Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Home is where the heart...

My girlfriend moved from her apartment in Sacramento to her "forever" house in the Delta this week.
I know this road well, now.
The Prospector and I drove out to "C"s new home last Sunday to take some furniture to her. We spent part of the day walking from the house to the river...

 Talking about all the wonderful things we would do in the summer,
And how beautiful the Old Sacramento River is.
We laughed at the audacity of our generation who still does crazy, wonderful things like buying old houses in our "almost 70's" and how we will keep grabbing life and "seizing the day" until we can't do it any more. 

I took a photo of the Prospector and "C" giving the "for sale" sign the old heave ho.
Here are "C" and Max collecting some things in the backyard and talking about what they want to do with all this space after living in apartments for years. Max seems to LOVE having room to roam that's safe and enclosed.
The painters were working diligently transforming brown walls into white as fast as possible because the movers were arriving on Wednesday.
We left feeling that maybe life on the Delta might seem like a good idea, for us, in a few years. "C" told the Prospector that he could store a boat in the garage, any time he wanted, for easy access to the river and fishing. I saw the light in his eyes at the thought of it.
So, we drove home feeling that our long time friend had made the right decision and that the house had a good feeling about it.
 For a hundred plus years this house had survived a move from another island, the removal of a third story, floods, wind and fog, all while waiting for my friend to find it.
Her father and uncle were overseeing the whole renovation from the kitchen.
She had an old photo of them, temporally hanging on a cabinet, to give her moral support.  They  are both gone now, but I think that their presence was felt by all of us. Not "ghosts". Just a good feeling that lingered throughout the house.

On Monday I got a phone call from "C". She had backed out of the front door, trying to get Max out at the same time, tripped on the step and fell. She broke her right arm. Could I please come on Tuesday instead of Wednesday.... pleaseeese!
So we two old ladies, with the help of her brother, packed up that apartment. The movers came on Wednesday and took the furniture, boxes and all the other big stuff. We caravaned through the Delta and arrived to find the painters still painting. So, we just found a place to park and and started unloading.
  We were on a mission. We forced ourselves to keep moving. How my friend did this, with a broken arm, I will never know. It was an amazing feat.

By late afternoon the movers left, the painters went home (yes, they were there too... painting the walls and woodwork.). "C" brother said goodbye and drove back up to Marysville. I don't know what we would have done without him. The prospector couldn't come down again because of other commitments, so her brother was our wingman... that's "angel" wings I'm talking about.
We finally stopped long enough to realized that we hadn't eaten anything since early morning and so we went to dinner (in the rain that held off until we were finished moving), drove two blocks to a wonderful Chinese restaurant and ATE OUR HEARTS OUT. Then the day's activities hit us like a brick.
When we got back to the house, "C" took her pain meds, I rubbed my old standby, Aspercreme, on every part of my anatomy (Well, almost.) and took some Advil as well.
We found some glasses and sparkling apple cider in the fridge... and cookies. We sat in the upstairs parlor, amidst the boxes, furniture and the accumulation of my friend's life,  toasted the move and "C"s new home. We ate cookies and cider until we started fading into a medically induced, cookie stuffed haze.
I went into my new little room... my "When Farmlady comes to visit" room and never lifted my head until morning.
I woke to this.

That's the early morning sun just coming up on the levee. The great Sacramento River is just across the street. It was a very cold, but beautifully clear, morning.
We dressed and ate breakfast at the cafe across the street.
 I love being able to walk to everything... the post office, the local store, places to eat.  I had the best french toast I've ever eaten.

The painters came and finished the downstairs. We did another run to Sacramento and brought another load of stuff back. Then, I said my goodbye's and drove home, as the sun dropped into the western sky.
There was still so much to do. Moving is not for sissy's. It's stressful, scary and a lot of hard work. But it was worth it because, you see, I know that this is where my friend needs to be. She knew this the minute she saw the house. The road has been long since that hot summer day when we drove into this little delta town and saw the "for sale" sign.

Now it is your house, my friend. It was your vision that persevered. It was your passion that made this happen.
Be happy!  Let that arm heal and let the boxes sit until you're ready to open them, one at a time. We will be back to help. We will dig in the garden and help you make this place your own. I will bring some spring bulbs and (if no one is looking) we may even go swimming in the river. Or not... It's your call.