In the Grand Scheme of Things

IMG_2612 It's a busy few weeks as I get thing sorted out to leave here at the end of the month.

I always hate the packing, sorting, cleaning part of moving but I've been able to take my time with this move, doing a bit each day and have made excellent progress. Now it's down to "What do I do with all these pens (which work) that have been sitting in the jar next to my computer for what seems like years?" And getting rid of spices and things like that in the kitchen.

I've made numerous dump and Goodwill runs and taken Chris' leftover paints to hazardous waste removal. There could be a lot of plays on words there but I won't go there!

I'm fortunate in that the garage has lots of cupboards - which is now taken up with all my boxes of stuff! But really, in the grand scheme of things, I have very little STUFF!

Because my water machine is so big and takes up a lot of room in a suitcase, (I'm only allowed one on Air Tahiti Nui) I am getting rid of most of my clothes and will get new ones once I get to New Zealand. Fun shopping in my future! That will be just about my last trip to Port Townsend - returning Goodwill clothes to Goodwill!

And I have made good use of craigslist and freecycle - getting rid of a lot of stuff, being ruthless and saying sayonara - you be gone!

The Plan - At the Moment

My plan is to leave here on Nov. 2. Gretchen moves in the last week of October and we will make sure all the cats get along! She has one old lady who need insulin shots twice a day and who lives in her room and another young yellow kitty who will be introduced to my boys. We will be here to mediate!

On 6th I meet up with Betsy in Santa Ynes at Sedgwick Ranch where we will stay for six days - ostensibly to collaborate - and of course we will - but it's also extremely inexpensive! Jane is coming up to join us (we hope) for a day or two and then it is down to Studio City to Ryan for a few days before I hop on Air Tahiti Nui and head to Auckland! For an unknown time, although I do have a return ticket.

And then? Who knows? Mexico? Costa Rica? South Africa? Choices are endless...........

I did take a short trip to Hamilton, Montana, to see Cody, Mel and the two little boys. It's quite handy from here, just a day's drive. But it would be like moving from here - to here! Weather-wise. Of course, it would be great to be near Cody and the family but - I have to get out of this weather. It is not healthy for me.

The kitties know something is up but I think my plan is the best thing for them. Once I know where I will be settling, I will come back for them - and deal with car trips and flights then. For now, they will remain in a place they know, with someone who cares for them with as little disruption as possible.

They are what I will miss most. I will of course miss the view, the eagles, the ducks and otters, hummingbirds and kingfishers. And the changing seasons and colors of the trees.

But I will not miss the gray, the never ending gray and the cold and the damp. It's time for the SUN!

A Match Made in Heaven

IMG_2516 The day before yesterday, Saturday, driving home from helping Susan and Dan get ready to move to Colorado, I was talking to myself, saying "I HAVE to get out of here. I HAVE to find a renter. I need to be gone by November. I'll just pack up and leave. I need to get For Rent signs and make some flyers to put around the neighborhood."

I don't want to be here all by myself. Just a little old lady and her cats! NOT!

With Susan gone, Janet gone and Mardelle heading out soon, this place, despite be gorgeous, peaceful, waterfront, blah, blah, blah, is just too isolated for me. It should be a real community, but it isn't - everyone keeps to themselves, barely acknowledging that there are others around. Very weird - and not a good place for me.

So I get home, greeted by The Boys, of course and set about looking at what I need to do to make a move, keeping in mind that I have no clue where I will go. What to keep, what to Freecycle, what goes to Goodwill. Then, there is a knock on the door - a very unusual occurrence down here - and my new renter is standing there! Susie from across the street had mentioned that her daughter, Gretchen may want to rent, but I didn't place much hope on it, but had considered phoning Susie, who is currently in SoCal taking care of her mother, while her other daughter, Becky is staying in her house.

the-boysIt's a match made in heaven! She is going to move in sometime towards the end of October and the best part? The Boys, Hinckley and Buddy, will stay here with her and her two kitties, at least until I know where I will be living! We'll have a little overlap before I leave and she moves in, but that will give the cats time to adjust as we don't want any territorial issues!

The kitties have been one of my biggest hurdles (besides finances) as they play such a big part in my life. I would have gone completely nuts these past few years without them. So to have a safe place for them, in a place they know is very important. And Gretchen is obviously a cat person, so it will be perfect.

So the rough plan at the moment is: I will go to New Zealand but just for 4-6 weeks instead of 4 months as I really need to keep the DVD biz going. It's what is keeping me afloat! I can do a lot of it remotely, but the actual shipping  has to be done from the US. There are a lot of details to be worked out, like where do I go when I get back, where do I leave my car, all those sort of things, but none of them insurmountable obstacles.

LCYC dock

One thing is for sure, though. I will not be spending the winter here EVER again!

This Wednesday, I am driving over to Montana to see Cody and Melissa and the little boys in their new home. Hamilton looks like a nice little town, just a day's drive from here. I am going to stop for a day in Lake Chelan to see Janet and Pat, go wine tasting and get some sun! Then drive on and spend the weekend in Hamilton, drive back Monday.

And start packing!

~ Become a Lake ~

driftwoodFrom looking like an abuse victim to a minor swelling and small scab in 9 days is pretty miraculous. My eye still itches like crazy and is still a bit weepy, but overall it is pretty good. I get the stitches out on Tuesday and then I hope the worst will be way over! Because I was such a scary sight, I didn't go out at all.So now am going stir crazy and what has happened, with all this time on my hands, is that I realize that it is not the weather so much that gets me about this place, although it does play into the overall scheme of things. It is the location.

It's beautiful, peaceful, comfortable, cute house, wonderful wildlife. But...

It is way too remote for a single person, meaning me. This is a perfect location for a summer home. For people to come for weekends and weeks in the summer or holidays. Or for a couple who need only each other. But year-round living for me is just not cutting it.

I read this little story, which really brought it home to me:

~ Become a Lake ~

An aging master grew tired of his apprentice’s complaints. One morning, he sent him to get some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master told him to mix a handful of salt in a glass of water and then drink it. “How does it taste?” the master asked. “Bitter,” said the apprentice. The master chuckled and then asked the young man to take the same handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake and once the apprentice swirled his handful of salt in the water, the old man said, “Now drink from the lake.” As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the master asked, “How does it taste?” “Fresh,” remarked the apprentice. “Do you taste the salt?” asked the master. “No,” said the young man. At this the master sat beside this serious young man, and explained softly, “The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains exactly the same. However, the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things. Stop being a glass. Become a lake.”

I need to become a lake. My life is so small and confining. You might say I am living in a puddle!

My life used to be broad, encompassing the entire world. Now it feels so limited and there are factors influencing this - insufficient funds, etc. But I can't let these get in the way of my sanity. I never meant to be back here this long. I have know for a long time that is isolation is not good for me.


Three months ago, after I decided to go for a loan modification on the condo, I gave myself six months to do it. The time is running out but I really don't have to be here to do that. It's all done by phone or email. So that eliminates that excuse for not leaving.

So I am starting to focus on getting "gone" from here. Making a list of what I need to do to make it happen. The main thing, of course, is to find someone to rent this house. And another of course, is finding a way to fund living elsewhere. Oh, and let's not forget a car. I can hardly drive out of state taking Bill's car with me.

The elsewhere doesn't necessarily mean another country, like I have been dreaming. It could be as simple as California. Much more expensive, but more opportunity than here. I don't know whether my editor job will go with me as she seems to think that she needs to see me, which is totally unnecessary when there is Skype. But obviously, I won't throw in the towel, unless she brings it up. The eBay biz can go with me; in fact will be easier as Ryan won't have to ship the DVDs to me.

Tomorrow, Susan and I are going to Port Angeles to look at the house, and then I am going to hand it over to property management. So that won't be an issue for me. Chris seems to want to stay in the condo, so that will be taken care of.

A car could be a problem - or not. I had to have a new exhaust pipe put on the Leaky Beasty and it is a lot quieter now! Not just less exhaust noise, but less rattles too. I'm not sure about this, but maybe Bill would sell it to me but I would need to have the oil leaks fixed and know that that is all they are - leaks, and not something major. And I could probably work out some sort of payment plan with him. That is just a thought, at the moment. I would need to know it would make the trip to California and beyond.

So lots to think about, decisions to make and things to plan and plot.

Chaos is becoming order

Where did all this stuff come from?!!! Actually, it's more things that need to be done, than things I have. For instance, all my photos are on an external drive - for Mac! So I can't access them from my PC. So have to upload them to Dropbox and it is taking FOREVER! Last I looked on the old mac (drive to old mac to dropbox) there were still 10 days of uploading! I hope the old machine doesn't blow up before that happens. But at least everything will be accessible then, in the cloud!

Gotta love technology!

The paper stuff is getting whittled down, too. The biggest paper hogs are government agencies, none of which accept digital anything. So print, copy, mail - copy, copy, copy. And then you have to keep everything for years. Stupid! And then they want things faxed, which means I have to drive somewhere to fax a page! Even though I have an all-in-one printer/fax/copier, I don't have a phone line to use! Faxes are soooo 20th century!

Anyway, my kayak is gone, a lot of odds and ends on craigslist are going. The car is all spiffed up like new and I am having second thoughts about selling it, as I most likely will be back here sometime next year, on my way to somewhere else. I can cover it and leave it here at the house.

The gang here want to do a going away party for me. I guess it will be next week sometime. But it really doesn't feel like I am going away forever. The length of time really depends on the house situation and that is still in limbo. It might be that way for years, for all I know.

The new is supposed to launch at the end of this week. The site looks soooo good and am excited to see the final product. I've been really busy reworking old articles and actually got to write a new one! What a concept! Something of my own. I hope I can do more, there are so many things to write about and South Africa has a lot to offer in that regard.

So onward and forward...more boxes!