Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Missing Our Rancho

Gracie, evacuated and sheltered.

Though the Paradise fire is not 100% contained, it is well enough under control that the moratorium on new fire policies has been lifted. That was a lot of words to say "escrow will close!" I am here at the Rancho, meeting repairmen and packing mops and tools, and then last of all my computer. It's really time for lights out.

Meanwhile, out west, the evacuated Chicas are living in a sectioned off area beneath the back stairs. It's not home. We let them out the first day and Luna trekked down the road to the neighbor's rose garden, twice. Joan was amused and surprised and very friendly, but we have kept a much tighter rein on the adventurous Chicas ever since. Poor Chicas are not very happy penned in and without their usual spread to cruise. This morning we let them out for a brief bit of freedom. They have many options, but are most attracted to kicking all the wood chips out of the flower bed and on to the sidewalk. In a matter of minutes they mange to create an impressive mess. Don't let my brave front fool you. I am very sad about making the responsible decision to let them stay at the Rancho. I love them. They make me happy, and messy or neat, I never tire of their antics.

I have also discovered that I will miss our market. In two years I have never waited in line to buy groceries, because they always rush to serve. Manuel in produce knows us by name, and he always slices fruit for us to sample. We know the managers and cashiers, the baggers and the bakers. They are friendly and attentive, and even through the grocery strike, our local market has maintained astoundingly awesome service. Major Market deserves a poem or some sort of recognition for doing their job well. Though it's a long drive, I may continue shopping there, rather than suffer long lines and indifferent service at the local markets.

I will miss the view from here; the beautiful hills and sunrise light, the flocks of egrets crossing every morning and afternoon. Yesterday evening a great horned owl sat on the house antenna and looked down on Geoff and me. I will miss his soft "who," and the distant and distinct call of the ostriches. I will miss our neighbors, who have been kind and generous, and the wide open sky that has shared stars and storms, sunsets and breezes. It has been quieter, and slower here, and it has been hotter and colder too. There are many things we are leaving behind.

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