Kayaking Woahink Lake

Kayaking Woahink Lake
Kayaking Woahink Lake

Friday, October 7, 2016

10-08-2016 Writers Block

"I write because I don't know what I think until I read what I say"

I saw this quote on Facebook today, buried in the news feed filled with political rants, silly cat videos, and friends checking in about their welfare as the hurricane slams Florida. 

I really don’t think much of bloggers who complain about their writer’s block, and now look at me.  If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t write.  Everyone has their own lives and no one is really paying much attention anyway.  I have rambled around in my own thoughts this past couple of months, thinking now and then that I need to write it to keep track of it, but finding no time and no motivation.  Everyday life has completely taken over my thoughts, and I wake at 3am thinking of really stupid things, and none of them are relevant to anyone, even me.

But then a couple of days ago, Mo asked, “Have you written any more about our Reunion Trip”.  No.  And this morning, she asked, “Have you written anything about our Transitions?”  No.  We talked a bit about this, and I acknowledged my writer’s block.  Where do I start, I have no gorgeous photos of beautiful places we have traveled, no interesting tidbits about campgrounds, trails hiked, rivers kayaked, all the things I love to read in other blogs.  Yet this is our life.  If I don’t write it, the memories will just slip quietly away into the jumble and we will forget.

The Rocky Point house is almost completely empty now

I whined to Mo a bit about “Where in the world to start when it has been so long?!”  Then as I drove to town for my flu shot, I found myself enjoying the gorgeous fall skies, the blessedly cool weather, and suddenly I noticed I was “blogging” in my mind.  When all else fails, those of you who have read long enough to remember, know that I fall back on the present moment to get started.  So bear with me.  I am going to ramble on about the present moment for the time being.  Eventually, if you hang in there, maybe a few tidbits about the past couple of months will slip in as well.

Fall has slipped in quietly this year, the colors just now starting to turn.  I wonder if the usual October 15th maximum is really going to happen, or if it will be a bit later.  Rains came early both here in Klamath Falls and in Grants Pass at the Cottage.  Blessed rains.  Last week the crispy, brown grasses of the non irrigated ground we have on most of our acre there turned soft, the ground turned quiet again, and the skies treated us to magnificent sunsets. 

Mo and I sat outside one evening in our chairs on the grass in the spot that has been marked for the new house to come.  We were on what will be our lovely covered back porch as we had a glass of wine and watched that sunset.  Everything is becoming more and more real.

The Rocky Point house is sold.  It sold in just under 5 months on September 1st.  Everything is going well and closing is supposed to happen at the end of this month.  We are encouraged because the buyers seem solvent, the financing is already arranged, down payment is large enough that the long awaited appraisal won’t be an issue when  it comes. 

Appraisals in this area are hard to come by and sometimes the wait is 3 or 4 months.  Sigh.  Too much selling and not enough appraisers!  Things are moving, even here in Klamath Falls, and much more so on the other side of the mountain with houses going for ridiculous prices and selling in a matter of days.  Not quite California yet, but well on its way.

Mo and I have spent the last few months since the house first went up for sale moving.  We were grateful for the time to do it slowly, a trailer load at a time, and now that the deadline is approaching, we are glad that it isn’t a race to the finish.  The required inspection showed a solid, well built, well maintained house, and our only required repairs were a GFCI outlet, a couple of wires in the breaker box, and a chimney cleaning.  Pretty good for a 15 year old house, I would say.

We managed to get everything from Mo’s big workshop moved to the RV shed in Grants Pass and there is still even room for the MoHo in there. 

We did have to put up a temporary shelter for the tractor.  Mo’s brother Dan, the ever ready helpful Dan, came south for a couple of days to help Mo put it up, and now the tractor AND the MoHo are under cover. 

In addition the the big shop, we had a small storage building, the garage, the boat house, and all that yard stuff.  We have always laughed about the “last load”.  You know, that one that looks like everything from the last minute is strapped on, with the rakes hanging from the bikes?  Well, we laughed again because a lot of our loads seemed to look like the “last load”.

This Saturday really WILL be the last load, however, and not a rake in sight.  We have 4 pieces of furniture that don’t fit in our current living space in Apartment A that will be moved from the house to Apartment B.  My quilting and crafting apartment, also serves as a nice space for storage, with a lovely guest bedroom and bathroom as well. 

Looking at our calendar, most of our time these last few weeks has been spent either at Rocky Point or at the Cottage.  Technically we live here in the Klamath Falls apartment, and at last things are slowing down enough that we actually get to be here more than 2 or 3 days at a time.  And you wonder why I have nothing to write about?  Back and forth on the same road, no matter how beautiful that road is, does not inspire eloquent thoughts.  Moments of beauty, yes, but not much that stays with me.

Here is the back elevation of the planned house with that great back porch where we were sitting in our imagination

Now that the house is almost sold, almost closed, we are moving forward on the building of the new one.  It is exciting.  I am a Pinterest addict, looking at ideas, saving color schemes, granite counters, “vignettes” (does anyone even know what a decorating vignette is?)  I didn’t until Pinterest. 

In the middle of house dreams, and driving back and forth, I managed to finish a baby quilt for sweet Georgia, another great niece for Mo, born in the middle of September.  I had fun making the quilt, but it took me much too long, since I started it back in June.

Last week our water guy started the upgrade of the water system, installing the second 1700 gallon cistern that will be clean and ready to store the magnificently pure and sparkling water that will emerge from the most complex water system you could imagine.  Well pumps into the first cistern, pumps back up to the first sediment filter, into the first 80 gallon pressure tank, then through the water softener to remove iron and calcium, then through the reverse osmosis membranes (3 gallons of good water for every 6 gallons used), then into the second 1700 gallon cistern, to the second 80 gallon pressure tank and into the house.  Pure, less than 10ppm of anything water.  A high price to pay, but better than digging a new well which is like gambling.  And neither of us cares to gamble to the tune of 15,000 bucks or so.  We knew the well was a low producer and that the water had a salt problem when Mo bought the property.  It is a common thing in that area, unlike Rocky Point, but I have to let go of Rocky Point water forever now.  Ah well.

Our builder started the new pump house so there is someplace to put all that stuff, and the pump house is being constructed with the same materials that will eventually grace the new house.  I got my first taste of decision making stress.  The pump house needs a roof, and we want the roof to match the someday new house, so without anything to go on, we had to pick the shingles for the new house so those same shingles would be on the pump house.  Quality, colors, prices, all going through my head at 3am.  If this one decision is this hard, I can only imagine how the rest will be. 

While the pump house was being built and the cistern was going in, the septic specialist showed up with his backhoe to dig our test pits.  It will be a couple of weeks before the Oregon DEQ can test the pits, but with this soil we shouldn’t have any problem with the new septic approval.  Loved looking at that soil.  I spent 35 years jumping down into pits like these, both dug with a backhoe, and ones I dug by hand, to look at all the morphological details in a soil in place in the ground.  I loved my job. 

We had initially planned just a single night at the cottage, but with the building going on we decided to stay another night.  Our plans to go home on Sunday were again changed when the chain pulley on the big RV door decided to jump the post and tangled up so we couldn’t close the door.  UhOh. 

We parked the MoHo in the shed, turned on a light or two, and hoped for the best.  Lots of “stuff” in that shed at the moment, and leaving the door open all night didn’t feel very good to either of us.  No problem, though, and nothing was missing when we got up the next morning.  The door repair guys showed up mid afternoon, fixed the door, warned us about opening it just a bit too high, and we were able to pack up and head back over the pass for our current home at the apartments.

Still, I enjoyed our extra days there, the coziness of the cottage is always fun.  Daughter Deborah stopped by after work on our first night there and we had a great dinner and good wine and lots of fun conversation.  She has very fond memories of her 18 months living in that little cottage and the time we got to spend together when Mo and I would be there.  We will miss the little cottage, but not enough to try to repair the nearly 100 year old plumbing and wiring.  A new house is a must. 

Our only camping trips this summer were the early trip to the coast in April, and the Reunion trip  in August.  We are both feeling really antsy to get somewhere!  I am pretty sure that “somewhere” will be a trip to the coast in November sometime after the closing has completed.  Ah, the ocean, fog, rain, none of it matters, being at the coast in November is always magical.  The crowds are gone, we can hole up in the MoHo, walk in the rain, hike down to the beach, eat fish and chips.  A trip to the coast is always healing for both of us. 

We only have one big exciting thing planned at the moment, and that is a trip south in late December, when we will travel with Adventure Caravans for 8 days immersed in the Pasadena Rose Parade festivities.  We have wanted to do that since forever, but never thought we could manage the traffic or the complexities.  Enter a “rally”, our first, and we can just let them handle the traffic and we get to participate in all the fun stuff like seeing the floats being built, seeing the advance horse show, and the advance band show, seeing the parade from the bleachers by the HGTV cameras.  I am beside myself excited about this one, and at the moment, I can smell the flowers.  I remember that smell from every single year of my growing up, when we went to the Rose Parade, and even some nights when I camped in a sleeping bag on Colorado Boulevard to get a good spot.

The best part is that a pair of our very most beloved friends are going to join us on the trip, but I’ll leave it up to them to tell you who.  And speaking of friends, how is it that I am so incredibly glad that Erin is back in the country after her long sojourn over the summer.  Always available by text or email, or now and then on Facebook, somehow it is just different when they are back in the states! 

More fun news is that daughter Melody has had a great run in her most recent play with the Linkville, “Jekyll and Hyde”, and loves her job at the Ross Ragland.

Grandson Xavier has the starring role in “Superman, the Musical”, which will be performed on the Ross Ragland stage in January.  Grandchild Axel bought a car and has worked for almost four years now.  No millennials living in our basements at the moment! A very responsible human being and I am proud.

Deanna and Keith at an Irish Pub on the Greek island of Santorini.

Daughter Deanna and her husband just returned from a great trip to Santorini, Greece, not just a cruise ship day, but a couple of weeks in a rather cute traditional home that looked a bit like an old cave. My son, John, in Missouri, seems to be doing better and is finally getting the medication that he needs to battle his own health issues. 

Great Grandson Orion, Matthew, Grandson Steven, Great Grandson Theron.

My grandson Steven now has his eldest son Matthew living with him in Northern Washington, a good thing.  And daughter Deborah’s son Matthew is now living close by near Grants Pass.  It was heartbreaking for Deborah that he was so far away in Colorado, and she is happy to have him close again.

Life does just keep bubbling along, doesn’t it.

Except when it doesn’t. My sweet mother-in-law decided that 93 years was enough for her and passed gently last week.  She lived a good and magnificent life, was loved fully by her son, her husband, both now gone, her grandchildren, her friends, and was a classy lady all the way.  I was so blessed to have known her and to have shared so many years with her.


“Grandma Gen” in her 90’s