I see the bookmark on my browser, dear blog. I feel guilty when I pass over it, mumbling..."but where would I begin..." I will thank my external prodder for nudging me to write (Mom). Ive been roving along composing transitions lately, it is yet to be seen if anyone will show up to play my score, though. My recent trip to the US was sort of like a very social boot camp. I can say that the most satisfying part of a 26 day trip back to San Juan Island was the human contact. Having daily visits with my beloved Nina and her world was wonderful. I stayed with my generous and tolerant friend Nancy and her home and her company was a sanctuary from the rigors of landlordship, house refurbishing and fsbo marketing. Smack dab in the middle of the trip Nina and I took a sojourn to Spokane to Dustin Hannafious's college graduation. Dustin graduated from Gonzaga having studied civil engineering. I loved the collecting of family and the goosebumpy bagpiping ceremony. Nina and I stayed in the fanciest hotel ever, called The Davenport. I got in a nice swim and Nina a treadmill walk there as well as a dandy mother's day breakfast downstairs. I was able to visit with my Evergreen sponsor, Gail Treemblay, on the way home , revealing much more common ground than I had realized before. She has created and shown some incredible installation artworks, often with a political message. It's great to have made the connection.
I had several nice visits with Bob, my father in law. I worry about him, there all alone without us close by to lend an occasional hand or ear. Bob showed Nna and I his garden grounds and he came to a rollicking potluck where some spontaneous theatrics came to life. One highlight was Larry , Nina's boyfriend portraying a blind female chef. He belongs in the family, I think. I was a fifth grade teacher with turrets syndrome and Chinmayo's horse at aerobics class had me in stitches. These roles were imposed by the crowd who added them on one by one as we struggled to portray them while standing on the "stage" (or sauna foundation) I had a seaside visit with the girls, including Cate McKee. Kim Bell had another set of girls out to her lovely rustic cottage and showed us her studio where she makes grand and whimsical birdbaths.
I enjoyed various Lawrence women from Natalia and her new daughter, Charley to her solid new grandma, Lisa and a new exposure to Anna, who was a smart and hilarious co house guest at Nancy's. Nancy was galivanting around some, between her cutting edge job of facilitating an affordable housing structure within the community and beyond at conferences and her devotion to her two grandchildren. I had too short of time with Laurie, who is always at the helm of her popular eatery The Market Chef and her energetic family home. I sadly missed my friends Bruce and Tina altogether! I guess we'll have to meet on some other corner of the planet. I could go on forever about the cozy cradle of friendships that I have even more appreciation for now, after living in the socially cooler climate of New Zealand for a couple of years. I am Proud of Sue for putting herself onto the list of important people to nurture. I see Mary Nash mellowing into her role at the top of the welcoming and sending off point that is The Doctor's office. Restaurant ownership is a heck of an education! isnt it.
The house project that was the focus of my trip was both an ordeal and a labor of love necessary for me to move on to what is next (which is?) The fact that my tenants hadn't found a new home when I had arrived and the property manager who put them there wouldn't even answer my calls to give me "starting point" documents (Im glad I never voted for her) (oh stop it, Kate) Alls well that ends well, or should I say once the boat is launched why worry who was not there pushing off. Im happy with the cooperation and civility that we had during the stressful time of all that transition and I must say, I don't relish the job of landlord.
On the flip side of that, since Ive been home, I have been absorbed in the process of finding a new rental home here in Auckland. Our delightful landladies, a couple comprising of one opera singer and one Prison warden/ housing New Zealand manager, need their house back. We knew this was coming, but it doesn't make it any more fun to be at the mercy of the many various property managers. Some are very nice and some are patronizing and snooty. Some have such thick accents that the messages are questionable. Im not racist, but if I have a human relations based business, I'd pick someone who people can understand as a receptionist! We have spent three days looking at houses in the area where we currently live. Yesterday we were given very overt messages from some pretty shady characters. There are Tongan gangs to the south and Maori gangs to the north. Which do we prefer, Got me? What do they eat? could I cook my way into their hearts? Cant we just move into the no gang neighborhood, oh yes, just move the decimal once to the right and your safe as a cherub. We had such good luck in finding our current house, we'll have to think positive and find another one. The truth is that we have it pretty good, while lot's of families around us have a lot more uncertainty and struggle. Why is it this way? Why are resources squandered on violence and hate while innocent children navigate such scarcity? Can we just get on with evolution and take care of ourselves here? Easy for me to say i suppose... Ill stop here, before I get any soggier. More when the sun comes up tomorrow. Kate