• I ate lunch with a woman who found my blog because its title, “This or Something Better” is one she’s considering for a book on change and synchronicity she’s writing. Intrigued by the background photo of the ferry, she read on and discovered I was moving to the island where she lived. We talked about our routes to the island and I shared my vision about the retreat for writers, how I thought it had been particular to the house in Pacifica, not realizing it was a vision for my future no matter where I ended up. She talked about the long process of waiting, using the metaphor of building a nest with the materials at hand before the egg is laid, the egg gestating, then hatching, then developing into its adult form. I’m living her book project, as is she, and its exciting to share that with a new friend.
• At the public library the clerk issuing my card looked at my driver’s license and said, “Boulder Creek, I used to live there.” She reminisced about her house there, and in Lompico (an even smaller town nearby), and tracked me down in the stacks to get my phone number, saying “I forgot about it in all the excitement.”
• When I called my new bank for wiring instructions, the customer service rep remembered me and asked, “Did Kevin hear about the job yet?” When I answered no, that the hiring manager just got back from vacation today, she said, “I shouldn’t be so anxious. I’ve got to calm down. Everything will work out fine.”
•The mobile notary who came to my new home with escrow papers said, “I grew up in a house just like this,” talking about the features he saw––Room dividers (his were varnished not painted), the stone fireplace, the garage (ours has been converted into a room—the future writer’s suite); and those he didn’t, “the bedrooms are down the hall. There’s a fireplace downstairs, right?” He told me his father built much of the house. “It was called Northwest Contemporary, you can look up photos in old magazines and see what your kitchen was like before they remodeled.” He said goodbye with, “It’s my dream to live in house like this. Congratulations.” I closed the door, happy that my house had taken him back to his childhood, given him memories to savor in his mind as he crossed back to Seattle on ferry, a vessel he termed, “the poor man’s yacht.”
In the midst of the mess of unpacking, of getting lost on the Kitsap Peninsula while looking for Home Depot, of living alone for weeks while my husband finishes up the California end of our move, with pushy buyers who want him out before physically possible, of state regulations that require me to weigh my vehicles at inconvenient locations before registering them, and to get a drivers license at a separate office before I can register said vehicle, of using a new operating system on my computer that hides scroll bars and opens windows when I least expect it—in the midst of the frustrations that are daily life, I experience daily blessings.
The day after my family returned to California, my neighbors invited me to join their walking group for four miles through a nature preserve. The same neighbors invited me to join them for New Year’s Eve so I wasn’t home with three cats and cable T.V. At the party, I quizzed one neighbor about the Seattle commute, asked a handyman how to get the stickiness off my kitchen cabinets, and made constant comparisons between my old home and new ranging from recycling to public transit to rainfall. No one seemed to mind. My hosts poured champagne and told me about the best places for auto repair, pet care, and airport transportation.
It’s been twenty-four years since I moved to Boulder Creek, and I’ve never lived out of California. This move is a big deal for me. I’m excited to be in this new place, learning the literal lay of the land, and I seem to work into every conversation, no matter how short, with clerks at the bookstore, market, Rite Aid, paint store, my haircutter Great Clips, the fact that I’m new to the Island. Some of them ask, “What brought you here?” It’s a complicated answer, one I’ve been blogging about for months, that I share parts of as I get to know people. The easy checkout line answer is, “We’re looking for work.”
Nearly everyone says, “Welcome to the Island, I hope you like it here.” My reply to that is the same, and genuine––“Thank you. I already love it here.”