Thursday, December 31, 2015

Miracle on New Year's Eve

A small miracle today: On my jog, a pit-bull mix came growling up behind me. I stopped, turned and said, "Whoa, that's not nice. I'm not bothering you."

He cocked his head, puzzled, then trotted back into his yard. Whew!

Does that make me a dog whisperer? Probably not. But I will give wide berth to that particular house.

Later, gazing at blue sky through bare trees above a pond by my new home, I realized how blessed I am to end this year unharmed.

That evening, I watched the sun slide away and wrote:

New Year’s Eve, 2015

Horizon glows amber, backlights bare trees,
casts shadows onto steel-tinted pond.
Fog that worried our weatherman failed to arrive.

The squirrel-proof birdfeeder replenished,
I cozy into winter quiet, grateful
this year ended clear and dry
and safe.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


Monday, November 30, 2015: The movers stashed my stuff in their truck and drove it to the warehouse. That night, I stayed in my empty apartment, sleeping bag with airbed on the floor.

Tuesday, December 1: I paced and prowled, waiting for the cleaning woman. We arranged that she would do the walk-through with the landlady. I began my journey north that afternoon under sunny California skies.

I made it as far as Morgan Hill where an old college boyfriend has lived for years. I decided against attempting contact.

Wednesday, December 2: Ashland, Oregon! In my motel, I commemorated with a new Oregon poem –

Last night I slept near
an old lover and dreamt us
young again
then spent today
chasing rainbows north,
toward the place we met.

Now I wrestle with dark hours
before dawn,
eager to complete my journey:
An old poet, homeward bound.

Thursday, December 3: Oregon welcomed me with green hills, warm rain and scattered blue spaces overhead. I rolled into Eugene early in the afternoon.

Friday, December 4: I got the key to my beautiful condo and called the moving company. When would my goods arrive?

Well, they hemmed, the driver was to pick it up yesterday. He never showed. Never called. They would reschedule. They would let me know.

So, not until next week?

Yeah. We’ll contact you.

Saturday, December 5: I bought a nice oak captain’s chair at Goodwill, a small table at Freddie’s and a camp cot at BiMart – no more sleeping on the floor for me!

Sunday, December 6: I moved into my empty new place.

Monday, December 7: Running out of clothes. I started the washer and was soon awash in water!

The drain hose had not been connected and water simply ran in, then out. Turning the machine off was little help. This would have been less of a problem had the washer been on the ground floor. Instead, water found its way down, down, down through a light fixture to the hall below.

I threw all my dry clothes under the washer, and raced downstairs, dialing the landlord as I ran. Thankfully, he answered my distress call and promised help.

I was borrowing towels from my neighbor when he called back. His friend would be arrive in minutes to begin the process of ripping things up and drying them out.

I moved back to my friend’s house and called the movers. Still no plan, no schedule. They would let me know.

Wednesday, December 9: The house was a dry 85 degrees, like a sauna. I would stay away another night.

I’d been told they would redo the floor and re-tack the carpets on Thursday.

Thursday, December 11: I trundled back early and waited. The floor guy called at noon. They would be here at noon - tomorrow.

“I was promised you’d be here today,” I groaned.

“Tomorrow,” he repeated.

I used the afternoon to get cable equipment, start newspaper delivery and haunt resale stores for ‘necessary’ items.

The moving company called. Someone named Monroe would pick up my stuff on Saturday and deliver on Sunday – the final day of their estimated delivery schedule. The weather threatened snow in the mountains.

On Saturday, with the washer still not set in place and running out of clothes, I made a run to the laundromat. No word from this Monroe guy.

Sunday, December 13: I woke at 5 a.m. excited as a kid at Christmas. But had Monroe-the-mover has made it safely over the Siskiyou Summit? Is he sliding closer in his oversized sleigh?

Then the texts began.

8:38 a.m.
The passes have too much snow on them right now, going to wait until later and see if they clear up. Probably won’t be there till tomorrow . . . don’t want to be stuck on a mountain in the snow.

(me: Okay, thanks for letting me know)

You’re welcome. I’ll let you know later.

(me: okay, so where are you?)_

Weed, CA

(me: lovely spot! It’s cold enough to snow here, too. Hope things warm up soon)

Monday, December 14: more texts

7:27 a.m. Still stuck in Weed. Chains required. If they lift the chain law today we’ll head up and be there first thing in the morning tomorrow. Thanks for your patience. As soon as I can head north I will let you know.

(me: so, you don’t have chains?)

Can’t chain my truck. It has fenders that are too close to the tires . . .

(me: okay)

I called the moving company just to note that they would deliver outside of the promised time window. Later, Monroe called. They would be here by 8 a.m. in the morning.

Tuesday, December 15:

7:30 a.m. A huge moving van rolled up. I went outside and met Monroe and his partner. I was embarrassed to have questioned the delay. I wouldn’t have dared move that rig two feet!

And Monroe parked it so well that my neighbors could get in or out, if necessary.

9:15 a.m. The van rolled out, all my good delivered. I’d spent just under two hours with a couple of really nice guys who clearly enjoy what they do.

I called the moving company to retract my earlier complaint.

“Give those guys a gold star,” I told the woman on the phone.

And then I started really getting re-Oregonized!