Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Everything changes

I have one more day in this cabin and then I move down to Colorado Springs and to my haunted Victorian apartment. A friend keeps asking me when I'm going to change the address on my ham radio operator's license on the FCC database and I keep telling him when I get settled. In some way it is proof that I am actually moving. I changed it in the FCC database last night. It will show up some time today and now he will know for sure I am actually moving.

I have a little trouble believing it myself -- that I'm really moving from here. But it's true. Tomorrow at ten Mark arrives with his Ford Explorer and we'll load up everything I haven't loaded up today and tonight and head for Colorado Springs and my new home. Yesterday I spent a good part of the day making changes on accounts and in my address and notifying family and a few friends of the new phone number and address. The move became real for me yesterday, just as changing my address on the FCC database makes it real for my friend.

I'll spend the rest of this day running around taking care of the last errands here in my mountain valley home, tying up all the loose ends and loading up my car with my boxes and bags and some of my computers. I'll tear this one down tomorrow morning and pack it in the trunk for the drive. I'll finish cleaning tonight and early tomorrow morning, make the bed with clean fresh sheets, run the vacuum and take a last look around once the furniture (all three pieces I own) is loaded, lock the door and drive down the long driveway one last time, down the curving hill to Route 40, turn left and head up through Berthoud Pass and down the other side toward I-70, C-470, I-25 and home.

I'm not looking forward to lugging the furniture and boxes and bags up the long steep stairs, but it will be the last time for a while and I'll be able to settle in and rest my weary body and head for a while before I unpack and set up the new digs. I think I'll go to a matinee on Friday after lunch with my friend and go home. Home. It has a really nice ring to it.

I don't have much in the way of pots, pans, dishes, silver, or glasses -- or furniture for that matter (it's all back in Ohio) -- and I'll have to do without a TV for a while, but I can sleep on the love seat until I can get a bed and I'll have plenty of work to keep me busy. There is a yard to cut and flower beds to weed and plant. There is plenty of rich soil for my seeds and plants and lots of sunshine and room. I'll be home.

This cabin has been home for two years and I have loved it here, but I crave the closeness of friends and the excitement and adventure of exploring new places and making new acquaintances, of settling into the rhythm of the neighborhood and the town. There are mountain trails to explore and towns and neighborhoods to get to know. New rhythms, new air, new cycles. New home.

Yesterday I went to the library to say goodbye to the lovely librarians there. Esther, the oldest of the group, told me I didn't really want to move because I would hate Colorado Springs. It hails in the summer and it's weather is fitful, pouting and unpredictable. That the place is full of PEOPLE. I'll miss them, but I promised to come back when they have another Wind in the Willows day to do their makeup and get them into character. And I'll come back up to take pictures of the mountain peak where the three chiefs guard the valley this side of Berthoud Pass. I'll come to hike up to Corona Pass and across the glaciated alpine meadows and high deserts. I'll come to see the remaining tongue of glacier and to climb Mt. Evans and to cool my sore feet in the waterfalls near Devil's Thumb. This place is not closed to me, but will be my health spa and vacation spot. All of Colorado is my home, from the flat prairie that merges with Kansas to the continental divide and the western slopes where apples and gypsum grow. All of it is my home but my living space will be in western Colorado Springs near the first state capital where summer Saturdays the farmers set up their market two blocks from my apartment, the post office is down the street and the library is around the corner, where five parks surround my space like a ring of emerald jewels and the mountains are right outside the door. That is where you'll find me, wearing out my running shoes as I explore and grow and learn what new adventures will teach me.

I'll shut up now.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Monday, Monday

Got up at 4:30 this morning to work and check email and no dial tone. I had a bad feeling about it and I was right. When Qwest took my order for the new phone and DSL line to be installed, they decided to be very over zealous and terminate my service here. I'm still here. I'm still working. Haven't moved yet. Oh, well, no big. I waited for three hours -- touched up my roots, showered and got dressed while I waited -- and then drove down to Tabernash to use the pay phone in the wintry cold. They had my service turned back on by the time I got home. But now I'm over four hours behind schedule and that puts everything else off. Lovely. Must be Monday.

Got back called the government again to find out where my payment was (lost in bureaucratic computers somewhere but they will expedite it again), called my new landlord to let her know Qwest would be there tomorrow to hook up the DSL line, called a friend to give him directions to my place so he can help me move this week and checked email. Nothing much. A lot of spam. A little knowledge and some good news -- at last.

My little sister passed her exam at work and interviews tomorrow for a brand new better paying job. That makes all the hassles of this morning worth it. I told her she could do it. She was so worried and had already decided she wouldn't pass the test, but she did. I'm so proud of her. I just know she'll get the job.

Mom and Dad moved into their new house this weekend and slept in so late yesterday they didn't go to church. Very rare occasion. Dad was still in bed when I called Mom to wish her a Happy Her Day. That's not like him. He was really tired out. And Beanie was on her way over with food because Mom can't find anything, including her junk food and chocolate.

Just another day in the country.

But I won't be in the country much longer. Moving to the big city to a ghost-inhabited apartment with very little furniture and lots of promise. Doesn't get much better than this.

Now, if it will only NOT rain on Friday, I can put together a picnic and enjoy it with a friend.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Someone's watching

A couple years ago I was in Tennessee to be near a close friend who was in the hospital. I also had some editing to do there, but that didn't take much of my time. Every day I went to the gym to walk on the treadmill for an hour in preparation for coming to Colorado because I wanted to hike in the mountains, and because it had not been that long since I began to lose a lot of weight and rebuild my stamina and strength.

One night when I came up out of the gym onto the street a voice called out of the darkness.

"I've wanted to talk to you for a while now, but I didn't feel right coming up to you in the gym."

I looked up into the shadows. A petite, fit, thin woman stood there in silhouette. "It would have been all right. I like to meet new people," I said.

She didn't move any closer, just stood there in the darkness. "I didn't want to embarrass you."

I waited for her to continue.

"You inspire me." She took a deep breath and sighed, moving down one step. "Every day you come in to the gym and you walk on the treadmill. I see you struggle through the last few minutes every once in a while, but you keep walking, and you keep coming in every day. Seeing you here every day makes me want to work harder and keep going even when I'd rather not be here. I can't tell you how much you've come to mean to me."

I smiled into the shadows. "Thank you."

"I just wanted you to know," she said as she stepped back up to the elevated sidewalk and walked away through the shadows.

My 3X T-shirt slipped lower down my arm. I'd have to buy something smaller soon, something that didn't hang on me like a potato sack. I shouldered my backpack and walked to the car, got in and drove home.

The next day when I went to the gym and set the program on the treadmill I look around to see if I'd recognize the woman from the shadows. Then I realized it didn't matter. I wasn't there for her. I was there for me.