Friday, July 23, 2010

The Good, The Bed and the Ugly

The Good: The best of the good news is that Maggie and I are together again. I brought her home a week ago. Right away, she bonded with our furniture, found the litter box, had a snack and jumped on the bed for a nap. For three days, she seemed to think we had just a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. When I put her in her little round bed on the desk by the window, she peered out and then dashed away, maybe alarmed by the scenic vista, the sea gulls or the noise from traffic. Now she seems thrilled with the view and sleeps in her bed on the desk while I type, just like old times.

Every box (except three going to Patricia and Joel’s for storage) has been unpacked, the furniture is in place and every possession has been stored, filed or artfully arranged. Wait – that’s not quite true, because I haven’t yet hung all the art on the walls. Still, I live here now, which is different from moving in. Really different. Delightful! And usually I remember where I have put stuff.

Full disclosure: I have packed and stored here a shoe box full of sea shells. Yes – I seem to have brought sea shells to the ocean! Not just any sea shells. Sea shells I’ve had since I was a kid, sea shells my brother collected (from stores – he never saw the sea) and sea shells I have been given. A friend suggested I drive the shells down to the shore, line them up and wave “bye.” Instead, I have put three on a shelf in the bathroom, filled a huge abalone shell in the living room with others and packed some in a box, to think about another day.

Also good: The brisk, gusty winds that roar through my open windows invigorate me (sorry, suffering St. Louisans…). My neighbors are kind (one from Kansas City, one from Chicago) and also quiet people. I find that even with a tender foot I can maneuver the 38 steps down to the trash room and the private laundry. (David Bonetti said I had to get a place with a laundry, and I did.) The shower is a joy! I care about showers, and this one is terrific. The dishwasher is a treasure – only about one-fourth of apartments in my price range have them.

In other good news, I have found a woman willing to try to cut my hair, I have located a gym I will join soon, I missed only one question on the driver’s license test and so now have a California license and oops -- today I bought another rug, a splendid, unusual rug, this one for the living room.

Susan played hooky and drove with me to Novato in Marin County to have a look at the rug, because one person cannot load an 8-foot by 8-foot rug in the car, get it into the apartment and push all the furniture around. She was kind enough to help, and we celebrated with burgers and a fresh peach milk shake afterward. A word of thanks also is in order here to Michael, Patricia’s brother and Susan’s son, who set up my desktop computer, fixed a shelf, added a wrap rack (as in Saran) to my kitchen cabinet door and fetched a small teak file cabinet that I found at a resale shop. Joel set up my TIVO just in time to capture “Mad Men” and taught me how to work the new TV and DVD player. And Patricia has provided moral support and admiration of what I accomplished here in a short time. She walked in the other night and exclaimed, “It looks like a house!”

Savoring all the good!

The Bed: My beloved Select Comfort bed has a slow leak. I agonized for a day over why and then set about getting the air chamber replaced. It took seven phone calls over five days. Today, UPS brought my new air chamber while I was touring Cole Valley shops with Susan. Oh well…

The Ugly. Blame it on not sleeping as well as usual (did I mention the leak in the bed, leading to a less than firm mattress?) or on unpacking 93 boxes (and finding a place for the stuff and then disposing of the boxes) but I’m really tired! When I am really tired I make stupid mistakes, forget things, neglect to read the grocery lists I make and have to double back on errands.

To make it better, tomorrow I will remind myself that the work of moving here is over. I will make an appointment for a massage – I’m past due. Then I will walk a few steps up the street, sit on an old tree trunk on a hillside and eat my lunch as I admire the astonishing view. The view is the same as from my wall of windows, but I think I need to be out in the wind, to help clear my head.

I live here now, and can at last begin to explore what that means.


  1. Ugh about the bed. But the view the view the view. THAT - and the fact that you're with family - make all things wonderful!

  2. Marvelous! All the good,the bed and the sounds perfect. With a breeze, it all seems manageable. Frankly, with the 95+ degrees and 80% humidity we've had, I would not be able to cope with the deflated bed, enjoy the view, find a place to cut my hair or walk to the tree stump. With the breeze, I could do it all..or do nothing and care less. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!