Sunday, June 07, 2015

outta pdx

Hey, this blog is rated #9,743,500 on some scale. HA!

Movin' to the country, gonna eat a lot of peaches.

As sweet as it has been to observe life through the bay window of my 1909 house on Clinton Street, it is finally time to go. The food carts did it. Critical mass. Hipsters walking down my street, pointing at trees like its Disneyland, staring at us on the porch like we are a live primate exhibit. It isn't. We aren't. Go home. Nothing to look at here.

We put the house on the market and received a good offer. A great offer. With some back and forth, and letting the washer and dryer go with the house, (and the plants......) the realtor will be here in minutes to sign the acceptance paperwork. Nothing is certain. An inspection of this property could sink the ship, but the buyers are "motivated" and allegedly that is good. They will overlook things and there is much to overlook. But generally, the house works. As a house. Just not for us. In the waning years, cancer and ankle replacements making life different, three stories is two too many.

So, off to Yamhill, population 1049 at last count, with a decent breakfast cafe, an invisible Mexican restaurant, and Zippy's Pizza, where Wanda works. I happened into Zippy's because Kurt said they have a beautiful back bar. True enough. The woman at the bar asked where I was from and I said, "Maybe Yamhill." That got the conversation rolling, and, as it turns out, her husband's family home was on the site of our brand new house. "He lived there his whole life." They sold to a developer and built a plantation-style McMansion around the bend in a conspicuous corner of the tiny 10 house development. It seems Wanda is having a bit of trouble letting go the control of the neighborhood. "There is one thing," she said, after giving us a brief history of Yamhill, her covert manner giving up the probability of sweet gossip. "They're not allowed to park on the streets. They have a garage and a nice big driveway and I don't know why they don't use them." We are they. It begins.

So maybe she's the mayor. I don't know.

Now we are in a holding pattern. Not living here, not moving. Its hard to water the flowers. They're not mine anymore. Leaving them is like leaving babies.I hope I have a chance to teach the new girl which one is the daphne and that it needs to be pruned while it is in bloom; that the little rose in the back is a Cecil Brunner and is only really pretty for a minute, but the minute is worth all of the thorns and falling whitish petals. She needs to know that everything that comes up, comes up on purpose. Perennial. Intentional.

There is much about Clinton Street that I will miss: Clay's Smokehouse, K&F coffee, NoHo's and the sock monkey collection at Dot's. The Clinton Street Movie Store. Best in Portland. I'll miss tall bikes, naked bike riders and tattoos, dog shit bags in rainbow colors, Powell's books and Presents of Mind at Christmas and birthdays; the view out my bedroom window.

I'll tell you what I'm not going to miss: Salt and Straw and their million dollar ice cream in flavors like Poutine (cheese curds, fries and brown gravy... mmmmm), and Kimchee. Kimchee flavored ice cream. Nasty. And I won't miss the traffic flying down skinny streets at mach nine, or the entitled hipsters too cool to look up when crossing the street; or bicyclists who blow through stop signs and just won't obey the rules to death. I just want to live in the country again. With country folks. I know I know. They're mostly republican and its an election year-eve. I know I'll get my country-ass kicked for having a go-Hilary sign in my yard. If I decide on Hilary. Meh.

I am packing, finally. As i pack, I find yard-saleables. Yesterday, Saturday, we sold out.I sold all of the odd bits of shelving I won't need in the BRAND NEW HOUSE. Its like I won it on a game show. I have no idea how to hang a picture. How do you pound in the first nail? Do you use nails?  There is a place for everything. I have so many little cabinets for this and that because in this house, built before we needed sixteen different kinds of soap and forty kinds of skin care and hair products, there was no room for my life. Now, I have a whole room for them, with a drawer for each thing. And two sinks in the bathroom. Two sinks and fifty drawers and a walk-in closet bigger than most bedrooms I've had. Sincerely. Much bigger. I could rent it out. Maybe I will.

Today, a goodwill run and preparing for another week of work. My commute will become a winding stroll through wine country rather than a bumper to bumper competition to get across the railroad tracks, the Ross Island Bridge, down I-5, through Tigard all the way to Sherwood. I am happy. I have loved Portland. I am ready to love Yamhill.


nina said...

I dont normally give advice (really) but this is different: you're my age (I think) and you're moving. Downsize. Throw it all away and vow to buy nothing more unless it's food or plant matter.

Okay, now to the easy stuff: as one who lived in cities far too long, when I moved to the country three years ago I wondered why it took me so long to understand that this is where I want to be.

I hope it's the same for you.

someone said...

I think I'm your age, also. I am taking only what I actually use. I can't promise I won't buy art.

I am a small town girl, not just at heart. Portland was a menopausal act. And love. Always that. Let me call your attention to the incredible piece on menopause by Mary Ruefle. I don't know how to find it but google. I enjoyed it.

Irene Bean said...

I'm now 67 years old. I moved to my mountain in Tennessee 9 years ago from Laguna Beach, CA. Talk about making a change! I live on 6 densely wooded acres of blissful solitude. There's a university about 10 miles from my home - Nashville is 100 miles, Chattanooga 50 - but I rarely leave wander far from home.

Wishing you the happiness that Nina and I have both discovered with country living.