bunt sign

Wednesday, August 2, 2000

This afternoon I walked out into my back yard for the first time in a week or so. No, really, at least a week. I don't have much use for the bugs and the weeds, for some reason, nor time to do much about them. Seeing the further deterioration of an area that didn't have much eye appeal to begin with made me wonder if my landlord, who moved into the house next door yesterday, might now regret letting me rent this place.

my tree has pears......and so does the ground

That question was answered about two hours later, when Fred, the landlord, knocked on my door. He asked me if I was still bothered by the noise coming from the neighbors' place, and I told him that at certain times it drove me nuts. I tried to make it seem that I wasn't complaining about the people as much as the situation. I didn't know what was coming next.

He told me about the fourth house on the property, isolated behind some trees, on a third of an acre by itself. The current tenant is leaving at the end of the month, and Fred wondered if I might be interested. It has a separate driveway from the other three units, a detached two-car garage, and a sprinkler system for the flower garden that's already in place.

The tenant who lives there now is a chiropractor who also works as some sort of therapist or meditation adviser. He's a licensed guru, or something like that. People come and spend time with him, talking and painting and communing with nature (such as it is out here). He's moving further north and nearer to the coast, to get closer to the kind of setting he needs for this work.

He wasn't home this afternoon, but Fred took me over to peek in the window and check out the layout of the place. Gates were bolted everywhere we tried to get through the fence, so we ended up climbing over the barbed wire to get into the yard. The surrounding area is just as wild as my own back yard, but much more spacious. It would be good to have that buffer zone between me and anyone who might play loud music late at night (or who might not want to hear the loud music I play late at night).

The living and dining area that you see through the front window is large and open, with a high beamed ceiling. That's all I could see, but I was already picturing how my furniture and office equipment might be arranged. That part of the house gets the morning sun, and the bedroom is on the other side. There are trees protecting the place in the afternoon, which is better than here at Green Acres, where the sun blazing through the office window forces me to retreat to the family room every day from about three o'clock on.

When I expressed my interest in the place, even for a hundred dollars more a month, Fred made a phone call, and about half an hour later he was at my door again. His tenant had told him where the spare key is kept, and we went waltzing in as if we owned the place. (Well, one of us does, actually.) The open area is definitely large enough to accommodate both an office and a living room. The kitchen is tiny, but there's so much room elsewhere that I could cope with that.

The surprise was how large the bedroom and bathroom are. I could be very comfortable there, and I'd have plenty of storage space. There's a loft which would be the right size for a spare bedroom or for more storage, and I'd have closets of all kinds. Almost everywhere you turn, there's a door, and behind that door is more space.

We walked out to the garage and checked it out, but it's just a two-car garage, with few surprises. It held a refrigerator that Fred thought might come with the house, and a gas-powered lawnmower that looked hefty enough to take care of the overgrowth. There's a green belt immediately surrounding the house, and the rest of the yard is typical California golden brown. And coming soon to the other side of the back fence: horses! Horses, I'm told, make good neighbors.

I'm a bit overwhelmed at the prospect of moving again. I've been here less than four months, but I haven't fully unpacked, and I never got around to hanging most of my paintings and photographs on the walls. One thing that surprises me is my own willingness to go back to a situation where I'd have no walls between home and office. But I've been missing having the big stereo and the big TV here in the same room with the computer. It's not that I listen and watch all the time, just that they're there when I want them.

Can you tell I'm talking myself into this? Fred said he would help me move, and it would be such a short move that I'd need help only with the largest pieces of furniture, and the new copier. I'd have at least a few days, probably the second week in September, to complete the move. It's intimidating, but I can't afford to turn down this chance to get away from the wall of sound. I'm sure there will turn out to be drawbacks to the other place, too, but as of now, I'm pretty sure I'm moving again. Can you believe it?

Whenever I've moved before, or helped anyone move, I've been able to work hard and steadily. It's become more difficult in recent times to keep up that pace, and the health problems I had last month threw a scare into me. I'm moving slower these days, while I'm waiting for my medical insurance situation to be resolved. So the physical stress of moving is as frightening to me as the emotional stress. This is hard for me to admit, and I won't let it stop me, but I'm going to be taking things easier this time.

I was a whirlwind when I moved in April, but next time I'll be more like intermittent gusts with periods of dead calm.

If only I could convince myself that it'll be a breeze.

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