Sue and Mo at Harris Beach

Sue and Mo at Harris Beach
Sue and Mo at Harris Beach

Monday, March 28, 2016

March Transitions from Winter

Current Location: Old Fort Road Apartment in Klamath Falls.  Sunny and Cold at 42 degrees F

I had to go back to look at the last time I posted something to our ongoing story of our transition from living at Rocky Point, living for a time at Mo’s apartment complex, living part time in Grants Pass, and eventually living over there full time (at least when we aren’t traveling). I have a private blog for all this transitional stuff, and yet as I looked at this post, I realized that I might as well just share it on the “real” blog, the one people can see.  It isn’t about travel, I have no travel to talk about at the moment.  Yet, I do sometimes write about other things on this blog, and so here you go. So for my friends who have the secret link to the Transitions Blog, you don’t have to bother.  It is all right here.

I had no idea what I managed to keep track of and what has slipped by.  Winter this year has been long and cold, and yet at the moment the grass is at least a little bit green, and the snowflakes that are falling won’t stick.  Looking at that last post reminded me of how winter really felt, and as cold as the wind is today, it really isn’t winter, it is Spring. 

Mo and I know it is spring because we are raking.  Lots and lots of RAKING.  This year we have only 3 homes to care for instead of 4.  I am praying that by this time next year we will only have the Grants Pass property and these apartments.  The apartments are easy. 

After we returned from our southern trip to California, we spent several days at the Cottage.  It was amazing to travel from the cold snowy landscape of Klamath Falls over the mountain to brilliant sunshine and green grass, to the powder puff pink of flowering almonds, the brilliant golden yellow of forsythia, and daffodils in bloom everywhere.  What a treat! 

The Cottage felt welcoming, and after a few hours with the gas heat running, it was warm as well. 

We had a list of accomplishments we wanted to address, but the biggest job to tackle was the leaves.  Lovely old oaks, and just a single pine tree to add the dang pine needles to the mix.  We spent each day raking for several hours, and rather than waiting for a burn day, we hauled all those leaves to the compost section of the Josephine County Dump.  After the 4th load, the girl knew us well, and knew exactly how much to charge us for the trailer load of wet leaves.  The dump is about 10 miles north, and it is a pretty drive.  We didn’t really mind the break it gave us, taking Mattie along each time to smell the fresh air and bask in the sunshine coming in the truck windows.

I did a bit of weeding as well, and enjoyed the daffodils blooming inside our fence.  There are also several clumps of gorgeous huge daffodils outside the fence in the entryside mound that we built, but the neighbor thought they would make a nice bouquet.  I suppose she figured we weren’t around so it didn’t matter.  She had no clue that Mo and I were anxiously awaiting our time in Grants Pass and hoping we didn’t miss the daffodil bloom.  Nice that Glenn owned up to the theft however, and the next day he brought us a bouquet of bright yellow mums.  Still can’t figure out why they didn’t bring daffodils since the mums were six bucks and I saw daffodils in the store for 2 bucks a dozen.  Bet she doesn’t pick them next year!

Mo worked on the bathroom walls, finishing the taping and texturing and I completed the painting.  Silly in a way, but neither of us can stand how awful that bathroom looked all unfinished like that, and now it feels fresh and much nicer.  We are even going to add a cheap tile floor.  For a year.  Maybe more, but it could be as little as another year when we take a bulldozer to that sweet little cottage.

The most exciting thing that happened, however, was our meeting with the prospective builder, Dave Adams.  Turns out he is the one that built the fabulous  Taprock Grill, right on the Rogue River in town.  He builds 2 to 5 houses a year, and seemed quite delighted with doing our house.  He is a designer as well as a builder, and he took our chosen plan and tweaked it a bit, thinking out loud and making little drawings.  He was actually impressed with our choice, and while sitting in the modest kitchen at the cottage, listened to our thoughts and dreams.  Once we took him outside, and he saw the expansive view from the back northwest corner of the property, he got more excited.  He could see then why we wanted our living areas to be open to this direction, for the view and the sunsets.  He got it.

He will be making some sketches, and some proposals and will get back with us when we go back to the cottage in Mid April. 

Last sunny afternoon in Grants Pass with green grass and sunshine

In the mean time, we are doing everything we can to get Rocky Point ready to put on the market, also something that we hope to have happen before very long now. 

Back to Rocky Point and the melting snows

After our days at the cottage, we returned to the apartments for just a couple of days before packing up again and heading out to Rocky Point.  We stayed three days this time, again mostly raking and more raking.  Rocky Point has so many pine trees that those pine needles imbed in everything everywhere.  Also, this year we had such deep snows that the voles had a field day in Mo’s gorgeous lawns and they are riddled with grooves and trails, and large areas that look like there is no grass left at all.  It seemed worse than it has ever been in the past, but when I reviewed some of our photos from 2011 and 2013, I could see pretty much the same amount of damage.  The lawns do eventually recover.  Where in the world do those pesky beasts come from and where do they go for the rest of the year? 

It is hard to explain how I feel about Rocky Point.  When we stopped in several times over the late winter and early spring to get wood, it seemed dark and somber, cold and lonely. Once we started cleaning up the yard again, once the sun started shining and Mo built a big cozy fire, I loved being there.  I actually love being everywhere I am it seems.  Each place has its own special parts, and Rocky Point is so lovely, so solid and well built.  It was nice having a few days with the big deep kitchen sinks (the apartment has thin stainless steel tiny sinks), with the garbage disposal and best of all, that fabulous Rocky Point water. 

We switched out our TV service from Rocky Point to Grants Pass, with a receiver that would work with our travel satellite as well, supposedly.  We have yet to make it work.  But it works fine in Grants Pass where the official address is located.  Mo hauled the receiver up to Rocky Point, and without a lot of hoopla, it worked just fine with our old Direct TV dish that is no longer officially in the system.  I guess the receiver is the part that matters.  So we had warm fires, good food, some basic tv (with no DVR however) and great weather to get all our jobs completed.

Mo finished patching the nail holes in my bathroom (yeah, I had a ton of pictures) and I managed to repaint them using the 4 colors of faux paint I used to make that bathroom look like a Caribbean seascape. Can’t tell at all where the patched holes were located any more.  I also painted the pantry doors and we raked and raked some more.  Managed to get all the grass raked, and next trip we will tackle the flower beds and all the trimming of overgrown stuff from winter.  So much work out there, but it really is lovely.  I’ll miss it.

Back to the Apartments on Old Fort Road

The other project related to our Transition process was finishing up Apartment D.  Mo was in no real hurry, but had been working on it off and on over the winter.  However, last month we thought that Melody’s Robert would be getting a job in Klamath Falls (he currently lives and works in Medford) and would like to rent the apartment.  Mo worked hard on the painting and carpentry, and while she was away for ten days at her brother’s place, I worked on trying to do the heavy cleaning.  I stripped floors, cleaned the dirtiest stove I have ever experienced, cleaned the fridge and fixtures, and finished up some of the painting. 

Robert won’t be moving as soon as he hoped, the job didn’t pay well enough, but he is still looking.  In the mean time, we are completing the process of getting the apartment ready to be rented.  Most complicated project for Mo was figuring out why the floor beneath the carpet was sagging.  Turns out there was a hole in the floor, with no explanation.  She managed to get down in there, repair the hole and in the process found out that the crawl space was fully enclosed in cement, dry and clean.  No clue why there was a hole in the floor, but she didn’t find any bodies.

We have had a slow springtime, with snow coming and going, and most of March has been rainy and cold with biting winds.  It has seemed as though our progress has been a bit slow, but then again when we see how much we have accomplished, it doesn’t seem so bad. 

Easter this year came really early, and Mo and I returned from Rocky Point on Saturday so that we could entertain the family here for our traditional Easter Brunch.  We had a great time, and in spite of the quite small dining area, we managed to seat 9 at the table.  This year we actually played Charades, which used to be family tradition that went by the wayside for a few years.  It was a lovely day, with Deborah driving 2 hours from Shady Cove and Melody’s family walking down the path from their apartment here in the compound.

I spent quite a bit of time early on Easter Sunday looking at old photos of Easter’s past, especially the ones at Rocky Point.  I guess I did miss that old dining room, the big kitchen, the wonderful yard where we had many an egg hunt. 

Remembering the old days at the Rocky Point house with all that space!

Still, with paper plates and plastic glasses, we managed a wonderful meal in the tiny kitchen and cleanup was a breeze. The only problem seemed to be that there is no way to get a sit down table photo of everyone at once.

Such mixed feelings.  Sometimes I think I could be perfectly content here forever, but other times I find myself daydreaming about having space again, another roomy kitchen, a bigger dining room, and oh yes…more than one toilet. 

The builder talked with us at length about how people build homes with extra rooms just because they don’t know what to do with all the furniture that they have inherited.  We laughed a lot about that, and why build a big house just so family can share holiday meals a few times a year?  So hopefully our house will not be too big, with rooms and furniture not used.  Sometimes I think I could really live here forever if needed, but I do want to get out of the snow.  This winter reminded me of just how long and cold and hard winter can be in the Klamath Basin. 

Sure, we can do as we have in the past and wander for a few months at a time, do the Snowbird thing. But we both love our home as much as we love traveling. So other times, my mind drifts to the plans, the photos on Pinterest of kitchens and colors and cupboards and floor choices.  Mo has built a home from scratch, the house at Rocky Point, but for me it is a brand new experience.  I am looking forward to it, and yet trying so very hard to stay in the moment and appreciate each wonderful place that I have right now to be.

Tulips blooming in May at Rocky Point 2012