A year ago I walked into the nest. I was exhausted from the move. Dazed. Struggling to believe that after failing at everything I've ever done and never making much money I was going to live in such a perfect place.
It's only been recently that I have had feelings of at home-ness. Familiarity. Familiarity is not the same as taking things for granted. I still find myself staring at the ceiling, or the paint, or the floors and smiling. I still feel almost joyous when I toss in a load of laundry. Grateful isn't even a big enough word.
Leaving San Francisco was excruciating. Knowing how much better this would be didn't help. Experiencing how much better it is doesn't make it better. But I do know that San Francisco has changed. Changed in ways that felt bad. I try to hammer on that fact when I feel sad about not being there. Because I do wish I was still there.
I like Hood River. A lot. It's beautiful. Autumn was red and orange and yellow. The snow was beautiful. The spring was an explosion of blossoms. And, so far, summer is warm and interesting. Interesting because the town fills up with people who want the wind and the water.
There's lots of locally produced food and great markets. There is art and culture although I haven't been able to participate yet.I found a place to swim. It's a challenge getting there but I am making it more often. I found a doctor who I love. I have a friend who I've known for more than half my life and very cool neighbors.
I grew up in my grandparents house. That's how we said it. We didn't say "our house". It was good for them to have us there as they got older. It was good for Mom to have them for child care while she worked. But there was this sense of obligation and things being temporary. And when Mom and I moved out things fell apart in many ways. It kind of hard wired a feeling of alienation and loss connected to the idea of home.
I had settled into my life in SF and even though it wasn't really working any more because of my increased disability leaving rattled all that wiring and it's been hard to relax. It still is. But I see it all for what it is and try to just notice and not get bogged down. I'm not always successful.
We all want the people we love to be happy. I think it's hard for the people who love me to accept that I still get wiped out by sadness and anger and frustration. But I do. It doesn't mean that I'm not aware that I landed in an almost miraculous circumstance. Terrible things might happen but the probability is that I will not be homeless. I have this place. I have my wall of windows and my view of Oak Street. I have books. I have food and health care and a place to swim. I have my plants and my fish. It's very good. But even as I type that I fill with tension. I feel like if I relax too much it will all fall apart. It's just old wiring.
There are things I'd like to do to the nest. Back splash in the kitchen. Better flooring in the bedroom and library. But if I never do any of those things are really comfortable and good.
It really just blows my mind.