Friday, February 22, 2013

The Force is with me . . .

I began the process of moving south a couple weeks ago. First step: contact a realtor. I tried to locate the woman I’d bought my place from, but she wasn’t listed under her name. A friend forwarded another name for consideration. Still mulling my options, I opened a section of the local paper and there she was! She and her husband had started their own firm shortly after I met her in 2007.

I left a message for her on Friday, February 8th. By Monday morning, no response. I fussed. Should I call again? Go to their office? Something told me to wait.

As I left the house to meet with friends at noon, key still in the door, my phone clanged. A youthful voice chirped a happy greeting. She and her partner had been assigned to represent me, if I wanted. I did. We made an appointment for Thursday.

On Thursday, the sun shone bright. The agent toured my place, snapping photos before settling details for the listing. On Friday, she brought the window sign. Then, under fog-filled skies, I left for a writer’s conference in Gold Beach.

At Winston, the mists cleared. Sun warmed the weekend, temperatures reaching the mid-sixties. Perhaps the brightness opened space for me to participate, to feel I belonged in this group of talented writers, and inspired the poetry I scribbled on scraps of paper.

Sunday, on the way back, my realtor called. I pulled over to listen to her message, then called her back.

“You’re not going to believe this,” she said. On Saturday, she had tried to create a video walk-through for the listing, but the camera hadn’t worked. On Sunday, her partner tried, but somehow locked herself out of the house!

“Don’t worry,” I said. “I’m just south of Cottage Grove. I’ll be there in thirty or forty minutes.”

As I approached the entrance to my manufactured home park, my phone rang. I picked up, expecting it to be my agent. Wrong. Another agent had showed the unit across the street from me. They’d seen my sign and wanted to get in.

“I’m almost there,” I said.

“We could just run across and look before you get here,” she said.

“No, no. You can’t. I’ll explain. Be there in a minute,” I replied as I rounded the curve and saw five people standing in my neighbor’s driveway.

They toured the house while I walked around the neighborhood. As she left, their realtor hinted there might be an offer.

There was. Is. OMG! Stay tuned for the woo-woo rest of the story!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Migrating South

I left the message for my California chum. She was maid of honor at my last wedding, my second broken marriage. I missed her return call and laughed out loud at her message: “Well, you coulda knocked me over with a gin bottle! I never in my wildest dreams thought you’d move to California! I think it’s a fabulous idea.”

Like a bird who forgot to migrate south, I get restless each winter, flapping my mental wings at our foggy, soggy, dark and clammy Willamette Valley.

To be clear, I’m a California transplant. I was raised in Southern California. Whittier, to be exact. It’s a college town with older homes and lots of trees. In certain sections, the sprawl of “The City” – cue the music from Dragnet – can be ignored. I came to Eugene via the University of Oregon in 1961 and am still here.

But my sister, brother-in-law, their two daughters and their families live in the L.A. area. They are my closest blood relatives. I visit at least once each year. Getting from Eugene to Los Angeles by any mode of transportation is not simple. There are no direct flights from Eugene. The Amtrak takes at least 26 hours and has been anywhere from 2 to 12 hours late. Driving can be hazardous in winter and takes more than one day no matter what time of year.

And, yikes! My next birthday will mark the beginning of my eighth decade. How can that be? I’m healthy and active, yet everything takes me longer, requires more effort. My last drive from here to my sister’s in October wore me out.

So, I’ve begun my research. My plan is to stay somewhat north of L.A. and near the coast but not on it.

Last Sunday, I put a sign in the window of my manufactured home. I’ve gotten one call from an interested neighbor. Who knows? I may be outta here sooner than I think!