, and we mused about the front porch. Now it fit the space perfectly. Something about how it is tucked in there is completely welcoming. It's stature is perfect for the spot and somehow we couldn't have imagined it before hand. Without her encouragement we wouldn't have tried it. How did she know?

I love it when an item from your life finds new purpose. I love that moment of recognition, when you place the item in the new spot and it is as if it was always meant to be. It is like a great sigh of relief. Somehow everything that has got me here to this point in time makes so much sense.

The porch is my new studio! Looking forward to holding writing classes in it - this house is starting to make sense. Can't wait for you to see it!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Little Background on the Move

The whole day today I spent moving around furniture, resettling now that my mom's stuff has arrived. It feels so nice here. So awesome to have couches in the living room, rugs on the floor, stuff stored in the around the edges, filling the echo-y corners. We are padded and swaddled. So do you know about my move? I moved in with my sister and her husband, they just had a new baby, named him Otto. He's so perfect! But also my mom is moving in. Did I tell you that? She's awesome. She had to retire early from a high-power job because she was having some memory issues. You know, tracking sort of stuff. And we don't know where this is headed and there is no time like the present, so here we are. My step-father thought he would join her in early retirement and here we are knee deep in messy joining family mode. We have been talking of this for a while. Early on, we went to see a couple other houses. A total tear down and a total build up. So when we came to look at this triplex, just to see how it might feel. We got about 7 feet in and felt doable. And after two hours of nosing through the place, Josh crunched the numbers (with the seller's realtor!) and the money made sense. Today it might just finally feel perfect.

But it has been a long time getting here. We left  neighborhood that we loved, a house that we were very comfortable in and moved away from our routines and patterns of travel. And although the house is grand, tall ceilings, large foyer, window seat and ghosts (maybe), it has been chopped up in such a way, that it desperately needs our care too. In order to be whole again. So our large extended and reasonably happy family has mashed ourselves and our junk into this Frankenstein of a house and we are trying to figure out how to live.

Here is a picture of the pods on the curb taken from our favorite spot in the entire house, the front porch. (Picture missing) Notice the pillar, 1 of 10.

We had an hour and a half to empty the first 3 so they could remove them to make room for these 4.

Also, Exercise Class this week! Wednesday from 7 - 9. I am really looking forward to the time to write.  I also unearthed writing exercises from grad school during my move. So excited to try them out!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Stump

People are regularly sniffing around our stump. Looking to the houses to see what was damaged, lingering and generally being amazed. So the well dressed man on the sidewalk caused no particular pause. We often make eye contact and let folks lament the loss of the tree, it's almost a public service to look brave and friendly in the eyes of the passerby. But this man, dark-rimmed glasses, smooth hair, well-fitting button-up, met our eyes and lamented the tree, remarked on the house damage, and announced, "This should be removed in the next week." He was from the park board and they were starting North and making their way this way, then he went to check in with Jean, our neighbor to the South, who is the reason I got to have this conversation at all. She is lovely and beloved in the neighborhood and beyond, hence personal messages from the park board.

I may actually miss the obstacle at the end of our shared driveway. I will remember fondly the slight swerve I need to take to make it safely to the street and the ogling and picture-taking and the phantom elm that has been watching over us but is getting ready to move on.

I spent too much time researching the house today, read about it at TPR. But that is why you are only getting this today and nothing more important.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Returning to Writing and Classes Slowly but Surely...

Here is my new house:

[photo missing -- where did it go?]

The tree is just one of many surprises that the new house has wrought.

After it happened, the tree seemed to be a sign. Falling the morning that we were to move a bunch of our stuff in and directly between our house and the neighbor's, it said that we were in exactly the right place as opposed to it falling right on top of the house. We were grateful.  But perhaps the tree had more say in it. Perhaps the tree itself is the hero and not us, the stately old elm was valiant, protecting the house it had shaded for over 100 years.

This summer the sun has blared down on us, the house has felt unprotected and alone, we missed the tree dearly.

Adult writing classes return this month and next: Exercise class on September 25th, 7 - 9 pm and Write-in October 23rd, 7 - 9 pm. $15 each or a punch on your punch card... email Tina for details.