From an email to those back “home,” wherever that is.
I can’t quite believe we’ve made ourselves homeless for a second time. The first night in our new “home” has just hit me after the anxiety of moving out of our apartment. There will be no going back to comfort: long hot baths, endless running water, a forceful toilet that doesn’t store its contents for us to deal with later, a dishwasher, washing machine and dryer, thick pile carpet, rooms with doors that slam satisfyingly when annoyed, ample electricity (Ha! Lots of amps. Geddit? ) a swimming pool and space – lots and lots of space. Even a two-bed apartment seems roomy now compared to our all-in-one bedroom, dining room, sitting room and kitchen, with a bathroom in a cupboard.
We stuck it out for a year-and-a-half in Washington and witnessed torrential floods which caused millions of dollars in damage, wind storms prompting kamikaze conifers that took down electricity lines and left us in darkness, and day after day of grey skies, cool temperatures, drizzle, showers and cats-and-dogs rain.
The weekend we chose to move out of our apartment boasted sunny skies with a temperature of 101°F. Unhelpfully, a neighbour commented, “At least it isn’t raining so you get all your stuff wet.” Well we didn’t think of it in those terms when drenched in perspiration as we packed boxes and half dead with the heat we got a bit snappy with each other.
“Do you have to stand there? I can’t get past.”
“I’m standing in front of the fan.”
“I can see that. Can’t you move the fan?”
“No.” And that was that. There was no more energy to argue.
Now our second lot of big “stuff” is in storage and our trailer is crammed full of little stuff, not necessarily stuff we want but what was left after the removal guys took away our carelessly packed boxes. Tomorrow we’ll drive along the Columbia River which forms the border between Washington and Oregon. We’ll cover part of the Lewis and Clark trail, only in slightly more comfort than them (central heating, hot and cold water, sprung mattresses, a gas cooker, a toaster, paved roads, a vehicle with an internal combustion engine, reliable maps albeit with an unreliable navigator) when they wintered there in 1805/6 having trekked from St Louis to the Pacific.
As I lose the skin off my knuckles once again making up the fiendish bed I am unable to appreciate their hardship.
Your pathetically indecisive homeless friends