Friday, June 28, 2013

Wall of Windows

In San Francisco I had one blind that I raised and lowered every day. It was in the bedroom. There was a window in the living room, which opened on an air shaft and my neighbors could see in if they wanted to look but most of them kept their blinds pulled. I used to like to open the back door and watch people walking down Powell but if the door wasn't open there was no way for anyone to see into my apartment from the street.
One of the best things about the nest is the wall of windows. But I do live on a down town street. There are shops and restaurants and people walking by at all hours. The question of when I lower the blinds is a daily quandary. I like having them open but I am a bit on display. There's nothing to see really and most people are looking into shop windows. I am not not overly concerned. But the other night I stood up and it felt like I looked straight into the eyes of a woman eating on the patio across the street. She may have been looking at my plants or just the architecture. She may not have been looking at all. It just felt like I stood up into her view.
There is a transom-ish part of the window above which I leave the blinds lowered at all times. Nice that they work that way. I seem to have arrived at a system. The first blind I open in the morning is the one by the bookshelf and near where my desk will ultimately be. It's in a corner. There are plants in front of it. It feels obscured. The second one I open is at the other end. The table is there and I've eaten on it but lately I've been eating on the corner of my butcher block. When I was eating there I felt on display, somewhat. It wasn't a big deal but it was a little weird. In any case now I open it and if anyone looks up they may see me scrambling my eggs. Oh well. And last of all the middle, which is also a door with a Juliet balcony. I love opening it and looking up and down the street. But it is right in front of the hallway and I suppose if you were at just the right spot, at just the right moment you might see me walking from the bathroom to the bedroom in my towel. Probably not but I open it last. At night the pattern falls apart. I resist closing them at all.
Morning in Hood River is quiet. I live above a coffee shop so I see people clutching their cups on the street but not many. The day brings out the folks. Some seem like tourists. They travel in groups and look all around them. Others seem like locals. Walking dogs. Pushing strollers. As the evening arrives the restaurant patios fill up. I've been told the summer is busier and in the winter it will get really quiet.
Mom has the blind raising and lowering ritual firmly in place. It always seemed a bit hyper to me.
I like walking past someone's window and catching a glimpse of their life. Especially in the city. Not in any prurient or invasive way but just a glimpse of life.
There's a clear blue sky tonight. Not many people on the street but lots of cars. I think I'll wait until the street lights come on.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


There's really nothing good to say about moving. Everyone says it isn't fun but there was a level of un-fun-ness that seemed wrong. I'm not going to detail it because ... it's over and I want to be over it. I guess as long as I'm unpacking it's not really over but unpacking is almost fun. It's kind of like a raggedy Christmas in which you're opening packages filled with stuff you've had for a long time but you're glad to see it.
There was a moment, after the movers were gone and R was packing things into the car when I was alone in my apartment and I wept. I can still fill up with tears thinking about it.
We didn't get far that night but once we were on the road the next day it was fun. Driving across Northern California and then into Oregon is like driving through an endless post card. In the last leg of the trip, from Portland to Hood River, both of us exhausted and wanting to get out of the car, the beauty of the river and the waterfalls carried us.
And then I was in the nest. It was late. I was on the verge of a physical, emotional and mental breakdown. But I was in the nest and fully aware of the difference it would make in my life.
For so long I've felt like I didn't have any ground beneath me. No reserve. I was running on fumes. I wasn't running very well. Every hurt felt lethal. Every stress felt overwhelming. Many of my reactions felt disproportionate. Being in the nest feels like the ground has risen up under me. I still have bad moments but I recover from them.
The nest is perfect in ways I would not have imagined. I haven't fully integrated that I get to live here. This morning I had a complete melt down thinking that things were going to fall apart somehow. No reason. Just a random release of emotion. It happens every day and I suspect it will for awhile. But. I recovered.
I had set the cable/Internet appointment for two days after the movers but the movers were a day late so I wasn't really ready for the guy when he came. He was extremely fun and cool and just rolled with the chaos. Got my land line, cable and Internet set up. There's some confusion about my WiFi access and it wasn't coming from his company but he made a valiant effort and got it going. Something went off the rail and the next day, which happened to be my birthday, I couldn't get Internet on my IPhone. Whenever anyone talks about not liking Facebook I talk about my birthday. For the last few years Facebook has made my birthday fun. I post pictures of what I'm eating and people leave me happy birthday messages. So not having that access made me fairly miserable. I spent the day digging through boxes trying to find all the parts for my computer. It turned out that the WiFi was blocking the 3G. Not sure why since I've always had both on my phone. I had actually thought about that possibility and should have just turned it off but the guy had worked so hard to get it going. I was afraid to lose it. I still don't have the WiFi thing sorted.
Jane and Karen came over with a huge bunch of flowers, a wonderful cake and Chinese food. It was good.  
I pushed to get some things unpacked and in place. On Sunday Jane took me to the store. I'd been feeling like I might be getting a cold. That afternoon my intestines were acting up and I felt like crap. I got under a blanket and recovered. My entire system is a little out of whack so I do some work and then I rest. I have enough set up to feel like I can slow down.
I put a load of laundry in the machine and then go eat breakfast. It makes me happy. No stairs.
I go and get the mail. It makes me happy. No stairs.
I take out the garbage. I'm happy. No stairs.
So many things that are routine and not even fun make me happy because I CAN do it.
On either side of my television cabinet is a floor to ceiling window with a beautiful view. My eyes wander away from what ever show is on. I can watch the people on the street below. I can watch the trees on top of the hill. On one clear night I watched the moon rise.
I'm anxious for books on the shelf and no more boxes but I'm calmer in many ways than I have been in years. Maybe this will wear off. But. Not for awhile.