Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sunday, June 22, 2014

A Moving Saga

After the moving van left our house in Grass Valley on Thursday, we did a final look around the place and got into the car. Roger had loaded it with stuff we needed to take with us on the road. He had lowered all the car windows while he was packing because it was already hot. We got into the car, waved good-bye to our old life and headed down the road to our new one. Roger clicked the button to raise the car windows. The rear ones went up, and so did mine on the passenger side. The driver side window did not budge. Uh-oh. We tried everything we could think of, and nothing made that window go up. Uh-oh. We had a three-hundred mile drive ahead of us in 90+ degree weather, the thought of doing that with a window all the way down was daunting, to say the least.

So, we drove to our local car repair shop, The Volz Brothers. We have been using them for the four years we were in Grass Valley. We drove in like crazy people, went up to the front desk and said with utter desperation and panic, 'PLEASE HELP US. WE JUST SOLD OUR HOUSE. WE'RE MOVING OUT OF TOWN. OUR WINDOW WON'T GO UP, AND WE HAVE LONG DRIVE AHEAD OF US. PLEASE HELP US."

They took pity on us. The took our car right away into one of the repair bays. They told us that it was probably a master switch, and they would fix it. We waited. We watched through the window as they took the door apart. First one mechanic worked on it, then two, then three. Time ticked on. We waited. The window did not come up. The owner of the shop looked concerned. All we could think about was a windy hot and crazy loud drive, and no way to lock the car. We had just sold our house. All of our worldly possessions were on a truck heading north. We were sitting in a mechanic's waiting room, dreading the future.

The mechanics worked and worked, and still the window did not come up. The owner came into the waiting room and told us that it wasn't the master switch but the motor, and it was shot. OMG. He said, "I could try to put something in the window to make it easier for you to travel, but it would take several hours, and it would look like crap. I'm sorry." We were devastated.

We tried to come up with a plan right away. We thought we'd drive to the hardware store and buy a piece of plastic. We were heading to Roger's sister's house to spend the night, and we thought we'd fashion some kind of repair there before we hit the road the next day. We were sick by the thought of it.

We waited while they put the door back together, anticipating the grim future, when suddenly the owner came into the room literally BEAMING and said, "It's UP. THE WINDOW IS UP! I asked the mechanic to try that up switch once more after he put the door back together. It worked. If you touch that switch (he said to Roger), I'll hit you." We had a good laugh. We asked how much we owed them for all that hard work. They said NOTHING. We were blown away by their generosity.

The weight of the world was lifted off our shoulders, and we have been flying ever since. Hah!

We will write more about life here in Arcata soon. Moving is hard, but at least unpacking is easier than packing.

That's the news for now.

Monday, June 16, 2014

What Crazy Packing Looks Like

Remember when we filled the freezer with homemade tomato sauce and bags of sliced frozen tomatoes and red peppers?

Well, it sure doesn't look like that anymore. Here it is at the crazy end of packing.
Isn't this a great use of space? We're tired tired tired, and the movers come on June 19th.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Stress Reduction

Finding a rental in a college town in June is an absurdity. Yes, more houses come on the market when those rascal students flee for their summer vacations. But all the houses they leave behind are as creepy as one might expect. Maybe even creepier in a foggy north coast way, with ancient homes from the 30s and 40s that have never been updated, and were built without insulation or charm, but easy enough to unload on students who don't care what the house looks like as long as they're no longer living under their parents' roof. An electric stove straight out of the 50s? Cool. Every garage converted to an extra bedroom? Excellent. An attic with a bed? Let's just call it a loft, shall we?

That's life here in this beautiful college town on the north coast of California.

So, when it finally gets to be too much for us, we take a walk. Wednesday we went to the local marsh and wildlife sanctuary.

Thursday went to the community redwood forest.

Roger stood in the stump for me, and I tried to wrap my arms around one in a hug that embraces probably more than 3000 years on earth.

It's a balance. Those unbelievably horrible rentals and this ecstatic beauty everywhere else.

So we remind ourselves why we came. That, and our grandchildren will be much closer, and the temperatures reaching 100 degrees on the old home turf on Sunday. The cool ocean air is the most beautiful reminder of why we are making this journey.