Thursday, August 20, 2009

First Day in New Portland House 7/1/09

Woke up at 5:30, itching to get started on the move-in.  Collected Beau and my luggage, while Darren, one of my hosts in Portland, drove me over to the new house.  It's another gorgeous day here with temperatures likely to hit the high 80s. Mornings are cool here in the summer before the sun warms everything, and there's an eastern breeze that keeps the air moving.  After 38 years of humid misery in the East, this dryness is indeed a treat.  

We beat the movers by five minutes, and from eight to one, a long and steady progression of boxes threatened to overwhelm the space.  After the movers were gone my first thought was "Oh god, nothing fits--it's too small."  Twenty four hundred feet had shrunk to the space of less than a 9 x 12 space.  How the hell did I get all this crap into an 825 square foot apartment?  I had two goals:  Makes some sense of the kitchen so I could eat; find the linens and a shower curtain so I could get into bed clean.  I accomplished both and made dinner for myself on my very first day in my new home!

During the move-in, I put Beau into the back yard.  I didn't want him scurrying out the door into on-coming traffic.  At first he didn't know what to do.  I put some water out for him and his favorite bone and concentrated on the move-in. Periodically I would check and he'd be glued to the back door waiting for me to come and rescue him.  But after a few hours, he found a shady spot, stretched out and took a long nap.  By the time the movers left and I could liberate him from the back yard, he was content to stay where he was.  After everyone left, I took him across the street to introduce him to his new park.  Kenilworth Park is a two-block paradise of old Sequoia trees, picnic tables, grass, and a wading pool.  There are lots of shady benches to simply sit back and contemplate.  Beau stuck his blunt nose into everything, and even agreed to get his ankles wet in the wading pool--for about 15 seconds.  

Back at the house, I plunged into unpacking.  By 7:45, I had 25 boxes emptied and stored in the garage for the moving company to reclaim.  I can't believe how much stuff found a new resting place. The dishwasher was humming all afternoon, and I consumed four cans of diet gingerale, while Beau claimed a new favorite napping place.  The house has an unusual stairwell leading to the upstairs bedrooms. It's set about two-thirds of the way back and in the center with two passageways on both sides to the kitchen and dining room.  You walk up about eight steps to a kind of mini-landing before it turns right up to the top of the landing.  On one of those progressive steps turning up, Beau has found an ideal spot where he can survey the entire living room, front window and door in the event of a disturbance or unexpected arrival (such as the UPS delivery man bringing me my new modem for my desktop computer).  He's there now, having just finished his breakfast.  

I made dinner (an omelet with hot broccoli salad and a glass of rose), and read through the Oregonian--not a bad paper at all, though a tad light on international news.  It was nice to sit down after a long day, though disconcerting to read that Oregon lags behind even Michigan in unemployment!  After dishes, it was time to find the linens, get a bath and put me, Beau and the house to sleep.  I found my duvet, a down comforter and a beautiful Pendleton wool blanket (from Oregon) and put them on the master bedroom balcony for a good airing. I found pillows and the shower curtain. Two boxes of sheets and towels got put away in the new bathroom glass and wood linen closet, and my bed got made. The shower felt good, but it's a rain shower, with very little pressure.  Everyone here is pazzo over rain showers.  Me, I like a blast of water, so I may change that shower head.  

After thirty eight years of doorman security living, it seemed somewhat creepy to close and lock every window and door on the first floor, and turn off all those lights (there are so many light switches in this house, I'm still confused).  I wondered how I might sleep the first night.  I put Beau into bed and climbed in after him and turned out the light.  The balcony door off of the master bedroom was locked, but both windows were open wide, as was my office window on the other side of the floor.  The ceiling fan was the only noise besides crickets.  I went out like a light, snoring in perfect obbligato with Beau until the sun, pouring into my bedroom, woke me up at 6:15 this morning.  

Two cups of my excellent coffee later, I'm awaiting the arrival of my very first washer and dryer.  I cannot contain myself--the excitement and anticipation of snowy-white Calvin's and socks is simply overwhelming!  Go ahead and laugh.  I'll be washing my first load of laundry on my second-floor laundry room, and face another day of unpacking.


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