Tag Archive: moving


Easy Writers Prompt: Last Time?


Prompt: Last Time

 

As we were the last of our good into the U-Haul, a friend walked and hugged me. What if this is the last time?

 

I like moving to new places. I’m not too fond of goodbyes. So I avoid the “what if this is the last time?” thoughts. That is a dark, long rabbit hole to travel—the result: depression Hell.

 

Would knowing it would be the last time change anything? What amount of trying could change that? How about taking a picture of your sad friends, would that change anything? Would it help?

 

Would knowing it was the last time I saw my grandparents or parents have changed the outcome or make me feel differently afterward? Death resulted. My missing them still occurred.

 

As I mentioned, I moved a lot. Each city and new home became an adventure. Each new meant saying goodbye to old. But outside of mortality, the goodbyes were permanent. Friends and family remained in contact even when we only had snail mail and long-distance. The buildings were just buildings.

 

Still, there are buildings I always walk through in memories and dreams. My grandparents’ houses come to mind. I always walk through those homes. I smelled the cedar closet of mom’s parents’ place. The glider swings outside, one for the grandkids, one for adults. The garage where grandpa made me the oldest grandchild, and future grands, blocks. Oh, the smell of wood shavings.

 

Both grandfathers were carpenters. Mom’s dad did cabinet work, while  Dad’s dad did home construction. Both grandparents’ homes were nearly identical copies.

 

Enter the back porch where both grandmas did laundry. Back then, wringer washers we grands were able to help with, if careful. Back then, Dad’s mom had a dog named Hector. Nobody locked their doors. The family walked in without knocking.

 

Now the kitchens. The aroma of cooking food or dish detergent, oh, and coffee filled the room. To your right, there is a corner bench with a round table. We used this table for small meals or kids table for holidays. We kids crawled under the table if we wanted to leave during a meal. On the same side as the table is the windowed sink and the cabinets for dishes, etc.

 

My mother’s parents’ kitchen was bluish. My father’s parents’ kitchen was yellow.

 

That bluish kitchen had a window to the den to transfer snacks or coffee. That window was one of the small differences between their unique yet similar homes. On that side of the kitchen were the fridge and stove.

There was a pull door between the kitchens and the dining rooms. We grands loved them. We’d slide the door closed to playing ‘elevator.’ At one point, that game was called to an end in both houses as the shut doors stopped the traffic flow in the house.

 

Long dining tables and beautiful china cabinets were on the left of the next room. At the end of my dad’s parents’ table was my grandfather’s desk. On it was a phone. We would pick up the receiver and tell the operator to connect us with Overland 9-0757 on this line, please.  That rang to my other grandparents’ phone on the kitchen wall, also black. The phones were black then.

 

I’ll traipse through the rest of the two houses later as I think I have gotten sidetracked from the actual prompt. I’m just saying if I had known I wouldn’t enter these homes the last time I visited, what would have changed?

 

And who knew the last time I walked Newport Beach while waiting for rush hour traffic to subside, still arriving home at the exact time I would have should I have parked on the freeway with everyone else? I vividly remember the sparkle of water and sand. The sea breeze the most brilliant olfactoric experience ever. The walk planted itself in my memory along with the sunsets and gulls flying overhead.  Strolling the sand, or wading in the foam, between lifeguard station 68 and the runoff, my life was in its most peaceful place. Knowing or not knowing the last time changes nothing.

 

Oh. And when was the last swim? Over two years ago. Would knowing it was the last time, change my summer meditation?

 

When triple-digit heat or the tooth infection threatens my calm, I dive into the pools of my past. I swim underwater to the shallow end. Coolness against my skin, releasing the heat. Then the pressure of needing air pulls me to the surface. Then back under as my hair mermaids out, I’ve only had short hair for a couple of years. It was long most of my life. This shorter scuba dive brings me back to the surface to breast-stroke laps until exhaustion brings me to slog out, pick up the towel and breathe deep of the moist, fresh air. Summer soothes every ounce of my being.

 

Knowing it had been the last time doesn’t mean it was the last time.

 

Now, if only I could remember where I put my cotton yarn.

 

 

 

Move Made Manifest


At last, the “iffy” trip and the “iffy” purchase of the acre and the double wide mobile have manifested. I’m sitting in my office/studio/escape looking out my window and seeing miles and miles of sagebrush. I can see little tiny hills far, far away and I can see the horizon. And the sky above goes on forever with feather clouds here and there.

As I sit here I can think of all the times I wondered if this was really going to happen. All the things that could go wrong did go wrong. They made me doubt that I should do this. They made me determined to try harder, but I didn’t want to press the gods that made this happen. What if I were to find out that I’m not supposed to do this? But what if this is exactly what I’m supposed to do? And I go around in circles with this batch of questioning. Still, I was packing boxes and packing boxes and packing boxes.

You see the two-bedroom apartment cave that I lived in before cost me over double what we will pay for this place. Our lease was up and we knew we wouldn’t be able to afford to live in that cave another moment.

In spite of how small the place was, we filled a van that should take a three-bedroom home and still had so much more to figure out how to get it here, or if we should toss it. And that was with C’s son moved out. His bed was the sofa and that was his sofa. So where do we get all this stuff? And how did the place get so dirty? Well, 2+ years in bed basically. And of course, we all know that nobody else cleans except the woman of the house. The pain of the fibro and the depression and the social anxiety all of the bundled up for those two years and all I could do was lay in bed. I tried to get out. I wanted to see friends but when I got to the day of doing it. I’d hit a flare. But this summer was different. I felt better. I got to go on a couple road trips. I got to go swimming. Whatever made me feel better, I am so thankful for it. The “iffy” trip gave me hope, gave me something to live for. And here I am, ready or not!

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