I declare the move to the new apartment officially over–Sunday, May 8th. I say that because for the first time in over a month I’m am paying attention to writing again. I’ve been doing my assignments for class but otherwise journaling, blogging, reading (an essential part of writing), thinking about the book, the ‘100’ flash pieces, listening to the lectures and poems in my Coursera poetry classes, and trying to think like a writer has been on an extended break. That Is Over. Done. Back to work.
First though one last post and a small album of photos from my new place–which I seventy-five percent love. The apartment is great now that my stuff surrounds me, good layout, windows in every room (unlike my sweet but cave-like previous digs) from which I can see green. The street is, as previously stated, boring, but the neighborhood behind me is quite lovely and I’ve discovered I’m okay living in The Heights, an area that the more arts-oriented among us have long decried as soulless at worst, dull at best. Maybe I’ve just never admitted to myself I am not particularly soulful although I’ve always known I was not exactly the animated life-of-the-party type. So…I guess I Am Home. There are still some things to do, but I’m out of home-improving energy and money for now.
It’s Mothers Day. One nice son has called and told me to look for a card in the mail and the other nice son and daughter-in-law are taking the moms to the Cheesecake Factory, which has just arrived in Albuquerque, to dinner. Loved it when eating there in San Francisco so am quite happy about this day of reading, writing, good food AND A NEW HENNING MANKELL SERIES ON PBS this evening.
April 30th. It’s a rainy evening…April showers and all that. I realize how happy I am to be in my new home. And it’s not even The Home yet! A good month and May will be even better as I properly settle in among my favorite things and even a few brand new favorite things like a dust mop, big bright green fern, and best of all an IKEA Day Bed for the guest room/library/laundry. But more about that in the future.
I wrote a small review of my life at 208 that I’ve decided to include here just to properly close out a major phase of my life.
April 8th. This morning was my last morning alone at 208. Sixteen years. A passage. From late-middle-age to pre-old-old—a small amount of nostalgia/sentimentality/memory-gorging allowed. During this16 years, here’s what I did:
- Discovered my kids siblings grandchildren cousins are my best friends and have begun transitioning into a sweet little old lady—the kind of whom it is said, “Wasn’t she just the sweetest thing ever?” Or Not.
- Made (with a lot of help from my friends) a festival called Global DanceFest of which I am very proud.
- Traveled a bunch.
- Became a blogger—of sorts.
- Discovered the wonders of gyms and walking and feeling strong.
- Been the sometimes excellent, sometimes mediocre director of a small but brilliant arts and disability organization.
- And…prepared myself for the next (possibly final!) stage of life as A Writer by blogging, getting a UCLA certificate in literary non-fiction and by Starting The Book and the 100 (more about this later also).
It’s been great
Now moving on uptown
All of the time
Anything else a crime
Because there’s no more time time time…
Perhaps I’ll be a poet.
In the big wide open west, I live in an apartment that would fit a Manhattan lifestyle (meaning tiny but in an interesting neighborhood). There are many reasons: It is cheap and cozy; small spaces have always made me comfortable (growing up with a mom, dad, brother, various dogs and odd bird life in “the little house in the big woods!”) and it’s easy to come and go with my friendly landlord next door.
When I moved in 14 years ago (the only other place I have ever lived that long was the childhood home) it was to start a new job back in Albuquerque. Money was tight and my furniture shopping took place in secondhand stores on San Mateo SE—which for the most part is what has still been furnishing my place. Until now.
I discovered IKEA this year—well actually I have been a fan since all my favorite Scandinavian detectives seem to have apartments full of IKEA stuff where they sit and drink and morosely contemplate their dysfunctional lives and how to solve the latest murder.
Earlier this year, I finally went to the IKEA website and even ordered a catalogue which eventually replaced my evening bible reading. As a result the first IKEA furniture arrived at my apartment sometime last winter or spring.
Now however I have been to the real-life store in San Diego and followed the arrows and eaten the meatballs…and seen the light. Okay so everything is not actual wood (but much is…) and the style is Scandinavian minimalism and I doubt much of it lasts forever. But I love meatballs and I’m too old to worry about anything lasting forever so this furniture and household stuff is just right for my life.
Anyway, I came home from California with a car full of boxes of complex pieces of wood, fake wood, metal, glass, bolts, wrenches and nails and extremely inordinately unnecessarily complicated instructions. My kid came over and, in exchange for dinner and a beer or two, put it all together. I tell myself I could do it but the things I’ve tried have wound up with a small vital piece missing—after the point of no return. Taking apart a half-put-together IKEA bookcase or table is an impossible feat for ordinary people. To do that one must have been raised in the snow, reading serious and somber Nordic literature and only eating fish…which makes you very smart but not necessarily good at writing instructions for southerners (that would be all the people in the world living below the Arctic Circle).
So…this is my stay-at-home year, except for a road trip here and there, money usually slated for the travel fund is going to the dentist and IKEA—the latter being quite a bit more fun than the former—except when you’re in the middle of trying to put together that pesky table, chair, desk, which can feel a bit like a root canal.
I must go back to forming sentences and paragraphs and pages again about the more important things in life (Really? More important than food and IKEA? How is that possible?) both in blogs and for my re-born book project. This will be my last photo album for awhile. I hope.