|Our upper corner apartment|
The other one was in the part of town known as Happy Valley, and as we drove over to look at it, we descended into a valley, giving us little ocean breeze and no views at all. It was adequate but not as good as our present place. The large pine tree in our current front yard shades our apartment and has been filled with birds of all kinds. My first step towards moving was to stop feeding the birds, since summer is the very best time to do that anyway. I was surprised to find that it wasn't as hard to let it go as I thought it would be. I don't miss the house sparrows or squirrels one little bit! And they are still around, as other tenants also feed them.
I had learned that Roger, one of our community garden tenants, is moving at the end of the month, and he is in the equivalent apartment to the one we have now: the other end, thirteen apartments to the north, upstairs. He was kind enough to let us look inside and we realized it is exactly the same as our present apartment, but mirror image: everything is backwards to what has become my normal layout. We negotiated with the owner to move there and learned that I will need to pay for the rug to be steam cleaned here, and I plan to do all the rest of the cleaning myself. The deed will be done. It means I will need to arrange for the cable and internet to be switched, the electricity to be changed over, and to change my address for voting. Funny that simply changing an apartment number means a complete address change.
It's also time to lighten up my possessions. Smart Guy and I have decided to change the way we are living in the apartment to reflect our current state of affairs. When we first moved here, I was very attached to my iMac and set it up in the living room to look out the front window at the view. Today, the portable MacBook Air is my new best friend and I realize I am moving away from using the iMac as my main computer. With an iPad and the Air, I could easily get along without the iMac. Smart Guy reminded me that I can get a big screen if I want to expand my view. I'll think about that once the iMac is toast.
Yesterday I went through my closet to donate the clothes I haven't worn. For some reason I brought along all my clothes I wore to work: suit jackets, dress pants, and many dressy blouses. They simply gathered dust in the closet, not having been worn in five years. I guess I wasn't quite ready to realize my work life was behind me, so yesterday they all went into an enormous pile, with their concomitant memories of times past. The clothes no longer belong in my present life, but I'll keep the memories. It felt good to let them go.
A move also gives me the possibility of rethinking the way I use my environment. Since the community garden has become such a pleasure, I really didn't want to leave it behind. The triplex apartment had a box garden outside I could have used, created by a previous tenant and abandoned at present. I have learned that digging around in a garden is very satisfying, not to mention the actual food that is produced. Last night I woke wondering what one does with a garden in the winter. Do I pull up all the spent plants and amend the soil in preparation for next spring's planting? I'll find out from the internet and my garden neighbors. It will be another learning experience.
Yesterday I didn't get to go skydiving as has become my usual Saturday habit. The heat wave finally broke, bringing in low clouds with the much cooler temperatures. Although the skies in Snohomish were expected to clear by 2:00 in the afternoon, I decided to pin my hopes of making some skydives this week on today's forecast: overcast in the morning and partly cloudy in the afternoon. I counted up the number of skydives I've already made this season, and it's more than thirty already, more than I've made in previous years living here. We can usually jump right into late October, with September being either really spectacular or rather unsettled. It was 88 degrees F here on Friday but only 66 yesterday. The chill in the air was very welcome, as I hardly know how to cope with the eighties and nineties any more. I've become acclimated to the Pacific Northwest.
It was hard to make the decision to move, since I cannot seem to help getting attached to my humble abode. Renting seems the best option for us, since we have no money for a down payment on a home, and we have also become accustomed to being able to pull up our roots and move on. I learned over the past week that there are many places to explore here in Bellingham that we had neglected to consider, and many options for the future.
Even with the best of intentions, I accumulate stuff. Although Smart Guy doesn't accumulate like I do, I seem to want to "nest" and have little places where my stuff surrounds me: the recliner in the living room has everything I need within reach on both sides, with a lamp overhead. I do the same next to my spot in the bedroom. Time to rethink everything as we pack up and get into "motel mode." Consolidating all the important things into one place and rethinking all the unnecessary detritus of the past: that's my task for this upcoming week. We will be in our new place by Labor Day.
Labor Day! It's two weeks from tomorrow! Falling early this year, but still. It marks the end of the summer season for many of us. Kids go back to school, the leaves begin to turn, and the migration of so many birds to the south will also begin soon. At present, we are losing more than three minutes of daylight every single day as we move towards the autumnal equinox on September 22, at 7:49am Pacific Daylight Time.
Before I know it, it will be here, with the three months of fall gently moving us into winter. The seasons change, people move on, and I will continue to delight in the wonder of it all.