Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Last Road

   Friday January twentieth: 
   I awoke this morning at 7am at the Sunset Motel in Hood River.  I had a headache and all together wasn’t feeling so good.  So I decided to prepare a pot of the in room coffee provided for guests.  There’s a little drip coffee pot and a tray of regular and decaf pouches, packets of dehydrated creamers and sweeteners.  In a few minutes we had two cups of thin hot water without much resemblance of coffee.  I consumed a cup and within a half hour was feeling quite sick.  I laid in bed trying to will my stomach to a state of calm but finally had to give in.  On and off through the morning this was more or less my condition.  Eli went to the store and returned with some bottled water and bananas.  I ate half the banana and drank about a cup of water.  Then it was time to get in the truck and go. 

   We spent some time scraping the mirrors with credit cards.  We had a few ice scrapers with us.  But they were in the back of the truck and wouldn’t you know it, the lock was frozen.  Carefully we navigated the truck out of the parking lot and onto the road headed for the freeway.  I 84 east of us had been completely shut down the night before, sometime after we had made our way across to Hood River.  As we crossed over I could see the trucks on the eastbound lanes pulling over to the side.  The overpass was totally iced over and even making the turn onto the on ramp was a slow process. 
   On the road Eli kept a moderate pace and we proceeded to make our way towards the final destination.  So much had happened in the last 48 hours that really impacted our energy levels for the final day of the drive.  Eli managed to navigate the inner city cross town freeways to the end of I 84 where it meets up with I 5 then north on I 5 to the Lombard East exit, up to the light, left, down 5 blocks and park right outside of Mary and Bob’s house.  Mary and Bob are our new land lords and they seem like good people.  Their house is massive and open, spacious oak interior filled with artwork and artifacts no doubt from their world travels they talked about enjoying.  Soon they’re off to France for an extended visit. 

   We spent an hour reviewing and signing paperwork in their upstairs office.  It’s a good thing my stomach had finally decided to cooperate because I wouldn’t have been able to function and do what needed to be done a few hours prior. 
   With the papers signed, dated, initialed, etc, we all got in our cars and we followed Mary and Bob over to the new house.  We pulled up and there it was, our new house.  We’d only seen a few photos before today. 
   The beat up storm door opened and then the main door on the side of the house.  We stepped in and were greeted by the tired, sad smell of mildew.  I immediately was concerned about the basement and leaking water.  On up the stairs into the kitchen, tastefully painted yellow with lots of cabinets and drawers, a kitchen nook with built in leaded glass display shelves and drawers.  Through the kitchen into the living room we marveled at huge picture window, fireplace with built in book shelves on either side, beveled mirror above the mantle.  The bedrooms are large, built ins in the hallway.  Really the house is beautiful and feels like more room than I expected.  The basement looks to be leak free.  It’s huge with built in raised work benches on two walls and washer and dryer.  We’ve gone from our dusty cramped studio by the beach to a real house a block away from the Interstate. 
   We moved some things into the house and then drove Eli’s pick up off the trailer.  Now with a satellite vehicle we went over to our local grocery and got some food to eat.  We were fried but could not stop yet.  The trailer would need to be dealt with before we would be able to pull down the loading ramp to unload the truck.  So we drove over to Columbia Blvd to the truck rental place where we were finally relieved of the trailer.  From there we drove the Big Yeller over to the near by Fred Meyer to get some domestic house stuff.  A set of sheets, bath mat.  We wandered the store like zombies, trying to find stuff to check off our list.  Even after inspecting every corner of the massive everything you need for modern life store, we could not find a plain old broom. 
   Back at the house we moved a few things in, clothes and a box or two.  I set up our air mattress with our new sheet set and blanket; things we bought knowing ours were buried deep in the cavernous yellow rolling box.

   Meanwhile my brother Andrew was in a van with his band mates on the same interstate somewhere in California on their way here.  They would arrive sometime after 11.  I don’t think they anticipated the road conditions around Mt. Shasta and then later the pass at Mt. Ashland.  Ultimately they found other accommodations and arrived sometime after 2 am. 
   We finally sacked out around 11 pm.  I don’t remember anything after pulling the sheets over me. 
   The next morning we got up and brushed ourselves off.  Eli made a plan with her friend Willoughby to meet for breakfast down the street at Beaterville.  This was our pre unpacking the truck breakfast and it was on us.  I don’t think Willoughby knew what he was in for.  With food and coffee consumed, it was time to get to it.  Soon after we had the truck opened and started unpacking, Doug pulled up with another recruit, his roomate Dave.  It turns out that not only did Doug recruit him just after he had awoken that morning but Dave had helped another friend move his recording studio two days prior.
   We made quick work of emptying the truck.  And then there it was, our entire material life packed in boxes piled all over this new unfamiliar house.  Now we'll unpack the boxes, trying to find spaces to hide away our every piece of our fragmented lives.  It is familiar and yet foreign to be here.  Friends have come to find us and bring us around to their home for dinner or to a favorite restaurant for a visit.  We haven't yet had enough time to be in the house, to make a meal there, to unpack a box, or to even really talk about what just happened.  Everything for the last two weeks has moved so fast we have hardly had a moment to really take in the immensity of what we were undertaking.  We are in effect, still in shock.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much that was a wonderful account. Your writing reminds me of Bill Bryson. I loved the book A walk in the woods. I am thinking you might consider writing on the side as you are very engaging!