Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Fresh space and new adventures. We don't know precisely what the draw is, but Max, Alex, William and I can't get enough of the new place. We were there yesterday, so we could see Geoff's new office. We brought family photos, kitchen supplies and other odds and ends, and we met the carpet layers; they couldn't lay the carpet in the bedroom, since the previous tenant had the power shut off. We hung and displayed pictures, Max and Alex worked on "Cat Tower," and William made an orienteering game for us. And we also played hide and go seek, and thought up game ideas for next week's Pirate's Halloween gathering. Max and Alex ate apples from the tree. I organized canned beans and tomato sauce. William drew ridiculous characters. We decided on what should go where, and Alex expressed his pleasure when he realized he could drop parachute men from the second story balcony. We look forward to seeing the cats climb stairs, and watching the hot air balloons that take off from an empty lot nearby.

The other thing we look forward to is knowing that Geoff's new office is a little more than 2 blocks away; a neighborhood walk, without any traffic at all. He and Tom signed the deal yesterday for the new space, and we got to have a peek. Modest, clean and very, very convenient; I think we are all happy.

After seeing the new company space, the boys and I had lunch, and then shopped at Target for hand soap, paper towels, and dish sponges. We took the loot back to the new place and kicked back awhile more. "When can we spend the night?" "When can we bring Nena, Chango and Diego?" "When can Grandma come?" "How many days until we move in?" These are questions to be grateful for. We are seeing things fall in to place, and finding comfort and many reasons to be excited for what comes next. I am relieved to see the boys' enthusiasm, and resilience; it eases my stress.
Luna, my black hen, is sitting beneath the kitchen window. She has scratched herself a bed in the ground. She sits in her carved, dirt bowl, between the calla lilies, and has a bath. Luna's bath is a dirty bath. I can hear the ruffle of her feathers, and see the dust and particles of dry earth rise above her in flurries. She beats the ground with her wings, and fans the dirt between her feathers. She spreads her body low, in to the flower bed, and opens her wings for maximum exposure to dirt and sun. Like a feather duster, in pursuit of the most dirt, Gracie too is beating her wings and dusting her body with fresh top soil. They cluck contentedly, like two hens at the spa, and the dirtier they get the more relaxed they become. Their drowsy heads are lulling in the sun. Happy chicas. Clean and dirty, happy hens.

Monday, October 13, 2003

My gamble paid off. My anxieties are often heightened by uncertainty (not too profound) and I knew that finding a rental home was going to ease many of my concerns. When looking for a rental home, one that accepts cats and has room for an RV, and three children, the choices are quite limited. We saw a few standard 'in the neighborhood' kind of places, where we were unlikely to park an RV or anything else too unconventional. So when it came down to satisfying my urgent need to resolve the housing issue, there was really only one house that looked favorable, and I had to grab it without time for Geoff to see it. It was risky making the big decision on my own, and for the 2 weeks when I couldn't see it again and reaffirm my hasty choice, I was feeling like a gambling woman. Yesterday I showed my cards and came up with a full house, and everyone is happy.

We all went to see the place and get our key yesterday morning. I felt rather foolish, because I realized that on the original walk through I was so shadowed by the tenant that I barely looked at the rooms and never saw the kitchen or counted closets and bathrooms. He was a small, bearded man, with the look of granola and yoga all over him. His new age endeavors were diluted by his slightly paranoid portrayal of this "too noisy neighborhood." He actually motioned with his hand to his ear and raised his brows knowingly, when he heard a distant power tool happily at work in some neighbor's garage. His yoga wife's mellow demeanor was barely skin deep; she freaked when Alex set one foot on their area rug, "We never step on the white rug!" My son's huge faux pax caused both tenants to follow us closely for the remainder of the house tour. Still we have a happy ending, because the place is even better than I thought. The kitchen is very nice, and roomy. The home office is super equipped. There are plenty of closets, bathrooms, and cabinets, and the *Punatics took their white rug with them.

Geoff likes the place, and I am glad about this. It is set back in what actually does seem to be a quiet neighborhood, and there are many beautiful, mature trees all around. We are having fun deciding how to arrange our lives in the unusual layout; the kitchen and living room are upstairs, and one downstairs bedroom is better described as a workshop. I think we are well suited to living in this place; we'll have fun there.

*Puna-tics: Noun. The Big Island of Hawaii has a district, very near the Volcano, where expatriate Mainlanders migrate; they are in search of very affordable land, social freedoms, and excellent welfare and social services. "Puna" is the district and the "tic" is a play on words from the parasite, and the word lunatic. Punatics enjoy aromatherapy, colonics, powerful healing crystals, untouchable white rugs, assuming Native politics as their own, righteous indignation, and generous handouts from the state; they advertise heavily in Hawaii Island Journal - Home Page.